Do Pet Rabbits Smell – Complete Review

Do indoor pet rabbits smell? There seems to be some debate over whether pet rabbits actually smell or not. Some people insist that they do not, while others say that their pet rabbits do have a scent, but it is not unpleasant. So, who is right?

Do rabbits smell?
Just like people, some rabbits may have a stronger scent than others. However, in general, pet rabbits do not have a strong smell.

This is because rabbits are very clean animals. They groom themselves regularly and keep their fur clean and free of dirt and debris. In fact, one of the main reasons that rabbits sometimes have a scent is because they tend to release a small amount of urine as a way of marking their territory.

But even this scent is not generally considered to be unpleasant. In fact, many people find it to be quite mild and agreeable. So, if you are considering getting a pet rabbit, don’t let the fear of an unpleasant smell dissuade you.

Basic Rabbit Smells You Might Encounter

Do bunnies stink? There are a few basic smells you might encounter when you have a pet rabbit.

Does rabbit poop smell?

The first, and most obvious, is their droppings. Rabbit droppings are small and round, and they will often smell like ammonia. This is because rabbits digest their food so quickly that they don’t have time to break down the fiber, so the ammonia builds up. If your rabbit’s cage isn’t cleaned often enough, the droppings will start to smell really bad.

two black rabbits and poop on the floor

Does rabbit pee smell?

Another smell you might encounter is their urine. This smell is much more subtle than the smell of their droppings, but it’s still important to keep an eye out for it. Urine can cause your rabbit’s cage to smell bad, and it can also be harmful to their health if it builds up. Make sure to clean your rabbit’s cage regularly and to give them plenty of fresh water so they can stay hydrated.


The last smell you might encounter is their fur. Rabbits groom themselves constantly, so their fur will usually smell pretty good. However, if they start to get dirty or if they get a bad case of fleas, their fur will start to smell bad. Make sure to groom your rabbit regularly and to give them a bath if they get really dirty.

Overall, rabbits are relatively clean animals, and they usually don’t smell bad. However, it’s important to be aware of the basic smells they can produce so that you can keep their cage clean and their health in check.

Rabbits looking for mates

When it comes to rabbit dating, it’s the males who do all the work. Unaltered rabbits emit smells to attract mates and mark territory. And it’s not just a little whiff, either. Males can produce a potent odor that can be smelled up to a mile away.

What’s behind this potent smell? It’s all about sex. Male rabbits release a smelly substance called androstenone to let females know they’re interested. Androstenone is also found in other mammals, including pigs and elephants.

In addition to attracting mates, the smell also helps males mark their territory. Each male has his own unique smell, which lets other rabbits know that this is his turf.

How to Keep a Rabbit’s Cage From Smelling

Rabbits are naturally clean animals and will use a litter box to go to the bathroom. However, their cages can still start to smell over time. There are a few things you can do to help keep your rabbit’s cage from smelling.

rabbit cage with hay

Litter train your rabbit

The first step is to litter train your rabbit. This will help keep their cages cleaner and reduce the amount of smell. There are a variety of litters available, so choose one that your rabbit likes.

There are a few basic tips for litter training a rabbit:

  1. Choose a litter box that is the appropriate size for your rabbit. A box that is too small will be difficult for the rabbit to use, while a box that is too large may be too intimidating.
  2. Place the litter box in a quiet, accessible location in the rabbit’s enclosure.
  3. Fill the litter box with a suitable litter material. Some good choices include straw, hay, recycled paper pellets, or organic potting soil.
  4. Teach your rabbit where the litter box is and how to use it. You can do this by placing the rabbit in the box and gently petting him until he does his business. Once he is using the box regularly, you can gradually move the box to a more discreet location in the enclosure.

Litter training a rabbit can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. With a little patience and perseverance, you can teach your rabbit to use a litter box like a pro!

Regularly clean your rabbit’s cage

You should also clean your rabbit’s cage regularly. Remove the soiled bedding and litter and replace it with fresh bedding and litter. This will help keep the smell down.

Use a deodorizer

If the smell is still bothersome, you can use a deodorizer to help mask the smell. There are a variety of deodorizers available, so choose one that you like.

By following these tips, you can help keep your rabbit’s cage from smelling.

Health Problems Can Make Your Rabbit to Smell

the cute rabbit stretched his head

When a rabbit’s health starts to decline, their body odor can become particularly strong. This is because their metabolism speeds up in an attempt to fight off the illness, and they start to produce more sweat and urine as a result. In addition, rabbits with health problems may also be more prone to developing skin infections, which can also lead to an increase in body odor. If your rabbit is exhibiting any of the following signs, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian for a diagnosis:

  • Excessive sweating;
  • Strong body odor, even when they are not handled;
  • Urine that smells particularly strong;
  • Skin infections.

Poop problems

If you notice your rabbit is having trouble with their bowels, it can also lead to a stronger smell. This is because the feces will contain more of the bacteria that are causing the problem, and will smell accordingly. In addition, if your rabbit has a wet bottom from diarrhea, that will also contribute to a stronger smell.

If your rabbit is experiencing any of the above problems, it’s important to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Left untreated, these issues can lead to serious health complications.

Rabbits that cannot properly clean themselves

In addition to health problems, older rabbits, disabled rabbits and obese rabbits can also smell more strongly than their healthy counterparts. This is because they have a harder time keeping their bodies clean, and the extra fat and skin folds can trap bacteria and sweat. If your rabbit falls into one of these categories, it’s important to keep a close eye on their hygiene and to groom them regularly.

