Quantcast

New bunny won’t come out. RIP

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
Hello everyone. A little more than a week ago, I got a new rabbit. He is a 2 month old Holland Lop. He’s acting strange. About 2 days after he got here, he started coming out (on his own account, I don’t pick him up and bring him out). Then after a few days, he stopped coming out of his cage. I never make him come out, I just sit (or lay down) on the floor next to his cage (not in the way of the door) with the door open for about an hour each time and he doesn’t come out. His stomach seems a little gurgly. The other day, we had to take him to the vet just for a checkup and told the vet about this and they didn’t seem worried about him not coming out and said his stomach was probably gurgly because he was hungry (although it still is and he’s eating his hay and pellets, we haven’t changed his food or type of hay or given him any veggies). He’s pooping fine, eating fine and drinking fine. He seems really relaxed, he lays all stretched out (picture below) and loves when I pet him when he’s in his cage. Edit: also, I don’t keep him on the same floor as the other rabbits and the cats don’t come in the room he is in. What should I do?
 

Attachments

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,678
Reaction score
3,079
Location
Utah, , USA
If he seems relaxed in his cage(which he appears to be in that picture), then it could be he either sees outside of his cage as your territory and doesn't feel comfortable approaching it, or he doesn't understand that he can come out even though at first he was doing it. Though it's ideal to not to have to pick them up, you may need to try helping him come out a few times so that he can see that it's ok and he's allowed in your territory.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
If he seems relaxed in his cage(which he appears to be in that picture), then it could be he either sees outside of his cage as your territory and doesn't feel comfortable approaching it, or he doesn't understand that he can come out even though at first he was doing it. Though it's ideal to not to have to pick them up, you may need to try helping him come out a few times so that he can see that it's ok and he's allowed in your territory.
Ok thanks, I’ll give that a try right now.
 

Diane R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
434
Reaction score
329
Location
London, UK
What is the floor like outside the cage? Are there any hiding places with 2 exits in the room? Looks like you're feeding a lot of pellets. When it's pellet time see if he will come out for his pellets. Can you bunny proof the room or attach a playpen to the cage and leave the cage open all the time, or take away the cage - but make sure he has hiding places.
 

C. LeClaire

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
El Paso, TX
Hello everyone. A little more than a week ago, I got a new rabbit. He is a 2 month old Holland Lop. He’s acting strange. About 2 days after he got here, he started coming out (on his own account, I don’t pick him up and bring him out). Then after a few days, he stopped coming out of his cage. I never make him come out, I just sit (or lay down) on the floor next to his cage (not in the way of the door) with the door open for about an hour each time and he doesn’t come out. His stomach seems a little gurgly. The other day, we had to take him to the vet just for a checkup and told the vet about this and they didn’t seem worried about him not coming out and said his stomach was probably gurgly because he was hungry (although it still is and he’s eating his hay and pellets, we haven’t changed his food or type of hay or given him any veggies). He’s pooping fine, eating fine and drinking fine. He seems really relaxed, he lays all stretched out (picture below) and loves when I pet him when he’s in his cage. Edit: also, I don’t keep him on the same floor as the other rabbits and the cats don’t come in the room he is in. What should I do?
 

C. LeClaire

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
El Paso, TX
So I️ own several Holland’s. One of mine preferred her cage to the outside world. Even used to sit at the opening and never come out. I️ placed a play pen outside her cage and put old towels on the wood floors. She seemed to like that better. I️ did encourage her to come out a few times. I️ pushed her butt and probably even picked her up. All of my Holland’s prefer their cage to free roam. They all get time to roan and stretch but all go back into their safe place to sleep, eat, and rest. I️ don’t recommend getting rid of his cage just leave it open if that’s an option. ❤
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,086
Location
Sweden
If my bunnies have the changes they would rather spend all their resting time in the cage. So it can be many hours they spend in the cage even though it stands open.

