How to Get Rid of Urine Stains on Your Rabbit’s Feet and Fur

Has your sweet rabbit been leaving little yellow stains around their home? Those pesky urine spots on your bunny’s feet and fur may have you wrinkling your nose. While a little yellowing is normal, excessive staining can mean trouble. Don’t reach for the scissors yet! Improperly removing urine-soaked mats can seriously harm your rabbit. There are better ways to banish urine stains and keep your rabbit clean and healthy. Join us on an odor-busting journey to explore the root causes of rabbit stains, safely fix matted fur, treat urine scalding, remove stains through smart bathing, and prevent future problems through housing adjustments. With the right techniques, you can get your rabbit’s coat looking clean and beautiful again!

Has Urine Stained My Rabbit’s Feet?

If you notice your rabbit's feet looking yellowish or brownish in color, urine stains may be the culprit. Rabbit's feet often come into contact with their own urine as they move around their enclosure. Over time, the acidity of the urine can lead to staining and discoloration. This is especially common in rabbits with light-colored fur on their feet. The stains may range from faint yellowish tones to dark brown discoloration depending on the concentration and frequency of exposure. Don't panic if you notice staining – it is usually just a cosmetic issue and not harmful to your rabbit's health. However, extensive staining can indicate other underlying issues that need attention.

Why Do Rabbits Have Discolored Feet?

There are a few reasons why rabbits commonly get urine stains on their feet:

  • Lack of litter training – Rabbits that are not fully litter trained will urinate in places other than the litter box. If the rabbit sits in its own waste, the urine will stain the feet over time. Ensure the rabbit is spayed/neutered and properly litter trained.

  • Unsuitable housing – Wire bottomed cages or housing without adequate bedding allows urine to collect on the feet. Provide a housing area with proper bedding to absorb urine.

  • Urinary tract issues – Conditions like bladder sludge or infections can cause frequent dribbling of urine which leads to feet staining. Seek veterinary care to diagnose and treat any underlying medical issue.

  • Poor hygiene – Infrequent cleaning of the rabbit's environment allows urine build up. Clean the cage and litter box frequently to prevent exposure.

  • Light colored feet – Rabbits with white or light fur on feet show staining more noticeably than dark colored fur. But the staining risks are the same.

Pay attention to your rabbit's housing setup and litter training status if you notice discolored feet. Making the needed adjustments can help resolve staining issues. Seek medical care if urine foot staining persists despite making changes.

Are Yellow Rabbit Feet a Cause for Concern?

If you notice your rabbit has yellow staining on its feet, it is usually not a major cause for health concern on its own. Here is some information on judging whether yellow feet are problematic or not:

  • Light Yellowing – This is very common and mainly a cosmetic issue. It happens from regular contact with urine. Focus on improving the housing setup.

  • Musty Yellow – Indicates prolonged exposure to concentrated urine. Rabbit's feet should not constantly be wet. Improve cleaning regimen.

  • Staining Spreads Up Legs – Points to an excessive urine-soaked environment. Rabbit's whole underside is at risk. Make housing upgrades immediately.

  • Staining Accompanied by Scalding or Burns – Sign the rabbit is sitting in urine. Needs veterinary attention to treat scalding and determine why rabbit is soaked in urine.

  • Dark Brown or Black Staining – Shows very prolonged exposure to ammonia from urine. Causes dry, cracked skin. Improve housing hygiene.

  • Only Front or Rear Feet Stained – May signal urinary tract issues leading to dribbling urine or incontinence. Seek medical assessment.

While some feet yellowing is normal, excessive staining, scalding, burns or staining extending up the legs indicates the rabbit's health may be at risk without intervention. Seek veterinary advice if you have concerns.

Urinary Problems

Sometimes, urine-stained feet may be indicative of underlying urinary problems in rabbits. Here are some common urinary tract issues that could be associated with persistent feet staining:

  • Bladder sludge – Sludge buildup in the bladder can cause frequent dribbling of urine and feet staining. Your vet may prescribe diet changes to treat sludge.

