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What To Do About Sticky, Smelly Rabbit Poop

Updated on April 24, 2010
A picture of a healthy bunny cecotrope from
A picture of a healthy bunny cecotrope from

One of the worst common problems to befall rabbit owners is a kind of sticky, smelly rabbit poo that sticks to bunny's fur, smells awful and is almost impossible to get off.

This article will discuss why this occurs, how you can prevent it, and finally, what you can to when it has already happened.

Rabbits have two kinds of fecal matter. The first are the small, hard and round pellets that have no odor. The second are cecotropes, or night feces, and in a healthy rabbit, they look like a dark mass of grape like pellets all stuck together, cecotropes do have an odor, although the rabbit will usually consume them, sparing humans the unpleasant smell. If something upsets bunny's tummy however, the consistency of these cecotropes can become very yucky and runny and sticky, as we discussed above.

Usually the cause of runny poo is dietary, though in some cases your rabbit may have a parasite, so if the following diet tips don't work, then take your bunny to the vet for treatment. The first thing you should do if you notice that your rabbit's cecotropes are not well formed is to cut back bunny's diet to simply being clean, nutritious hay and water. Oftentimes, rabbits with sensitive stomachs can be reacting to treats like fruit or vegetables, and simply restricting the diet is enough to rectify the problem. Some rabbits even react badly to pellet food. Once your rabbit is back to normal poo wise, you can start re-introducing small amounts of pellets and treats like carrot. If your rabbit has tummy trouble again, then cut the offending food out of its diet entirely.

If your rabbit is currently a yucky mass of matted poo, you can help it. The first step is to get paper towels (a good supply of these is useful) and cornflower. Gently powder the cornflower on bunny's bottom and the poop should slide out of the fur. If your bunny is too far gone for that, you can try a gentle, very shallow wet bath, but be aware that your rabbit may find this incredibly stressful. Rabbits hate to be wet, as in the wild, water in the burrow means drowning. Gently and carefully lower your bunny's rear end into a very shallow bath and gently work away the poop. This is very messy and disgusting, but it is sometimes the only option. You'll probably need to do several small baths to clean bunny completely. Do not use shampoos or other cleaners, your bunny's skin is incredibly sensitive.


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    • profile image


      20 months ago

      She has runny poo and is not eating or drinking

    • vinandleia profile image


      2 years ago

      My three month old buck always poops cecotropes all day long is that normal for a baby or buck?

    • profile image

      Rabbit Breeders 

      8 years ago

      Gross picture :)... Better than most other animals however!

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My bunny has this.. usally its like 2 bits a day, at the same tym.. is this bad??

    • BJBenson profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Love the picture, you should see my cat litter Hub!


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