I just think that they find the cage as a place they will safe and can sleep comfortable. Because the cage becomes their own spot and not many people run around it. They will often be left alone when being in the cage, because we know they want to chill 😊

Your bunny will later explore the surroundings but you can encourage him to go out. Sometimes new bunnies will need a bit of push at home. For example lure with treats or let them eat pellets from toys in the room.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
So he started coming out on his own, but my sister wanted to get him out and she did and ever since, he won’t come out. @Diane R , the floor is slippery but I’ve put down a fleece blanket so it’s not anymore. He likes to hide behind his cage which has 2 exits so I guess. This room is just temporary since he can’t be neutered yet and I don’t want the other bunnies to scare him. While I’m on that topic, just thought I’d ask. Any thoughts on introducing a huge bunny to a tiny bunny? Auggie is not even 2 lbs (he’s still really young but he’s going to stay really small) and Belle is 10 lbs at least, we think she’s a French lop. She loves attention but she is so strong and destructive when left alone. Of course that’s not going to be for a while. Anyways, I don’t think free roaming is an option at this point.

@C. LeClaire , thanks, that’s good to know. I hope he’ll get used to it soon. @Hermelin I agree. I would lure him out but I don’t know what treats I can feed him. He’s only 2 months old so I can’t give him fruits or veggies yet.Since he’s so young, I give him unlimited pellets so he doesn’t get excited about them and he honestly doesn’t love his pellets all that much. He’d prefer his hay (which I guess is a good thing). Also, just a second ago, he let me pet him (in his cage) but had one ear up and one ear down. What does that mean? And whenever he’s out of his cage, he doesn’t let me pet him at all.
 

C. LeClaire

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
El Paso, TX
My youngest lop does the one ear up and one down. To me they are unsure of us still. She has never been harmed but is very hesitant of human touch still. She is 8 months old I️ believe once I️ get her spayed she will become nicer, but in the meantime baby steps.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
My youngest lop does the one ear up and one down. To me they are unsure of us still. She has never been harmed but is very hesitant of human touch still. She is 8 months old I️ believe once I️ get her spayed she will become nicer, but in the meantime baby steps.
That’s sort of like Auggie. He’s only been here a little more than a week so I can see why. The breeders handled him every day so as long as I keep it up, he should be fine. He won’t really let me pet him if he’s outside his cage where he’s still unsure of but inside his cage he will. And he lets me hold him which is nice. As I’m typing, he came out and is behind his cage where he always goes. He’s so small, even if I put the cage against the wall he can burrow back there so I just moved it forward so he can comfortably go back there. I’m thinking of getting a big cardboard box and cutting two of the sides out so he can hide in there instead.

For the spay thing, my other rabbit Belle got much more crazy after the spay (which is unusual so don’t expect that to happen). Like the day after, I let her out in the tiniest area so I could clean her cage, probably 2 by 2 and she jumped over this tall box (of course I put her back in her cage after, she need to rest up). And she’s only gotten 10x crazier since haha.
 

Diane R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
434
Reaction score
329
Location
London, UK
You need to let him come out on his own terms, don't force him out as that, as you have already seen, is counterproductive. Also, don't force any affection on him while he is in the cage, you need to wait for him to come to you. Slippery floor is terrible for bunnies. A fleece blanket won't help much as that slides on the floor too. Cages are really not suitable for bunnies. They need a large area with proper hiding places. 'Unlimited pellets' used to be the advice for baby bunnies, nowadays expert rabbit vets recommend no more than 1 tbsp pellets. If you reduce the pellets he may start to think of them as treats. Stay away from fruit but you can give tiny quantities of fresh herbs, just one or two sprigs, one food at a time, wait at least a week before you introduce a new food.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
You need to let him come out on his own terms, don't force him out as that, as you have already seen, is counterproductive. Also, don't force any affection on him while he is in the cage, you need to wait for him to come to you. Slippery floor is terrible for bunnies. A fleece blanket won't help much as that slides on the floor too. Cages are really not suitable for bunnies. They need a large area with proper hiding places. 'Unlimited pellets' used to be the advice for baby bunnies, nowadays expert rabbit vets recommend no more than 1 tbsp pellets. If you reduce the pellets he may start to think of them as treats. Stay away from fruit but you can give tiny quantities of fresh herbs, just one or two sprigs, one food at a time, wait at least a week before you introduce a new food.
I know, I’m not forcing him out. He actually just came out on his own. He doesn’t slip on the blanket and the blanket doesn’t skip. I know it’s not ideal but it’s temporary until we can move him down with the other rabbits. You are supposed to let them have unlimited pellets when they’re a baby, especially since he’s only 2 months. Rabbit Food | House Rabbit Society (7 weeks to seven mounts) and on that website is exactly what the breeder said. PetCoach - Ask a Vet Online 24/7 (juvenile rabbit section) and all of the articles I’ve looked at said that amount for 7 weeks to seven months (or weanling to 7 months. Also, for him I think a cage is something he likes and he thinks of it as his safe space. I don’t want to take that away from him. And the cage is big enough for a rabbit not even 2 lbs.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
So I’m not sure what to do. He still doesn’t really come out and when her does, he goes behind his cage the whole time. I know he needs to be handled a lot as a baby. Whenever he comes up to me, he sniffes me. Then he runs away and sometimes thumps. Not sure why, I always wash my hands before I let him out. The first week or two I would just let him sniff me. Now I try to pet him and he runs away. I just held him because I’m apparently supposed to every day and when I let him down, I pet him. Now he’s scared and in his cage. I don’t want him to be scared or not like me but he needs to be able to be handled. Any suggestions? What should be more important at this point (it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve gotten him), him getting his way and not being handled but being happy or me handling him no matter what and him possibly being scared/unhappy? I heard oats are fine for young bunnies as treats, any thoughts on that? Thanks!
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
7,660
Reaction score
4,151
Location
Arizona, USA
I know he needs to be handled a lot as a baby. Whenever he comes up to me, he sniffes me. Then he runs away and sometimes thumps. Now I try to pet him and he runs away. I just held him because I’m apparently supposed to every day
No. He doesn't need to be handled a lot as a baby. You may be doing the opposite of what he needs. He should be allowed to come out on his own. When he approaches, ignore him -- yes, ignore him. Do not try to pet him. He's thumping and running away because he is expecting you to pet him when he doesn't want it.

