Do Rabbits Have Periods? (All You Need To Know)

The adorable and cuddly rabbits in our lives frequently make us happy and curious. It’s only reasonable to think about their reproductive cycle and whether they go through periods like humans when examining their behaviour and physical features. One strange finding that can catch your attention is that rabbits occasionally have urine that is deep red. Does this indicate that rabbits have periods? 

Rabbits don’t have periods as they have their reproductive cycle, also called the estrous cycle, which is distinct from menstruation. However, the occasional occurrence of deep red urine can be caused by dietary factors or underlying health issues. Consider observing their health and seeking vet advice.

This article briefly discusses, why rabbits have deep red urine occasionally, what causes red urine in rabbits, what to do if you notice red urine in your rabbit, and many more.

Do female rabbits have periods?

Female rabbits do not have periods, just like other mammals and humans.

However, they have a special reproductive cycle called an oestrous cycle.

In addition, female rabbits undergo periodic periods of sexual responsiveness during the oestrous cycle, known as being “in heat” or “in estrus.” 

During this time, the rabbit goes through several physiological and behavioural changes that show it’s ready to mate.

A rabbit’s oestrous cycle normally lasts 14 to 16 days, though this can change according to the breed, age, and habitat of the specific rabbit.

Within this oestrous cycle, there are distinct phases:

  • Proestrus: This is the cycle’s first stage and it lasts for one to two days. During this time, the female rabbit may become anxious and aggressive, and it might release pheromones to attract male rabbits.
  • Estrus: The female rabbit is most prepared for mating during this time. It might be as short as a few minutes or for a day, between 12 and 14 hours. In this stage, the rabbit becomes more affectionate and friendly, and your rabbit may lift its hindquarters to prepare for mating.
  • Metestrus: A female rabbit enters metestrus after mating or when the receptive period is over. It lasts for approximately 9 to 13 days, during which it might turn down additional male advances. The rabbit will continue to display pregnancy-related symptoms if pregnancy happens. If it doesn’t, it will go back into proestrus, and the cycle will start over.

While female rabbits do not experience menstruation, they do have a definite reproductive cycle that is marked by times when they are sexually receptive and when their hormone levels are changing.

Do rabbits experience menstrual cycles?

Rabbits do not have menstrual cycles, unlike certain other mammals and humans. 

When an unfertilized egg is discharged, the uterine lining sheds, which causes bleeding in humans during menstruation. 

Rabbits do not go through this process since they have a different reproductive system.

Instead, rabbits experience what is known as an oestrous cycle, which is common in most mammals such as dogs and cats. 

Periods of sexual receptivity, also known as being “in heat” or “in estrus,” are a recurring feature of the oestrous cycle. 

In preparation for possible mating and reproduction, the female rabbit’s body undergoes several hormonal and physiological changes during this cycle.

Also read: How To Clean Rabbit Urine Stains?

Do rabbits come in heat?

Rabbits experience a period of receptivity for mating described as “in heat” or “in estrus.” 

During this period, female rabbits display particular behaviours and go through bodily changes that indicate they are ready for mating.

The warmth or estrus phase is part of the rabbit’s oestrous cycle, which is the reproductive cycle that regulates their reproductive behaviour and fertility.

Depending on an individual rabbit’s age, breed, and environmental factors, estrus might occur more frequently or last longer.

Right here are some key traits and behaviours associated with the heat or estrus section in rabbits:

  1. Behavioural Change: When a female rabbit is in heat, its behaviour may change to show that it is ready for a mate. They may become more active, restless, and anxious to discover their environment. In addition, they could be friendlier and cooperative with other rabbits, particularly males.
  2. Scent Marking: Additionally, female rabbits can release pheromones to draw the attention of males during the heat phase. They can communicate their willingness for mating via these scent signals.
  3. Duration of Estrus: In rabbits, the estrus phase normally lasts 12 to 14 hours. The receptive time, however, might vary in length based on the individual rabbits and the surrounding conditions.
  4. Positioning for Mating: When a female rabbit is in heat, it will frequently display particular mating behaviours and positions to communicate its receptivity to males. This may involve “presenting,” or raising their hindquarters, to make room for mating more easily.

It’s vital to remember that bucks, or male rabbits, might display different behavioural traits throughout the breeding season. 

They might act more territorially and with more power, perhaps even spraying pee to identify their territory.

A female rabbit may get pregnant if it mates with a male rabbit while it is in its estrus period and fertilisation takes place. 

If not, it will go back to being inactive until its subsequent estrus cycle.

Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Urinating So Much?

What causes red urine in rabbits?

Red urine in rabbits can result from a variety of causes, some of which are normal while others may point to a possible medical problem. 

Here are some potential reasons why rabbits may have deep reddish-brown urine:

1) Diet:

Sometimes, rabbits’ diets can result in red or coloured urine. 

They may experience brief changes in urine colour due to the presence of certain pigments in the food they eat. 

Beets, carrots, and berries are a few examples of common fruits and vegetables that rabbits consume. 

When these anthocyanin pigments are metabolised and eliminated from the rabbit’s body, the urine may take on a red or pinkish tint. 

Usually harmless, this colouring should go away after the pigments are eliminated.

2) Pellets:

Artificial colours that have been added to some commercial rabbit pellets or formulated diets may also change the colour of the urine. 

