Bonding with rabbit help

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Bunloves

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Hello
My bunny has been here for about 6 days and he wouldn't come out of his cage. I open his cage everyday but he wouldn't want to come out. I know he wants to come out and run because I saw him running around his cage. But everyte I open the door, he wouldn't go near the door. Any ideas what I should do? Also I speak to him everyday beside his cage. He lets me pet him though.
(I cannot give him fruit or vegetables because he's still young)
 

@rabbitmummy

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He's very young and more than likely too nervous to go outside his cage especially if he isn't living with another bun (please correct me if I'm wrong)not give him confidence and reassurance. You've been trying to bond with him which is great because if he trusts you, then he will become a lot more confident. It's great that he lets you stroke him, and I'd carry on with this. However I would also give him his pellets (when he's hungry) from your hand as I found this really helped build trust with my buns and others have found this really works too! Within time, as he becomes more familiar with his surrounding I'm sure he will come out and explore. Also try giving him a box to hide on outside his cage so he feels safe and secure since rabbits are prey animals.
 

ilovepets

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if your room is rabbit proof, then i would take him out and put him on the floor to run. leave his cage open so he has somewhere to go. provide some cardboard box houses, or drape a blanket over a chair seat to provide cover. pet him on the floor, maybe feed him some pellets. once he is comfortable being out you can just let him explore and you guys will eventually bond. i bonded with my rabbit by having her run on the floor while i did my summer reading.
 

mike158

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I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned "other buns". Having bought, then raised at home a number of rabbits, it is my experience that there should be 2 together (or 3 together). Asides from companionship, there is the issue of cleaning; rabbits spend a lot of time cleaning/grooming and there are some places - namely around the head/face/ears that they spend a lot of time - on each other - doing. At one stage, we had 2 females, that had grown up together for about a year. I decided to buy another female - one month old. She was fine for the first couple of months - on her own - but then tried to socialize with the other 2 females, but they totally rejected her. Being as I suspected she was a bit lonely, I bought a male (one month old). After a few weeks, I put the lone female and the new male together and they bonded quite quickly. However, it took over almost a year for the other 2 females to accept the younger female.
 

SarahWA

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Is it easy for your rabbit to walk out of his cage? I thought my rabbit didn't want to leave her cage, but then realised she wasn't able to walk on the ramp because its rungs were too far apart. As soon as I put a cover over the ramp with a good grip, she went out. She was very cautious at first and I did need to bribe her with food, but the ramp design was definitely the problem. Good luck!
 
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I wouldn't force him out of the cage. Let him come when yes ready. I would sit outside the cage frequently, so he gets used to you. Read a book or something, just be where he can see and smell you. When he's ready he will come out on his own to explore. I agree with the poster above, he's young and nervous. Give him time.
 

Blue eyes

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6 days may seem like a long time to you, but may not be long enough for your bunny. Some rabbits can take much, much longer than others. I've had rabbits that seemed comfortable in just a few days, I've had a few that took months ( or even months and months).

I would encourage you to just be patient. He is still young. Just check on the ramp (as Sarah suggested) and use hand-fed pellets as "treats" to get him closer (as Whiterabbitrage suggested). I also agree to not force bunny out of cage. The cage should be his "safe zone" where he knows he won't be bothered- his only space all his own.

Also, check your flooring. If it is slippery to your bunny, he may not feel comfortable coming out. Another thought is to use an x-pen around the cage opening to create a limited space for roaming. Sometimes a bunny will feel more comfortable coming out if the area is not too large and too overwhelming. That's also where the cardboard boxes with doorways cut out (suggested by ilovepets) would come in handy too.

I would not think about getting a second bunny right now since bunny is young. There is no point since baby 'bonds' don't count. Hormones are just around the corner and you'd have to separate them almost right away anyway. Then you'd have to get both fixed. Then you'd have to let them heal and hormones dissipate (another 8 weeks after surgery). Then you'd start a bonding process knowing there would be no guarantees of an actual bond in the end. No. This wouldn't be the best way to go about it. You can always consider a second bun after this one is settled and neutered.

It sounds like you just have a bunny that will take some extra patience. He can still turn out to be a sweetheart.
 

Bunloves

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Hi!!
It has been 1 month since I got him and yes he has come out of the cage. He loves to explore and is very curious. I have hand fed the bunny daily but I do not have a very strong bond yet. He seems to be still scared of me..

Thanks for all of your help!!!!!
 
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