A Guide to Rabbit Poop and What It Tells You About Their Health

Poop – it’s an essential part of life as a rabbit owner. But did you know your rabbit’s poop pellets can serve as a vital health indicator? The size, shape, consistency, and quantity of your rabbit’s droppings can reveal a great deal about what’s going on inside your bunny. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the scoop on rabbit poop (literally!). You’ll learn how to decipher the different types of rabbit poop, what abnormal poop may be signaling, and how your rabbit’s waste can indicate serious medical conditions requiring urgent veterinary care. We’ll also discuss ways to prevent issues like diarrhea and constipation. Get ready for the ultimate crash course in rabbit poop! You’ll never look at your rabbit’s droppings the same way again after learning just how much crucial health info is found in feces.

The different types of poop you may see

Rabbits produce two main types of poop – normal poop pellets and cecotropes. Normal poop pellets are small, round, relatively firm and dry. These are the poops you will find scattered around their litter box. Cecotropes look like bunches or clusters of grapes. They are much softer and moist, coated in a shiny mucus. Cecotropes are an important part of your rabbit's diet and contain essential vitamins and nutrients. Rabbits eat them directly from their anus to obtain these nutrients in a behavior called coprophagy. You will rarely see cecotropes as rabbits ingest them straight away.

In addition to normal poop and cecotropes, there are some variations of poop that may indicate an issue:

  • Strung together poops
  • Double poops
  • Small poop
  • Deformed poop
  • Mushy cecotropes or diarrhea
  • Mucus coated poop

Being familiar with what is normal for your rabbit will help you identify when something may be abnormal with their poop and gut health. Monitoring poop is an important way rabbits communicate how they are feeling.

Normal rabbit poop

Normal rabbit poop should be round, relatively firm pellets. The color can range from brown to black, depending on the rabbit's diet. Hay and grass produce brown poop while pellet diets lead to blacker poop. The poops should be separate and individual, not stuck together. They are made up of indigestible fiber so are fairly dry and firm.

A healthy rabbit produces between 100-300 poops per day on average. The amount can vary quite a bit between rabbits based on size, diet and health status. Larger rabbits or those eating more veggies and treats will poop more.

You want your rabbit's poop to be consistent in number, size, shape and texture each day. Sudden changes could indicate a problem. Keep an eye out for small changes in their poop. It's one of the first signs of potential health issues.


Cecotropes are an important part of your rabbit's diet and health. They contain proteins, vitamins B and K, and beneficial bacteria for the gut. Rabbits produce cecotropes by fermenting and redigesting food in a part of their intestines called the cecum. The cecotropes come out looking like bunches of grapes coated in a shiny, mucus-like coating.

Unlike normal poop, rabbits eat these straight from their anus. This behavior of re-ingesting cecotropes is called coprophagy and is essential for your rabbit to get adequate nutrition. The cecotropes are softer than normal poop. The mucus coating helps protect the nutrients as they pass through the intestines again.

You'll rarely see cecotropes in the litter box as rabbits eat them as they come out. Some rabbits may leave a few uneaten if produced in excess. They can look similar to diarrhea but are actually a normal, healthy part of your rabbit's diet.

Strung together

Poop that is strung together in small groups or clumps is not normal for rabbits. Normal poop should be round individual pellets. Strung together poop can indicate gut slowdown. When the intestines aren't moving properly, the poop can stick together and come out connected.

Possible causes include:

  • Dehydration – Ensure your rabbit has constant access to clean water. Dehydration makes poop dryer and stringier.

  • Diet – Too many pellets or treats can cause poop to stick together. Reduce pellets and treats and increase grass hay.

  • Dental issues – Rabbits with overgrown teeth or sharp points may eat less due to mouth pain. This can cause poop to string together. Have your vet check their teeth.

  • Mediation side effects – Some antibiotics or pain meds can cause digestive upset. Check with your vet.

