Frappe will NOT stop biting his cage!!

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thebrieee

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We got Frappe when he was two months old in November of 2020 so he’s a fairly young rabbit.

The only problem is that he bites at his cage NONE STOP, we switched cages with him and our bunny that we’ve had for two years and he STILL bites at his cage bars.

The only time he doesn’t bite at his cage is when there’s a blanket on top and that’s fine I guess but I of course want him to get some natural light and not always be in the dark, He was living in a box for a few days as a baby while we found a decent size cage for him but I have no idea if that contributed to this behavior.

Our older rabbit doesn’t act like this and she’s a few years older than him. He’s not neutered and has no other shots to my knowledge.

We’d let him out, open his cage door and he will literally hop back in and bite his cage door 🙃😐 or not come out at all and bite his open cage door. He’s being fed pellets and given water regularly, he almost always gets a ton of hay along with his meals.

PLEASE HELP!
 

ArtistChibi

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No. I don't think it would be the box that contributed to this behavior. Not unless he was in the box all day everyday until a cage home base was found. Does he have enough toys? Enough enrichment to settle his boredom?
 

Diane R

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You are right to be concerned. Cage bar biting can cause dental problems. Ideally you would bunny proof a room for him and take the cage away. If that is not possible right now, attach Perspex (or cardboard if he doesn't eat it) or a sheet or blanket where he chews on the bars.
 

John Wick

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My personal observation from my rabbits' behaviors (one especially being a bar chewer) is that it's less the idea of whether the cage is open or not, it is more that the cage exists and is in the way-- that is my explanation for why this might happen even if the rabbit clearly understands the door is open. I reckon it's natural, just like with us humans, to want to move or destroy something that seems to be obstruction. Trying to think from a rabbit's point of view, I think it makes sense because they don't understand what a cage is or it's purpose-- all they can see is that it is in their way and making the space less spacious!

I agree with others that a combination of covering the pen walls and redirecting that energy to something different would be helpful. Here is something I use that might be helpful to attach to a hot-spot chew spot: Best Rabbit DIYs
 

Blue eyes

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As mentioned, the cage-biting has to be stopped or he will misalign his teeth. This could lead to lifetime dental issues ($$). Attaching some cardboard or similar to the section he's biting can help stop it.

I was wondering about the following..
He’s being fed pellets and given water regularly, he almost always gets a ton of hay along with his meals.
Does he have constant 24/7 access to hay? Are his pellets limited? He is considered an adult and so should only have a limited amount of pellets. Otherwise he may not eat as much hay as he should. (The type/brand of pellets should be for adults. Which do you use?)

Hay helps keep a rabbit occupied (and perhaps distracted from the cage bars). A general guide to know if he's eating enough hay: he should eat his body size in hay every day.
 

zuppa

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We got Frappe when he was two months old in November of 2020 so he’s a fairly young rabbit.

The only problem is that he bites at his cage NONE STOP, we switched cages with him and our bunny that we’ve had for two years and he STILL bites at his cage bars.

The only time he doesn’t bite at his cage is when there’s a blanket on top and that’s fine I guess but I of course want him to get some natural light and not always be in the dark, He was living in a box for a few days as a baby while we found a decent size cage for him but I have no idea if that contributed to this behavior.

Our older rabbit doesn’t act like this and she’s a few years older than him. He’s not neutered and has no other shots to my knowledge.

We’d let him out, open his cage door and he will literally hop back in and bite his cage door 🙃😐 or not come out at all and bite his open cage door. He’s being fed pellets and given water regularly, he almost always gets a ton of hay along with his meals.

PLEASE HELP!
Hi.

So you have one 9 months old male rabbit who is not neutered, and you have 2+ years old female (is she neutered or not?)

I think that the problem is that your young male is just hormonal and he behaves totally naturally, he is sexually mature now and can see or smell a female around, plus you've swapped their cages so he's got a female's scent on everything in his new place, it is no surprise that he's gone mad over it and will be trying to get to female at any cost.

My opinion there's nothing wrong with him, wrong is that you've placed young intact hormonal male near a female, and this will never stop if you will leave it as is.