The pellets are frequently coloured artificially to make them more visually appealing to pet owners. 

If your rabbit consumes these pellets as part of its food, these synthetic ingredients will likely cause the urine to have an unusual colour or appear crimson. 

If this happens, switching to a different pellet brand or kind that doesn’t have any extra colours can help.

3) Water intake:

The quantity and quality of water a rabbit drinks can also affect the colour of its urine. 

A rabbit’s urine can become concentrated if it does not have access to clean, fresh water or if it is not getting enough to drink. 

Urine that has been concentrated, may have a darker or more intense colour, possibly giving off the impression that it is reddish or brown. 

It’s essential to make sure rabbits always have access to an adequate amount of fresh water.

4) Medications: 

In rabbits, medications may have the side effect of causing deep red or black urine. 

Some antibiotics, including penicillins or sulfonamides, can make urine discoloured. 

In addition, this is because of how the drug may affect the urinary system or interact with other substances in the body. 

It’s vital to remember that not all antibiotics and the individual drug and dosage might affect the likelihood of this adverse effect.

Anticoagulants and other blood clotting-related medications can cause red or blood-tinged urine. 

Specific medical issues, such as thrombosis or clotting abnormalities, may call for the prescription of these drugs. 

The anticoagulant action can make the presence of blood in the urine more obvious, even if it is not the primary cause of bleeding in the urinary tract.

It’s critical to speak with a veterinarian if your rabbit’s urine colour changes following drug administration. 

If the observed urine staining is a cause for concern or a common and safe medicine reaction, they can evaluate the medicine’s possible side effects and make that determination.

5) Urinary Tract Infections:

Rabbits may have red or blood-tinged urine due to illnesses of the urinary system, such as cystitis or bladder infections. 

Other symptoms, such as frequent urination, difficult or uncomfortable to pee, may also be present. 

It is best to have a veterinarian detect and treat urinary tract infections to avoid problems.

6) Bladder or Kidney Stones: 

Blood in the urine might result from urinary tract irritation brought on by kidney or bladder stones or calculi. 

Numerous variables, like as food, heredity, or underlying medical disorders, can contribute to the development of these stones. 

Dietary changes, medication, or, in extreme circumstances, surgical removal may all be part of the treatment.

7) Urinary Tract Trauma or Injury: 

Bloody or red urine can develop from trauma to the urinary tract, such as that caused by falls, accidents, or fights with other rabbits. 

Immediate veterinarian care is required to determine the severity of the damage and administer the proper therapy.

8) Urinary Tract Tumors: 

Blood in the urine can result from urinary tract tumours, such as bladder or kidney tumours, despite their rarity. 

These tumours, which may be benign or cancerous, might obstruct regular urine function. 

A veterinary examination and proper diagnostic tests are required to identify and ascertain the nature of the tumour.

9) Other Health Conditions: 

Red urine in rabbits can occasionally be a sign of underlying illnesses such as cystitis, urinary tract inflammation, or specific systemic diseases. 

Blood in the urine is a result of these disorders damaging and irritating the urinary system.

What to do if you notice red urine in your rabbit?

If your rabbit’s pee is deep red and you’ve ruled out any other alarming symptoms, such as trouble breathing, little to no urine, signs of pain or discomfort, or any abnormal behaviour.

Then, you might want to think about taking the following actions:

1) Monitor: 

Over the coming days, pay special attention to the colour of your rabbit’s urine. 

If the redness of the pee goes away on its own, your rabbit is healthy, and there are no other alarming signs, it was probably caused by something they ate or a brief pigment change.

2) Dietary Adjustment: 

Examine your rabbit’s diet to see if any dietary adjustments or certain items may have contributed to the red urine. 

As was previously noted, eating foods high in colours, including carrots, dandelion greens, spinach, fresh parsley, and kale can cause urine to become discoloured. 

Consider briefly cutting out or lowering the suspected food from their diet to see if the red urine goes away.

3) Consult with a Veterinarian:

It’s crucial to seek veterinary guidance if the crimson urine persists, recurs regularly, or is associated with any other alarming signs. 

A vet can perform a thorough examination and recommend the appropriate diagnostic tests to figure out any underlying medical concerns, like bladder problems or urinary tract infections.

4) Follow Veterinary Guidance:

Observe the advice given by your veterinarian based on their assessment and any diagnostic procedures carried out. 

Depending on the underlying problem, which needs more dietary changes, medication, or additional treatments.

The best method to safeguard your pet’s well-being and swiftly treat any potential difficulties is through a professional evaluation.


  1. Rabbits do not experience menstruation as humans do. The estrous cycle is a special reproductive cycle that only they have.
  2. Instead of menstruation, the rabbit oestrous cycle consists of times when the animal is sexually receptive. Female rabbits experience proestrus, estrus, and metestrus phases.
  3. Female rabbits exhibit behaviours during estrus that indicate they are ready to mate, such as enhanced sociability and posture for mating.
  4. Using vegetables high in pigment or specific drugs are examples of dietary factors that can result in red urine in rabbits.
  5. It is critical to keep an eye out for any associated symptoms or behavioural changes if you notice red urine in your rabbit and consult your vet.

Reference: NCBI, rabbit

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