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Thread: I don't know how to take care of my new rabbit with my current mindset.

  1. #1

    Default I don't know how to take care of my new rabbit with my current mindset.

    Hey. I'm a lot younger than everyone else on this forum, but it looks inviting and helpful, so I'll give this a shot.
    I had a bunny called Tilly, who passed away a month ago yesterday. It's still incredibly painful and I miss her dearly. A few days ago, my mum wanted me to go to the store and buy a new rabbit. I didn't really want to, I didn't think I was ready, but my mum was very pressuring for some reason and I felt forced. It wasn't all bad, because when I took the new bunny home some kind of instinct kicked in and i wanted to take care of her and already loved her. I thought things would be okay.

    Fast forward a few days, and I don't know what to do with myself. The new rabbit can be quite aggressive to me, even when I keep my distance and try to respect her boundaries. I was cleaning out her cage the other day, and she ran over and started jumping on my hand and scratching me. I've tried to build trust with her, she'll eat from my hand and sometimes lets me stroke her a little when she's eating. But part of me feels I can't do it. As soon as she shows some kind of aggression to me, I just instantly think 'Tilly didn't do that, Tilly wouldn't do that'. I'm clearly not ready for a new rabbit. I know it's horrible to think that, I know she can't help the way she acts, but I just don't feel loved or happy around her. It's not rewarding like it is with Max, and like it was with Tilly.

    Tilly was very loving and affectionate. She was very scared at first, but came out of her shell eventually. She was very very young (she was from a rather dodgy seller, and was ill when they sold her to us) but she made me feel so loved and happy. I knew she loved me, because she showed it, and I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life with her. I love the new rabbit regardless, but she doesn't love me. It just amplifies how much I miss Tilly, how lovely she was, how much I regret not doing the things I planned to do with her. I want to bond with this rabbit but everything I do leads nowhere. We take two steps forward, and four steps back.

    I don't want to give her away. I'd feel horrible, and I know that it's not the right thing to do in this situation, although I don't know what the right thing is. She has settled in, and seems quite happy in her new place, she just doesn't like me at all. Somebody please help me. I want to bond with her, I want her to be happy with me, but I don't know how at this point.
    Last edited by BopperAndRuby; 22-09-2018 at 05:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BopperAndRuby View Post
    Hey. I'm a lot younger than everyone else on this forum, but it looks inviting and helpful, so I'll give this a shot.
    I had a bunny called Tilly, who passed away a month ago yesterday. It's still incredibly painful and I miss her dearly. A few days ago, my mum wanted me to go to the store and buy a new rabbit. I didn't really want to, I didn't think I was ready, but my mum was very pressuring for some reason and I felt forced. It wasn't all bad, because when I took the new bunny home some kind of instinct kicked in and i wanted to take care of her and already loved her. I thought things would be okay.

    Fast forward a few days, and I don't know what to do with myself. The new rabbit can be quite aggressive to me, even when I keep my distance and try to respect her boundaries. I was cleaning out her cage the other day, and she ran over and started jumping on my hand and scratching me. I've tried to build trust with her, she'll eat from my hand and sometimes lets me stroke her a little when she's eating. But part of me feels I can't do it. As soon as she shows some kind of aggression to me, I just instantly think 'Tilly didn't do that, Tilly wouldn't do that'. I'm clearly not ready for a new rabbit. I know it's horrible to think that, I know she can't help the way she acts, but I just don't feel loved or happy around her. It's not rewarding like it is with Max, and like it was with Tilly.

    Tilly was very loving and affectionate. She was very scared at first, but came out of her shell eventually. She was very very young (she was from a rather dodgy seller, and was ill when they sold her to us) but she made me feel so loved and happy. I knew she loved me, because she showed it, and I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life with her. I love the new rabbit regardless, but she doesn't love me. It just amplifies how much I miss Tilly, how lovely she was, how much I regret not doing the things I planned to do with her. I want to bond with this rabbit but everything I do leads nowhere. We take two steps forward, and four steps back.

