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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to make sure rabbits don’t get too stressed when maintenance comes by?

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    • joea64
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      Living in an apartment complex, I receive occasional visits from the maintenance staff. Usually, those are quarterly visits for changing air filters and inspecting smoke alarms; occasionally, I call them in to fix something.

      In the current case, I’ve been advised that maintenance people along with an inspector from a local electrical company will be visiting the buildings in my block tomorrow afternoon (between noon and 5 pm) to look over each unit for possible future electrical-system renovations. These would be the first visitors I’ve had since adopting Panda and Fernando, so I’m concerned to make sure they don’t get too stressed out. I emailed the maintenance department a few minutes ago to request that they time their visit for the late afternoon – I’m taking the afternoon off tomorrow and I should be able to get home by 4 pm at latest – or if not, to take care not to disturb the bunnies. Any other ideas as to how to handle such events when I’m not around?


    • Wick
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      I also live in an apartment complex where pets are not allowed…. so Wick gets hidden in his hutch and all his stuff gets hidden away. Despite being confined, for potentially 8 hours, he comes out feeling pretty fine; just hungry. The important note is wherever they end up being, it’s somewhere they feel safe and comforted, or they can get somewhere they’ll feel safe and secure.

      If they’re free roam, I’d suggest putting them in a pen so visitors don’t… accidentally step on them or kick them.

      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.


    • joea64
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      Posted By Wick on 8/31/2017 9:14 AM

      I also live in an apartment complex where pets are not allowed…. so Wick gets hidden in his hutch and all his stuff gets hidden away. Despite being confined, for potentially 8 hours, he comes out feeling pretty fine; just hungry. The important note is wherever they end up being, it’s somewhere they feel safe and comforted, or they can get somewhere they’ll feel safe and secure.

      If they’re free roam, I’d suggest putting them in a pen so visitors don’t… accidentally step on them or kick them.

      Oh! Just to clarify, pets ARE allowed in my apartment complex – rabbits are specifically OK’ed in the rules.  As I mentioned in another thread, I had my therapist certify them as “emotional support animals” before I finalized the adoption, and gave the letter to apartment management, so I’m not worried about having to hide them.

      It’s keeping them safe and secure that’s my concern – I always keep them secured in their 2-level bunny condo when I’m out of the house. Said condo has two hidey boxes on the upper deck and their litterbox is at the back against the side facing the wall, in a dim, secluded area, so P&F have plenty of options to hide out. I guess I’m just nervous to make sure that they don’t get spooked by loud noises or talk (I did specifically ask the maintenance department to try not to disturb the buns and in particular not to attempt to pet them or anything like that). Actually, maybe it’s all just a fit of nerves for their well-being, but I seem to be having those almost every day now ever since they came to live with me…


    • Deleted User
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      Ophelia gets very spooked when she sees new people.

      Your bunnies are in a NIC grid condo during the day right? I’m not sure how your apartment/bunny condo is set up, but perhaps you could drape a blanket over a side of the condo so their view is limited? The noise and different smell may still cause them a little bit of uneasiness, but maybe if they don’t see they won’t be so stressed.


    • Sarita
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      I think if they are in their enclosure they will most likely be just fine…they may be more annoyed to be disturbed than stressed.


    • Deleted User
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      I definitely understand the nerves! But like I said, when someone brand new comes around Ophelia may dart out of her litter box (flinging litter everywhere) or run around terrified knocking things over when she first lays eyes on them. She is very wary with strangers lol. I’m not sure how your buns will react, but I think a blanket so they cannot SEE may be helpful. Obviously you don’t want to black them out in darkness, but if there is a specific section of the condo that you can block off that may help


    • joea64
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      Posted By BunNoob on 8/31/2017 9:33 AM

      Ophelia gets very spooked when she sees new people.

      Your bunnies are in a NIC grid condo during the day right? I’m not sure how your apartment/bunny condo is set up, but perhaps you could drape a blanket over a side of the condo so their view is limited? The noise and different smell may still cause them a little bit of uneasiness, but maybe if they don’t see they won’t be so stressed.

      Yes, that’s right – a NIC-grid-based condo. Draping a towel or something over the upper deck sounds like a good idea; they’re likely to head for one of the hidey boxes anyway and a towel would provide an extra layer of shelter. The lower deck would remain clear so I don’t see any issue of airflow being impeded. Of course, if they do do as I ask and come by late in the afternoon when I’m home, then it’ll largely become a moot point though I may still leave the towel draped anyway.

