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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Don't need bonding...just need coexisting...
Last Post by Beka27 at 8/29/2008 4:50 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline Lightchick
Long Beach, CA
1024 posts Send Private Message
8/03/2008 5:04 PM

Hi

Forgive me if I'm posting a question that's been answered before, but I haven't been on this particular Forum site because I only had 1 rabbit up until recently!

I still only have 1 rabbit, Lizzy, but my boyfriend recently adopted Thumper.  Lizzy is 1 year old and spayed.  I have no idea how old Thumper is, and he is not neutered.  But he's a total sweetheart, does not mark, and is generally pretty mellow (he gets a little hyper and headstrong about getting into places in the middle of the night, but otherwise, he's great.).  Lizzy's a very good girl at home, with exceptional litter box training.  She and I, after nearly 2 months of getting used to each other, and arguing, and renegotiating, finally get along great!  But now Thumper's adoption has thrown everything off.

Thumper was my BF's mom's rabbit, and lived outside in a cage, and was pretty neglected.  We stole him, with permission, and as soon as he was given a litter box, he was immediately perfect about using it!  He's learning what "no" means, and is very mellow.  I plan on getting him to the vet for a checkup and neuter ASAP, but it realistically probably won't happen for about a month.

So here's the problem.  BF and I live 90 miles apart.  He used to come up on weekends.  Now we each have a bun who can't be left all alone all weekend.  I brought Lizzy down last week, and she was territorial, but not entirely out of control.  My BF's apartment was new to both of them (we brought Thumper in 12 hours before I brought Lizzy over), so neither of them have prior stake.  We don't let them out together.  I'm not trying to bond them, since they live separately.  Thumper wants nothing more than to exchange sniffs with Lizzy through cage bars.  When Thumper is out and approaches her cage, Lizzy pounces and growls and throws her dishes around, sometimes.  Not all the time.  When she is out, Thumper will sniff at her from inside his cage if she approaches, but won't act aggressive at all.  Lizzy had 1 moment last week of urinating on the bed, which I took as a sign of marking, but otherwise, she was preoccupied with exploring the new space.

Well, I came back with Lizzy this weekend, and she's OBNOXIOUS.  Same pouncing from within the cage, but when I let her out, ALL SHE WANTS TO DO is leave piles of poop in front of Thumper's door, and jump on the bed and pee on it.  Literally, in the last half hour, this is what she's done.  Hops out, asks me to pet her, after 2 minutes, sneaks around behind me, starts to poop in front of Thumper, and I grab her and push her back toward her cage.  I gather up her poop, put it back in her litter box (where she's now sitting), and clean the floor with white vinegar.  Then she comes back out.  Acts all nice and asks for a pet, and 30 seconds later, turns around and bee-lines for the bed.  I spray her with the water bottle and she runs around in circles on the bed until giving up and hopping back into the cage.  A minute later, back out with the "pet me", just-kidding!, poop maneuver.  Then the bed.  Then the poop maneuver.  Twice.  I feel like I can't let her out because ALL SHE DOES IS MARK!  Literally!

Sigh.  She's also jeolous because Thumper's allowed on the bed and she's not, anymore.  He doesn't pee or poop.  And she's always been fine on my bed at home.  I know this is about Thumper, but I don't know what to do.

Is the vinegar the wrong answer?  Should I leave her smell there to appease her?

When we get Thumper neutered, will Lizzy stop over-reacting to him?

And now I'm afraid of when BF will bring Thumper to my apartment, because I really don't want her losing all her training at home!  I at least have a big enough apartment that I can keep them separated--him in the bedroom, her in the living room.  Will she be able to smell him from afar, do you think?  And there's nothing I can do about the miniscule size of BF's apartment--they have to live in the same room when visiting there.

At this point, they have to live with each of us and not be bonded in the same household, so that's out.

We've already seen how BF's family is horrible about maintaining critters, and none of my friends live nearby me, so having someone watch them when we're out of town (every weekend) is out.