Monitor your rabbit closely if their poop becomes strung together. Make sure they are eating, drinking and acting normally otherwise. Contact your vet if you notice a significant change in poop.

Double poops

Double poops are two poops stuck together side-by-side. They are typically caused by a slowdown of the intestines or gut stasis. When the intestines aren't moving properly, two poops can get pushed together and come out connected.

Possible causes include:

  • Stress – Rabbits produce less intestinal contractions when stressed. This can lead to double poops. Try to identify and reduce stressors.

  • Dehydration – Ensure access to clean drinking water at all times. Dehydration causes poop to become dryer and stick together more.

  • Low fiber diet – Digestible fiber from grass hay should make up majority of diet. Increase hay if feeding high pellets/treats.

  • Pain – Double poops can indicate discomfort in the stomach or intestines. Have your vet examine your rabbit.

  • Dental issues – Overgrown teeth make eating painful. Double poops are common with tooth problems. Get teeth assessed.

Monitor for other signs of gut stasis like reduced appetite and lethargy. Contact your vet promptly if you notice a significant increase in double poops as this requires urgent medical attention.

Small poop

Rabbits normally produce poops that are round, firm pellets around 1/4 – 1/2 inch in size. Small, pellet-shaped poops that are significantly smaller than normal could indicate a problem.

Possible causes of small poop include:

  • Dehydration – Ensure access to fresh water. Small dry poops can signal inadequate hydration.

  • Diet change – Sudden diet changes may cause temporary small poops as digestion adjusts. Transition diets slowly.

  • Partial blockage – Something lodged in the intestines can obstruct poop passage and size. Seek vet treatment.

  • Muscle contraction issues – Problems with intestinal muscle contractions lead to small poops. Have your vet examine.

  • Parasites – Intestinal parasites can damage the gut lining causing small poop. Have your vet test for parasites.

  • Medication side effects – Some meds like opioids cause slowed gut motility leading to smaller poops.

Monitor if small poop persists more than 1-2 days. Make sure your rabbit is still eating, drinking and active. Contact your vet for sudden significant increase in very small poop.

Deformed poop

Rabbit poop should have a consistent round pellet shape. Deformed poops are squished, elongated, or irregularly shaped. This can signal issues with the intestines, digestive tract inflammation, or obstructions.

Causes of deformed poops include:

  • Partial blockage – Something lodged in the intestines can deform poop shape as it passes. Seek vet assessment.

  • Digestive tract inflammation – Irritation from excess stomach acid, parasites, or infection can deform poop. Have your vet examine.

  • Muscle contraction problems – Weakened intestinal contractions lead to poorly formed poop. Vet visit recommended.

  • Stress – Extreme stress or fear causes digestive upset and irregular poop shapes. Try to reduce stressors.

  • Dehydration – Ensure your rabbit has constant access to clean drinking water to avoid very dry, deformed poops.

Monitor if you notice a lot of deformed poops in your rabbit's litter. It often resolves once the underlying cause is treated. Contact your veterinarian if deformed poop persists more than 1-2 days.

Mushy cecotropes or diarrhea

Cecotropes are normally somewhat soft and mushy with a mucus coating. But you shouldn't see excessive cecotropes or loose cecotrope-like diarrhea in the litter box. Finding a lot of abnormally mushy or loose poop indicates intestinal upset.

Causes of mushy cecotropes or rabbit diarrhea include:

  • Diet – Too many sugars or carbs from fruit, veggies or pellets can cause loose poop. Reduce treats and pellets.

  • Dehydration – Always provide clean drinking water. Diarrhea leads to dangerous dehydration in rabbits.

  • Parasites – Intestinal parasites damage the gut lining leading to diarrhea. Have your vet run a fecal test.

  • Bacterial infection – E. coli or other bacteria can cause diarrhea, sometimes with blood or mucus. Require antibiotics from vet.

  • Medication side effects – Antibiotics and some pain meds cause diarrhea. Usually resolves once medication stopped.