Obviously you can't keep him in the dark all the time, also as mentioned above he can damage his teeth very seriously and they can start curling so he won't be able to eat and will die if you will not take action, sometimes owners find out that teeth are misaligned and overgrown when their rabbit stops eating which can be too late unfortunately, in any way it will cost you regular vet visits so they will need to file his teeth regularly, until the end of his life, as there's n other way to make them aligned again so he won't be able to wear them down naturally. So basically you can lose your rabbit, take it seriously.

Also, he is very stressed because he knows it's his nature that he needs to get to female at all costs and being unable to do that he can get depressed and can stop eating, which can also lead to GI stasis and death.

I totally understand that you haven't planned that, but he is in a constant stress at the moment and here's your options what you could do to fix it:

Firstly, i would totally separate your two rabbits so they won't be able to see and even smell each other. Clean his cage with 5% vinegar to remove all female's smells in his place, he will mark it all over again and will feel that this is his own place and there's no other rabbit in his homebase.
Before holding him spray your hands and clothes with 5% white vinegar so remove all other rabbit's smells, otherwise he can get nervous and can start peeing or pooping on you or even bite you or groom excessively, he will think that you are her.

That is a little bit of a hassle to make two totally separate setups but once you will do it he should calm down a little bit. But more permanent solution would be neutering him. Once neutered, you will still have to keep them fully separated for another 8 weeks (depending on him, some rabbits need more time to calm down, so it is best to wait a little longer and see how he changes, if he stops marking territory etc), then you could try bonding them together but also very important that you find a neutral territory foreign for both so they won't get protective over their territory. You can watch bonding videos when he is ready but you are now a few months away from when you can start bonding process.

Also an important question is your female neutered or not? If not it would be wise to get her fixed as well, it would make bonding much easier and also intact females even living with a neutered males sometimes get hormonal and start chasing their males because they want to mate but their males are unable so it can stress a female a lot which stress is never good.

Hope this helps, please ask if any more questions, post some photos of your bunnies and their setup etc, we love photos here :)


P.S. Also it is best if you can fix that asap because biting bars can become a bad habit which will be very difficult to get rid of.
 
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thebrieee

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As mentioned, the cage-biting has to be stopped or he will misalign his teeth. This could lead to lifetime dental issues ($$). Attaching some cardboard or similar to the section he's biting can help stop it.

I was wondering about the following..

Does he have constant 24/7 access to hay? Are his pellets limited? He is considered an adult and so should only have a limited amount of pellets. Otherwise he may not eat as much hay as he should. (The type/brand of pellets should be for adults. Which do you use?)

Hay helps keep a rabbit occupied (and perhaps distracted from the cage bars). A general guide to know if he's eating enough hay: he should eat his body size in hay every day.
He gets more hay than pellets, i give pellets sometimes 2-3 times a day, mostly 2 times.

He’ll ignore his hay sometimes and go straight for chewing the cage the bars
 

thebrieee

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No. I don't think it would be the box that contributed to this behavior. Not unless he was in the box all day everyday until a cage home base was found. Does he have enough toys? Enough enrichment to settle his boredom?
He has toys and cardboard to chew instead! I’ve tried it all 😅 He’ll be out playing for hours and still when its time to go back in his cage he’ll bite at the bars and ignore his toys & cardboard
 

thebrieee

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Hi.

So you have one 9 months old male rabbit who is not neutered, and you have 2+ years old female (is she neutered or not?)

I think that the problem is that your young male is just hormonal and he behaves totally naturally, he is sexually mature now and can see or smell a female around, plus you've swapped their cages so he's got a female's scent on everything in his new place, it is no surprise that he's gone mad over it and will be trying to get to female at any cost.

My opinion there's nothing wrong with him, wrong is that you've placed young intact hormonal male near a female, and this will never stop if you will leave it as is.

Obviously you can't keep him in the dark all the time, also as mentioned above he can damage his teeth very seriously and they can start curling so he won't be able to eat and will die if you will not take action, sometimes owners find out that teeth are misaligned and overgrown when their rabbit stops eating which can be too late unfortunately, in any way it will cost you regular vet visits so they will need to file his teeth regularly, until the end of his life, as there's n other way to make them aligned again so he won't be able to wear them down naturally. So basically you can lose your rabbit, take it seriously.

