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Forum BEHAVIOR “Binking” and peeing!

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    • janincal
      2 posts Send Private Message

        Hi, I used to have a bunny named Benji.  He was the sweetest bunny and was very loving toward me, but he always did something I never understood.  First off, I just recently learned what "binking" meant!  Anyway, whenever I would go outside, he would run up to me, circle me a couple times, and then spray pee all over my legs while he "binked."  What does that mean?  Was he trying to say, "Back off?"

        Thanks so much for a response.


      • BinkyBunny
        8776 posts Send Private Message

          WELCOME JANINCAL!     Actually what your bunny was saying was quite the opposite!  Am I right in assuming your bunny was not neutered?   It actually sounded like he was ready to mate!   The little binky and circling is a love dance, and the spraying urine is a way to claim the female during this time.  Not the most impressive  display of affection ever, but Benji was definitely not saying Back off.  If anything, it was saying "come closer"

          This is not abnormal behavior for an unaltered rabbit.     Even my male now will circle his favorite rabbit friend, Rucy, and make little low pitched love honks.   But because he is neutered, he doesn’t spray, or pursue her for too long.  She will have none of it, so he gives up very quickly.

        • Ester Yeh
          126 posts Send Private Message

            ohh I always thought that spraying was what was referred to when you talk about marking their territory spraying…i suppose its kind of the same thing haha. my bun does that too, so does my female one. They’re not altered yet, but will be come january. Even though its kind of scaring me, since I’ve been reading alot of scary stories about bunnies dying from it. I suppose its because of unexperienced vets?

          • BinkyBunny
            8776 posts Send Private Message

              Well, you are right though, bunnies definitely spray to mark territory!

              I understand being scared!  Even with a rabbit savvy vet, I was nervous.   But typically, spaying and neutering should not be a death sentence for a bunny.  These kind of problems arise either from an inexperienced vet, or a rabbit that was hiding a health issue.  A rabbit over two years old should have blood tests done to make sure the rabbit is healthy prior to surgery.  An experienced rabbit savvy vet will insist on this.

              Finding a rabbit savvy vet is extremely important.    Do you have one?  Or are you in the process of searching?

            • Ellen Holland
              12 posts Send Private Message

                it was interesting to see this, i have a little rescued male bunny called Watson, he has really bad teeth which is why he was abandoned. I was aware that he was loney and although he lives in the house and comes into the living room to play every evening, we decided to get him a friend. He picked her himself but has started spraying everywhere… the only thing that stops me going straight to the vet with him is that he has to go every 3 months to get his teeth done, and he is still recovering from the last time… is the vet my only option? please, any advice would be very welcome

              • BinkyBunny
                8776 posts Send Private Message

                  WELCOME HENRYMOUSE –  Sounds like you care very much and are dedicated.  I also have a bunny with teeth problems.   So I know having this new spraying behavior to the plate is a nightmare.
                  Unfortunately, this new behavior is not uncommon.  I am sure you are so thrilled.

                  So he Binkies AND Pees?  If that is the case he is wanting to mate, as well as he is telling her this is his place.   Does he circle her?  Can you hear a low pitched honk?

                  Did you go through a bonding period at your house?  If so, can you tell me what you did? 

                  How long have they been together now? 

                  Do they get free time out together in the evening?  Are they living together now?  Does he also spray in his territory (his pen/cage)

                  How is she acting? Does she mark places as well?

                  The problem right now is she is triggering a whole load of hormones that MAY die down in time, but most likely not soon enough!  Plus, bad habits can be hard to break once started so  getting him neutered is the only way I personally know of completely stopping it.

                  I will have some suggestions to help you though in the meantime. It sounds like you want to wait until his next tooth trim (when’s his next tooth trim?)   Also, even when you get him neutered, it can take six weeks for him to settle down

                  So if you could reply to the questions above, then I’ll know better how to help in this situation.

                  P.S. I am just assuming she is spayed?

                • Ellen Holland
                  12 posts Send Private Message

                    Hi, thanks for getting back to me.

                    We have had Gertie now for 3 weeks, and she is settling in ok. We let Watson pick her from a selection at the rspca and just kept a close eye on them when she moved in to make sure that she wasn’t getting too upset by his behaviour. We gave her her own tray to lie in but they share the main hutch which is left open (as Watson has worked out how to open it by himself). We were very lucky with Gertie as she is very tolerant and they took to each other very well… they get upset when separated at dinner times (which the vet advised because of watching how much Watson eats), but are ok when they can see each  other.

