Red Rabbit Urine? There is (probably) Nothing Wrong

red rabbit urine?

Discovering red urine in your rabbit’s enclosure can be alarming. Various factors can contribute to this change in urine color, and not all of them are cause for immediate concern. Your rabbit’s diet is one such factor; foods like carrots and beet tops can temporarily color the urine red or orange. Additionally, when rabbits are dehydrated or when their urine becomes highly concentrated, it might also take on a brown-reddish hue.

However, red urine can sometimes indicate the presence of blood, a serious symptom that warrants prompt veterinary attention. This will look like spots or small flecks of blood in the urine and is generally not a pure red color. Blood in the urine, or hematuria, can be a sign of urinary tract disease or uterine cancer. 

As a general rule, red urine is normal, and bloody urine is rare.

Understanding why your rabbit’s urine is red begins by considering their recent diet, any accompanying symptoms, and the duration of the discoloration. It’s crucial to observe your rabbit for any additional signs of distress or illness, such as changes in appetite, lethargy, or unusual behavior. 

If the red urine persists or if your rabbit’s health appears to be declining, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary. Early diagnosis and intervention can be pivotal for the health of your rabbit.

Why is your rabbit’s urine red?

Most of the time, red rabbit urine is simply the result of a pigment in your rabbit’s diet that temporarily changes the urine color to red. In this case, the urine will be the same color throughout (rather than having a splotchy red color, which I’ll get to in the next section).

If your rabbit suddenly has uniformly colored red urine, it’s usually due to a change in diet. The primary culprits are foods high in beta carotene or those with red pigments. For example, vegetables such as carrots and spinach, which are rich in beta carotene, can lead to red urine. Additionally, red berries like strawberries, raspberries, and cherries can also cause this color change. It’s important to note that this is a harmless condition and the red color is due to the plant pigments being excreted through the urine.

Other things that can cause rabbits to temporarily have red urine include being on antibiotics, and a sudden change in the weather (especially from hot to cold).

I should also note that not all rabbits will get red urine from these foods. Sometimes rabbits given the exact same diet will have vastly different colored urine, so don’t worry if one of your rabbits has red pigmented urine and the other has orange pigmented urine. 

If your rabbit is mildly dehydrated, it’s also possible that their urine will be a more reddish color than usual. To me, this tends to look more brown than red, and is not something I would mistake for blood. However, it’s probably good to be aware of anyway. 

I wouldn’t worry about the occasional brownish, dehydrated urine. However, if it’s a regular occurance you may want to speak with your veterinarian and find ways to encourage your rabbit to drink more water (find out more)

When to be concerned about red rabbit urine

While rare, there are times when red urine may signal a health issue. This is when the red in urine is the result of blood, not simply a red pigment in the rabbit’s diet. If there’s blood in the urine, it won’t typically present as a uniform red color. Instead, expect to see splotchy red spots amidst normal-colored urine. 

Bloody urine can indicate several health problems and you will need the expertise of a veterinarian to help you diagnose the problem. Some possibilities include:

  • Uterine cancer (for female rabbits who have not been spayed)
  • Kidney stones or infection
  • Urinary tract infection

Consult your veterinarian if you notice:

  • Persistently red urine over multiple days
  • Behavioral changes in your rabbit, such as lethargy or decreased appetite
  • Unusual odors accompanying the red urine
  • Your rabbit appears to be straining to urinate, or can only urinate a few drops
  • Sitting for a long time in the litter box

You know your rabbit best. If you feel something is off, especially if your rabbit’s urine is persistently unusual in color or contains red spots, it’s important not to ignore these signs. Early intervention could be the difference in managing a potentially serious condition.


  1. “Red Urine in Rabbits: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” PetCoach.
  2. Sandi Ackerman and Barbara Deeb DVM. “Red Urine: Blood or Plant Pigment?” Georgia House Rabbit Society.
  3. “Urine.” WabbitWiki.

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Amy Pratt

Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals.

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