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Forum BEHAVIOR Is moses trying to tell me something?

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    • sarah32113
      3 posts Send Private Message

        Hello, im new to this site too, and im desperate so im hoping someone can help me.

        Moses, is my mini lop eared bunny, he is a proper cutie and ive had him for three years.

        Ive recently moved house though, in with three boys, and he seems happier than he has been in ages, more space to run around and he is even climbing stairs now, which he has never done, and he is jumping up on the chairs and sofa for attention and being quite loving really. I have moved a few times since ive had him and he has never really minded before either, and we have been there a few months now, and this problem has only just started.

        All of a sudden over the last week, he has started poohing and weeing on the chairs were we sit and the sofa, but mainly the chairs me and my boyfriend usually sit on.

        He started it when he was getting attention, he would be sat on my lap having cuddles all happy and then when he got up there was a stain and some pooh, then yesterday no one was sat there and he wee’d and poo’d on the chair.

        Im confused, can anyone help? i dont want to have to stop him from going on the furniture if i can help it.

      • Elena Niznik
        132 posts Send Private Message

          It might just be that he is marking his territory. Rabbits tend to do this. Because everything is new he doesnt recognise it has being HIS so he is claiming it as his own and part of his territory by leaving his scent ( the poo). Does he rub his chin on things? because this also means that he is claiming thngs as HIS. As for stopping him marking the furniture im not really sure.

        • Gravehearted
          2428 posts Send Private Message

            Welcome to Binkybunny Sarah32113!

            Tallullu’s right on – he’s marking the couch. Is it couch new? It could be now that you’re living with 3 new people that it’s causing him to feel the need to claim the territory.

            Is Moses neutered? bunnies tend to be better about litterbox habits and are often less territorial once they’re neutered.

            Is he going everywhere on the floor or JUST on the chairs and sofa? If it’s just the furniture I’d like recommend not letting him up there anymore as the easiest solution. If you really love having him there with you – you likely should put a towel or a bathmat on the area he’s going in. You might also try adding another litterbox right near the couch too. There’s no magical answer I can think of.

          • sarah32113
            3 posts Send Private Message

              Hi there, thanks for replying.

              He is neuted, has been for years, but he seems to untrain himself if i go away for the weekend, or if there is men around ive noticed, but if i put two litter trays in his hutch so he learns when he is in there and make sure i keep and eye on him he gets better.

              This time is just odd because he is actually doing in on me, its the wee im more worried about really, and no, the couch isnt new or anything and he has been fine up until now.

              I read something on someone elses replies about someone that tried to show her rabbit that its her area by putting her hand on his head or bottom and pushing dont a few times, is this true?

              his hutch is already right by the chairs and couch, as he spends most of his time in the lounge, i might try putting more litter trays around though, although he never uses them when ive tried in the past he just goes all around them.

              I’ve tried so many techniques and sometimes its hard to shuffle him back in his hutch if he does something he shouldnt, so im worried im confusing him.

              He has been fine up until now, so im hoping things will improve.

              Thank you for your help. 

            • Anita Stark
              194 posts Send Private Message

                Hi Sarah
                I was the one that posted about claiming the couch as mine.  It has seemed to work, there has been no poop on the couch in ages.  It did take a few days of constantly reminding him that the couch is mine, but he seemed to get the picture.

                Something I posted in another thread but haven’t actually tried is the idea of taking a damp cloth and rubbing him all over then rubbing it on the couch to transfer his scent without the poop or pee.  Then he might detect that his scent is already there and not feel the need to mark.  This was something I’ve seen on tv being used with cats and dogs to stop them marking.

                Good Luck, keep us posted.

              • sarah32113
                3 posts Send Private Message

                  Oh hi, thanks for your help.

                  But if i do that wont they contradict each other? if he tell him its mine but it smells like him??

                  How did you do the telling him its your area thing exactly? i tried it last night, every time he jumped up on a chair or sofa i went over and put my hand on his head and pushed down gently, but he just looked confused and jumped off, is this right? what action if i was a rabbit am i trying to mimick?

                • Anita Stark
                  194 posts Send Private Message

                    Hmm, I did give this a bit of thought (about the possibility of confusing signals).  I guess I would try one method first and if it didn’t work then I would try the other.  On the show I was watching I’ve seen them use the damp cloth with cats and dogs to prevent marking or to reassure a nervous animal.  They’ve even done a transfer of scent between a cat and a dog who weren’t getting along .. putting a cloth with the dog’s scent under the cat’s dish and vice versa to get them used to each other’s scent and make them associate the other’s scent with something positive i.e. food.  (wonder if that might work in bonding bunnies?)

                    Anyways, the behaviour I was trying to mimic was something I’d read about here about dominance behaviours.  When he gets off the couch does he do it without leaving a poo or a pee behind?  I really only did it for a few days then Sable was fine coming up and getting cuddles.  Every now and then I do it to him just to reinforce the idea that I’m the boss, at least on the couch

                    Good luck, let us know how it turns out.  I love having Sable come up on the couch and get cuddles, I would hate to have to ban him from the area.  Though when I’m knitting he is a little too f ast at coming up and grabbing the yarn.  At least my old cat was pretty slow moving.  The other thing he does is to grab the paper with my knitting pattern and throw it on the floor as if to say "I’m more important than this!!"

                  • BinkyBunny
                    8776 posts Send Private Message

                      Hi Sara32113! 

                      I think Moses is trying to tell you that he really likes this place and he wants to make sure he is going to claim it, especially if a visitor comes.   So he says it via the only messaging he knows how.   Poop fence, pee marking –  I think he’s  also saying a couple of other things;  One – I am JOINING in the scent marking of some people so that I am seen as part of the place.  (in the wild rabbits of a the same group will mark in one area to reinforce THEIR territory – so places that hold your scent, like furniture or linens, he may see as the group marking place.

                      TWO: " I am especially going to let certian members know that I am the dominant male here and so they need to know this!"   This will include marking everywhere as well as on the back at the group marking place (furniture, linens)

                      Okay, so now you say…yeah, but what do I do??!!!    Well, usually this will die down once he feels confident that he has made his mark.     Literally.    But you  don’t want to wait for  him to destroy your furniture.   SO, I recommend first shooing him off furniture, herding him back to his litterbox and just try Anitastarks method of spreading his scent via the damp towel.    What this will be saying is, yes his scent is around, but you are the dominant bunny, and you claim this place and he is allowed to be where you want him to be.  

                      If that does not work.  Then unfortunately you will have to start from square one and that will mean limiting his freedom. (do you have an xpen?)  This will at least allow a little more room during this time, plus as you slowly expand you can use it as a gate to prevent him from going to certian areas.

                      So you keep him there, and make sure he understands that is own personal territory by not reaching in take things out (unless he’s out of there)       And alllow freedom, but as soon as he marks, he goes back.  Slowly allow more freedom as he earns it.

                      It really is amazing how a few days of bad habits can get ingrained and ruin months, even years of good habits.  So if that is the case, you may need to go that route, but because he was trained before, I bet it won’t take as long as it would  if you were starting from the very very beginning.   I’d estimate a week.

                      Keep us updated!


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                  Forum BEHAVIOR Is moses trying to tell me something?