      For general reference, I have my bunny condo set up against the front wall of my apartment, between my reclining chair and the DVD storage tower; there’s a picture showing the setup in “They’re home” thread in the Lounge. It can be a bit cramped, especially when the X-pen is set up, but one does what one needs to do and does the best one can, after all.  (The buns seem to be happy, anyway!  There are two doors on the long side, and an access door on the front side, down on the lower deck. The assemblage is on caster wheels so it can easily be moved around – this REALLY helps when I’m changing litter/hay or cleaning up in there. Panda and Fernando, on an unrelated subject, turn out, as I get to know them better, to be fairly messy types about leaving stray hay and poops scattered around. I will need to do some (more) vacuuming this weekend; fortunately, I’m reliably informed they don’t mind the sounds of the vacuum cleaner.

      EDIT: And after all that, I just got an email from maintenance that they might not even need to visit my apartment after all – they expect to have the visits done long before I’d be getting home!  I really need to stop getting the heebie-jeebies about every little thing; I bet if Panda and Fernando were here with me right now, they’d be giving me skeptical looks…


    • Deleted User
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      Hahaha, not to worry! I often jump the gun as well. In fact, just last week the complex manager called me and said the following:

      “I need pest control to spray your unit. You can put the bunny in your room and Ron can come let it out when they are done” Ummmm let’s just say I did not take that very well.

      1st off, I have Quincy in my room so she is obviously not going to be kept in there. She doesn’t have a cage, I built the hutch for things like this but I don’t want to introduce it to only her, I want to introduce it to them as a bonded pair.

      2nd, I feel like they don’t get to call me and demand that I have chemicals sprayed in my unit when I don’t want them. I understand that the whole building has a roach problem, but I have spent a lot of my own money on those little traps that have the poisonous stuff that they eat. I have a ton of them in all my cabinets, and on counter tops, out of buns reach. Yes, it’s not ideal to have some roaches, but this is Florida!! There will ALWAYS be bugs. I absolutely hate roaches, but I’m not having industrial grade poison sprayed in my tiny 600 sqft apartment with my little babies. Not ok.

      Once they came in my apt and sprayed when I wasn’t home and bun was out. I walked in the door after work and nearly choked on the fumes. I was furious. Not to mention the whole fiasco of bun stepping in a puddle of the poison they left and then proceeding to lick it off her paws….


    • joea64
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      I know how that is. My apartment complex management has the units sprayed for pests once a year or so, and won’t that be fun when the next occasion comes around.  I may have to either arrange for bunny-sitting that day or insist they come on a specific day and take that day off to monitor.


    • Deleted User
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      Posted By joea64 on 8/31/2017 10:51 AM

      I know how that is. My apartment complex management has the units sprayed for pests once a year or so, and won’t that be fun when the next occasion comes around.  I may have to either arrange for bunny-sitting that day or insist they come on a specific day and take that day off to monitor.

      They want me to have it sprayed every MONTH!!! Not happening.


    • Q8bunny
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      I have been refusing sprays for a decade now. I have allergies and allergic asthma, get migraines, and have survived some other nasty stuff, so chemical fumes are NOT happening in my flat. Instead, I bought a family of geckos my first year here and released them into my ceiling via the giant holes around my boiler (in the kitchen) and AC compressor (above my guest bath). I’ve only seen a handful of tiny bugs in a decade (not including the hoppers the few summers Kuwait got swarmed) and the geckos seem to be happy and thriving.

      Re: the visitors, your buns, Joe, might be more stressed by sounds and smells they can’t see and identify, so I suspect that as long as they still have the hidey in their hutch, they should be fine during the visit. Just make the crew aware that there are buns in the house and to be mindful and gentle in their actions and sounds.


    • joea64
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      Posted By Q8bunny on 8/31/2017 11:13 AM

      I have been refusing sprays for a decade now. I have allergies and allergic asthma, get migraines, and have survived some other nasty stuff, so chemical fumes are NOT happening in my flat. Instead, I bought a family of geckos my first year here and released them into my ceiling via the giant holes around my boiler (in the kitchen) and AC compressor (above my guest bath). I’ve only seen a handful of tiny bugs in a decade (not including the hoppers the few summers Kuwait got swarmed) and the geckos seem to be happy and thriving.

