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First Ever Rabbit

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First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Moon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:32 am


Hello! I very recently (Dec 1st) adopted my very first rabbit. He's a mini rex and he's adorable. Loves running around my living room doing little kicks and sniffing at everything. I've set up his cage according to numerous online sites but I was wondering if I could get more advice on it just in case I'm doing something wrong (sorry for the numerous questions and mishmash of info in advance!) I don't have pictures yet but for reference his cage is about 4' wide, 3' deep & high.

So I've let him explore my living room whenever I've been home, and then put him into the cage whenever I have to leave for work or when I go to sleep. He doesn't seem to be liking the cage and I just want to make sure it's not because I'm doing something wrong. (He was in a much smaller cage with the woman I got him from - who raises rabbits for show).

He's only 2 months old and apparently you shouldn't bother litter training until they're 6 months? He seems to like peeing in one corner of a cardboard box I had put in there because he climbed into it and didn't want to come out. I cut the box so the it only had 3 sides (basically looks like this: |_|) and put the litter in it, thinking he might use it as a litter box but he's been pooping all over the cage (wire bottom w/ mats so he's not resting in it).

I also put a lot of hay on the floor of his cage (opposite side to the 'litter box' as well as a little bit near it because they like to munch while doing their business?) but I'm not sure if he's even eating it.

He has also found 2 places in my living room he likes to sequester himself in. A small nook below a built-in bookcase, and a tiny space beneath a side table. He pooped a bit beneath the side table. Is there anything I should do in these spots? The side table definitely doesn't have enough room for an extra litter box unfortunately.

The good news is there's been no spraying and no chewing so far. He's very well behaved when he's out of the cage. I've yet to find any pee (hopefully there's not a puddle waiting somewhere I didn't think to check...) and as I said, he hasn't tried to chew on anything - wires, furniture, nothing. He's extremely well behaved. I've actually let him roam the living room when I've gone out to do errands (gone about an hour or less) and he simply went to lie down beneath the bookcase.

As of this morning, he still prefers sitting in his little box, but he's pooping in it as well now so I'm not sure if it's a resting place or a pooping place. Surely he shouldn't be laying in his poop? I've made sure to clean out the box whenever I notice poop so that it doesn't get into his fur, but of course can't do that when I'm at work.

Thanks for any help :)

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Homer » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:42 am


Congratulations on your first bunny! (there will be more :twisted: ) lol

As you have already found out they tend to like to claim a certain spot to potty in. Put a little straw and wood shavings in that box for him. The pee and most of the poop will run through the straw and be soaked up by the shavings. It keeps him of the waste that way. ;)

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Moon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:34 am


Thank you!! I'll try what you've suggested. We're definitely having a lot of fun. :3 I'm really glad he loves running around my living room so much, it's fun to watch him.

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:33 pm


Welcome to RabbitTalk, Moon! :welcome:

Homers suggestion is a good one, but do not use red cedar shavings as they can give off harmful fumes.

The random pooping out of the cage is his way of marking his territory. Just sweep them up, nothign else needed unless they are sticky. If you can get him using his litter box for all peeing and most pooping, consider yourself fortunate. I would make the litterbox available immediately and put it where he usually pees. Cardboard would have to be replaced frequently as it would smell if it gets wet with urine. I think most pet owners use plastic.

Glad you're enjoying your bun! :bunnyhop: His cage is huge and you don't need to feel bad about keeping him in it some or even most of the time. He'd probably enjoy some toys and a section of a branch from a rabbit-safe tree to chew on.
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Moon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:40 pm


Thank you! I definitely hadn't planned on him using the cardboard box as anything really but he seemed really attached to it so I left it in there hahaha. I'm hoping I can switch him over to plastic for sure but I wanted to give him that little comfort since these are his first days in a new, different place ^^ I'm hoping to get something at the pet store tomorrow, toy-wise. :D

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:44 pm


Welcome :)

Well, with 2 months he isn't mature yet, there may, or may not be some sloppy bathroom habbits and spraying when he matures, I've heard it gets better when neutered, my bucks (not house bunnies) outgrew that phase with about 1 year (second one didn't spray much anyway).

