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Bunny has started peeing on me; help!

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mrsbunnyw

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Hi; newbie here - can anyone help?

We have 2 housebunnies; Toffee (2YO female dwarf lop) and Bilbo (2YO Netherland Dwarf rescue bunny). We’ve had Toffee since 6 weeks and Bilbo for a year and they are happy, well-bonded bunnies.

I do all the feeding, cleaning etc. Naturally that means my husband is top bunny and both bunnies will lick his nose but not anyone else’s! This has been the case throughout, and is fine.

However Toffee has recently peed on my twice innthe evening. The first time I was very stressed about somethinv and she jumped up on my lap and immediately peed all over my lap. She seemed utterly unaware. This was about 2 weeks ago.

Then last night both bunnies were on my lap eating treats (salad). Once I had said they’d had enough, Bilbo hopped down. Toffee then lifted her tail and peed all over me again. It felt deliberate.

She is only quite young, so I am not expecting incontinence yet, and she uses her litter trays the rest of the time - we’re not getting pee on the carpet. But I’m not sure what has changed to trigger the behaviour change, and I’m really not enjoying it very much!

Should I be concerned? We only have a regular vet nearby, no bunny expert, so I’m not sure they would be able to help with anything behavioural. If it is behaviour, how do I stop it? I told her off and put her down last night but she seemed unconcerned.

All advice welcome!
 

JBun

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If she's not having accidents anywhere else then it sounds like a behavioral issue.

So first thing I would be looking at any possible changes that could have occurred recently to spark the behavior. It could be a scented product you use like lotion, perfume, hand soap, etc. If nothing there has changed then I would consider if it could be an environmental change that has upset her, anything new or moved in her environment, or any new sounds, animals, or people around, even possibly a change in your appearance or wardrobe. Any change at all in a rabbits environment always has the potential to spark territorial or behavior issues.

If nothing there seems to be a possible cause, look at something that may have happened in this time that could have upset her. Maybe something concerning you, or maybe to do with your husband.

Or it could be her trying to get you to pay attention to something. Maybe something to do with her wanting more attention, more treats, or maybe something to do with her health, maybe something to do with your health even.

Lastly it could be a dominance/hierarchy issue. If so, then you'll need a strategy for teaching her that it's not acceptable and you are higher in the hierarchy than her. Like shooing her off your lap and couch when she does this, maybe throwing in a good bunny thump to let her know you are not happy with her at all. If she does it again I would gently but firmly shoo her(not pick her up but herd her there under her own power) to her room/pen or somewhere where she can essentially have a time out. There's a rabbit behavior paper I read once that I think addressed similar behavioral issues, but I'll have to see if I can find it again.
 

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