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Home Forums BEHAVIOR I Know It’s Me

This topic contains 5sd replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Wick 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    My daughter’s bunny, Alice, is only 12 weeks old at the moment. We got her when she was 8 weeks old. She is absolutely the sweetest thing in the world. She never bites, she’s not shy at all, and she’s very, very smart. She even started off potty training really good. I put a baby gate up in a small area and I’d put some hay in one side of her litter box (it’s a large litter box). I would stick her into the pen every time I caught her tail up and she got to where she would head in that direction most of the time. Then she would rattle on the pen door when she was done and I would let her out. Of course, like all babies, there were accidents here and there, but they were mostly poops and I cleaned them up immediately. I also made a point to clean her pen 2-3 times a day. Everything seemed fine.

    Over the past week though, she got where she was using it less and less. She’s was going in her pen instead. Then the other night, she chewed a hole through the baby gate and went all over the room. I fixed the hole, but now she’s not using the litter box at ALL. Is she bored? I got her some toys and she gets to run around and play all day. My daughter plays with her and curls up in the floor with her and snuggles. And while my daughter’s at school I pet her often and she cuddles with the dog in her bed, so it’s not lack of affection. She gets 1/4 cup of pellets twice a day, some green vegetables twice a day and I keep hay available to her all day long. I know it’s got to be me. I’m doing something wrong. She’s just a baby, so she’s still learning, but I thought I was doing everything right. What do I do?



    Baby’s can be inconsistent, can’t they? It sounds like you’re doing a good job. I will say she is young to be getting veggies — When she’s older (5 months or so), you can better introduce veggies, but a baby rabbit’s gut environment is still developing. Introducing more complex things to digest (veggies) can be disruptive and lead to gas, discomfort, and indigestion. If possible, back down on the veggies.

    In terms of the litter box, hormone development is probably going into play. Like a human baby, there are accidents, but for rabbits, usually the idea behind peeing/pooping is hormone driven — they are innately programmed to mark things that don’t smell like them. It makes the area more safe, because it’s “theirs”. For most people, you do what you can with litterbox training, but many rabbits do not become adherent consistently until they are spayed/neutered.

    Keep it up, but know that if you’re hitting a ceiling or a digression in training, it’s probably hormones, which cannot be trained out unfortunately. She will need to be spayed once she’s old enough for this reason, as well as health reasons (very high risk of cancer in unspayed females). Now is a great time to establish rapport with a rabbit-experienced vet, if you haven’t already!



    Yes, this is all very typical of the onset of hormones (bunny puberty) so it isn’t you!!
    Have a look at the BUNNY INFO tab at top of page. Under the heading BEHAVIOR it covers what you might experience with a rabbit in this phase.
    It usually means we have to restrict them more but it’s temporary.

    I do wany to float the idea that Alice could turn out to be a boy… you might want to prepare your daughter for that possibility. Young rabbits are so often mis-sexed.

    12wks is when the boys typically start to show hormonal behaviours. The girls more so around 4-5 months old in my experience. But Alice could be an early developer for a girl… time will tell!



    Thank you so much! I’m so happy to know I’m doing this right. My mom and dad is the only people I know that has ever owned a house bunny and that was over 20 years ago when I was 6, so we don’t remember much. Most people I ask just give me this weird look and say “You actually keep a RABBIT loose in your HOUSE?” Sure, they need lots of care with it comes to diet and stuff, but so does any other pet. I don’t get why I’m getting these reactions, so I hopped onto this forum.

    I will most definitely back off on the veggies. I heard that couldn’t handle veggies well, but I also heard too much pellet feed isn’t good either, so I wasn’t really sure where to go with that. I DID learn that hay is very, very, very important for digestion, so she gets lots of that.

    I am working on finding her a vet right now. I used to work for a vet for as a kennel assistant for about 3 years that worked with bunnies, but I don’t really what to use them. Their treatment is very good, but on a personal note, I don’t fine them very professional. That;s just me. Nothing against the work they do. You definitely can get excellent care for bunnies there.



    Thank you so much!

    I guess I should have looked there first. Sorry. I kind of panic because no one around me really know what to do, so I just hopped on this forum and hoped for answers. I should probably read under all the tabs actually .

    I have considered that Alice might be a boy. I’m pretty confident in my sexing, as I’ve done it quite a few times in my 3 years as a vet assistant, but I always had the vet there to double check me. I’m definitely going to have them do that when I take her in for her first appointment. I want to get her checked out before I actually take her in to get spayed (which should be around May or June I believe?).



    Hay should make up the majority. Rabbits under 6mo have a larger pellet diet because they need the nutrients to grow strong, but even then, it’s not their entire diet. Usually it’s a larger amount of pellets, presented for limited time throughout the day, so hay is still consumed. This also instills good hay eating habits!

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