Does Rabbit Poop Smell?

Healthy rabbits don’t produce smelly poop.

But sick rabbits can release poop that smells awful.

In this article, we will answer all the questions you never thought to ask about how rabbits digest their food.

We will explain how you can recognize digestive problems that make rabbit poop smell and what you can do about them.

Then we will answer some frequently asked questions about rabbit poop.

How Rabbit Poop Should Normally Smell?

When it comes to the smell of rabbit poop, you might be surprised to learn that it’s typically odorless or very mild in scent.

This is especially true for their fecal pellets, which are small, dry, and round. They are also quite easy to clean, particularly if your rabbit friend is litter box trained.

However, rabbits produce another type of feces called cecotropes.

These nutrient-rich droppings have a more pungent scent and are a natural part of a rabbit’s digestive process. Your rabbit will actually eat these cecotropes to benefit from their nutritional content.

Although the smell of cecotropes might be unpleasant, it’s essential to remember that it’s healthy and normal for rabbits to produce these smelly excretions.

It’s important to monitor the smell of your rabbit’s poop because it can help you identify if there’s an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.

Consistently strong-smelling rabbit feces can signify a problem and warrant a trip to the vet.

Keeping your rabbit’s living area clean, ensuring they have a proper diet, and providing fresh water will all contribute to maintaining a healthy, happy rabbit with minimal odor concerns.

Remember, a mild or scentless rabbit poop is typical, and only a strong or persistent odor may be an indication of a potential health problem.

By staying vigilant and observing the smell of your rabbit’s poop, you can ensure your furry friend stays in good health.

Shape, Size, and Consistency

When it comes to understanding your rabbit’s health, it’s essential to pay close attention to the shape, size, and consistency of their poop.

Doing so can help you identify any potential issues and take action to maintain their well-being.

Healthy rabbit poop should be small, round, and consistent in size. They are usually brown in color, with a smooth texture, but can also be green or black depending on their diet.

When you observe your rabbit’s droppings, you may notice that they don’t have a strong odor and may even have a slightly sweet smell.

This is normal and indicates that your rabbit is in good health, as a mild odor is a sign of regular fecal pellets.

However, during shedding season, you might notice some distortion in the shape of their pellets, as extra fur gets packed into them.

This is not a cause for concern, and the poop should return to its regular shape and size once shedding subsides.

If you consistently observe abnormal rabbit poop, you should investigate further. Abnormal poops may differ in size, shape, smell, texture, or color and could indicate underlying health issues.

For example, if your rabbit’s feces become soft or mushy, it could signal digestive problems that need to be addressed.

In addition to regular fecal pellets, rabbits produce another type of droppings called cecotropes.

These nutrient-rich droppings are essential for their diet, as rabbits usually eat them for their nutritional benefits. Cecotropes are softer, stickier, and have a more pungent scent than fecal pellets. Uneaten or malformed cecotropes could also indicate a problem with your rabbit’s health.

Also read: Is Rabbit Poop Toxic to Humans/Dogs?

How Rabbits Produce Their Poop?

Many first-time rabbit owners are shocked to learn that rabbits eat their poop.

More precisely, rabbits eat their soft poops.

Rabbits need carbohydrates, protein, and fat in their diets just like any other animal.

But a rabbit’s diet is mostly grass. How can a rabbit get protein and fatty acids out of grass, leaves, and stems?

Rabbits rely on probiotic bacteria to break down the fiber in their food into sugar, amino acids for making protein, and fatty acids for quick energy.

But the friendly, probiotic Lactobacillus bacteria that rabbits need to release amino acids and fat from their plant foods require oxygen to do their work.

To make sure they’re helpful, bacteria extract all the nutritional value out of the grasses and hay.

Your rabbit will poop out a soft poop, allow it to be exposed to the air, and then eat for a second trip through its digestive tract.

The soft poops, known as cecotropes, are digested a second time in a special part of the rabbit’s intestines known as the cecum.

The cecum is a kind of blind alley in the rabbit’s intestines. All it does is to absorb the nutrients the probiotic bacteria release from soft poop.

And, ordinarily, you won’t notice any odor from soft poops at all.

That’s because the rabbit eats them directly from its anus.

The bacteria in soft poops need oxygen to be activated, but they don’t need a lot of oxygen to be activated. A few seconds in the air is enough.

Rabbits may not eat them immediately after they poop them out but they get around to eating their soft poops in an hour or two. Unless you pick them up and put them in the rabbit’s litter box first.

Rabbits will look for their soft poops to eat them if you put them in the litter box. Eventually, they will just start using their litter box.

That is how your rabbit is house trained.

After the second pass through the rabbit’s digestive tract, poops come out hard and odorless. Th throw away or add to your compost pile.

So, what’s the problem with rabbit poop?

Two Poop Problems in Rabbits

Rabbits can have two kinds of problems with eliminating poop.

