Has your favorite fuzzy friend been leaving little yellow stains around their living space? As much as you adore your rabbit’s quirky personality, those pesky urine spots sure put a damper on playtime. Don’t stress – with some diligent detective work and gentle care, you can get your bunny’s hutches hopping clean again. In this handy guide, we’ll cover all things pee stains, from sleuthing out the source to soothing your rabbit’s skin during the clean up process. You’ll pick up tips for removing even the most stubborn marks from fur and surroundings while keeping your rabbit calm and comfortable. So let’s jump in and get those tiny feet and floors fresh as can be!

Has Urine Stained My Rabbit's Feet?

If you notice your rabbit's feet looking yellow or stained, it's likely from urine. Rabbit urine contains a pigment that can discolor their feet and fur over time. The staining occurs when the urine isn't properly cleaned away and is allowed to accumulate on their coat. Rabbits are very clean animals and will normally keep themselves well-groomed, but sometimes urine stains happen. The staining is more common in older or disabled rabbits who can't properly groom themselves. But urine stains on feet and fur can occur in any rabbit if their living conditions aren't clean enough.

While stained paws aren't comfortable for your rabbit, they aren't necessarily harmful on their own. The main concern is if the staining leads to urine scalding or skin irritation from prolonged contact with urine. So it's important to gently clean any urine-stained areas as soon as you notice them. With prompt cleaning and some fur trimming, you can get your rabbit's coat looking clean and healthy again.

Why Do Rabbits Have Discolored Feet?

There are a few reasons why your rabbit may develop yellow or stained feet:

  • Urine stains – As mentioned,rabbit urine contains pigments that can discolor their feet over time. The staining occurs when urine sits on their fur and isn't groomed away.

  • Porphyrin – Rabbits naturally produce porphyrin, a reddish-brown pigment, from their tears and nose. It can stain their front paws when they groom these areas. Normal porphyrin staining is harmless.

  • Abscesses or infections – If your rabbit has an abscess or infection on its foot, pus may leak out and crust over the fur. This can lead to yellowish staining.

  • Environment – Dirt, grime or food stains from an unclean environment can also discolor rabbit feet. Hay and vegetables can leave stains if bunnies walk through their food.

  • Normal pigmentation – Some rabbits naturally have yellowish fur on their feet. Lighter fur shows staining more easily. Darker pigment on feet is common in Himalayan breeds.

  • Age – As rabbits grow older, the fur on their feet may start to look more yellow. This is from accumulation of stains over time.

So in most cases, stained rabbit feet are from urine or porphyrin and are not a major concern. But if the stains are excessive or accompanied by irritation or wounds, see your vet to rule out any infection.

Are Yellow Rabbit Feet a Cause for Concern?

Mild discoloration of a rabbit's feet is usually not a cause for concern. Light yellow or orange staining is typically just cosmetic and related to urine or porphyrin. As long as your rabbit seems comfortable and healthy otherwise, some minor foot staining isn't a big worry.

However, extensive staining, scalding, crusting or irritation on the feet may indicate an underlying issue that needs veterinary attention. Here are some reasons to be concerned about your rabbit's yellow feet:

  • Urine scald – Severe urine staining can cause urine burn and skin irritation. Scalded areas will be inflamed, painful and prone to infection.

  • Abscess – An abscess on the foot can leak pus and blood, leading to staining and crusty fur. Abscesses need antibiotics from a vet.

  • Sore hocks – Constant contact with wet, dirty bedding can cause urine scalding and sores on the feet. Sore hocks require cleaning, dry bedding and antibiotic ointment.

  • Infection – Bacterial or fungal infections on the feet, especially from urine scald, can cause oozing, staining and crusty fur. Infections need medical treatment.

  • Arthritis – Rabbits with arthritis may soil their feet when urine leaks out or they struggle to groom. Staining indicates pain needing medication.

  • Paralysis – In disabled rabbits, loss of control over urine flow leads to excessive scalding of feet. Paralyzed rabbits need special care.

While harmless staining can be managed at home, severe irritation, wounds or infection on yellow feet require veterinary care. See your exotic vet promptly if your rabbit's feet show signs of scalding, pain or infection.

Urinary Problems

If your rabbit is suffering from excessive urine staining on its feet and fur, the cause may be an underlying urinary tract problem. Here are some common rabbit urinary issues that can lead to urine scald and stains:

  • Urinary tract infection – An infection in the bladder or urinary tract causes frequent dribbling of urine with a strong odor. Antibiotics from a vet are needed to treat UTIs.

  • Bladder sludge or stones – Sludge crystals or stones in the bladder can cause leakage or difficulty urinating. This leads to urine accumulation on fur.

