What Happens When Rabbits Drink Their Pee?

Image Source

Rabbits are known to be a hunting herbivore that ordinarily eats fresh hay and grass. Yet, this fleshy and cellulose-rich food that they use to consume can be perceived to be difficult to digest, and in a span of time, their meal has to get into their stomachs, which can furthermore consist of numerous good nutrients and elements that the rabbits actually necessitate.

Though, these cute tiny rabbits can overcome this predicament with their bizarre and excellent kind of metabolism that is identified to be hindgut fermentation. With that being said, they eat their own droppings or poop and eventually digest it for the second time.

It may seem to be very out-and-out, but it is natural for the rabbits to eat their poop every morning or at night as it is part of their system. Nevertheless, have you ever considered if the rabbit can drink their own pee? What will happen if they do?

Rabbit’s Urine

Description: What To Do When You See Red In Your Rabbit's Urine

Image Source

Rabbits are commonly served with greens like hay; which they need and in time, will ultimately replace efficiently to a valuable material that takes place in their caecum, as a conclusion of the fermentation

According to KARI or also known as the country’s Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the urine or pee of the rabbits carries various nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and even nitrogen. Rabbits barely drink water. Due to that reason, their pee is known to include the highest value of nitrogen as compared to other animals seen on the farm. It also includes microelements that were created after they excrete soft pellet wastes, which are known to be very rich in minerals and amino acids. This happens through their means called caecotrophy.

In this process, these soft pellet wastes or excretions are ingested for the second time in order to provide and satisfy the need of the rabbit’s daily nutritional demand.

As being tested, it has been established that the content of amino acids in urine and plasma found in the rabbits has been defined by ion-exchange chromatography, and after which is corresponded to implications for other animal species. As broadly explained, the amino acids existing in the urine and plasma of the rabbits are generally observed in other species.

The inclusion of histidine in the human body is normally vaster than the two derivatives of methylated. Just as opposite to the urine found in the human body, the content of histidine in the rabbit’s urine is weaker. It is less than either one methylhistidine or 3-methylhistidine.

Furthermore, the pattern of amino acid in the plasma is seen to be unusual. The glycine inclusion is typically higher than alanine content. This cause is contrary to the pattern found in the cat and the human body.

What happens if rabbits drink their own urine?

There are numerous things that can influence the overall wellness of the rabbits. When we talk about the rabbit’s urine, in particular, we are talking about different substances found in it. As mentioned before, the rabbit’s urine incorporates phosphorus, potassium, and even nitrogen.

Nitrogen and Rabbit’s Health

As mentioned that rabbit’s urine contains nitrogen, numerous studies and researchers have come into settling the outcomes of it in the rabbit’s health.

In the research made by Akasha Moftah, Kerban Abdurzag, and Abobaker Somia cited in the year of 2015, 45 white female rabbits of New Zealand that are six-week-old were indiscriminately selected to 5 separate trial groups based on the effect when consuming water with a concentration of nitrogen. The study lasted in 15 days.

In this study, the rabbit’s body weight and even their food and water consumption were analyzed and carefully determined. The blood plasma for Triiodothyronine and thyroxine levels, on the other hand, were weighed by enzyme immunoassay biweekly, using ELISA.

As the trial has ended, it has been concluded that those particular rabbits that were exposed to water that is high in nitrogen have significantly decreased their body weight. Furthermore, young rabbits that have consumed water with high consistencies of nitrogen were observed to influence their weight and their overall growth. Rabbit’s food and water consumption have decreased in thyroid function in a manner of dose-dependent.

Therefore, foods or elements that abundantly hold a great amount of nitrate may not be that good nor safe for the rabbits, and can significantly affect their overall health.

Phosphorus and Rabbit’s Health

Description: Normal rabbit urine — Frances Harcourt-Brown

Image Source

When it comes to phosphorus, rabbits may acquire an increase in their urinary excretion of calcium as well as hypophosphatemia when phosphorus has been regarded for dietary restriction.

If the concentration of this element has increased way more than 1 percent, then the rabbit’s bone mass will decrease. There are various sorts of cereals that include calcium and vaster level of phosphorus, which is considerably more than 1 percent and can consequently affect bone density.

In the other study cited under Chapin and Smith, 1967b, rabbits were found to be very tolerant of high calcium and phosphorus ratio. The rate of growth and bone density is not influenced by the increased ratio of calcium and phosphorus concentrations.

In their conclusion, the least terms of phosphorus for the maximum bone health in the rabbit’s growth rate is 0.22% percent. When it comes to the dietary level, the rate has been recorded to be up to 0.8 percent. This just implies that the level of phosphorus may have significance or restraining factor in various processes of the rabbit’s metabolism because of the change in its natural dietary requirement.

Potassium and Rabbit’s Health

Lastly is potassium. The rabbit is known to need at least 0.6 percent of potassium in the daily dietary requirement for their optimal growth. According to the recent studies, when potassium level reaches 0.3 percent or less, the death transpired within the 6th week, based on characteristic pathology.

On the other hand, high sodium sequels to the potassium-deficient composition have conceded better fullness but did not in any way limit pathology and death. The same study tells that blood-cell sodium inclusion has developed while urine sodium depleted in potassium insufficiency. Rabbits that are deficient in potassium typically develop a serious and rapid growth of muscular dystrophy. This condition is intimately correlated to creatinuria. When this happens, death may occur in the following 4 to 6 weeks. As per internal pathology, not only that it can cause atrophic and streaked musculature of the muscle, but potassium deficiency can also cause scarring and an identified myocardial necrosis, swelled and pale kidneys, concretions of some small gallbladder, irregular jaundice, atonic intestinal expanse, and various hemorrhagic areas in the stomach.


Rabbit’s pee isn’t surprisingly much of a problem. However, there are no such goods or advantages on the rabbit’s dietary requirement to drink their own pee. It may happen in unusual incidents, but this behavior of eating their own pee shouldn’t be tolerated.

If you notice that your rabbit’s typical daily food consumption is constant and stable, then you can only find that drinking their own pee is a behavioral predicament. If your rabbit is not neutered, doing such a thing may be a sign that they are reasonably marking its territory. Furthermore, drinking their own pee cannot significantly affect their overall health. However, if this becomes constant and the amount seems to get high, you as a pet parent shouldn’t tolerate your rabbit from doing it as a high amount of rabbit’s urine in their own body may display further issues.

What Do Your Rabbit’s Green Paws Indicate?

Is Hot Glue Toxic For Rabbits?