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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Ammonia smell to urine?
Last Post by Battie at 12/21/2008 3:23 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
12/12/2008 1:52 PM

This afternoon when I emptied Mimzy's litter box into the trash, I was kind of blown back by the smell of ammonia from the used litter. Now I am used to this with the cat litter boxes and know that if it sits too long it tends to get worse. But in the almost year and a half that I've had bunnies, I haven't yet come across ammonia smell in a rabbit's urine even when the box sits for long periods of time. And today I had half a dozen things in my way before I could get to the cage cleaning.

Could the litter have smelled bad because it sat extra time today? The other bunnies' boxes don't smell this bad and I just finished them. Could Mimzy be passing something through that's left over from his upset tummy/mylicon episode the other night? Perhaps the red leaf lettuce made his pee a little stronger? (Which he is no longer eating, btw, I switched him to romaine and he still has italian parsley each day.)

I just want to make sure he is not ill. (Of course, I have to worry like this at the beginning of a weekend.)

User is Offline bunnytowne
7538 posts Send Private Message
12/12/2008 6:06 PM

I have smelled the ammonia smell b4 with buns.  Sometimes a food will make a change in smell.  Anything else I dont' know. Hopefully someone else can come tell you if it is a go to see a vet issue.  I doubt it but I am not experienced in this area. Though as I said I have smelled the ammonia smell b4 especially in HB's litterbox.  He is bigger and pees more than the other smaller buns I have.

 photo bunnytownesiggy.jpg

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
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12/13/2008 1:28 AM

yes, it could have smelled worse if it litter had sat longer.    I also read somewhere that bunnies may drink less in winter.   (though if it's cold, they eat more as it takes more energy to stay warm and if they eat more than they would drink more)  However, what I'm trying to say is...IF you notice yours drink less, or one is drinking less, this can lead to a more concentrated urine.  Do you notice that it is darker in color or anything?  That can also sometimes indicate less water consumption.


On another note - this reminds me of your other post about Mimz recent eye problem - IF he was in a litterbox that was soaked in strong amonia urine, this can cause eye and respitory irritation.   So this post actually may help explain your other post.  ???

Also, something else is nagging me about some relation to a strong amonia smell - that I am missing something.   GRRR!  I did a quick research to see if something would remind me, but so far nothing has hit.    I'll post again about it if I can remember. 


User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
12/13/2008 3:31 PM
Thanks BB. The urine was back to normal smell today and last night, so I'm thinking maybe it just sat too long. I had forgotten that it would cause his eyes to sting, so that is also a possibility. Hence why I've had to dilute any vinegar solution that I use to clean his pen, he seems heavily affected by even the lightest scent.

He still drinks like a horse. 0_o I never have a problem with him drinking water. But we did have different veggies this last week and I'm thinking maybe that had something to do with the odd smell. Perhaps something didn't get digested properly.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
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12/13/2008 3:33 PM
You're using a new litter too aren't you? Maybe it's not absorbing smell as well as old type?
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
12/13/2008 3:52 PM
Oh no, Jerz, actually the only thing I'm doing is adding Carefresh to Fiver's litter to keep his feet from getting soaked in bunny pee. Otherwise the main litter in the boxes is the same. I had asked BB if Feline Pine was okay in case I couldn't find my regular litter, but I still haven't tried any yet. A good thought to keep in mind, though.
I think what I must've done was replaced Mimzy's box earlier in the day than the other two. I probably got sidetracked after doing that and forgot I'd cleaned him up happens. >.<

Dang, getting old and senile really rots. xD

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
4371 posts Send Private Message
12/13/2008 4:48 PM
I too have been the victim of overly odious bunny ammonia knock-over. I have heard it is because of the Ph level.

User is Offline BunnyBuns7
Western Wisconsin
132 posts Send Private Message
12/13/2008 7:54 PM
That's totally normal. There's ammonia in all pee. And yes, I think the longer it sits, the more it smells. It's like a fish tank. the ammonia level just keeps getting higher and higher until you change the water. Hey, it kind of recylces the same way too. Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate to plant food. haha. I've heard rabbit poo is good for your plants. :-D Anyway, sorry. Ammonia is completely normal. don't worry.
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more you'll grow" ~ Dr. Seuss

User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
12/14/2008 7:20 PM
Thanks guys!
Rose, what causes the Ph to fluctuate, do you know? Types of food, obviously, but, any kind in particular?

I notice when I feed dandelion flakes the smell is stronger in general, but it's not an ammonia smell. 0_o

User is Offline RachelF
289 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2008 6:24 AM

yuk I can relate. I have a seperate trash can just for litter box changes that is outside on my balcony. I have to change Honey's litterbox everyday in order for it not to smell like a barn in my house ~.^

User is Offline hooty22
606 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2008 1:13 PM
Is it possible that you have an angry kitty in the house and used the bunny box out of spite? I know my kitty did this a time or two when Felony decided he wanted to chase her around during a bunny 500....

User is Offline Cassi&Charlie
1232 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2008 9:15 PM
HAHAHAHA! Angry kitty...bunny 500s LOL!
If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -- that will do them in. Bradley's Bromide

User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2008 9:34 PM
lmao hooty! I'm sorry I am sure it was not funny for Felony, but I can just see kitty going to the bunny box just to get them in trouble! Oh dear! 0_o
Naw, this box wasn't one that the cats could get to. But thanks for the giggle. I am still seeing your bunny (the pic of him in the Challenge thread is awesome!) chasing a cat around the house...lolz! xD

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2094 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2008 1:34 PM
As far as I know, the ammonia smell comes from the bacterial breakdown of the nitrogen in the urine. The ammonia is a byproduct of this decomposition. I know if I leave my guys' boxes more than a week, it can literally burn your eyes once you stir up the contents of the boxes to clean them. In my compost pile, if I add too much nitrogen stuff at once (think of a large pile of grass clippings for example), the pile will produce a terrible ammonia smell for a couple of days until some of the nitrogen is used up. I do not think that this smell is in any way related to the health of the bunny.

User is Offline Battie
209 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2008 3:23 PM

Oh yes.

I'm reluctant to empty the litter box every day because I hate wasting so many plastic trash bags (biodegradable litter in non-biodegradable bags makes no sense to me), so I tend to layer litter for up to a week. What a mistake! It doesn't smell until I disturb it, but then it's awful. You'd think I'd have learned by now...

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Ammonia smell to urine?

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