  • Kidney disease – Reduced kidney function means the body can't concentrate urine well. This leads to increased wetness and staining.

  • Uterine cancer – Does can develop uterine cancer, causing urine leakage and stained fur. Spaying helps prevent uterine cancer in female rabbits.

  • Loss of mobility – Arthritic or disabled rabbits may lose the ability to properly groom urine away, resulting in scalding.

  • Pain while urinating – If your rabbit associates urinating with pain, it may avoid the litter box leading to urine scald.

  • Litter box issues – An unclean box, wrong litter material or inadequate number of boxes can deter a rabbit from proper toileting.

If your rabbit is displaying excessive urine staining or scalding, see an exotics vet. Proper treatment of any underlying urinary tract condition, plus improved litter habits, can help resolve staining issues.

Urine Scalding

Urine scalding is irritation, inflammation and sometimes infection of a rabbit's skin caused by prolonged contact with urine. It most often affects rabbits who are unable to properly groom themselves or those living in poor conditions. Scalding leads to red, painful skin and can create open wounds vulnerable to infection. The ammonia in urine essentially burns exposed skin surfaces when allowed to remain.

Urine scald typically first appears on rabbit feet, legs, tails and genital areas as these have prolonged urine exposure. But in severe cases, scalding can extend across the hindquarters and belly. Excessive scalding will cause fur discoloration, urine staining, crusting and skin that is raw and weepy.

To treat urine scald:

  • Gently clip hair from affected areas to allow the skin to stay dry and breathe. Never pull crusted fur.

  • Cleanse wounds with a gentle antiseptic like dilute chlorhexidine. Avoid harsh peroxide.

  • Apply antibiotic ointment to wounded, weepy areas. Keep ointment off healthy fur.

  • Provide soft, absorbent litter to wick urine away and prevent re-scalding.

  • Use an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking that can introduce infection.

  • Seek antibiotics, pain medication, fluids from your vet for severe cases. Urine scald can quickly become infected and life-threatening.

Prevention involves recognizing at-risk rabbits and proactively keeping their environment clean. Good litter habits, frequent grooming and dry, sanitary living space helps avoid this painful condition.

Aggressive House Guest

Sometimes urine stains on your rabbit can result from encounters with other pets. If you have both cats and rabbits in your home, check for any signs of disturbing interactions between the species.

Cats are predators, and some may view small animals like rabbits as prey. Even very gentle cats will often be curious about and want to investigate a new furry addition to the household.

Most cats and rabbits can coexist peacefully with proper introductions and supervision. However, there are things to watch for:

  • Stalking behavior from cats with stiff posture, tense muscles, dilated pupils when watching the rabbit

  • Pouncing on the rabbit suddenly in attack mode

  • Urine staining on rabbit fur from fear responses to the cat

  • Rabbits acting fearful, thumping feet in warning, hiding more than normal

  • Aggressive territorial behaviors between both animals like chasing, swatting, scratching

Urine staining on the rabbit may indicate the cat is acting in an aggressive, dominating or territorial manner that causes extreme stress. The rabbit may urinate itself out of fear when confronted.

To ease tensions between cats and rabbits:

  • Give rabbits access to hideaways and cat-free zones

  • Distract cats from fixation on rabbits with interactive toys

  • Provide vertical space via cat trees so cats don't always corner rabbits

  • Spend ample individual playtime with each species daily

  • Use pheromone sprays to calm territorial behaviors

  • Ensure the rabbit has a clean, accessible litter box to encourage good habits

With patience and care, rabbits and cats can coexist peacefully. But at the first signs of aggression, separate them to ensure the safety of your sensitive bunny. The goal is happy pets all around.

Unsuitable Living Conditions

Your rabbit's housing environment has a major impact on urine stain development. An enclosure that is too small, dirty, or inappropriate for rabbit needs can quickly lead to urine scalding and stained, yellowed feet.

Rabbits are very fastidious about cleanliness. When forced to live in soiled conditions, they will likely stop using a litter box altogether. The resulting urine leakage causes staining, irritation, infections and potentially life-threatening flystrike.

To prevent urine stains, house rabbits in sanitary, spacious environments suited to their needs:

  • Enclosure at least 4 times larger than the bunny when fully stretched out

  • Litter boxes large enough for entire rabbit to fit inside

  • One more litter box than number of rabbits, cleaned daily

  • Absorbent litter material like paper, aspen, grass hay

  • Smooth flooring for traction, not wire which can injure feet

  • Hideaway space for retreat but not to isolate rabbit

  • Routines for daily exercise, playtime, grooming

  • No ammonia or feces smell which stresses sensitive rabbits

Monitor your rabbit's enclosure daily for cleanliness and watch for signs of discomfort, agitation or avoidance of dirty areas. Soiled living conditions almost guarantee ongoing issues with urine scalding and stained fur. By providing an appropriately clean home, you allow rabbits to follow their natural toilet habits.