One problem is not being able to consume their poops directly from the anus. The poops on the rabbit’s anus can attract bot flies that lay their eggs in and around the rabbit’s anus, hatching into flesh-eating worms.

The other problem is more likely to create messy, smelly rabbit poops. It is diarrhea.

Clinging Poops

Soft pellets of poop that cling to your rabbit’s behind can lead to a problem called flystrike.

By the time a botfly is an adult that can fly around, it has only one job in life. Males live just long enough to mate with females, and the females live just long enough to lay their eggs.

Feces is an excellent glue for attaching eggs to the baby bot flies’ next meal, which is your rabbit.

The botfly eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days. They start burrowing into your rabbit’s skin and tissue and feed on your rabbit until they mature and fly away.

Flystrike can be very painful for your rabbit. You can prevent flystrike by making sure your rabbits don’t live or play in fly-infested places.

It also helps to feed your rabbit a high-fiber diet, so poops pass easily, and to physically remove poops that are stuck to your rabbit’s anus.

Don’t squish them. They will be smelly if you squeeze or step on them.


Diarrhea is not a common problem in rabbits, but it can be fatal in as little as 24 hours if it is not treated.

The most common cause of diarrhea in rabbits is a condition called woolblock, or gastrointestinal stasis.

Rabbits are very clean animals. They are constantly licking their coats to remove debris, poop pellets, and other kinds of sticky debris.

Every time a rabbit licks itself, it swallows hair.

Swallowing hair is not usually a problem, because fiber in the rabbit’s diet pushes hair down the digestive tract before it can form a bezoar, a hairball, at the pit of the rabbit’s stomach.

But if rabbits get hairballs in their stomachs, only liquids can pass from their stomachs to their intestines.

And rabbits cannot cough up a hairball the way a cat can.

A rabbit that has woolblock will develop runny diarrhea, or may not poop at all. Partially digested food may build up in its stomach so there are little lumps visible on the rabbit’s tummy.

Rabbits develop severe liver problems when their bodies attempt to provide energy just from stored fat.

Only a veterinarian can treat woolblock, and treating it is an emergency. Failure to treat will result in the death of the rabbit.

You can prevent woolblock by making sure your rabbit has a constant supply of high-fiber hay, not just pellets. Dark leafy greens also play an important role in rabbit nutrition.

Infectious Diarrhea

Like humans, rabbits can also get food poisoning. E. coli or Salmonella bacteria can make your rabbit very sick.

Rabbits that have diarrhea will have loose, smelly stools. They will be lethargic. They may want to hide.

Rabbits with tummy trouble will not vomit. Their digestive tracts are one-way only.

Prevent diarrhea in rabbits by:

  • Making sure hay is always dry and fresh.
  • Removing uneaten vegetables at the end of every day.
  • Isolating rabbits that have runny stools.

Never give a rabbit any medication intended for treating diarrhea in people. Ask your vet for advice.


Roundworm and tapeworm infections can also cause diarrhea in rabbits. You may sometimes see worms crawling out of the rabbit’s anus.

Also read: Can You Use Rabbit Poop for Fertilizer?

Importance of Monitoring Rabbit Poop

By regularly checking the consistency, size, and odor of your rabbit’s droppings, you can detect changes in their health and take necessary actions if needed.

One vital aspect of a rabbit’s droppings is the odor. Generally, healthy rabbit poop should not have any noticeable smell, as regular fecal pellets are mostly odorless.

However, rabbits also produce another type of poop called cecotropes, which are nutrient-rich droppings that rabbits eat for their nutritional benefits.

Cecotropes can sometimes have a strong smell, especially if they get squashed.

Another significant characteristic to observe is the size and shape of your rabbit’s poop.

A rabbit’s poop can vary in size, but the key is consistency. If your rabbit’s poops consistently resemble sweet peas, that’s completely normal. You should only worry about changes in size or shape when it’s inconsistent.

Color is another aspect to pay attention to when inspecting your rabbit’s droppings.

Like size, the color may differ among rabbits, but healthy rabbits should consistently produce droppings of the same shade. If you notice any changes in color, it could indicate a problem with your rabbit’s diet or health.

To maintain optimal rabbit health, it’s essential to monitor the conditions of their living space as well.

A clean rabbit hutch or bedding is crucial in avoiding a buildup of urine, feces, and old food, which can lead to a smelly environment and affect your rabbit’s health.

In conclusion, regularly monitoring your rabbit’s poop can provide valuable information about their well-being.

Paying attention to the odor, size, shape, and color of their droppings, along with maintaining a clean living environment, will help ensure that your pet rabbit stays healthy and happy.

Also read: Does Rabbit Poop Kill Grass?