  • UTIs – Bacterial urinary tract infections can cause uncontrolled urination and feet discoloration. Rabbits with UTIs require antibiotic therapy.

  • Bladder stones – Mineral deposits in the bladder lead to obstruction and urine dribbling. Stones often require surgical removal.

  • Kidney disease – Reduced kidney function causes improper urine concentration and feet staining. May need subcutaneous fluids and diet changes.

  • Diabetes – Excess glucose in urine of diabetic rabbits contributes to feet staining. Daily insulin therapy is the main treatment.

  • Neurological issues – Nerve issues, injuries, or paralysis can lead to loss of bladder control. Medications, physical therapy, or surgery may help.

  • Obesity – Excess weight puts pressure on the bladder causing leakage and feet discoloration. Weight loss is needed.

If you notice urine-stained feet paired with symptoms like blood in urine, straining, frequent urination, or dribbling, seek veterinary care. Treating the underlying condition will help resolve the feet discoloration.

Urine Scalding

If your rabbit's feet appear irritated, reddened or have burnt patches, urine scalding is likely the cause. Scalding happens when the rabbit sits in pooled urine, exposing its feet to prolonged contact with burning ammonia in the waste. Severe scalding can cause ulcerated, flaking skin, and even open wounds. To treat and prevent urine scalding:

  • Gently cleanse the feet daily with a rabbit-safe antiseptic wash to prevent infection in broken skin. Avoid harsh scrubbing.

  • Apply antibiotic and anti-inflammatory creams prescribed by your vet to scalded areas. Cover with gauze if needed.

  • Provide soft, clean bedding for comfort and to prevent further scalding. Change bedding completely at least twice a day.

  • Evaluate housing setup and make needed improvements to drainage and cleanliness. Wire bottoms must be covered.

  • Address incontinence, urinary accidents, and medical issues leading to scalding through medications, veterinary treatment, and proper housing hygiene.

  • Check for flystrike in scalded areas and treat immediately if maggots are present.

  • Allowing scalded feet to fully heal can take several weeks. Prevent reinjury through vigilance and housing adjustments.

Urine scalded feet are very painful. Investigate the underlying cause and implement both medical treatment and environmental changes to help the rabbit's feet heal while keeping them protected.

Aggressive House Guest

Sometimes urine-stained rabbit feet are caused by the behavior of an aggressive or dominant house guest rabbit asserting its territory. Signs it's happening:

  • Staining mainly on back feet rather than underside

  • Occurs suddenly when new rabbit introduced to home

  • Paired with nipped fur and scratches from chasing and scuffles

To curb this territorial urine marking:

  • Neuter/spay rabbits to reduce hormonal territorial behavior

  • Clean soiled areas thoroughly with vinegar to eliminate smells sparking dominance

  • Give rabbits separate enclosures and supervised interactions until bonded

  • Distract territorial rabbit right away from marking spots with toys or treats

  • Avoid overcrowding which heightens tensions between rabbits

  • Consider permanent separation if aggression persists and recurrences of urine feet staining don't resolve

Staining from hostile house guests should improve once rabbits are neutered, properly bonded, and tensions ease through careful resource management. Seek help from a rabbit-savvy vet or behaviorist if problems continue.

Unsuitable Living Conditions

The environment and housing setup your rabbit lives in plays a huge role in urine-stained feet. Feet discoloration often indicates issues with their living conditions that need improvement:

  • Inadequate housing size – Overcrowded housing forces rabbit into frequent contact with its own urine. Provide adequate floor space.

  • Inappropriate flooring – Wire bottoms or slippery surfaces lead to contact with urine puddles. Use absorbent bedding or solid, non-abrasive floors.

  • Insufficient bedding – Lack of absorbent, thick bedding allows urine exposure. Provide several inches of hay or paper-based bedding.

  • Poor ventilation – Ammonia accumulates in stagnant air, worsening feet scalding. Ensure good air flow.