Also, he is very stressed because he knows it's his nature that he needs to get to female at all costs and being unable to do that he can get depressed and can stop eating, which can also lead to GI stasis and death.

I totally understand that you haven't planned that, but he is in a constant stress at the moment and here's your options what you could do to fix it:

Firstly, i would totally separate your two rabbits so they won't be able to see and even smell each other. Clean his cage with 5% vinegar to remove all female's smells in his place, he will mark it all over again and will feel that this is his own place and there's no other rabbit in his homebase.
Before holding him spray your hands and clothes with 5% white vinegar so remove all other rabbit's smells, otherwise he can get nervous and can start peeing or pooping on you or even bite you or groom excessively, he will think that you are her.

That is a little bit of a hassle to make two totally separate setups but once you will do it he should calm down a little bit. But more permanent solution would be neutering him. Once neutered, you will still have to keep them fully separated for another 8 weeks (depending on him, some rabbits need more time to calm down, so it is best to wait a little longer and see how he changes, if he stops marking territory etc), then you could try bonding them together but also very important that you find a neutral territory foreign for both so they won't get protective over their territory. You can watch bonding videos when he is ready but you are now a few months away from when you can start bonding process.

Also an important question is your female neutered or not? If not it would be wise to get her fixed as well, it would make bonding much easier and also intact females even living with a neutered males sometimes get hormonal and start chasing their males because they want to mate but their males are unable so it can stress a female a lot which stress is never good.

Hope this helps, please ask if any more questions, post some photos of your bunnies and their setup etc, we love photos here :)


P.S. Also it is best if you can fix that asap because biting bars can become a bad habit which will be very difficult to get rid of.
I have no idea if she’s neutered, I got her for free from someone when she was an adult. Is there a way to check? She had a “false pregnancy” before we got him so I dont know if that means anything

I only just swapped their cages since he’s still rather small in size compared to her and he had a very large cage meanwhile she’s gotten a lot bigger and her cage was getting too small for her to have much moving room when i’m not home and even before they swapped cages he was biting his original cage

they dont play together just to prevent any potential pregnancy since hes not neutered yet and I have no idea if she is & their cages arent really close to each others.

He mainly bites at the door part so I don’t know how efficient putting something there to attempt to stop him would be

ETA: They also shared her cage temporarily when we first got him since we didn’t have a cage for him until the next day.
 

zuppa

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I have no idea if she’s neutered, I got her for free from someone when she was an adult. Is there a way to check? She had a “false pregnancy” before we got him so I dont know if that means anything

I only just swapped their cages since he’s still rather small in size compared to her and he had a very large cage meanwhile she’s gotten a lot bigger and her cage was getting too small for her to have much moving room when i’m not home and even before they swapped cages he was biting his original cage

they dont play together just to prevent any potential pregnancy since hes not neutered yet and I have no idea if she is & their cages arent really close to each others.

He mainly bites at the door part so I don’t know how efficient putting something there to attempt to stop him would be

ETA: They also shared her cage temporarily when we first got him since we didn’t have a cage for him until the next day.
When you got him he was 2 months old baby so not hormonal, boys become hormonal and fertile from around 3-3,5 months, sometimes later, that also depends on his breed and personal development, so it was okay then.

If you put something on the door to distract his attention, like a cardboard he could chew on or toys etc, it might help a bit, but it won't fix your general problem, just will be like a temporary relief like if you keep his cage covered with a blanket.
The reason of why he behaves like that is that he is driven by hormones and if you won't be willing to neuter him (or both) you will have to keep them fully separately and isolated from each other. If that is okay with you then he should calm down a bit when there's no trigger for him.
Personally I would try to fix the problem instead of masking it but this is your rabbits and you decide what is best for you.
 

thebrieee

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When you got him he was 2 months old baby so not hormonal, boys become hormonal and fertile from around 3-3,5 months, sometimes later, that also depends on his breed and personal development, so it was okay then.