Rabbit and tray with hay

Poop can stick to your rabbit

One of the most unpleasant rabbit smells is known as “poopy butt.” This is when the rabbit’s feces get stuck to their fur around their rear end, and can cause a strong, unpleasant odor. If your rabbit has a poopy butt, you’ll need to clean it and their fur carefully with a wet cloth.

Scent glands

Rabbits have two scent glands, one on each side of their anus. These glands produce a strong, musky odor, and can be especially noticeable when the rabbit is scared, angry or excited. While not particularly pleasant, this odor is a normal part of a rabbit’s physiology.

Alternative Ways of Reducing Rabbit Smell

If you are a proud owner of a rabbit, you are likely well aware of the distinct smell that comes along with it. While some people find this smell endearing, others find it to be a little too strong for their liking. If you are one of the latter, never fear – there are ways to reduce the rabbit smell in your home.

One way to reduce rabbit smell is to use an air purifier. This will help to remove any particles in the air that may be causing the smell.
Additionally, you can try using essential oils. Some essential oils, like lavender oil, are known for their ability to neutralize strong smells. However, it is important to note that some essential oils are not safe for rabbits, so be sure to do your research before using them.

Scents that aren’t good for your rabbit:

  • Garlic
  • Clove
  • Pine
  • Thyme

There are more, make sure you check the oil on the Internet before you use it.

Is Rabbit Urine Smell Harmful

There is a lot of discussion on the internet about whether or not rabbit urine smell is harmful. Some people say that it is harmful to humans and some people say that it is not. So, what is the truth?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, rabbit urine smell is not harmful to humans. However, if you are allergic to it, you may experience some respiratory problems. If you are not allergic to it, you will not experience any problems.

a white rabbit sits on a ladder

Rabbit Smell Vs Dog Smell

There are a lot of differences between the smell of a rabbit and the smell of a dog, but the most notable difference is that dogs tend to smell a lot stronger than rabbits.

Rabbits have a much more subtle smell, which is a result of them groom themselves frequently and having a diet that is high in fiber. Dogs, on the other hand, have a much stronger smell because they do not groom themselves as frequently and they have a diet that is high in protein.

Another difference between the smells of rabbits and dogs is that rabbits tend to smell a little bit earthy, while dogs tend to smell a little bit like urine.

Overall, the smell of a rabbit is much more pleasant than the smell of a dog, and this is one of the reasons why many people prefer to have rabbits as pets instead of dogs.

Rabbit Smell Vs Cat Smell

There are a lot of differences between rabbit smell and cat smell. For one, cats have a stronger smell than rabbits. This is because cats have sweat glands on their paws, which release a strong-smelling substance. Additionally, cats groom themselves more than rabbits, which means their fur traps more oils and smells.

Rabbits, on the other hand, have a much milder smell. This is because they don’t have sweat glands and they groom themselves much less than cats. Additionally, rabbits’ fur is not as oily as cats’ fur, which means it doesn’t trap as much smell.

Overall, I would say that cat smell is stronger and more offensive than rabbit smell. If you are sensitive to smells, I would recommend getting a rabbit over a cat.

rabbit and cat

Is It Ok to Bathe My Rabbit?

Rabbits are not the type of animal that needs to be bathed on a regular basis. In fact, if you bathe your rabbit too often, it can strip the natural oils from their skin and fur, leading to dryness and skin problems.

However, if your rabbit does get dirty, it is ok to give them a bath. Just be sure to use a gentle soap and cool water, and avoid getting the water into their ears, eyes, or nose.

Once your rabbit is clean, be sure to towel them off and dry them off completely, as they can easily catch a cold if they are wet and cold. Then, give them a good brush to help get rid of any loose dirt or hair.

And that’s it! Your rabbit is now clean and ready to go.


Do bunny cages smell?

Yes, cages can and will smell if not cleaned on a regular basis.

How to keep rabbit cage from smelling?

There are a few things you can do to help keep your rabbit’s cage from smelling. You can try using a cage liner to help absorb urine and feces, and you can also try spraying the cage with a pet-friendly odor eliminator.

Do rabbits stink?

No, rabbits do not stink. However, their cages can sometimes smell due to urine and feces.

Does rabbit pee smell?

Yes, rabbit urine can smell quite strong.

How to get rid of rabbit smell?

There are a few things you can do to help get rid of rabbit smell. You can try using a cage liner to help absorb urine and feces, and you can also try spraying the cage with a pet-friendly odor eliminator.

How far can rabbits smell?

Rabbits have a very strong sense of smell, and they can detect smells from up to a mile away.

What smells do rabbits love?

Rabbits do not have a specific smell that they love, but they are attracted to smells that are sweet or floral.


Do rabbits smell bad? There is no definitive answer to “Do bunnies smell bad?”. Some people say that they do not smell, while others claim that they have a very distinct odor. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if they think that pet rabbits smell or not.

Also read:


  • Androstenone | Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Physiology and Welfare –
  • Litter training a rabbit | wikiHow –
  • Rabbit’s health | VCA Animal Hospitals –
Mary Ostin
About Mary Ostin

Hello, my name is Mary. I run this site with my husband Danielle. We got a pet rabbit a few years ago and now we want to share with you our experiences with feeding, caring for, and playing with our rabbit. As responsible owners, we visit the vet regularly and also keep a close eye on what our rabbit eats, how he sleeps, and what toys he plays with.

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