Micah Feeding

Vet Speak

In this section, Dr. Micah Kohles, Oxbow’s Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach, answers all of your animal health related questions.  If you have a question for Dr. Kohles regarding the health or behavior of your small animal, send it to web@oxbowanimalhealth.com.

Hi! I have two male rabbits, both neutered, almost bonded. They're 2 and 3 yrs old. While they both have excellent litter habits, lately they've been leaving large quantities of poop outside their litter boxes. We have two boxes for them but they share both. Is this a territorial thing? How can we curb this behaviour?

Thanks for the question.  The first suggestion I would give is to take a step back from the issue and try to evaluate if anything has changed in the world these little ones live in.  Things like new bedding, new location of litterbox, changes in diets, travel, visitors to house, new pet, changes in schedule/routine. Rabbits are creatures of habit and many times I have seen some change (which you and I would perceive as subtle) affect rabbits’ behavior. 

I suspect there is something that has shifted that is causing this.  Unfortunately, it might not be something you can identify and adjust. If they are both eliminating outside the box, I would be less inclined to believe it was a territorial thing, but you never know. If they are caged together and you have room I would also offer more than one litterbox. This has helped with a few cases of inappropriate elimination I gave dealt with.  Good luck!
 

Sincerely,

Dr. Micah Kohles, DVM, MPA
Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach
Oxbow Animal Health