Bunny doesn't seem to like new cage/space. Not eating.

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Vicki P, Apr 23, 2019.

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  1. Apr 23, 2019 #1

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

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    So when I took in my new bun Flower (6 yr old mini lop) a few days ago she came to me in a standard rabbit cage that you can buy at Petsmart, etc. I kept her in it until yesterday when I was off and was able to build something new. She now has a 3x4 grid style cage and I used the base of the old cage as a litter box area.

    When I first put the old cage into the new area I left the wire top on it as I thought she might like to have the space to go in and feel comfortable/safe. But by yesterday evening she still hadn't gone inside of it. Since I had her food, hay, and water in this area I was concerned that she wasn't eating or drinking. So I took the wire top off of the pan hoping she would go in during the night. This morning it seemed as if she still hadn't gone into the area. I had to work today and so couldn't make any changes before I left for work.

    When I got home a little bit ago I can tell she still refuses to get into the pan to eat or drink. The hay and pellets haven't been touched since I put them in there yesterday. She did eat the greens I gave her last night but they weren't in this area. She was eating and drinking fine until I put her in a much larger area.

    I read that changes to their living space can cause them to not eat. I am wondering if I should just put her back into the cage she came in as she was eating, etc while in it. Is it possible that at her age she just doesn't like the change. She also doesn't seem interested in using the new space available to her. The only thing I see her do other than lay in one corner is occasionally stretch up against the grids.

    I want to give her the space she deserves but I also want her eating and drinking properly. I don't want her to possibly starve herself because she is stubborn. Thank you in advance of any advice.
     
  2. Apr 23, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    If I'm understanding correctly, the pan of the old cage is inside the new cage. The pan has the food and water but she refuses to go in the old pan. She will eat greens in the main part of the new cage? If so, then by all means, move the food and water to the main part of the new cage.
     
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  3. Apr 23, 2019 #3

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

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    I did do this earlier, however I was hoping to try to litter train her and I know that they potty while eating. I didn't really want her peeing all over the floor of the main area. The little poops I couldn't care less about as I can just sweep them up. I just don't want her sitting in pee puddles on the floor while I am gone all day.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2019 #4

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I don't have much experience with litter box training, but I will share what I do know. I would put the bowl of pellets inside the litterbox in a clean corner so he got used to peeing and being in there. I removed the hay rack I was trying to make work because he hated it and would actually jump inside of it and eat his hay that way. He would also pee in this one spot of my bedroom so I put a litterbox there. When he was using the litterboxes consistently, I removed the one outside his cage. He is 100% litterbox trained and doesn't have any accidents or even leave any poos anywhere! The only ones I will occasionally see are ones that got stuck to his feet while he's in the box and those ones are inside his cage next to the box. I just want to note that being 100% with poos is rare. I'm not too sure where you are at with litterbox training so for now, I will leave it at that.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    It isn't overly likely that she will pee on the hard floor instead of the soft litter. They instinctively tend to potty where it is soft. If she is peeing on the solid floor, the litter box set up is not to her liking. What you could do is top the litter with hay. It is often while eating hay (rather than pellets) that they potty. And, if they have a choice between peeing on a solid floor or on a pile of hay, they will choose the hay. Don't worry. They won't eat soiled hay. Take a look here for potty training tips. The set-up of the litter box itself is quite important.

    I'd be most concerned right now that she is eating hay at least. You don't want her going a day without eating hay. I'm glad to hear she ate greens, but be sure she has easy access to the hay even if she is being stubborn about the pan.
     
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  6. Apr 23, 2019 #6

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

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    I did only have the hay in the far corner of the box. When I spread it out over the whole box this evening she just sits outside the box and eats with her head hanging over the edge. I am thinking that maybe she just doesn't like the word pellets I had in the box to absorb the pee. I will try going back to the softer shredded paper I was using and see if that helps. Thank you everyone for the help so far. I have moved everything to within easy reach for her in the mean time.
     
  7. Apr 23, 2019 #7

    JBun

    JBun

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    She might not like the feel of the hard pellets. I had a rabbit that didn't but was fine after I covered them with a thick layer of soft hay. Try covering the pellets with a thick layer of hay and place her on it so she realizes that the flooring of the cage base is softer now. If that doesn't work, see if the soft paper litter works again.

    Something else to consider is that at her age she could be experiencing some arthritis, and so is a little stiff and sore. If the side of the cage pan/litter box is very high, it might be uncomfortable for her to jump that high over the edge. If you think this could be the problem you could try a low sided litter box to see if it makes a difference. For my old rabbit I used a 20x27 mortar mixing tub from a home improvement store, and cut one side of it low so my old rabbit could hop into it more easily. If you think your bun could have arthritis, taking her to a rabbit vet to get a prescription for the anti inflammatory meloxicam to give daily, might also be helpful. I know it helped my old arthritic bun.
    http://www.disabledrabbits.com/arthritis.html
    https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/
     
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  8. Apr 23, 2019 #8

    Love.Bunny.Marinette

    Love.Bunny.Marinette

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    It sounds like she does not want to go back into the old cage even if the wire top is off. I don't blame her it was probably a very uncomfortable place to live. I would just get her a whole new litter box and do away with that old cage all together.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2019 #9

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

    Vicki P

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    Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. I think her reluctance was a combination of several things. I don't think she wanted to go back into the box after having been confined to it for so many years. I also think I didn't give her enough time to adjust to the new amount of space that she had, and I also think she wasn't sure about the wooden pellets at first even though her previous owner had been using pine shavings in her cage. I spread out more hay over the top of the pellets last night and this morning she was in there happily eating away. This evening when I refreshed the hay on top of her box she immediately jumped in and started eating. I also moved her food pellets and water to another area so that everything wasn't all clumped up in the same spot.

    I really appreciate all the advice from those who know more than me. I haven't taken her to a vet yet for a check up but am hoping to be able to in the next few weeks. I also really need to trim her nails as I don't think they have ever been cut but I am wanting to give her a little more time to get used to me and trust me more.
     

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