      Re: the visitors, your buns, Joe, might be more stressed by sounds and smells they can’t see and identify, so I suspect that as long as they still have the hidey in their hutch, they should be fine during the visit. Just make the crew aware that there are buns in the house and to be mindful and gentle in their actions and sounds.

      Yes, but do the geckos try to sell you insurance at random hours of the day or night?  (You might not necessarily get that joke if you don’t have that insurance company in Canada.)

      It appears the maintenance folks might not need to come into my apartment tomorrow after all, depending, but I’ll see what happens. P&F do love their hidey boxes even when there’s nothing in particular going on. Getting those old beer cartons from the local beer-and-wine store and cutting doors in them was one of the best “investments” I made in connection with this whole enterprise!


    • Q8bunny
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      I know Mr Geico Gecko.


    • Mikey
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      All three of my buns hate maintenance. Even when theyre as quiet as they can be (which, honestly, is never very quiet), I will always get terrified looks from my buns while theyre in the apartment, and spooked thumping the moment they leave. Typically, I sit next to the buns’ cages and talk to them softly, maybe stick my fingers through to lightly pet one of them if they allow it.

      Since Im moving in November, maintenance has been in and out the last few days fixing a few things. Bombur is not doing well with it at all. He stopped responding for a few hours yesterday, and then escaped the cage (bashed his head into it to make the grid pop off; I left the grid loose accidentally as the buns are free roam when maintenance is not around) and hid under the couch. I just laid with him and talked to him until he sprawled. He refused to let me pick him up, but I knew he was ok since he was responding again. I ended up letting him hide for a bit then luring him back into the cage with pellets. Very nervous as maintenance is coming back again today to fix more things. But, atleast this time, I have the cage completely locked up.

      Thats crazy to hear about the sprays, though! In my apartment complex, they only spray the outside, and being on the second floor, that doesnt really effect me or the buns.


    • Q8bunny
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      The last time maintanance was in unexpectedly (an electrician), Chewie bit his toes and growled at him.

      …….

      Then when the guy LOLed and stomped his foot playfully at him, my brave little wookie bolted under the sofa and thumped warnings to his mommy.


    • Deleted User
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      Idk why they want to do it so often. I mean, Florida is just absolutely full of bugs so that could be the main reason. But also, most of the apartments in town that are NOT shared units for student housing are quite old…thecomplex I currently live in was built back in the 70s, so that could be another reason that bugs get in so easily.


    • Mikey
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      For todays visit (in about an hour), I am expecting a lot of scared warning thumps I had to hide Badger to avoid him from becoming too freaked out as they need to access near where his cage is normally located. Since they wont be near Bombur and Blue’s cage, I am hoping they wont be freaked out too much, other than thumping. But they will be drilling into the wall, and Blue hates when they drill. I am preparing to be bunny butted for the rest of the afternoon after maintenance leaves

      Edit: Buns handling it better than I am, lol. Aside form the incredibly loud drilling, all is fine. Buns are trying to sleep, and thats clearly not going well. 


    • joea64
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      Wouldn’t you know it…I forgot to mention that the very day after the last post to date in this thread, I got a notification that pest control (I will now pause for @BunNoob to scream and run away in furious terror ) will be coming by today (9/7) to set ant/roach traps in my apartment. *sigh* The flyer didn’t specify that, so I emailed my complex’s pest-control coordinator to tell them to be VERY careful about spraying anywhere near Panda and Fernando’s habitat; she emailed back that they’ll be setting traps, not spraying. At any rate, I instructed her to notify pest control to be careful about loud noises or sudden movements, and I set up the X-pen around their habitat to provide the buns with an extra layer of security. Hopefully they don’t get too freaked out…


    • Mikey
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      Hopefully they are quiet enough for your buns and that all goes well


    • joea64
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      All’s well that ends well; when I returned home yesterday, everything was peaceful. I had to call the buns a couple of times and make my usual “I’m home” noises rattling around and moving their supplies before they emerged from their litterbox, but that’s in fact pretty normal; I’m pretty sure they’re sleeping in there or noshing hay at that time of day, and it takes a good deal to distract P and F from their hay when they’re absorbed in their search for tasty bits, I tell you that much.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A How to make sure rabbits don’t get too stressed when maintenance comes by?