False Pregnancy and Destroying Carpet!!!

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sn.valdivia

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My rabbit is 3 years old and has lived alone since I adopted her at 8 weeks. For about 2 years, she lived in my fenced-in backyard (safe, suburban area in south Florida; no predators) and experienced her first false pregnancy in Winter of 2018. All I noticed was that she had torn up the fire-pit cover and stashed it under the fire-pit along with a bunch of fur from her new dewlap and dead grass. It barely lasted a day. I think I saw her doing the same thing the following year, but only with hay. No nesting last year.

It's a lot more different this time around, though. I moved for college and now live in a small apartment. Here's a quick timeline:

1 1/2 months ago: She left a small bundle of hay on my bed

2 weeks ago: She was frantically running around with bundles of hay and trying to fit her pee pad and blanket in her mouth to take it to her nesting spot (right next to her litter box). Only lasted an hour or so. I cleaned everything up afterwards, no destruction.

3 days ago: I found a small chunk of fibers from her rug (it's a bath rug I place her food and water bowls on) under my bed.

Today: She's been up since 7 am (it's now 11:30) running around with even more hay. She's also tearing apart the pee pad from her litter box (I have 2 in there that are under the hay and paper pellets). She's tried to stuff my pants leg in her mouth as well as some laundry (she successfully took 2 shirts with her). None of this is that bad, BUT, she's decided to pulling at the carpet with all of the force her tiny body can muster. I think this stems from her time in the backyard where she would pluck grass out with ease, except these carpet fibers are a lot stronger. I try to direct her towards her bath rug (i could care less if she shreds that) but she just runs away to different areas in the room and tries to rip at the carpet there. I resorted to cutting up an old t-shirt into strips and tossing them in the litter box and although she's taken some of those, she keeps trying to rip out the carpet.

I'm already noticing some bald spots but I'm renting!!!! What can I do to deter her from this destruction??? Are there any other materials that might be more attractive? Please help!

Photo Caption: Her litter box and nesting spot. The big green plush is her favorite avocado that she brought over there to cover up the nest.
 

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Preitler

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Short term no other way than to cover up everything you fancy not being destroyed.

I had an intact doe as house bunny for 8 months, she pretty much wrecked the apartment. Very happy, 10yo outdoor bunny now, retired her from breeding at age 7 (well, would have done that earlier, she had other plans). Haven't noticed a false pregnancy in the last year I think. It's very individual though, some do more, some less.

Spaying her will put an end to that hormone mad trips, the other option is to modify her environment so that it either holds up or is disposeable.
 

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Preitler

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Just to give an idea about what energy they invest to do their things, Fury and her daughter Red (7, had an emergency spay this year) moved about half to a full ton of soil this year, and it looks like they went deeper with their tunnels compared to previous years, which makes it a PITA to fill them up while harvesting the Topinambur they enjoyed munching on through summer. Topinambur tubers usually aren't much deeper than 30cm, their tunnels are 60-70cm underground. Still have to find all of their tunnels.
 

Mac189

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I have a bun who LOVES to rip up the carpet and will not be redirected or deterred. I covered my entire floor with a cheap, low-pile 10x10' rug (Lowe's is a good place to find one) with linoleum covering the carpet on the edges. It worked great and was so much easier to clean. Highly recommend it to renters, I can supply a picture if you need one!
 

sn.valdivia

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Just to give an idea about what energy they invest to do their things, Fury and her daughter Red (7, had an emergency spay this year) moved about half to a full ton of soil this year, and it looks like they went deeper with their tunnels compared to previous years, which makes it a PITA to fill them up while harvesting the Topinambur they enjoyed munching on through summer. Topinambur tubers usually aren't much deeper than 30cm, their tunnels are 60-70cm underground. Still have to find all of their tunnels.
Bunnies are so crazy whenever they have their minds set on things. Mine has dug huuuuge tunnels in my backyard and I've even seen her move rocks that are half her size just to continue them. She definitely does what she pleases, but hopefully whenever I spay her early next year her hormones will calm down a bit. Thank you!!!
 

sn.valdivia

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I have a bun who LOVES to rip up the carpet and will not be redirected or deterred. I covered my entire floor with a cheap, low-pile 10x10' rug (Lowe's is a good place to find one) with linoleum covering the carpet on the edges. It worked great and was so much easier to clean. Highly recommend it to renters, I can supply a picture if you need one!
That's a great idea!! I'll have a look into buying some of those. Thank you <3
 

JBun

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My suggestion would be to get her spayed. I had an unspayed older doe that suddenly started having, pretty non stop false pregnancies. It got to the point where she was trying to rip out fur and build a nest almost every day. Turns out she was starting to have uterine problems that could have lead to cancer. She was spayed and never had a false pregnancy again.

With your rabbit being 3 yr, she'll be at increasing risk of developing uterine cancer as she continues to get older. Though it's not definite. Some female rabbits will never have an issue, but there were studies that showed certain breeds were especially prone, to a majority of female rabbits developing uterine by 5 yrs of age. So spaying is what I would do, and with the most knowledgeable rabbit vet you can find to help minimize the surgical risks involved. Though most often a safe procedure, any surgery is a risk. So having a really good rabbit vet doing it can help minimize that.



 
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