Bunny peeing on me when held :(

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addy

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My 1 year old bunny is absolutely adorable. She will follow me around, jumps on the couch when I sit down on it, licks me endlessly at times, lounges right by me, and allows me to pet her when she lounges. She is the perfect bunny!

The only thing is that she has some trouble being held. I want to train her so that she does not hesitate when I pick her up and hold her. Unfortunately, there are times that she would spray me during the process. It is surprising that the urine does not have odor but I'm pretty sure it is urine because what else would it be? I always reward her with a small slice of fruit after she gets held whether or not she pees on me. Any advice? What does it mean that she pees on me?
 

CathyO

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Do you have a litter pan available when your bun is out? If not I recommend one. Every time we bring our buns out, after getting some holding/cuddle time, we put them down to play but put them right in the litter pan first. When she pees on you, she is more than likely marking her territory (you belong to her!). Put her on the litter pan right when she pees on you. See if that helps her to understand. Two of my females still squirt on us. We just put them on the litter pan when they do. I don't believe in punitive treatment; we used to put our buns back in the cage when they would pee on us or on the floor but I didn't like the aspect of punishing them for just being a bunny so we just do the litter pan thing now.
 

CathyO

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Oh and your bun might always hesitate when you pick her up. She is a prey animal and instinct is strong. Just be gentle, she'll get better at it but maybe not exactly what you prefer. Good luck.
 

addy

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Yes I can try the litter pan thing. I do not try to hold her daily since I think it might traumatize her if I do it that often?

I don't know how famous bunnies like Bini and Lennon (see YouTube) are so calm being held. My bunny is a hit or miss. There are some times I can trance her; my vet said to lay her on her back in between my knees to cut her nails...works like magic more times than none. But I wish I could cuddle with her normally. Too bad they're prey animals lol.
 

Popsicles

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@addy you should not “trance” rabbits, and I’d advise you to get a more rabbit savvy vet if that’s the advice they are giving you. “Trancing” is really tonic immobility - as rabbits are prey animals they go into deep shock when placed on their backs. This causes them to freeze and look calm, but really studies have shown that their heart rate and cortisol levels increase, indicating a stress response. This is a really good video to show you how to safely clip nails:
You can also try picking up your rabbit with their back against you, one hand holding the chest/front legs, one hand under the bottom (so bunny is upright) and see if a friend can help by clipping the nails while you hold like that. (If that’s not clear I can take a photo with my bunny later for you?)
Or try wrapping in a towel and just poking one leg out at a time.
There are lots of techniques and different things work for different people/bunnies but there is no need to hold them upside down :) good luck!
 
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