Small Pets

Rabbit Poop Guide: What Does Normal Rabbit Poop Look Like

Why is my rabbit’s poop different? What does my rabbit’s poop mean? Can you monitor a rabbit’s health through his poop?

Rabbits poop 200-300 pellets per day, and if they’re healthy, poops should all be the same size, shape, and colour. They’re small, dry, and don’t smell, and of all animal poop, it’s the easiest to clean up.

As gross as it may seem, it’s important to learn about your bunny’s bowel movements so you can keep track of his digestive system (and overall health). Different poops can say a lot about how your rabbit may be feeling. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Is Knowing About Rabbit Poop So Important?

Your rabbit’s poop can tell you a lot about his gut function and helps you learn a bit about his general health. Your rabbit’s gut function is central to its gut health, which means a watchful (and knowledgeable) eye can quickly spot a problem.

What Does Healthy Rabbit Poop Look Like?

Healthy rabbit poop pellets are small, spherical droppings that have no smell. You should be able to see bits of hay or grass inside. The pellets should be dry enough to crumble under pressure, like if you squeeze or step on one.

Cecotropes have a much different appearance, often being dark brown blackberry. These are completely healthy, and as weird as it might seem, your rabbit will eat them so that they can be redigested for better gut health.

What Does Unhealthy Rabbit Poop Look Like?

Different types of poops can be unhealthy. And they can all mean something different. For instance, darker or more moist poops typically mean your rabbit’s diet is too protein-rich.

Wet or runny stool means something’s wrong, and your rabbit probably needs a vet. Dry rabbit poops that are misshapen or too small can mean constipation or dietary problems.

Different Types of Bunny Poops

There are many different rabbit poops, and each means something different for your rabbit’s health. Let’s look at the kinds of rabbit poops you might see.

Normal

Normal rabbit poop

Normal, healthy rabbit poop should be a ball-shaped dry pellet with a diameter of 7-12 mm (1/3 – 1/2 inches) depending on the rabbit’s size, and all of them should be the same size.

These pellets will be dark to medium brown with a smooth but grainy texture. You should be able to see bits of hay if you look closely enough. Each pellet should be odourless and dry enough to crumble under pressure.

Cecotropes

Rabbit cecotropes

A cecotrope is a conglomeration of nutrients produced by the fungi and bacteria in your rabbit’s cecum. Rabbits need to redigest them for better gut health, which, as gross as it sounds, means that your rabbit needs to eat them.

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Your rabbit will produce cecotropes around the same time every day, usually at night. Plus, they eat them right away, so you may go a long time before seeing one. But, if you do, it’s normal. However, seeing more than a few in a day means your rabbit is experiencing a nutrient imbalance.

Singular cecotropes are tiny, usually only 2-3 mm in diameter, but it’s more common for them to be in a bunch that will look like a dark brown blackberry or a bunch of grapes, only smaller. The bunch should be around 2 inches long with a mushy texture and covered in a thin mucus membrane. They can get quite stinky if they get left or if the membrane breaks.

Chain Links

Linked rabbit poop

“Chain Links,” as I call them, are rabbit poops strung together with strands of rabbit fur to look like chain links or a string of beads. Poops should still be the same size, shape, texture, and colour as normal poops, just strung together. It’s a rabbit’s version of a furball because rabbits can’t vomit, so hair has to go through the digestive system.

These poops aren’t that rare and don’t necessarily mean something’s wrong. It can be quite common in long-haired breeds or during shedding season. However, if it happens a lot, you should feed your rabbit more fibre and take some extra time to groom him.

Double Poops

Double poops are just like they sound. These poops are two regular pellets fused together because your rabbit’s gut has slowed down. These poops usually happen due to stress. Even getting startled can slow your rabbit’s digestive system down enough to produce one or two double poops.

Double poops aren’t technically a bad thing. But if it persists, or there are more than a couple, you should see a vet because it means your rabbit’s gut isn’t working as fast as it should.

Tiny Poops

Small vs normal poop

Tiny poops are also pretty self-explanatory. They’re half the size of normal poop pellets, with a harder, dryer texture and darker brown colour. Usually, these poops mean your rabbit is stressed. A stressful environment can cause this, as well as the pain from an injury or illness.

If tiny poops become chronic, there might be something more serious going on and your bun should see a vet.

Misshapen Poops

Misshapen rabbit waste

If your rabbit produces misshapen or deformed poop pellets, schedule a vet visit ASAP. It means your rabbit’s gut has slowed right down and isn’t working as it should. These poop pellets can be larger or smaller, with no particular shape. Their texture depends on the cause of the misshapen poops. Causes include dehydration, a gut blockage, or not eating enough.

