mini lop having trouble adjusting to new home

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jaidy

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Hello I recently took in a year and a half old mini lop bunny from an owner who couldn't keep him anymore due to her other rabbit disliking him.
the first weekend I had with him he seemed fine, he ran around happily enjoyed being held and humped his favorite toy relentlessly. it seemed he was adjusting to me great but when I brought him to my actual home (that weekend I was staying with my girlfriend in KC while I live in Omaha) a few days later things began to seem off, he stuck to the area I set his food bowls, toys and litter box in and only left to explore a bit or to spread poop pellets and to pee.
I continued to feed him on the same schedule he was used to and gave him attention when he seemed to want it but in general he became much more docile and distant, I'm not entirely sure if its the shock of moving to a new home or if I may possibly be doing something wrong?
I plan on neutering him in the near future and hardcore cracking down on him when he defecates anywhere that isn't his litter box when he knows better but in general I'm not sure what else to do with this little guy, his personality seems to have flipped and I genuinely feel really bad wondering if something I'm doing isn't enough.
any advice on adjusting him to my home and presence would be greatly appreciated, I just want to give him a good comfortable home and I'm not sure if giving him space and making sure I reprimand him for urinating on my bed or pooping all over my area rug would be enough to make sure hes a happy bun.
thank you
 

Blue eyes

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When a rabbit is first brought to a new home, the best thing to do is restrict him to a cage for a minimum of 48 hours. This allows him to settle in the quickest way while he feels safe in his cage. Even free roam rabbits need a cage -- most especially when first acclimating.

The 48 hours in his cage also allows him to establish his litter box habits. I'm afraid you'll be working backwards now that he's been allowed to piddle elsewhere. It's easier when one starts off slowly and only allows more space gradually and only if he is returning to his box to potty.

I go into much more detail on how to get that litter training and free roaming down as a combined process here at my website.

I'd encourage you to get him neutered asap since a neutered rabbit will practically train himself. It can be an exercise of frustration to try to litter train a hormonal rabbit.

Reprimanding undesirable behavior seldom (if ever) works for rabbits. They have no desire to "please us" as a dog might. The moment you aren't watching, they will do whatever it is they want to do.

However, litter training is something they do naturally and easily once fixed. The page explains more (and saves me from re-typing it here ;) )
 

JBun

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One possibility is that if your bun formed a strong bond with your girlfriend and she isn't around often now, the loss of a companion that a bun has formed a strong bond with can sometimes affect them and in essence cause a kind of depressed behavior.

Another thought is that if your place has any unusual scents, activity, or sounds, whether from inside or outdoors, this can sometimes cause a change of behavior.

Then there is possible health considerations. Things like a rabbit going blind or deaf, or internal issues causing pain(injury, arthritis, etc), can all cause uncharacteristic changes of behavior.

So I would be examining these possibilities, and in the meantime spending time with your bun in close proximity, and just being very patient with him may help your bun as long as the cause isn't a health problem. You may also want to consider a change of tactics with the disciplining since this could also be either scaring your bun or affecting his ability to trust. And getting him neutered like blue eyes suggested, this could help as well and should help a lot with the litter habits.
https://flashsplace.webs.com/bondingwithyourbunny.htm
 

jaidy

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hello! sorry for the late response as I've been away a little bit lol
I scheduled my boy for a neutering next week so fingers crossed that it will help alleviate a lot of the litter issues ive been having the last few weeks
I've been diligent on relocating him to his litter box when he decides to spread his poops or pee around my room and it seems to have been helping a little bit? hes been doing it a lot less since I began but I doubt ill continue since I feel so bad whenever I do. that's the extent of discipline I meant, hopefully when I mentioned it earlier it didn't sound too harsh!
on the subject of him being attached to his previous owner I do believe that this is,,, most likely the case to his standoffishness and I cant feel worse about it than I do now, ive just resolved to sitting near his cage and spending time idly with him, haven't necessarily had any breakthroughs aside from his humping resuming for the first time in a week but from what I see and read about this is a good first step to gaining his trust and comfort around me. just reading the article linked to me by JBun fills me with enough confidence that it will work out, I'm just being a tad impatient and insecure. lol. ill be sure to keep updated and come for any other concerns I have with him! thank you all for your advice!
 

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