Do Rabbits Smell? How to Keep Your Home Stink-Free

Do rabbits smell bad

Do rabbits smell? Or is it the rabbit cage that smells bad?

Many people jump to the conclusion that rabbits stink. But the truth is not that rabbits themselves smell bad, but they can if they’re not kept clean or properly cared for.

In this article, we’ll go over whether rabbits really stink (or if you’re really just smelling the cage), what could make a rabbit smell, and what to do to combat all odors that come along with owning rabbits (because no one wants their home to smell like a barn).

Let’s get started.

Do Rabbits Stink Up the Room?

Rabbits are pretty clean animals, spending a great deal of time grooming themselves. Almost every time I look at my rabbit, he’s preening himself. Even in the wild, rabbits are used to being in burrows for most of the day, and they need to keep those tiny spaces clean.

So, no, rabbits themselves don’t stink up the room. Their cages? Well, that’s a different story. In fact, if your rabbits do smell bad, chances are that it’s actually the cage that you’re smelling, and that’s your sign to clean.

Do Rabbit Cages Smell?

A dirty rabbit cage can get smelly fast. That smell is usually just rabbit pee, but it’s really strong and really not good for anyone to breathe in. So, when your rabbit cage starts smelling a little ripe, you can take that as your sign to clean it out!

Does Rabbit Pee Stink?

Rabbit urine is high in ammonia, which can cause a pretty offensive odor and a nasty stain if you leave it on soft surfaces or even your floor. Further, both females and male rabbits can spray their pee, which creates much more of a smell, especially if you don’t get it all.

Does Bunny Poop Smell?

Healthy, normal rabbit poop is virtually odorless. Of course, if you let it pile up, the bacteria will start to smell. Cecotropes can smell a bit, but your rabbit should be redigesting these, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that being the cause of any smells.

Do Male Rabbits Smell More Than Female Rabbits?

Again, unfixed rabbits do emit a skunky smell when they want to mate. So if you’re wondering, “Why does my rabbit smell like a skunk?” It’s actually normal in both genders.

Both female and male rabbits can produce this musk, but it’s more noticeable in males. This musk may still be present once you fix your rabbits, but it’s much less potent. Otherwise, rabbits do not have much body odor.

If your rabbit experiences diarrhea or foul-odored poop, this likely means something is wrong with his diet or digestive tract. It could also be a sign of a more serious issue, so you should definitely seek a vet’s advice.

Do rabbits stink up the room

Why Do Rabbits Smell?

Again, rabbits don’t typically smell bad. They groom themselves too much to be stinky. So, if yours is, something is going on. Here are some things that could make your rabbit smell bad.

Been Laying/Living in Dirty Bedding

Sometimes, a rabbit will take to sleeping in its litter box. Not only can this make your rabbit smell like its own urine, but the bacteria and ammonia can also be bad for the skin and leave them at risk for pink eye. Not to mention it’s just plain gross.

Mating Musk

Unaltered rabbits can produce a skunky musk when they want to mate. This musk can be quite potent, especially in males. And really, getting your rabbit fixed is the only way to stop this. And even then, it may still happen. It just won’t smell as bad. 


Sick rabbits can smell, especially if they’re having digestive problems and have diarrhea, which can lead to poopy-butt and fly strike if not solved. Infections and abscesses can cause odors, so be on the lookout for that too.

Clogged Scent Glands

Rabbits that can’t sufficiently groom themselves may get clogged scent glands. Your rabbit has three scent glands, one on each side of the rectum and one under its chin.

Clogged scent glands can start leaking fluid that has a pretty foul smell. If this is the case, you should get your rabbit to a vet to get the glands unclogged.

Obese/Elderly Rabbits

Older rabbits may not make it to the litter box in time. Also, arthritis may mean that they can’t bend to clean themselves properly. Obese rabbits may have the same mobility and grooming issues.

how to keep rabbit and his cage from smelling

How Do You Control Rabbit Odor?

There are a few ways to control rabbit odor, but it really comes down to your rabbit’s health and keeping the cage clean.

Spay or Neuter Your Rabbit

Again, both female and male rabbits spray their pee to mark their territory and produce a skunky smell when they want to breed. Luckily, both of these are likely to cease once you spay or neuter your rabbit. Fixing your rabbit has countless other benefits, mainly preventing fatal diseases like cancer.

Keep Your Rabbit Healthy

Your rabbit shouldn’t smell bad if it’s healthy. Regular checks can help prevent anything that could lead to your rabbit being smelly, like gland problems. You also want to make sure that you’re feeding your rabbit a proper diet to avoid any digestive issues that could cause diarrhea or other stinky situations.

Keep the Litter Box and Cage Clean

The most important way to keep rabbit odors at bay is to keep their cage and litter boxes clean.

I know I’ve said it already, but I just want to make sure that rabbits aren’t getting a bad rap. It’s not the rabbit that stinks–it’s the cage. And, if you keep your cage nice and clean, then there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s as simple as that, folks. 

Help Them Out With Grooming

You don’t need to bathe your rabbit, but it wouldn’t hurt to add a weekly brushing session. Not only does that help keep your rabbit’s coat clean, but it’s also a great way for you to bond with your bunny.

Grooming pet rabbit to keep them clean

How to Keep Your Rabbit Enclosure From Smelling

The best way to keep your rabbit cage clean is to litter train your rabbit. That way, the rabbit cage will stay clean for the most part. In the meantime, you should clean your rabbit’s cage every few days.

When you clean your rabbit’s cage, do it thoroughly by scrubbing out the bottom of your rabbit’s enclosure and rinsing it properly. After that, the most important thing is using good, absorbent litter in the litter box that can absorb all of that pee, plus all of the odors that come with it.

How Do You Get Rid of Rabbit Urine Smell?

Accidents happen all the time. So, when they do, it’s best to get at them quickly. But, that isn’t always possible.

There are a few ways to get rid of the odor from rabbit pee:

  • White vinegar is the best because the acidity in vinegar neutralizes the ammonia in rabbit pee.
    • On soft surfaces, let it sit for a minute or two, then blot up as much as possible with a towel. After that, you can wash any stains or affected areas with mild detergent, which also removes the vinegar smell.
  • Using an air filter with a HEPA filter will decrease any odors, plus it will improve your home’s overall air quality. Steer clear of ionizing purifiers that emit ozone as they can be harmful to pets.
  • Regularly air the room to let fresh air in.

In conclusion, it’s important to understand that rabbits aren’t inherently smelly animals. With proper hygiene and regular cleaning of their living space, rabbits can be just as odor-free as any other pet.

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