  • Dental issues – Rabbits with overgrown molars may swallow excess cecotropes whole instead of reingesting normally. Can present as diarrhea.

Rabbit diarrhea is considered a medical emergency. Monitor stool and appetite closely and contact your vet immediately if loose stool persists more than 12 hours.

Mucus covered poop

Normal cecotropes have a shiny mucus coating. But strings of mucus or excessive mucus throughout the poop is not normal. Increased mucus production signals irritation and inflammation in the colon.

Causes of mucus covered poop include:

  • Parasite infection – Worms and coccidia bugs damage the intestinal lining leading to mucus production. Have your vet run a fecal test.

  • Bacterial infection – Bacteria like clostridium can cause intestinal inflammation and mucus poop. Requires antibiotics from vet.

  • Diet – Too many carbs and sugars irritate the intestines. Limit pellets, fruit and veggies.

  • Stress – Extreme stress or fear causes excess mucus production. Try to identify and reduce stressors.

  • Obstruction – Partial blockages from ingested hair or foreign objects can lead to mucus covered poop as it passes by. Seek vet assessment.

  • Medication side effects – Some medications like antibiotics cause intestinal irritation and mucus poop. Resolves once medication stopped.

Monitor appetite and energy levels if you notice mucus. Contact your vet promptly if it persists more than 1-2 days or is accompanied by reduced appetite.

Causes of abnormal poops

There are a variety of potential causes for abnormal poop types in rabbits:

  • Diet – Excess sugars and carbs from too many pellets, fruits or veggies irritates the intestines. Insufficient hay reduces needed fiber. Make sure hay is 70-80% of diet.

  • Dehydration – Always provide access to clean drinking water. Dehydration causes poop to become small and dry.

  • Dental issues – Overgrown teeth make eating difficult and painful. Rabbits produce fewer poops and cecotropes when not eating normally. Have rabbit teeth assessed regularly.

  • Parasites – Parasites like coccidia damage the intestinal lining leading to loose stool, mucus and diarrhea. Have your vet run a fecal test.

  • Bacterial infection – Pathogenic bacteria cause diarrhea. E. coli is most common in rabbits. Bacteria require antibiotics prescribed by a vet to treat.

  • Pain – Abdominal or intestinal discomfort caused by gas, bloating or blockages often shows up as abnormal poop. Have your vet examine your rabbit.

  • Stress – Stress inhibits normal intestinal contractions leading to slower motility and abnormal poop. Try to identify and reduce stressors.

  • Foreign object – Rabbits may ingest substrate, hair or other objects that partially obstruct intestines affecting poop. Requires surgery in severe cases.

  • Medication side effects – Some antibiotics, pain meds and anti-inflammatories cause digestive upset. Usually resolves once medication is stopped.

If your rabbit is not pooping at all

It can be normal for rabbits not to poop overnight for 6-8 hours when less active. But consistent lack of poop for 12+ hours indicates a serious medical problem requiring emergency vet care.


Signs that may accompany lack of poop include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Sitting hunched over
  • Tummy feels hard or distended
  • Teeth grinding
  • Lethargy
  • Straining to poop with no output

Lack of poop accompanied by these symptoms indicates a full or partial blockage. This is a rapidly fatal condition in rabbits without quick treatment.


Common causes of rabbit not pooping include:

  • Gastrointestinal stasis – Slowdown of the intestines. Poop gets backed up and the rabbit can't pass it. Most common cause.

  • Blockage – Foreign object lodged in intestines obstructs poop passage. Common items include carpet, hair, substrate, plastic.

  • Dehydration – Lack of water causes poop to become dry and stuck. Lead to severe dehydration.

  • Diet – Too many pellets, carbs or sugars irritate the intestines slowing motility. Lack of hay reduces needed fiber.

  • Pain – Discomfort from bloating, gas or intestinal issues prevents poop passage. Straining or hunched posture.