If you put something on the door to distract his attention, like a cardboard he could chew on or toys etc, it might help a bit, but it won't fix your general problem, just will be like a temporary relief like if you keep his cage covered with a blanket.
The reason of why he behaves like that is that he is driven by hormones and if you won't be willing to neuter him (or both) you will have to keep them fully separately and isolated from each other. If that is okay with you then he should calm down a bit when there's no trigger for him.
Personally I would try to fix the problem instead of masking it but this is your rabbits and you decide what is best for you.
I haven’t gotten him neutered yet because I’m only 16, in school and p much rely on my parents to help care for my bunnies financially and it is really hard to find someone who will see exotics where I live for a reasonable price for them (my parents) so I’m definitely not trying to “mask” the issue, I genuinely want help for him and myself because I love him and I don’t want him to get hurt.

They’re as isolated from each other as they can be in my room, or should I move one of them out into another room? I do remember going on vacation, taking him and his cage as well as my female rabbit along with us and he didn’t bite at it and they were side by side. however, they were in a larger living room and not my small bedroom.

My female rabbit did this when we first got her but she ended up stopping and resorted to digging at our beds or her cage floor (which she also stopped) so I thought it’d go away with him too but it hasn’t and it’s been months.

Actually, he doesnt do it when I move him out of my room and put him in my hallway to clean my room either….
 

zuppa

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I haven’t gotten him neutered yet because I’m only 16, in school and p much rely on my parents to help care for my bunnies financially and it is really hard to find someone who will see exotics where I live for a reasonable price for them (my parents) so I’m definitely not trying to “mask” the issue, I genuinely want help for him and myself because I love him and I don’t want him to get hurt.

They’re as isolated from each other as they can be in my room, or should I move one of them out into another room? I do remember going on vacation, taking him and his cage as well as my female rabbit along with us and he didn’t bite at it and they were side by side. however, they were in a larger living room and not my small bedroom.

My female rabbit did this when we first got her but she ended up stopping and resorted to digging at our beds or her cage floor (which she also stopped) so I thought it’d go away with him too but it hasn’t and it’s been months.

Actually, he doesnt do it when I move him out of my room and put him in my hallway to clean my room either….
Neutering is expensive that's true. From what you described they live in your bedroom in two separate cages. Do they have time off cages for exercise and how much/often? If you can't neuter the other solution I see would be to rehome one of them so the remaining one could have more room and time off the cage or even could be free roamed and have a quality life. From your description he will be in constant stress from being near her all the time. You were asking for help so I gave you my honest opinion, I have experience with indoor pet rabbits and what is described in your first post would be normal for an unfixed young male rabbit.

This happens very often with getting a second rabbit, even when getting two cuddly babies after a few months they start changing and become hormonal, you are lucky if he doesn't spray urine around to mark his territory, many hormonal males do that, spraying walls and everything like 2 metres around, which is very unpleasant.

I hope you will find your own solution which will suit your family, anyways please keep us updated and please post some pics of your rabbits as well.
 

thebrieee

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Neutering is expensive that's true. From what you described they live in your bedroom in two separate cages. Do they have time off cages for exercise and how much/often? If you can't neuter the other solution I see would be to rehome one of them so the remaining one could have more room and time off the cage or even could be free roamed and have a quality life. From your description he will be in constant stress from being near her all the time. You were asking for help so I gave you my honest opinion, I have experience with indoor pet rabbits and what is described in your first post would be normal for an unfixed young male rabbit.

This happens very often with getting a second rabbit, even when getting two cuddly babies after a few months they start changing and become hormonal, you are lucky if he doesn't spray urine around to mark his territory, many hormonal males do that, spraying walls and everything like 2 metres around, which is very unpleasant.

I hope you will find your own solution which will suit your family, anyways please keep us updated and please post some pics of your rabbits as well.
Yes they do! I try to give them 2-3 hours each and if I’m not busy, it’s more.

I am hopefully getting him neutered soon since I spoke to my mom again about it, I’ll have to find some places that will take exotics

Frappe, the boy is the spotted one and Snow, the girl is the all white one. These are the best pictures I could find since Snow isn’t photogenic and Frappe rarely turns to the camera lol
 

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Depending on your location you can contact Gainesville Rabbit Rescue in FL for rabbit-savvy DVMs.

We accepted a blue lop boy from the local shelter and he contantly wanted to chew his three level Leith Petworks Bunny Abode. His neuter was done at the shelter as best I recall. Even with several hours of free roam time once he hopped back into his abode he would bar-bite the wire sides. Upon his death I requested a necropsy. He had an enlarged heart that may have contributed to his bar-biting?
 
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