    I don't want to give her away. I'd feel horrible, and I know that it's not the right thing to do in this situation, although I don't know what the right thing is. She has settled in, and seems quite happy in her new place, she just doesn't like me at all. Somebody please help me. I want to bond with her, I want her to be happy with me, but I don't know how at this point.
    Oh I'm sorry for your loss Tilly sounded like such a lovely bunny.

    I completely understand how you feel, and I think I'd feel the same in your position.

    I think the thing to remember is your new bunny may come out of its shell still, and I'd give her some time to settle in. Also I assume she is too young to be spayed yet?

    One of my females was a right nightmare until she was spayed, now she is so lovely

    It's a lot for you and her, I'm sure as time passes, and she's spayed, she will turn out to be a lovely friend, who is different and unique, but that you will bond with

    I have 4 buns, 1 boy, 3 girls - they're all crazy different, but I love them all uniquely - I'm sure it'll be the same for you x

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  3. #3
    Alpha Buck Leannean27's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome

    It does sound like you hadn't quite grieved fully before your took on this new bunny but they can be remarkably good at helping us through grief.

    I understand it when you say u think 'Tilly didn't do that' etc. The funny thing is this bunny has her own little personality and it's your job to find out what this is, with love and attention you should be able to make her a cuddly bun like Tilly but with her own little quirks.

    When did you get her? She may just be very nervous and attacking anything that is coming over to her out of fear hence her scratching. Maybe she needs longer to settle in? Try offering her her food close by or around you and just let her explore you without her being nervous of strokes - maybe even lie down and do this

    Does she have a name and how old is she? Of course hormones could have an effect on her and could be a reason for aggression....



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  4. #4
    Mama Doe binkyCodie's Avatar
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    I don't know how much you know about rabbits.. so I may be going over some "well no duh Codie" parts, I apologise.

    she's only really been with you for such a short time, she'll need some time to settle in. I've had mine be incredibly aggressive towards me to begin with. its very disheartening, but the thing is you need to remember its her territory, you're a huge scary human going into her territory, her safe place, and moving things around sweeping things up. she's going to be very frightened. she's also been in a store, with all her friends, and is now alone. its very hard for her right now.

    and I doubt coming from a pet store she's been handled other than to be thrown into a back of a van, then thrown into a pen. she's probably terrified.

    try to let her come to you, sit on the floor and read a book, ignore her. let her sniff you and check you out. don't force yourself onto her, give her time. let her explore you and get to know you. this could take months, but patience is always rule with rabbits.

    if this continues for a few months and you notice anything else that is "off", a vet check would be in order as she could be blind, but thats too much of a conclusion to jump too right now.

    I also am presuming that she isn't spayed, its a big thing for rabbits to be fixed. it calms them down, removing hormones, phantom pregnancies & so fourth. many does die of uterine cancer or infections. does are known for being aggressive and territorial more than boys, especially when they're not spayed.

    I am sorry to "that person" - but rabbits really are happier in pairs. they can do fine alone, but mine have always been so much nicer and happier in pairs. they come out of their shell, they have a friend, they have somebody with them 24/7 who understand them. a human really doesn't do that. I understand that there are exceptions to the rules as with most, but after being spayed it may be an idea to get her a "husbun" from a rescue, they can even bond them for you if you find one. rabbit bonding is pretty tough at times!

    your new bun also needs vaccinations against diseases such as myxomatosis, RHD1 & RHD2. myxi is spread by other rabbits, flies and mosquitoes.. RHD is airborne so nothing you can do can protect them other than to vaccinate. nobivac covers myxi and RHD1, filivac covers RHD2.

    I do think its a bit off for your mom to force you into a new pet, its difficult after losing one. it took me almost 9 months, maybe more, to accept a new rabbit into my home. the only thing I can say, don't expect your new rabbit to be like Tilly. don't put any expectations on her. I knew if I got a rabbit any earlier, I'd put expectations on him/her and get disappointed when they weren't like snoopy.

    welcome to the forum also anybody of any age is welcome here, I am only young myself.
    Snoopy : 14.02.15 - 12.05.17 [mini rex]👑Luna : 14.02.15 [rex]👑Orion : 21.10.17 [mini rex]

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