I need some way to make Lizzy behave herself so I don't spend entire weekends chasing around after her with vinegar and a water-sprayer!  I know many of you have multiple buns...How do the buns that are NOT bonded get along?  What can I do?

Thanks...

Note:  As I was about to post this, Miss Lizzy leaned on her closed door and looked all pathetic.  I went over and sat on the floor and let her out.  She pulled the same trick on me.  Nicely sat for a pet for 3 minutes, did a big bunny-yawn-stretch like she was already to play and bounce around the room, and then instead hopped to Thumper's cage and started to poop.  So I chased her back in her cage.  Where she's lounging and looking quite content with herself.  Brat.

HELP!


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15610 posts Send Private Message
8/04/2008 5:52 AM
this is a tough situation. even after Thumper is neutered, there is still likely to be all of the territorial marking. bunnies don't really do "casual acquaintance". they are either bonded and together 24/7, or they are strangers. everytime they meet up it's like they've never met each other before, and all the marking, etc. is going to start all over again.

i know Markus has a GF who has a bunny, maybe he can elaborate on this more...
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Lightchick
Long Beach, CA
1024 posts Send Private Message
8/04/2008 6:07 AM
Several people have multiple bonded couples, though, right? But the couples aren't bonded into a huge pack? I was wondering if how the non-bonded rabbits in these households interact could provide some insight...

I know it's a dumb situation. I'm good at those. Sigh.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17470 posts Send Private Message
8/04/2008 6:07 AM
I think it could be many different factors. It was a new territory and a new rabbit so unfortunately you got the best of both worlds in this instance.

It could be that she was stressed over the whole situation - it may take awhile for her to calm down too - sometimes when their routine is interrupted they can get very upset like this and that's what it sounds like happened to me.

So I'm not entirely sure that it's just a factor of another rabbit in this particular case. It could be a new place, a long car ride, and a break of routine. I think it may take a few more trips for her to feel secure.

I have 10 rabbits and they coexist just fine together (but separately except for my pairs). My rabbits are an older bunch though.

User is Offline Lightchick
Long Beach, CA
1024 posts Send Private Message
8/05/2008 8:01 AM
Ok, we'll just keep trying! Poor Lizzy...she likes being an only-bun, I guess! (And she's very mad she's banned from the bed! And she's even madder that Thumper's not!) We've been back home since yesterday, so she can chill out and regain her equilibrium for a few days before I torture her again...

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11421 posts Send Private Message
8/05/2008 9:16 PM
Is there anyway you could make a bit of a perimeter around lizzie's cage? That way, if thumper can't really approach her (like they can see each other but she doesn't feel like thumper could bite her, poop/pee near her) she might feel a little less territorial. She's being super guardy though-charging the cage while she's in there, she doesn't want him coming near her, likely as she is guarding the cage, and maybe feeling a bit trapped too.

How are they for handling? One thing you could do is have one in each of your laps and sit next to each other. Then they could sort of get used to each other, see that the other one is fine, but not really bond you know?

Markusdark, as beka said, will likely be able to lend a hand here-bonding king & has a SO with a bunny
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Cassi&Charlie
Canberra
1232 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2008 8:53 PM
Ah Lightchick, I know how you feel now. Charlie went CRAZY when I bought Layla home and it took him ages to settle down. What I ended up doing was putting towels all around his cage except for one side so he could still see me but couldn't see Layla. After that he calmed right down...but the poop war continues.

I also introduced them through the bars of their cages while very firmly patting Charlie so he couldn't lunge at her or anything. Only problem was he growled the entire time and may have bitten me if he was a little more stressed, so maybe Lizzie might bite? Sounds like a bad situation for poor Lizzy. I'm half convinced Layla stirs Charlie up actually.
If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -- that will do them in. Bradley's Bromide

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15610 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 4:50 AM
how are things going Lightchick? i've been away for a bit, any update?
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Don't need bonding...just need coexisting...

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