  • Infrequent cleaning – Built up urine deposits and saturation leads to staining. Daily spot cleaning and full weekly cage cleaning is best.

  • Litter training problems – Rabbits missing the litter box due to medical issues, lack of training, or limited access contribute to feet staining.

Make improvements tailored to how your rabbit's housing setup is currently contributing to urine-stained feet. Maintaining good housing hygiene helps prevent recurrence of staining and other related health issues.

Can I Remove Urine Stains on Rabbits with a Bath?

Bathing can be an effective way to remove urine stains from your rabbit's feet and fur. However, rabbits are fastidious groomers, so urine staining located only on the feet may be adequately handled by the rabbit with its tongue over time. Here are some tips on bathing rabbits to remove urine stains:

  • Spot clean mild stains on feet with a damp cloth rather than full bath if possible to avoid stress.

  • Choose a gentle, rabbit-safe shampoo designed for sensitive skin. Avoid products with harsh fragrances.

  • For wet baths, only immerse the stained areas in shallow water to minimize stress. Avoid getting water in ears and eyes.

  • Gently lather and rinse stained areas. Avoid harsh scrubbing which can irritate skin.

  • Rinse thoroughly until all residue is removed. Wet fur takes a long time to fully dry.

  • Dry your rabbit thoroughly after its bath using towels and a blow dryer on cool setting to prevent chills.

  • Monitor for recurring stains and utilize bathing periodically as needed in conjunction with housing improvements to limit re-staining.

Bathing can quickly lift urine stains but it does disrupt the rabbit's normal microbiome. Use targeted spot cleaning baths only as needed for stubborn staining issues.

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

Here are tips for effectively cleaning your rabbit's urine-stained feet and fur using a dry bath method:

Supplies Needed:

  • Small grooming brush or flea comb
  • Unscented baby wipes or hypoallergenic pet wipes
  • Cotton pads
  • Rabbit-safe dry shampoo
  • Towel


  1. Gather supplies and coax rabbit into secure position for grooming. Offer a treat to keep calm.

  2. Use brush or comb in short strokes to loosen any matted fur around stained areas. Avoid pulling on fur.

  3. Wipe stained areas with grooming wipe to spot clean surface dirt and urine residue.

  4. Apply small amount of dry shampoo to cotton pad. Gently blot stained fur to lift discoloration.

  5. Let dry shampoo sit for 2-3 minutes then brush through fur to distribute and neutralize odors.

  6. Use towel to gently blot up any shampoo residue. Brush fur to finish grooming.

  7. Provide lots of praise and another treat after dry bath finished!

Repeat dry bath grooming as needed for stained areas. Always monitor skin for irritation and discontinue use of any products that cause discomfort.

How to Clean Urine from Rabbit Fur with a Wet Bath

Giving your rabbit a wet bath can help remove those pesky urine stains from the fur. Follow these steps for an effective wet bathing process:

Supplies Needed:

  • Rabbit-safe shampoo
  • Shallow basin/sink
  • Towels
  • Blow dryer
  • Q-tips for eyes and ears
  • Treats


  1. Fill basin with just enough lukewarm water to wet stained areas of fur.
  2. Place rabbit in position to wet only stained portions of fur. Protect ears from water.
  3. Apply a small amount of shampoo and work into a lather on stained areas.
  4. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Rabbits can stay wet for a short time.
  5. Gently pat with towel to soak up excess moisture. Avoid rubbing.
  6. Use blow dryer on cool setting to speed drying process. Check fur close to skin is fully dry.
  7. Use Q-tips dipped in mineral oil to protect the eyes and ears from getting waterlogged during the bath.
  8. Give treats and praise for tolerating the bathing process!

Monitor skin for any irritation after wet bathing. Seek prompt veterinary care if skin remains reddened or sore. A wet bath can quickly revitalize urine-stained fur but should be used only occasionally when needed.

