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How To Stop Your Rabbit Peeing And Pooping In Bad Places

Updated on December 2, 2009
I pee where I wish to, human...
I pee where I wish to, human...

Jenni asks this question:

How do I stop my rabbit from pooping on the couch when he is litter box trained? He knows how to use the litter box but every chance he gets, (usually when I can't see him) he runs over and pees and poops on my couch.

Jenni, you've run into a common problem that many rabbit owners have, and it stems from not really understanding what it means for a rabbit to be 'litter box trained'. This isn't your fault at all, but rabbits don't really get litter box trained like a cat would do. Once a kitty is litter box trained, they will always look for a litter box, but bunnies are different. Bunnies will always find one particular place to go to the bathroom and they will always return to this place. Humans then put a litter box in that place and we can say 'Oh look, Flopsy is littler box trained!' In reality, we've simply provided the rabbit with an appropriate place to toilet in a location he or she prefers.

In your case, your rabbit prefers the couch. This could perhaps have been prevented in the early stages of litter box training by only allowing the bunny to go in a place that suits you by simply not allowing him the run of the house. The bad news is that it is pretty hard to change a bunny's mind once they have chosen a place they want to go potty. The only way you are going to stop him from peeing and pooping on the couch is to keep him off the couch entirely.

You say that he is litter box trained, so I am guessing that he has another area where he will also toilet. Confine him to this area for a while and reinforce the idea that his litter box is the only place he can go to the toilet. After a few weeks of being confined to this area, he may imprint on this place more strongly and ignore the couch entirely. Note I said he 'may' do that. Every rabbit is very different. If he really sets his little bunny heart on peeing on your couch, the only way to stop him effectively is to keep him off it.

Whatever you do, don't punish him for peeing in the wrong place. You can't punish him for it, he doesn't have a sense of right and wrong, and behaving aggressively towards your rabbit will only make him frightened in the long run. In his mind, the couch is the right place to pee and you are crazy for having a problem with it.

So, long story short, keep bunny off the couch and corral him in a place where toileting is okay until he picks that as his new toilet spot. Best of luck to you and your bunny!

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