Mushy Cecotropes

You may see mushy rabbit poop and think it’s diarrhea, but it’s likely mushy cecotropes, also known as cecal dysbiosis. These will look like normal cecotropes but with little form and a paste-like texture. They’re dark brown with clear mucus and will smell awful.

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If your rabbit produces mushy cecotropes, it means he’s not getting enough fibre. Or, it could mean that he’s getting too much sugar. It can also be a symptom of a UTI, lung infection, or oral issues.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is way less common than mushy cecotropes. In most cases, it means your rabbit needs a vet– pronto. Diarrhea can be any colour with a runny consistency and will be very smelly.

In baby rabbits, this means that the breeder weaned your rabbit too early, and he doesn’t have the correct amount of antibodies. In adults, diarrhea means your rabbit is likely suffering from poisoning or parasitic infection.

Mucus-Covered Poop

Mucus-covered poop is very rare and should be cause for worry. The pellets will be tiny or misshapen and covered in white mucus. This type of poop usually happens just before and right after your rabbit’s gut goes into GI stasis. It’s a sign of a gut imbalance or parasitic infection.

What Causes Unhealthy Rabbit Poops?

A rabbit’s gut is very sensitive. Any type of imbalance can throw things off. That’s why monitoring your rabbit’s poop is an important part of keeping track of its health.

Weird and misshapen rabbit poops can happen for a list of reasons, but they can usually all be categorized into improper diet, stress or illness, and parasites.

Improper Diet

If your rabbit is eating an unhealthy diet that includes too much sugary foods or not enough fibre, he can have gastrointestinal issues. This can happen when you feed your rabbit the wrong kind of rabbit food or if he’s not eating enough hay, or if you’re offering too many treats and sugar-rich fruits and vegetables.

Stress or Illness

Stress and illness can easily take a toll on a rabbit’s digestive system, making them produce tiny or misshapen poops.

Parasites

Rabbits can get worms, tapeworms and pinworms being the most common. This sort of infection can cause diarrhea or mucus-covered poops.

What Does It Mean If My Rabbit Isn’t Pooping At All?

Rabbit not pooping

If you’ve noticed that your rabbit isn’t pooping or hasn’t for a while, you need to call a vet ASAP. It means your rabbit’s gut isn’t functioning properly, which can turn fatal in under a day. This is likely a case of GI Stasis, and if it persists, it can cause worse issues.

GI Stasis

GI (Gastrointestinal) Stasis is when a rabbit’s gut slows right down, and causes an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system, which can lead to blockages, infections, and other problems.

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Symptoms of GI Stasis:

  • Abnormal poops, diarrhea, no pooping at all
  • No appetite
  • Loud stomach sounds
  • No energy, hunched over, not moving

Causes of GI Stasis:

  • Too much sugar in your rabbit’s diet
  • Gut blockage
  • In pain from an illness or injury
  • Not enough exercise
  • Constant stress/anxiety

How to Prevent GI Stasis:

  • Make sure your rabbit always has hay and freshwater
  • Give your rabbit lots of exercise room
  • Ensure your rabbit’s environment is peaceful and quiet
  • Take your rabbit to the vet regularly for checkups.

Poopy Butt

A poopy butt happens when cecotropes or abnormally wet poops get stuck to your rabbit’s butt, and he can’t clean himself. Poopy butt is common in rabbits with mobility issues, like obese or elderly rabbits.

Over time, the fecal matter will dry and crust up while producing bacteria, leaving your rabbit at risk of flystrike. You can prevent it in most cases by regulating your rabbit’s diet.

Can You Get Sick From Rabbit Poop?

In most cases, no, you can’t get sick from touching rabbit poop. Rabbit poop doesn’t host the same diseases that cat and dog feces can carry. Even if your rabbit has worms, like tapeworms or pinworms, they don’t affect humans, so you’re safe.

But remember that all fecal matter can be dangerous when there’s enough or if it’s left long enough. Rabbit poop can produce mold spores quite quickly, which is why cleaning up and blocking off unreachable areas (like under couches and beds) is so important.

In some cases, rabbit urine can carry E. cuniculi, a micro-fungi. A human with a vulnerable immune system can get an infection from this, but it is very rare. But just to be safe, you should always wash your hands after cleaning or being in contact with rabbit poop.

How Often Should You Clean Rabbit Poop/Litter Box?

Cleaning rabbit litter box

Depending on how frequently your rabbit uses it, you should clean your rabbit’s litter box every other day to keep it fresh and clean. If your rabbit has any accidents on the floor, clean it up immediately since rabbit urine can stain.

Conclusion

Knowing about your rabbit’s poop can be a big help in monitoring his health and diet. Often, the gut is the first thing affected by stress or illness, which means abnormal poop can be the first symptom of a much larger problem.

So, knowing the differences and meanings of bunny bowel movements can help you prevent many things. Now that you’ve read this guide, you’re one step closer to better health management for your rabbits.

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