Can I Remove Urine Stains on Rabbits with a Bath?

Lightly stained paws may be cleaned with a gentle foot bath, but you should not fully bathe a rabbit just to remove urine stains. Rabbits are fastidiously clean animals that spend much of their awake time grooming. Frequent wet bathing disrupts the rabbit's natural habits and healthy skin microbiome. A bath should only be given when truly necessary.

Stained fur can usually be remedied through:

  • Spot cleaning affected areas with unscented baby wipes

  • Grooming with a damp washcloth or grooming gloves

  • Using waterless shampoos made for rabbits

  • Applying corn starch or dry shampoo to absorb oils that bind stains

  • Plucking out badly stained fur clumps once urine scald heals

  • Trimming fur with clippers if matted or soiled down to the skin

Reserve full water baths only for truly dirty rabbits or when prescribed by a vet. Even then use minimal, lukewarm water and rabbit-safe shampoo. Rinse thoroughly, hand dry well and keep warm until fully dry.

With routine grooming and a clean living space, most mild to moderate urine stains can be managed without the stress of a full bath. Focus instead on addressing the underlying causes of excessive soiling.

How to Clean a Rabbit's Feet and Fur with a Dry Bath

To clean mildly urine-stained rabbit feet and fur, a dry bath using cornstarch and grooming tools is safest. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Supplies Needed:

  • Cornstarch or dry shampoo formulated for rabbits
  • Soft bristle brush or comb
  • Rabbit-safe grooming wipes or damp washcloth
  • Elizabethan collar to prevent licking


  1. Have your assistant gently restrain the rabbit in a comfortable position. Always support the full body weight.

  2. Use cornstarch or rabbit dry shampoo liberally over stained areas. Rub it directly into the fur with your hands or a soft brush.

  3. Allow the powder to sit for 5-10 minutes. It will absorb oils and help detach dried urine crystals.

  4. Use your hands or a grooming wipe to gently scrub stained areas, working the powder into the fur. Avoid pulling on matted sections.

  5. Once powder has loosened and absorbed urine stains, use your brush or comb to gently lift dirt away from the skin and fluff the coat.

  6. Wipe away any remaining residue with a clean, damp cloth. Try to leave some fur dry for insulation.

  7. Finish by using the comb or your fingers to neatly rearrange the coat once it's clean and dry. Check for any remaining tangled patches.

  8. Keep the rabbit in a warm space until fully dry. Place an e-collar if licking persists. Monitor for skin redness and irritation.

A dry bath cleans mild stains without overly disturbing the rabbit's coat oils and microbiome. For best results, also address the underlying causes of soiling like litter habits or mobility issues. With routine dry baths and grooming, urine-stained fur should improve.

How to Clean Urine from Rabbit Fur with a Wet Bath

If dry bathing does not remove urine stains on your rabbit's coat, a wet bath may be needed. But wet bathing is very stressful for rabbits, so this should only be done when absolutely necessary and with extreme care. Here are tips for wet bathing a urine-stained rabbit:

  • Have an assistant help restrain the rabbit while you wash. Never leave a wet rabbit unattended.

  • Choose a mild rabbit shampoo or diluted baby shampoo. Avoid products with harsh detergents.

  • Fill a sink with just 2-4 inches of lukewarm water. Avoid getting water in the ears and nose.

  • Fully saturate the stained areas with water first before applying shampoo.

  • Gently lather shampoo only where needed. Focus on stained areas of the hindquarters, belly, feet.

  • Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Towel dry sections as you go to prevent chills.

  • Once rinsed, wrap rabbit in an absorbent towel and gently squeeze out moisture. Don't rub vigorously.

  • Use a blow dryer on the lowest setting to carefully dry the coat. Check temp with your wrist first.

  • Brush fur gently as it dries to prevent matting. Watch for any remaining dampness close to the skin.

  • Keep rabbit warm and draft-free until fully dry. Monitor for shivering or lethargy after bathing.

With a careful technique, wet bathing can effectively remove urine stains from rabbit fur. But bathing should be a last resort. Be sure to address the underlying toilet habits or mobility issues causing the staining afterwards.

Should I Cut the Mats Out of My Rabbit's Fur?

Removing a mat from rabbit fur should not be your first option. Mats and tangles are best avoided through regular brushing and proper coat care. But if a severe, tightly adhered mat does develop, carefully cutting it away is safer than leaving it or pulling it out.