                    I must admit that we didn’t do much during the bonding process except keep an eye on both of them to see that neither seemed distressed, when one did we interviened and applied treats and cuddles to both. I must admit the first week was the hardest, but he has calmed down a lot and doesn’t seem to be trying to ‘hump’ her anymore – yes, luckily she is neutered.

                    i must admit that whilst i saw him circling her i never heard him ‘honk’ or make a low pitched sound…. she did however, like a growl which made him back off for a bit.

                    My partner works from home, so when the weather is nice he lets the bunnies out into the garden for the day. It’s lovely to see them skipping and playing. Watson used to come into the living room in the evening to play, but since he started spraying we are worried about doing that- at least the kichen is easy to clean. When this is all sorted they will both be welcome to join us there.

                    Because they share the kitchen and a hutch, it was difficult to start with to tell who the culprit for the spray was, and Gertie did get the blame. It wasn’t until i got sprayed that i realised it was Watson…. he is normally so good and so well litter trained that it was a bit of a shock, and we were trying to teach Gertie to use the litter tray too. The spraying seems to happen over night, and because there is so much of it (up the walls, on the floor, inside the hutch…) i must admit it is difficult to tell if Gertie is doing it too, from what i have seen she tends to leave little pellets where ever she sits but not much more.

                    Watson is Due to have his teeth done again end of Jan begining of Feb, and the Vet has agreed to do ‘the op’ then as it would be unkind to do him before hand.

                    Any advice would be greatly recieved, and i hope this info helps you get a better idea of the situation.


                  • BinkyBunny
                    8776 posts Send Private Message

                       It seems they are getting along well (whoohoo, you are lucky as even bunnies who pick each other out, can fight back when the new bunny is put in the original bunny’s territory)

                      So there are a few things going on here.  Circling does mean he wants to mate, and honking is very low pitched and quiet, so you would really have to listen for it.  But even if he wasn’t, circling still means he wants to mate with her.     And part of the spraying too is to tell any OTHER potential male rabbits (even though there aren’t any) to stay away from his gal.

                      And the territorial dominance display also can be a message directly to her to reinforce that he’s the king.  He may not want to fight for it as he doesn’t sound aggressive, but it may be his passive way of trying to get the message across.

                       A bonding process not only helps them get used to each other, but also helps them get used to each other in each others space – slowly, so they don’t freak out with marking too much (though some temporary excessive marking is normal)

                      One thing to watch for is things can change once she feels secure and at home.  She may express her dominance through aggression. (also though most likely he is spraying, females can too, but it is definitely less likely, since she is spayed .)

                      Okay, so what do you do now?  I am very glad it is has gotten better, but you unfortunately may have to restrict their freedom a bit until this has fully settled down.

                      Unfortunately in their own hutch, there isn’t much you can do accept wait it out.  It doesn’t sound like they are not littertrained, just doing the territorial marking. 

                      As far as parts of your home goes, I would get a few xpens and block off your bunnies’ freedom to places that are unacceptable for marking,.  You can let them back in,  but  as soon as the spraying starts, he gets put back to the "allowed" area for a few hours, or the next day.    Depending on how insistant he is, this may need to be repeated for weeks.

                      Also, when you clean  their urine/spray, what do you use?  They might be trying to respray over it, depending on how strongly scented the cleaner is.

                      Some great options to get rid of urine smell are:   Vinegar  & Water(50/50) and Nature’s Miracle  but definitely do a test when using Nature’s Miracle, because it can miscolor some fabrics. (of course if you have hardwood floors, you can’t let it sit,)    Now this should help get rid of the smell all together, not just  cover it, which can encourage marking.

                      However, they still may feel the need to mark some to get their scent out and feel secure as they claim their place.  One of our members, Anistark, (I think it was her),  anyway, one of our members had success with spreading their bunny’s scent by taking a damp washcloth and rubbing her bunny with it, and then rubbing the area that the bunny likes to mark. 

                       I have heard this works on other animals, so though I haven’t tried it with bunnies, it sure can’t hurt.  The worst thing you have is a semi damp bunny.  

                      Keep us updated on how things work.   I wish there was one set answer for every problem.  It’s always more complex. 

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                  Forum BEHAVIOR “Binking” and peeing!