Some rabbits will become even more shy if forced to be handled. Each rabbit is unique in his tolerance for interaction. He is still quite young. Give him space.

I will quote here an important tidbit regarding early handling...

Founder of Bunny Bunch rescue, Caroline Charland, states, "People often think a rabbit must be held a lot as a baby in order to like being held as an adult. I don't find this true at all. Over the years, the Bunny Bunch rescue I founded has saved many mother and baby rabbits from shelters. All the babies were treated the same. When they became adults their personalities varied-- some liked to be held, some hated to be held and some tolerated being held."

Since he's been forced out and has been pet and handled against his will, it will now likely take extra time for him to settle in and get used to people. It will take enormous patience now for your part. I suggest reading over the following section on bonding and just know that any time frames may now be longer for this guy since he has to un-learn what he's already learned so far.
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,086
Location
Sweden
So I’m not sure what to do. He still doesn’t really come out and when her does, he goes behind his cage the whole time. I know he needs to be handled a lot as a baby. Whenever he comes up to me, he sniffes me. Then he runs away and sometimes thumps. Not sure why, I always wash my hands before I let him out. The first week or two I would just let him sniff me. Now I try to pet him and he runs away. I just held him because I’m apparently supposed to every day and when I let him down, I pet him. Now he’s scared and in his cage. I don’t want him to be scared or not like me but he needs to be able to be handled. Any suggestions? What should be more important at this point (it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve gotten him), him getting his way and not being handled but being happy or me handling him no matter what and him possibly being scared/unhappy? I heard oats are fine for young bunnies as treats, any thoughts on that? Thanks!
You should let him come up to you and explore, let him take his time. You can stretch your hand and just hold it and let him smell you. But mostly just do something else and let him be. 75E99815-9BFE-4217-813F-BB9E5EBA3A2F.jpeg

Myself often watched tv while letting my bunny Odin explore the area. He jumped between the couch and bed. But mostly preferred running around on the bed. So I just let him jump
all over me and when he dared be more close I started to just lightly touch and if he ran I away I let him be. Just to let him know I wouldn’t chase or grab him. Myself weren’t that strict with the treats. I only made sure to just give one treats and really small amounts. For example a little piece of banana slice but just made it into 1/4. 67DACEF1-B955-43DD-A5E2-B52D9C7CC0F3.jpeg
The banana piece might look huge but it wasn’t a big piece. He could get one random sometimes when he came up to me.