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

If your rabbit's urine-stained fur has become severely matted, you may be tempted to simply cut out the clumped mess. However, trimming out mats incorrectly can lead to painful cuts, skin damage, and trust issues during future grooming. Here are some tips on removing urine-soaked mats safely:

  • Never cut into or directly underneath mats. Only cut around their perimeter.

  • Part fur with a comb and use scissors to carefully snip off exterior tips of matted fur.

  • Gently tease apart smaller tangles with fingers or a specialized de-matting tool.

  • Soak larger mats with detangling spray or water mixed with conditioner to loosen the wad of fur.

  • Work patiently, taking breaks to avoid frustrating your rabbit. Reward cooperation with pets and treats.

  • Remove loosened clumps of stained fur using fingers or a slicker brush in layers until mat is gone.

  • If mats are too extensive, seek professional assistance from a rabbit-savvy groomer.

  • Prevent re-matting by improving housing hygiene and committing to regular grooming.

Urine-stained mats require gradual loosening and unwinding. Avoid hacking out the problem in one abrupt pass which can be traumatic for sensitive rabbits.

What Is Flystrike?

Flystrike is a potentially fatal condition that most often occurs in rabbits with soiled, urine-stained fur. Here is an overview of flystrike:

  • Caused when female flies are attracted to soiled/urine-soaked fur and lay eggs in the coat. The eggs hatch into larvae (maggots).

  • Maggots feed on the live skin tissue, quickly causing severe infection, wounds, and tissue necrosis.

  • Usually impacts hindquarters but can rapidly spread. Maggots reach full size in just 3-7 days.

  • Signs include restlessness, wet fur, bare patches of skin. Maggots may be visible in fur.

  • Immediate veterinary treatment is critical. Maggots must be removed, wounds treated with antibiotics/anti-parasitics.

  • After recovery, keeping fur clean/dry and addressing urine scalding risks helps prevent recurrence.

Flystrike is an extremely painful and rapidly escalating condition triggered by urine-soaked fur. Rabbits suffering urine scalding and poor hygiene are most vulnerable. Flystrike prevention is a key reason to address urine-stained feet and fur promptly.

How to Prevent Urine Stains on Rabbit Fur

Here are top tips to help prevent your rabbit's fur from becoming stained by urine:

  • Spay/neuter your rabbit to improve urine marking and litter box habits

  • Provide an oversized litter box to make it easier to get in and out without urine-soaked feet

  • Use abundant absorbent litter in box; change frequently to encourage use

  • Limit access to soiled areas with litter box position and pen setup

  • Spot clean wet areas of housing daily to limit exposure

  • Invest in stain-resistant fleece liners if housing a unspayed female

  • Comb out urine-soaked fur mats carefully before they worsen

  • Check feet, fur, and underside daily for urine scalding

  • Address medical issues leading to excessive urination right away

  • Bathe only when necessary, using rabbit-safe products

  • Groom regularly to keep coat free of close-contact urine stains

Making adjustments to set up clean housing, litter habits, and grooming is key to reducing urine stains on rabbit feet and fur. Be vigilant for signs of scalding or skin irritation.

How to Neutralize the Smell of Rabbit Urine

That stubborn ammonia smell from rabbit urine can linger, continuing to attract your bunny back to stain and soil again. Here are tips to neutralize odors:

  • Blot fresh stains immediately with paper towels

  • Rinse area thoroughly with water and soak up excess

  • Spray vinegar over stain and let sit 5 minutes before blotting

  • Sprinkle baking soda generously over affected area. Allow to sit 1 hour before vacuuming up.

  • Repeat vinegar and baking soda treatment as needed until smell dissipates

  • For tough odors, use an enzymatic pet odor neutralizer according to instructions

  • Replace soiled carpets, baseboards, and other porous items that still smell strongly

  • Ensure good ventilation and change air filters frequently

  • Feed hay-based diet to promote less smelly urine composition

  • Address excessive urination issues rather than just masking smells

Completely removing all traces of that pungent rabbit urine odor takes patience and persistence. Combining odor busting techniques with bunny housing adjustments provides the best success.


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