Hiding spots to comfort bunny who startles easily

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overhear

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My bunny startles terribly at the tiniest little sound. We're a pretty quiet family without kids or other pets and she seems well-adjusted. but I'm afraid that at some point she'll end up having a heart attack. This week we had some workmen in the house and she was terrified of the banging even though it wasn't very loud. Sometimes I wish I could set her up with ear plugs!

For now I've placed her cage in our living room where I work and I leave the door open during the day so that she can roam around and play. (Photos of her set up are attached.) I'd love suggestions for how I can provide her with additional comfort--especially for when it's a bit noisy.
 

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You could try some desensitization. In my current living situation, it's pretty quiet where my rabbits are, so any loud or unexpected sounds or activities, tends to startle them. I wouldn't say they are nervy buns, and they do tend to settle back down pretty quick, but they definitely do get startled. Where last year they were living in an outdoor sheltered area at a friends farm, for a few months. There were cows, horses, tractors, kids, dogs, so pretty busy and noisy during the day, and they got used to the noise and rarely ever got spooked by anything while we were there.

So I think what could help is to have some background noise always going, so your bun gets used to it and learns to kind of tune it out as being normal. Then any unexpected noises that pop up, will kind of get lost in the background noise your bun has become accustomed to. I know some people will keep a radio going around their rabbits for this purpose. Might be worth a try.
 

overhear

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You could try some desensitization. In my current living situation, it's pretty quiet where my rabbits are, so any loud or unexpected sounds or activities, tends to startle them. I wouldn't say they are nervy buns, and they do tend to settle back down pretty quick, but they definitely do get startled. Where last year they were living in an outdoor sheltered area at a friends farm, for a few months. There were cows, horses, tractors, kids, dogs, so pretty busy and noisy during the day, and they got used to the noise and rarely ever got spooked by anything while we were there.

So I think what could help is to have some background noise always going, so your bun gets used to it and learns to kind of tune it out as being normal. Then any unexpected noises that pop up, will kind of get lost in the background noise your bun has become accustomed to. I know some people will keep a radio going around their rabbits for this purpose. Might be worth a try.
That's an interesting idea. We watch TV in the room and she seems to deal with that fine, so maybe some white noise in the background is worth a try.
 

ArtistChibi

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It's something we do for our bunny. My husband is usually watching YouTube or playing video games at night and I work from home in my room, so Shen is very used to the sounds in our house. But giving him hiding spots when he wants them. I think he's up to five now, hiding spots. A bottom shelf of my TV stand, a fleece covered pillow bed next to my desk near his litter box, a random shelf between my bed and desk, a play tunnel he will randomly flop in, and on of his first hidey boxes we made for him. Then there's our hair trigger poodle terrier mix who will bark at the mail man. Used to scare Shen at first, but now he will do his bunny scoping, wondering what Peanut is barking about.
 

Diane R

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Bunny proofing a room so she never has to be in the cage (which doesn't offer any shelter) would help. Make sure the floor everywhere has traction. Set up lots of hiding places with at least two exits. If you can, adopting a friend for her would help too.
 

NYAngela

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First I love the tunnel and hideout you made! Our house is full of noise (loud talkers & 2 kids) so I think it’s just become what’s normal here. I wonder if your bun is so used to quiet that that’s the norm? I like the idea above of maybe introducing some background noise to help with the adjustment!

As far as hideouts I have a few around the living room (cardboard cat house, hay hideout and a tunnel behind the couch) for when he’s out he has his safe places to go. In his pen he’s got a smaller tunnel and a bed he likes to relax in or hide under.
 

Milousmom

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I agree with trying to get her adjusted to a little noise. When I first got my bun, he was a scared little thing. Now, he literally could not care less. Walks right up to the vacuum. If something drops on the floor loudly by accident, he's just like.... meh. LOL
 

ArtistChibi

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My goodness. Shen does the same. Accident drop phone. Shen won't move or even acknowledge it happened. He'll sleep instead.
 

overhear

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Thanks for all the ideas. Being an overprotective mom, I hadn't considered desensitizing her but that's definitely the right direction. Since I've stopped trying to keep the room quiet she's actually starting to get less jumpy - which just proves what I already knew. That good parenting is often about overcoming your own wrong minded intuition.😁
 

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