Here are tips on removing a stubborn mat from rabbit fur:

  • Identify how close the mat is adhered to the skin. Any mat tight to the skin should be professionally removed to avoid injury.

  • Position your rabbit securely on your lap or chest. Have an assistant restrain/soothe if needed.

  • Use sharp, sterilized grooming scissors designed for pets. Never use household scissors.

  • Gently lift the mat outward and away from the skin using your fingers or a comb.

  • Carefully snip through the center of the mat little by little to gradually cut it away.

  • Avoid pulling or tugging on the mat as this can tear skin. Go slow and patient.

  • Double check close to the skin for any remaining tangled hairs that need trimming.

  • Use a fine comb to lift and fluff the coat once the mat is removed.

  • Watch for skin irritation where the mat was removed. Apply aloe vera gel to soothe.

  • Schedule more frequent brushing sessions to prevent additional mats.

Removing a stubborn mat is stressful for rabbits, so prevention through regular care is key. But a carefully snipped away mat is safer than leaving a tight mass of urine-soaked fur tugging on your rabbit's delicate skin.

What Is Flystrike?

Flystrike is a dangerous condition that can result from soiled, matted rabbit fur. It occurs when blow flies or flesh flies are attracted to urine-soaked fur and lay eggs in the coat. The eggs rapidly hatch into maggots that invade the rabbit's skin and burrow into flesh. Flystrike causes severe pain, tissue damage and often death if left untreated.

Causes of Flystrike:

  • Long-term urine scalding and soiled fur, especially around genitals and anus

  • Diarrhea or cecotrope buildup causes damp, dirty fur near rear

  • Overweight or arthritic rabbits unable to properly groom themselves

  • Hot, humid weather creates ideal conditions for flies to breed

  • Inadequate housing and litter habits leads to constant urine-soaked fur

Signs of Flystrike:

  • Swarms of flies clustering and buzzing around rabbit

  • Tiny white eggs and rice-like larvae in fur

  • Red, inflamed skin with weeping serum or pus

  • Raw, maggot-infested wounds on skin

  • Rabbit rapidly becomes withdrawn and distressed

  • Foul odor coming from affected area

Flystrike is an emergency requiring immediate veterinary treatment. Left too long, the tissue damage can be fatal. At the first signs of flies, eggs or maggots, get prompt veterinary care. Prevent flystrike

How to Prevent Urine Stains on Rabbit Fur

While some urine staining of rabbit fur is normal, especially in older rabbits, you can take steps to minimize soiling and keep your rabbit's coat clean.

  • Spay/neuter to reduce territorial urine marking

  • Provide adequate number of large litter boxes

  • Use absorbent paper or hay litter to wick moisture

  • Clean boxes daily to encourage use; avoid harsh cleaners

  • Check for urinary tract infections or bladder stones

  • Groom rabbit frequently with damp cloth or brush

  • Offer swimming or bathing opportunities

  • Dry soaked fur thoroughly after swimming

  • Trim severely stained fur at skin as it heals post-bath

  • Maintain clean, dry housing environment

  • Ensure soft, supportive flooring for joint comfort

  • Adjust enclosure setup to suit elderly/disabled needs

  • Schedule annual checkups to monitor for age-related urinary issues

With attentive care and cleanliness, urine stains can be minimized. But some light staining is expected, especially in older rabbits. Focus on creating a habitat supportive of natural rabbit health and hygiene.

How to Neutralize the Smell of Rabbit Urine

While rabbit urine has less odor than many pets, its high ammonia content can still create an unpleasant smell, especially when allowed to accumulate. Here are some tips to neutralize urine odors in your rabbit's environment.

  • Spot clean wet urine immediately to avoid saturation.

  • Use absorbent litter like aspen, paper or recycled paper to soak urine away from air. Avoid clay litter.

  • Replace soiled litter, bedding and potty pads frequently.

  • Mix baking soda or vinegar into wash cycles when cleaning fabrics exposed to urine.

  • Use an enzyme cleaner designed for pet urine rather than harsh chemicals to break down ammonia.

  • Neutralize airborne ammonia with oils like eucalyptus, lemon or lavender.

  • Install an air purifier with activated charcoal filter to remove odors.

  • Wash plastic toys, litter boxes and other non-porous items with enzymatic cleaners. Let dry in sun.

  • Seal wood furnishings with polyurethane to prevent urine seepage into pores.

  • Limit access to rooms until urine smell dissipates. Close doors and use fans to circulate air.

  • If odor persists, examine rabbit's urinary tract health. See a vet for UTI testing.

With attentive cleaning and odor removal tactics, you can maintain a fresh environment even when sharing space with a house rabbit. Monitor your rabbit's toilet habits closely and consult a vet if concerns arise.



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