But most important is to let your bunny get use slowly to you. My bunny Odin got quite fast to be handled and cuddled while my bunny Toste got him when he was 4 months took over a year until I could handle him. So it truly vary between bunnies and how long time they need.
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
@Blue eyes thanks so much for saying that. I knew it and wasn’t doing that (petting and holding him) until yesterday but my mom was not having it and she told me it was a waste of money (my money...) to buy him if I wasn’t even going to pet or hold him. I tried to explain to her but she wouldn’t listen at all. Anyways, the breeder said I needed to be the “boss” of him and hold him and if he wiggles to get down hold him and pet him when I want to pet him whether he likes it or not. That did not seem right to me at all so I ignored that advise until yesterday and now I’m scared I’ve ruined him but I’ll try to make it right. Also thanks for the article.

@Hermelin that’s what I do except I just go on my phone or read. I don’t put him on my bed because I’m scared he’ll jump off but I have a baby gate from the other bunnies that I’m going to start using so he has limited space. Also I forgot to mention I did make him a little hiding space out of a box and I cut out two of the sides but he’s scared of it lol. I guess when he gets used to it he might hide in it.
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,086
Location
Sweden
@Snowball+Belle I hope he will warm up, don’t let your mom pressure you. Myself when I got Toste made sure he lived outdoors with my other bunny I had back then. It gave him the chance to get used with people slowly and not be as stressed.

So none in my family complained over Toste being aggressive. I’m quite sure my parents would of complain if Toste lived indoors because the first year he would bite a lot and attack people. I only introduced him to other people after he got used of me handling him and accepted to pet him. My parents thinks he’s a sweetheart which they can cuddle. they have only seen that side of him.

So truly don’t let your mom cause you to stress the bonding and handling. Even my bunny Odin that love people would run away when I petted him as a baby but now he stay still and love getting cuddles from people. It’s the same with Toste.

I think Toste turned into an insecure and aggressive bunny because his previous family pushed him and forced him to interact. Which only built up his insecurities among people. He was quite bad when I remember his temperament when I first got him. But his previous owner seemed really kind and caring. They had put him out for 100$ as a sale price but when I was going to get him it was only 10$ as an symbolic price they wanted and they had already neutered, did a health check and vaccinated him before I got him. So I would say what went wrong for them was that they pushed him too much for his personality. If he had been an outgoing bunny it would of been no problem but they had gotten a more skittish bunny. So them trying to force him just made him more aggressive and it was just a time question until he hurt one of the kids. At least I would totally had wanted the adults giving a heads up that he was an aggressive bunny. But they thought a bunny figthing with front legs and growling was him playing with them.

So let your boy get his time to adapt, the handling and cuddling will all depend on if it’s his personality later and how your bonding goes. It’s not like all cats love being handled and cuddled, it’s the same with bunnies ☺
 

Auggie+Snowball+Belle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
31
Location
United States
So he came out on his own (and still is out)! I set up the play pen and I haven’t tried to pet or hold him at all. He sniffed me a few times and didn’t thump so that’s a good sign. And he jumped all crazy and it seemed like a binky but I’m on my phone so I couldn’t really see. He went in his cage and then came out and sat right against my arm (I’m lying on the floor with him) and ate some hay I dropped on the floor. I didn’t pet him or anything and he stayed with me for a couple minutes. Right now, he’s sniffing my head 😂. Quick question. So I know I shouldn’t pet him for now but should I completely ignore him or watch him? I talk to him but don’t really watch him because I got the sense I shouldn’t but should I? Also when do I start petting him, in a few days or so? Or just when he’s comfortable with me? Thanks!
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,086
Location
Sweden
So he came out on his own (and still is out)! I set up the play pen and I haven’t tried to pet or hold him at all. He sniffed me a few times and didn’t thump so that’s a good sign. And he jumped all crazy and it seemed like a binky but I’m on my phone so I couldn’t really see. He went in his cage and then came out and sat right against my arm (I’m lying on the floor with him) and ate some hay I dropped on the floor. I didn’t pet him or anything and he stayed with me for a couple minutes. Right now, he’s sniffing my head 😂. Quick question. So I know I shouldn’t pet him for now but should I completely ignore him or watch him? I talk to him but don’t really watch him because I got the sense I shouldn’t but should I? Also when do I start petting him, in a few days or so? Or just when he’s comfortable with me? Thanks!
Wait until he’s comfortable around you and you can just try to lightly pet him. But don’t force him to stay, if he bump you. You can try to pet the head lightly but first let him just explore and jump all over you.

You can stare and look but if he find it uncomfortable just look on something else 😊
 

Latest posts

Top