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Old 12-26-2016, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Moving a rabbit inside that has been outside

My daughter has a mini-lop that we have kept outside. Unfortunately, he is not getting the attention he should and his hutch is smaller than I think it should be. When we got him I didn't realize we could keep a rabbit without traditional bedding (other than on wire which I didn't want to do) and I didn't want the mess of bedding in the house.

Now that I have learned a lot more about indoor bunnies I want to move him in. My concerns are that while it will be better for him, it will be very stressful at first. Being winter it will be quite an adjustment in temperature. Also, he's alone a lot (the bunny we had with him died soon after getting her and we couldn't afford neutering - he was supposed to be a she :-) so we didn't see how we could get a second at the time). Anyway, with him being alone a lot, he won't be used to the noise and people going by all the time. He is afraid of us because he doesn't get the handling he should, though we've been fortunate that he doesn't ever bite, so we'll have to go slowly with getting him better socialized as well.

So I'm looking for advice about how to minimize the stress to him in this move.

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Old 12-26-2016, 06:24 AM   #2
Blue eyes
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Probably the easiest way to make the transition is to first be sure you have his indoor cage and area chosen and prepared. Whatever area you plan to house him should be the same place where he will eventually be allowed to roam. The idea will be that eventually you'll be able to just open the cage door to allow him out for exercise. Of course this also means bunny-proofing that area.

Once everything is prepared, it would be best to just bring him indoors. Don't try to "transition" him by bringing him indoors and then back out over a period of time. That would be more stressful and also harder on his system since it is difficult for bunnies to maintain their body temperature. Switching back and forth between temperatures (outside/inside) would be stressful.

Once he's inside, just leave him alone for a couple days. Don't try to pet him or reach into his cage (except to refill hay,water, etc). Don't change his litter box either. Just leave him be for at least two days. This is the time he will start to acclimate to his new home. He will be in his new cage becoming familiar with the new sights, sounds and smells of indoor living. Go about your usual routine around his cage. This way he gets used to the 'new' normal.

I have a section on my website that details more about bonding with your bunny. That will save me from typing more here. It explains how to let bunny set his own pace for getting to bond with you. It's here.

You already know that you'll need to go slowly, so it sounds like you'll be well on your way to life with an indoor bunny. It is so much more enjoyable (imo) to have bunny indoors with the family. My bunny, Mocha, just hopped on the couch by me a few minutes ago to 'ask' for his nighttime treats. Now he's sitting on the floor a few feet from me and watching me type.

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Old 12-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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I agree with everything blue eyes has said. Just bring him in, and leave him alone for a few days. Take those few days to research how to bond with your bunny. Goodluck
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thanks so much Blue Eyes and Katiecrna. I am checking out your website, Blue eyes, looks like lots of great stuff!
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