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A pet rabbit was found abandoned and was reluctantly re-homed at my house. He's healthy, has not been neutered, and lives in the laundry room.

Occasionally, he gets let out into other rooms, but leaves droppings. If not for the droppings, he'd be able to roam a little more freely around the house, but as it stands it's just too much of a mess.

We've tried picking up the droppings and putting them in the litter boxes, as well as only feeding him in or near the litter boxes, but every chance he gets when he leaves the laundry room, he leaves more droppings. These things are supposed to help discourage leaving droppings elsewhere.

Aside from neutering the rabbit, what can one do to prevent the rabbit from leaving the droppings?

  • What are you using for litter? In general, rabbits do tend to go in one spot, but it has to be a spot that they want to go in. – John Cavan Oct 9 '13 at 3:47
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    Neutering the rabbit will not help with the droppings. It would help if you had spraying problems – user9 Oct 10 '13 at 14:24
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Rabbits are generally very cautious by nature, and when startled can leave a trail of droppings involuntarily. These are usually dry and easy (although understandably inconvenient) to clean up.

It may be the case, that since these new areas are "unfamiliar territory" your rabbit is possibly getting spooked when its exploring. If possible monitor the situation and see if it improves with time.

Alternatively, it may be attempting to mark its territory. While this is cute when they "chin" objects, droppings are less fun. However, again over time, when given the opportunity to feel at home in an area this behaviour should disappear.

Likewise, try and slowly introduce areas to your rabbit. Set up gates so they can only explore smaller areas and retreat to safety easily.

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  • what does "chin" objects mean? – user6796 Nov 25 '13 at 2:56
  • @Skippy I've added a link, but basically, rabbits have scent glands under their chin. They rub these up against things to apply their scent and "own" them. Its very cute, my rabbit does it all the time when anything new comes into the house. Peoples shoes, their bags, the shopping... – user35 Nov 25 '13 at 3:47
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Spay or neuter is always a good choice and can have great impact on marking behavior.

Neutering aside; before I address leaving droppings, a more major concern about a bunny in areas that are not bunny proofed is electrical cords. Something about them attracts bunnies and they like to nibble on them, not good for the cords or the bunnies. So make sure cords are out of bunny reach if there is a chance they will be able to get to them.

Bunny droppings are a territory marking attempts (as Lego stormtroopr (user35) points out and offers many great ideas +1) and as pointed out in a comment there are several good solutions at What is required to house break a rabbit? In any case when ever a bunny gets new space to be in, expect to see a few droppings to mark "their new space"

A couple of additional suggestions to limit the issue.

  • Put a litter box with some of the bunnies droppings in it in the new room

  • If there are droppings in areas that are not high traffic, leave a couple of them. (Just for a the day, so he/she will not feel the need to reclaim the territory, it should completely stop in a few days when they are comfortable)

  • Put the dropping you do remove into the litter box in new room

Edit There is some question about bunny territory marking. Chinning, peeing and pooping are all common marking signs of bunnies (see reference below), though in my experience an altered bunny in a home environment will forgo the peeing. Particularly if good habits have been created as outlined in this answer.

Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature, by Susan E. Davis, Margo DeMello

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