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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to get rabbit to explore the house ?

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    • ToffeeBunny
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      Hi, this is my first post here and only joined just to ask this lol.

      I have a 12 week old bunny, who i’ve had since she was 8 weeks. She has a room to herself where she was constantly kept the first 2 weeks I got her. This room leads to the kitchen which i’ve tried leading her to with treats but she doesn’t want to step a single foot on the floor! But i could see the tiles were slippery for her so perhaps this is why she was a bit nervous. But i’ve been bringing her to the living room during the daytime by picking her up in her litter tray. I have floorboards in the living room, so I had put an old bedsheet laid out for her so she doesn’t slip but she quickly got used to the slipping and is now comfortable running about so i have folded the sheet smaller, so I know that the slippery floor shouldn’t make her nervous anymore? But except for the living room and the room where she normally stays she refuses to set foot anywhere else!! I would love to get her used to free roaming around the whole house so she can choose which room she wants to be in instead of me choosing for her, so how do i get her to do this? I know she is still small and I haven’t had her for long and of course don’t want to rush her but was wondering if there’s anyway to encourage her to move around the house a bit more?


    • Bam
      Moderator
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      I honestly dont think you need to worry one bit about this. She will explore the house given time.

      Baby buns (your bun is still very young) will leave their home burrow little by little. European rabbits (the species our house buns belong to, oryctolagos cuniculi) are born underground, and spend their first 8 weeks in close contact with their siblings. They then venture out into the world, and they do so little by little.

      It seems your bun is getting more and more confident. I’d say you just need to be patient and let her explore the world at her own pace.

      You can of course encourage her to move around more by scattering her daily pellets (and some hay in tiny piles) around her area -rabbits are naturally inclined to seach for food, and just like horses, they will forage where they can. It’s good if you can place mats etc on the floor to provide good traction, so she can do the Bunny 500s and binkies.

      From your description it seems she is being a normal young bun and you are being a great bun parent.

       

       

       


      • ToffeeBunny
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        Thank you 😀 !! I will try placing more sheets on the floor with one of her hideouts for her to feel more comfortable and definitely try encourage movement with pellets as she will go wherever her food is which is how i got her to move around the living room lol


    • Dally
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      if you just leave the door open, I’m sure that your bun will go into the kitchen when she gets more confident/comfortable


      • ToffeeBunny
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        The door is always open,, but she seems to only stay in one half of the room lol she refuses to go near the door now but she did when i first got her


    • mia
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      I have a bun who can be extremely timid. In order for him to go anywhere new, I would have to pick him up and take him. Once there, he’ll feel confident there and going there on his own. So, I had to literally take him to every room. He has friends so if his friends go to a new area, he will follow too. Left to his own accord in a new place, he would literally sit in the corner.

      Note that this was a bun who was found as a stray with small battle scar and already a couple years old when we met, so situation is a bit different from yours, but just in case you give yours ample time and still seems extremely timid too…


      • ToffeeBunny
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        I’ve tried placing her litter tray (whilst she’s sat inside it) on the kitchen floor right next to the door to where her room is, thinking she’d go into her room herself but she seems to not know where she is and acts the same way as when i first got her and just sits still. I’ve done this a few times now but quickly take her back to where she feels comfortable because i start to feel bad lol but i will definitely give her as much time as she needs


    • Bam
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      Rabbits are curious and like to explore, but they will only explore from a spot where they feel safe and secure. It’s good to arrange several safe spots around the area that the bun has access too.

      Safe spots can be an upside-down csrdboard box with two doorholes, a tunnel (crinkly or plastic or cardboard), a low table or a chair. Rabbits feel the safest in places that resemble underground warrens/tunnel systems.

      If your bun has plenty of hidey-spots and the floors aren’t too slippy, chances are greater that she’ll want to explore.


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      I agree with the others she probably just needs time.

      I have an anecdote that might be reassuring for you, when I first got my boy at the tiny age of 9 weeks he spent the first month or two in the corner of the room I was quite sad he didn’t really come out, although he enjoyed fuss in his safe corner. He explored more and more bit by bit. Flash forward a few more months he would be sleeping under the coffee table and running up and down the stairs in every room of the house!

      Safe to say bunnies are super curious and in time im sure your bun will be exploring every nook in your house!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
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      Not sure if this has been suggested as I just skimmed the thread, but adding hides or her to move between in new areas also helps! You can add some rugs or blankets on the slippery areas, with some tunnels and hides throughout. My very shy bunny wouldn’t come out to explore until I added a cardboard maze for her. 🙂

      But definitely agree with others that she just needs some time as well! It’s a scary world out there for a tiny bun!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
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      Haha! Hardwood floors were “hot lava” in my house. It didn’t matter how “used” they were to the slippery floors, my boys didn’t like it. I had to buy an extra long runner that ran the entire length of the hallway. This allowed them to get from their room to the rug in the living room. Once the rug was there, they had absolutely no issues with coming out to explore on their own.


    • Dally
      Participant
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      would there be any scents of dogs/cats etc. that might scare her?


      • ToffeeBunny
        Participant
        9 posts Send Private Message

        Nope, I’ve never had any other animal inside my house !!!


    • ToffeeBunny
      Participant
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      Thank you for the help and suggestions everyone :)) We haven’t quite gotten to exploring the house yet which was expected but she is definitely getting more comfortable and spending a lot of her day sleeping on her side after all her zoomies 😛

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to get rabbit to explore the house ?