Rabbit Diet and Its Effect on Poop Smell

The diet of your rabbit plays a crucial role in the odor of their droppings. Feeding them a diet rich in fiber, like hay and fresh leafy greens, helps maintain their digestive health.

A proper diet includes a mix of hay, fruits, and vegetables.

Hay is the most important component of your rabbit’s diet, as it provides the essential fiber needed for rabbit digestion.

Among the different types of hay, timothy hay is a popular choice because it has a good balance of fiber and nutrients.

Fresh vegetables are another essential part of your rabbit’s diet. Leafy greens like lettuce, parsley, and kale provide important vitamins and minerals to keep your rabbit healthy.

However, be sure to include a variety of greens and not just one type, as this will ensure better nutrition.

Fruits are also a part of your rabbit’s diet but should be given sparingly. This is because fruits are high in sugar, which can lead to digestive problems if consumed excessively.

Some fruits that are safe for your rabbit include apple, pear, and berries. Remember to remove any seeds before feeding them to your rabbit.

An imbalanced diet that lacks adequate fiber or contains too much sugar or protein can impact the odor of your rabbit’s droppings.

A lack of fiber in their diet may result in more potent-smelling feces due to the breakdown of fiber in their cecum.

On the other hand, too much sugar from fruits can also lead to foul-smelling droppings, since sugar fermentation in the rabbit’s gut can produce a strong odor.

In summary, a balanced diet consisting of hay, fresh vegetables, and limited fruit is essential for your rabbit’s health and can help minimize the smell of their droppings.

By ensuring that your rabbit has the right nutrients, you can keep both them and their living environment clean and odor-free.

Also read: Why Does Rabbit Pee Smell so Bad?

Frequently Asked Questions About Rabbit Poop

Q. How many times does a rabbit poop every day?

A. Healthy rabbits poop a lot. They produce between 200 and 300 poops per day.

Q. Can rabbit poop tell me anything about my rabbit’s health?

A. Black or blue poop is a sign your rabbits are getting too much protein in their diet. This is most likely to be a problem when you are giving your rabbits alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa is a high-orotein food.

Pellets that stick together can be an early warning sign of a condition called woolblock or gastrointestinal stasis. When pellets stick together, the rabbit is not getting enough fiber from food to keep digested food moving through its digestive tract.

The solution to this problem is to make sure your rabbit gets unlimited fresh, clean, dry timothy hay. The fiber in hay will keep your rabbit’s digestive tract moving.

Unusually small poops may be a sign of stress. Squishy poops are not unusual after rabbits are given antibiotics, but they can also be an early sign of woolblock.

Small, elongated poops are a sign your rabbit is not getting enough to eat. And mucus on poop can be a sign the bowels are blocked.

Bowel blockage is always a reason to see the vet.

Q. What does healthy rabbit poop look like?

A. Rabbit poops should be round and about the size of a pea or a chickpea. That’s one-quarter to one-half of an inch or a

About 6 to 12 mm. Your rabbit’s poops should be close to the same size every time it poops.

Rabbit poops are ordinarily round like balls.During shedding season, they may be more rectangular. This is due to hair in the poop, and it’s normal.

The color of rabbit poop can range from nearly black to nearly yellow. The color of the poop depends on the hay and vegetables you are feeding your rabbit. All of the poops should have the same color.

Q. Does rabbit poop make good fertilizer?

A. Second-pass poops, the hard and dry ones, may be great organic fertilizer.

These poops provide a balance of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and all the trace elements in the hay and vegetables the rabbits eat.

They are “cold,” meaning they do not contain any nitrogen compounds that can burn your plants. You can add them directly to your flower beds or garden without composting them first.

And, unlike some other manures, such as horse manure, rabbit poops are free of weed and grass seeds.

If your rabbits are healthy, their manure will be odorless. It will contain twice as many nutrients as chicken manure and four times as many nutrients as horse manure, and it will attract earthworms.

Q. Can I use the contents of my rabbit’s litter box as mulch?

A. Dry rabbit poops are odorless, but rabbit urine is not. You need to compost the contents of your rabbit’s litter box before you use them in your garden.

Keep in mind that paper, kitty litter (not recommended for rabbit litter boxes), cardboard, and wood chips take a long time to break down, much longer than hay.

Q. What makes my rabbit’s poop smell like rotting onions?

A. Actually, it isn’t your rabbit’s poop that smells like rotting onions. It’s the secretions from the scent glands near their anus that causes this particular stink.

You may need to clean up your rabbit’s scent glands if they are overproductive or open them if they become blocked.

You’ll need to wrap your rabbit in a towel so it cannot run away or kick you with its hind legs. Give your rabbit some carrots or leafy greens to keep it distracted while you clean the scent glands.

Lift your rabbit’s tail to expose the scent glands. Then gently wipe away the waxy substance that has built up over the glands.

Rabbits don’t like this procedure. Fortunately, it only takes about a minute.

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