Do female rabbits spray Urine ?
Yes, when there’s no Buck in the pen , the un-neutered female rabbit “ the Doe ” can also spray her cage with urine and even when you take her out for her daily playtime , neutering her is a necessity especially if you have several rabbits in the same pen.
Why do female rabbits spray urine “ territory marking”?
Bunnies are a herbivorous mammals that are particularly recognizable with their large ears and small bushy tail.
From the wild rabbit to the domestic one and pet bunnies , these mammals share a common way of expressing themselves and behaving.
Thus , Un-spayed female and male rabbits, i mean whether Bucks or Does , mark their territory in a natural way. To do so, they use their three types of glands:
- Those located under the chin,
- Those placed on each side of the anus
- The inguinal glands.
These glands are located on each side of the penis or vulva, in the form of a fold of skin.
Territorial marking and cleanliness
Two aspects to be distinguished ; People who have adopted a rabbit often have strong doubts about the fact that the rabbit is naturally clean, since they need it everywhere and in every nook and cranny.
It is important to differentiate between the cleanliness of the rabbit and the marking of its territory.
Sometimes, a female rabbit with a strong instinct for marking its territory can transform your habitat by peeing everywhere.
This does not mean that it is not clean.
Indeed, under the effect of hormones or stress, your female rabbit can quickly become obsessed with marking its territory.
This is just another way for him to reassure himself that this place is his.
After the visit of strangers or the arrival of new animals, this behavior is perfectly normal.
His objective is to mark out the ground on which he considers to have a power of command and to pass on the message to others. Just like the wild rabbit that deposits small piles of droppings or sprays urine, the domesticated rabbit marks its territory.
When a female rabbit feels safe in its territory and is not threatened by another rival rabbit or even your cat or another pet, another rodent such as a guinea pig …
In this case your Doe will not feel the need to mark its territory too much to delimit and proclaim it, your rabbit will be content to leave a little smell by just giving a chin blow in a corner or two of its cage, but generally no urine sprays.
Territory marking can be beneficial for a rabbit living outside
This activity, the marking of his territory, keeps him alert and maintains his physical shape.
On the contrary, a caged male or female rabbit with no territory to observe or mark will lack activity and stimulation.
For him, managing the territory will boil down to attacking the hands that enter his cage. This is why it is essential to make rabbits live in freedom on a rich territory to explore.
The day often begins with a general inspection:
Your Buck or Doe sniffs every object, moves forward cautiously and checks that everything is in the same place. With his nose on the ground, shoulders down and tail up, he makes his little tour.
After this first quick inspection he tackles the essential ; the marking of his territory.
Inspection of the usual marking place by sniffing it and then noticing it by rubbing it with his chin, where is the gland that he uses to mark his territory.
Your rabbit can also mark your hand with his chin, this means that he has accepted you and considers you as part of his warren. If another rabbit/animal/human approaches you, he may consider it a rival.
Unfortunately, chin tagging is not the only employee. If your rabbit systematically lifts his butt, he may end up making a nice stream of urine, especially if he is not sterilized.
Marking of territory with droppings
The unspayed rabbit loves to leave a whole bunch of poop behind, as well as small piles in strategic places.
Only sterilization will be able to fight against this phenomenon, it will not be solved by a good education.
The rabbit which marks its territory does not have the impression to dirty, it is not making its needs he is not making the connection with the litter box ( get this one on Amazon ) , even if for you the result is the same!
The notion of territory is extremely important for the rabbit.
Each change in territory can cause disturbances in the rabbit’s behavior and it can even become dirty again for a few days to reassure itself by re-delimiting it.
Avoid upsetting the rabbit too much by changing its stuff, it is important that it knows where its hiding places are for example.
Even in an apartment, a rabbit behaves like its wild cousin. It needs a “burrow” to feel safe (a hut or a simple box) and a clean territory, which it knows well and where it can go about its business, knowing that it can return to the burrow at any time to protect itself.
My rabbit suddenly started urinating all over the house?
If your rabbit, male or female, suddenly starts peeing and defecating everywhere in the house and outside his litter box, especially if he has received a litterbox training, it is time to sterilize him.
It’s probably his sex hormones that push him to mark his territory and assert that he is the owner of the house and not only his cage.
In fact, wait for your rabbit to urinate on you and on your bed to claim the property especially if he dominates you !! it’s often the case when he doesn’t lick your hand from time to time !!
Marking one’s territory: a sign of affirmation
To mark their territory, rabbits mainly use their sense of smell.
Rabbits like to mark their territory in order to assert themselves and to send a message to other rabbits and animals.
Thanks to the three glands they possess, visible structures resembling small pockets, rabbits rub against objects or subjects they consider to be of lower rank. In this way, the rabbits assert their position of dominance and command over the other members of the group.
For female rabbits, it can also be a way to mark their young and thus recognize them more easily. If they come across a cub that does not smell right, they conclude that it is not part of their colony. They can then attack and kill them.
Let’s wrap this up
In conclusion, it is useless to use repellents because this problem is behavioral, it requires an adapted response from you.
White vinegar type repellents have no effect on rabbits and often they even push them to urinate even more.
Sterilization or neutering , will significantly decreasing sexual behavior, also decreases the marking instinct and the desire to dominate. It therefore contributes to stop this type of marking behavior in male and female rabbits.