It helps to use the term "bunny berries" instead of "poop" to get used to them being scattered here and there :)

As far as I understand it, litter training with rabbits is just using their natural instincts - only partially training, but giving/accepting a spot they like (I can tell where wild european rabbits roam by the heaps of bunny berries :) ). Imho they prefer corners. I, personally, wouldn't put that little training that's possible off (Actually, I have no Idea what that would actually be), in the worst case it's just time spent with your rabbit :)
What stands in the way may be territorial marking, more dominant with unneutered rabbits - but their personalities are incredible diverse, now way to tell how he'll do.

Anyway, rabbits are great pets, I consider taking in one of my older does again, she would so love that. Be sure to secure all cables and power cords (this doe lived in my kitchen for 8 months, almost succeeded in killing me twice by removing the insulation from power cords, and driving me crazy with reducing any USB cables to little snippets).

Have fun, and spend as much time as possible with him to learn to "read" him :), and to get him used to your presence.
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#7  Unread postby a7736100 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:05 pm


You can use a litter box with a screen. If he use it he won't be stepping on waste.

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:07 pm


Preitler's post reminded me to recommend this website as a great way to learn how to understand and communicate with your rabbit. Body language is extremely important and I heartily recommend the information you will find there. :)
http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

As for toys, those wire balls with a bell inside made for cats work great. The rabbit can get hold of them easily and fling them about. Things like a toilet tissue roll stuffed with hay are also popular . . . and free. There are several threads about toys, most likely in the Pet Rabbits forum.
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:09 pm


As for reading: I recommend "Watership down" by Richard Adams, granted, it's only fiction, but it changed the way I look at rabbits for the better, I think :D
The 1978 film is ok, but read the book first, I would say.

About toys: Willow branches and twigs are great, I give them pieces up to 3" diameter, they are busy for some time decorticating that.
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Moon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:13 pm


Thank you all!

I actually have read Watership Down and loved it :bunnyhop: Spooks is running around my living room happily at the moment :)

Do they typically sell these branches in pet stores? Unfortunately I live in the heart of a city so I'm not sure how easy it would be to find these trees myself, and I hadn't noticed any branches at the pet store I went to, but I'll keep looking.

I found rabbitspeak last night!! I was really happy I found it because of course having not been around rabbits much, I wasn't familiar with all of their mannerisms. It's already been super helpful.

Thank you Preitler. I'll keep an eye out on where he prefers to go and put the litter pan accordingly and we can go from there. I don't expect him to pick it up right away but even if he doesn't pick it up fully he has yet to pee anywhere but inside his cage so that's fine.

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:42 pm


Hm, no idea about what pet shops carry, but wander around your neighbourhood and look out for willows, and talk to the owners. They grow like weeds, and often are cut back accordingly, great chance to get stuff.
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:24 pm


There are lots of safe trees for rabbits: all the willows, including weeping willow, apple, pear, rose bushes, poplar, elm etc. Not only are these safe and nutritious, they also help keep the bunny's gnawing tendencies in check . . . a big plus if your bun "free ranges" in your house.

Here's the link to the Safe Plants for Rabbits list, in the Natural Foods for Rabbits forum:
safe-plants-for-rabbits-list-t55.html

Moon, would you do me a favour and add your location to your profile? Seems to me that I remember from reviewing your application for membership that you are in Canada, but I can't remember details long term with so many members. So many questions about rabbits are influenced by climate and location . . . it is really helpful to have an idea of where you are located.

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Moon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:30 pm


Here you go :) I actually do know where there's a willow and it's fairly nearby, but it's the only one I can think of haha.

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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Homer » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:27 am


Moon wrote:Here you go :) I actually do know where there's a willow and it's fairly nearby, but it's the only one I can think of haha.

Mine get apple and pear branches when I trim too. Empty toilet paper rolls are a pretty good toy too. Of course you can always buy toys from MSD too.http://www.facebook.com/critterzchewzit
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Re: First Ever Rabbit

Post Number:#15  Unread postby olafthebunny » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:10 am


Congrats on your first bunny!!!!! Bunnies are great pets and I am sure you are enjoying him!!!
Hey! I'm just a girl who loves bunnies, horses, art, YouTube, writing, reading and more! I also love Rabbit Talk!
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