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Thread: Bad behaviour and little bond, Not sure if this is the right place-

  1. #1

    Default Bad behaviour and little bond, Not sure if this is the right place-

    So, to start off- I wanna put a sort of disclaimer, I didn't set out to be a rabbit dad. I've got plants, hamsters and a cat and was very content with that but, I've come to love Max a lot and I'm trying not to tear up.

    Max was a birthday gift for my younger brother (never a good sign tbh), who was not housed correctly or at all trained. He adored my brother and bonded easily with him but then, when I saw the condition he was kept in (dog cage, albeit a large one), I went mental. They were feeding him iceberg lettuce, something which even I knew he couldn't have and he was doing his business where he pleased. So- I brought Max to my flat, bought a hutch and have him in my front room so he's not ever just stuck. I leave him in overnight and let him out unless I'm not at home. My flat is cosy in most senses of the word, on the smaller side and with two hamsters and a cat who adores her new bunny brother.

    But, here begins the trouble. Max is around 8 months old. I have a decent wage, i.e. necessities and pet food/insurance but can't afford a big pay off for him neutering. I've little idea what to do with him beyond trying to play and he seems to not like me much. I know that's no reason but it gets worse. He lets me pet him when he's in the mood but he'll either kick or bite me or even pee! Sometimes I'll be sat and he comes over, bitesme and runs away. He chews furniture and has ripped my wallpaper, I've gone through two laptop chargers and twice as many headphones. I feel awful, I've had him around 3 months and can't cope or give him the time and attention he really needs and then feel worse when I get annoyed that he chews because he's bored. The breaking point was this morning he chewed (as rabbits do, I'm aware), through my console wire, my laptop charger and my phone charger in one sitting, all of which had been stored safely under my pillows on my bed to stop him getting to them!

    Not to mention, I'm post surgery at the moment and can't clean him out without help, let alone get down to pick up after him around the house or play with him. I want to find a better home but also feel so guilty and don't want to let him go but know it's probably best. I hate that I'm thinking of rehoming him but it is best for him and I can't cope. Any tips on how to make this situation work or on how to find him a new home would be great.

  2. #2

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    Hi! First of all, thank you for recognising that the rabbit did not have a good quality of care and removing him from the situation! I think you did the right thing at giving him a second chance.

    I know that you are on the fence as to whether you should rehome him, and that is of course your decision which you should make given personal circumstances, but I think that with a few alterations the bunny could live quite happily in your home if you choose to keep him.

    The problems you have mentioned to me are not bad behaviour on the bunnyís part, but they are natural instincts that all rabbits have. Unfortunately rabbits are very destructive most of the time, but you can reduce this by bunny proofing. For example, for the cord chewing you can buy cord protectors (on amazon or appliance stores usually), corner cards to prevent him chewing walls/wallpaper and anti-chew pet safe sprays which you can find on amazon, but make sure these are suitable for rabbits. Rabbits also need lots of toys and stimulation to prevent them becoming bored which inevitably leads to chewing. Great toys to reduce chewing can be apple sticks, wooden logs and hidey houses, sisal and seagrass mats, untreated wooden blocks (but make sure the wood is bunny safe) as well as the cheap alternative of cardboard which bunnies love. All of these should distract your bunny and deter him from chewing but not necessarily stop it completely.

    In terms of his living area, I always say that rabbits should never be kept in a hutch and much research backs me up on this, as hutches are far too small and lack the stimulation a healthy and happy rabbit needs. Hutches can also lead to frustration and possibly causing him to be more destructive. Have you considered using an x pen or even free roaming your bunny? Although, of course with other animals in the household please consider if free roaming is a safe alternative. With proper training most rabbits can be litter trained very quickly, however this may not be so easy if the rabbit is not neutered as he is likely to display territorial markings due to his hormone.

    In terms of not being able to fund his neutering, Iíd contact a local rabbit rescue or vet and see if they could offer any financial support if you explain your situation. Given you have already rescued him hopefully organisations local to you would be willing to help.

    As for not being able to form a bond with your bunny, just remember that these things take time. Rabbits are naturally nervous and cautious animals due to them being prey animals, but with time and patience rabbits can form very strong bonds to their owners. Things you could do to build your bunnyís trust are just spending as much time as you can with him, even just in the same room sitting on the floor and letting him come over and explore with very little interaction. Possibly put treats near to you and as he is more willing to come over put the treats in your hand and pet him if he is comfortable. Trick training is also another good alternative for this as it allows the bunny to see you as a source of good things (ie treats) and helps him build positive associations with you. But of course, trust and a bond takes time to form but Iím sure he will come around if you put the effort in.

    I hope this advice helps and you figure out what is best for him.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by IneffableSeb View Post
    So, to start off- I wanna put a sort of disclaimer, I didn't set out to be a rabbit dad. I've got plants, hamsters and a cat and was very content with that but, I've come to love Max a lot and I'm trying not to tear up.

    Max was a birthday gift for my younger brother (never a good sign tbh), who was not housed correctly or at all trained. He adored my brother and bonded easily with him but then, when I saw the condition he was kept in (dog cage, albeit a large one), I went mental. They were feeding him iceberg lettuce, something which even I knew he couldn't have and he was doing his business where he pleased. So- I brought Max to my flat, bought a hutch and have him in my front room so he's not ever just stuck. I leave him in overnight and let him out unless I'm not at home. My flat is cosy in most senses of the word, on the smaller side and with two hamsters and a cat who adores her new bunny brother.

    But, here begins the trouble. Max is around 8 months old. I have a decent wage, i.e. necessities and pet food/insurance but can't afford a big pay off for him neutering. I've little idea what to do with him beyond trying to play and he seems to not like me much. I know that's no reason but it gets worse. He lets me pet him when he's in the mood but he'll either kick or bite me or even pee! Sometimes I'll be sat and he comes over, bitesme and runs away. He chews furniture and has ripped my wallpaper, I've gone through two laptop chargers and twice as many headphones. I feel awful, I've had him around 3 months and can't cope or give him the time and attention he really needs and then feel worse when I get annoyed that he chews because he's bored. The breaking point was this morning he chewed (as rabbits do, I'm aware), through my console wire, my laptop charger and my phone charger in one sitting, all of which had been stored safely under my pillows on my bed to stop him getting to them!

    Not to mention, I'm post surgery at the moment and can't clean him out without help, let alone get down to pick up after him around the house or play with him. I want to find a better home but also feel so guilty and don't want to let him go but know it's probably best. I hate that I'm thinking of rehoming him but it is best for him and I can't cope. Any tips on how to make this situation work or on how to find him a new home would be great.
    You may be able to get help with neutering costs from either the RSPCA, The Blue Cross or the PDSA

    https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/care/financial

    https://www.bluecross.org.uk/my-pet-...nary-treatment

    https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-...et/eligibility


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) ~ The UK's Biggest Organisation for Rabbit Lovers https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Edgar needs a Forever Home http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...nham-SW-London

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