  • Paralysis – Spinal injury or stroke can cause paralysis of intestines and inability to poop. Rear leg paralysis may accompany.

  • Medication side effects – Some pain medications like opioids severely slow intestinal motility preventing poop passage.


Ways to help prevent rabbit gastrointestinal stasis and constipation include:

  • Unlimited grass hay – Hay must make up 70-80% of diet to keep intestines moving with fiber.

  • Probiotics – Live bacteria support healthy gut flora and motility. Provide probiotic supplemented pellets.

  • Water – Always provide clean fresh water. Dehydration contributes to constipation.

  • Exercise – Encourage daily exercise to keep intestines active. Stress can slow gut motility.

  • Limit pellets/carbs – Too many pellets, sugary veggies and fruit irritate intestines.

  • Gut motility supplements – Products like Bene-Bac or Papaya can help keep intestines moving.

  • Annual exams – Have your vet monitor teeth, weight and gut health at yearly checkups.

Monitor appetite and poop closely. Seek emergency vet treatment immediately at the first signs of gastrointestinal stasis. Rabbits can deteriorate and die very rapidly from blockages.

Poopy butt

Poopy butt is the condition when stool sticks to a rabbit's behind around their anus. It's caused when poop gets stuck to wet fur. Common in rabbits with diarrhea or very soft cecotropes. Poopy butt causes fur loss and skin irritation.


Common causes include:

  • Diarrhea – Loose stool from diet, infections, parasites sticks to fur easier. Treat underlying cause of diarrhea.

  • Arthritis – Rabbits with sore hips or knees avoid bending to eat cecotropes. Cecotropes get stuck to fur. Provide soft bedding.

  • Obesity – Overweight rabbits can't properly reach back to eat cecotropes leading to poopy butt. Help rabbit lose weight.

  • Dental issues – Rabbits with overgrown teeth drop and step on cecotropes leading to poopy butt. Keep teeth trimmed.

  • Messy habits – Some rabbits are less inclined to stay clean. Check for parasites and diet issues.

  • Reduced grooming – Elderly or sick rabbits groom themselves less allowing poop to stick. Groom rabbit more frequently.

  • Urinary incontinence – Urine soaked fur causes poop to stick. Get underlying urinary issue treated by vet.


Ways to help prevent poopy butt include:

  • Proper diet – Reduce pellets, carbs and sugars. Increase grass hay to create firmer stool consistency.

  • Cleanliness – Spot clean litter box and check fur daily. Keep cage, flooring and rabbit clean and dry.

  • Encourage movement – Sedentary rabbits risk poopy butt. Entice exercise with toys and space to run.

  • Grooming – Brush rabbit frequently to keep fur clean and prevent matting around anus.

  • Hygiene clips – Keeping fur around anus clipped short prevents sticking and matting.

  • Diaper – Diapers can protect sensitive skin from further irritation while treating poopy butt.

  • Treat incontinence – Rule out and treat urinary disease leading to excess moisture and poop sticking.

  • Regular vet exams – Have your vet evaluate causes like arthritis, obesity and dental issues.

Monitor for reddened, inflamed skin under stuck poop. Seek prompt treatment to prevent painful lesions.

Butt baths

To treat poopy butt:

  1. Soak a washcloth in warm water mixed with a small amount of gentle, pet-safe shampoo or soap.

  2. Have someone gently hold your rabbit while you wipe away any stuck-on poop around the anus and genital region. Remove all dirty matted fur.

  3. Rinse area well with another warm, wet cloth to remove any soap residue.

  4. Pat dry with a clean towel. Make sure the area is fully dry to prevent poop re-sticking.

  5. Apply antibacterial/antifungal ointment or cream if skin is irritated or inflamed. Zinc oxide diaper creams work well.

  6. Consider a hygiene clip to keep hair very short around the anus once the area has healed.

  7. Check fur and clean at least daily until resolved. Medicated wipes or foam shampoos can help for quick daily cleaning.


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