Rabbits wont exercise

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by rabbitlover08, Mar 26, 2016.

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  1. Mar 26, 2016 #1

    rabbitlover08

    rabbitlover08

    rabbitlover08

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    Hi,

    Been awhile since I've posted here. I'm currently living in an apartment building, bachelor pad. I've been residing here with my two bunnies for about 1.5 years. However, my bunnies approximately age 4-5 don't exercise anymore. They never really have. They just sit in their cage and on the carpet in the living room area and do the occasional binky or bunny 500, jump on furniture occasionally, chase eachother around fighting pulling fur out of eachother (which I try to encourage them to stop) but other than that they just sleep and act Restless. Their play area where the carpet is located isn't too big, but they have full roam of the apartment although the rest of the flooring is laminate and slippery so they avoid that most times due to not being able to get proper traction. So could anyone recommend ways to get them more active? I've tried locking them out of their cage but they get upset and start freaking out thinking I'm about to trim their nails or pull their loose fur out which they dislike. I can tell they're restless and always bored. They really only get happy anymore for food or when they're getting something to eat and that's no way to live in my opinion. I want to make their life more amusing for them but have no clue what to do and have tried everyhing I can think of. I try so hard and spend a lot of time with them but feel like I'm failing and can't ever seem to impress them so it brings me down and I feel bad. They chew and shred cardboard boxes and that's really all they do for fun. It's been this way for over a year and a half. I used to live in the country and they went outside and loved it. They seemed much happier back then. Now they just seem sad and bored and depressed all of the time just waiting for me to get them food or something to eat and other than that they're laying down or sleeping. My male bunny has gained weight and appears to be more chubby. I don't take them outside in the city as I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that. Can anyone recommend anything that I can do?*

    Thanks so much ‎
     
  2. Mar 26, 2016 #2

    StormyB

    StormyB

    StormyB

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    Invest in a harness and leash and take them on walks...er, hops? That's what I do with Benny. He loves going outside, but because of where I am, I get coyotes and I don't want him outside alone, so I put him on a leash and attach it to a ground stake and let him hop around while I lay outside reading so I can keep an eye on him. You'll get strange looks, but also kids cooing over them and wanting to pet them.
     
  3. Mar 26, 2016 #3

    MiniLopMad

    MiniLopMad

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    You could try providing more toys and figure out what they enjoy :) Once you've determined what they like, you can use that to your advantage and get them active again.

    If they love their food, try hiding some treats in toys and make it an exciting and hard but rewarding challenge for them to get the treats. You can purchase special toys for this or make your own.

    Rabbits usually love running through tunnels, so get a tunnel and see if that sparks some interest.

    You could also do some trick training with them, to get their minds and bodies working. You could train them to jump over obstacles, spin, stand, etc.

    Hope I helped :)
     
  4. Mar 26, 2016 #4

    missyscove

    missyscove

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    I have these for my rabbits. The opening is adjustable and the smallest opening works well for their oxbow pellets. They nudge the ball around and the pellets fall out. Works with treats too of course but I like making them work a little for their pellets.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  5. Mar 26, 2016 #5

    Maureen Las

    Maureen Las

    Maureen Las

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    My first rabbit was free roam in an apartment..it just seemed to me that once that she got used to the space that she also didn't move around that much . I agree that toys are a good idea but maybe bunnies just get lazy like people.
    I have a rabbit now that I used to let outside ( supervised) in my very secure back yard although I truly do not believe in allowing rabbits outside. The only time this bunny comes alive is in the yard. No matter how much space in the house it is not interesting to Rudy but when he is outside he becomes another rabbit that I barely know. He is very elderly now and we have moved to the country so he no longer goes outside but , in his case, he was a stray who I believe lived on his own for quite awhile before the shelter snatched him up and was lucky to have no ill effects from it other than a tapeworm . I am not recommending outside to you but just relating his story. Too many rabbits get fly strike, bot flies, tapeworms etc from free roam even in an enclosed yard. I used to wipe Rudy off when I brought him in but I was still was taking a chance.
     
  6. Mar 30, 2016 #6

    flemishwhite

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    I suppose all rabbits are a little different.

    My two Flemish babies (6 months old) are house rabbits and probably spend about 99% of their time either eating or sleeping. However when the are active, they are very active. They like to run in the house, chase each other and their favorite active pastime is attacking cardboard boxes we have set our on the floor. Surprising to me is that they don't like to go outside. I take them outside, carrying them (one at a time) on my shoulder letting them have a look around, set down and hold them by my side..they seem interested in looking watch cars and people on the sidewalk walk by, but as soon as I stop holding, they run back in the house. Well, OK, I don't have to worry about them running away. Maybe when they get older. They have both been microchipped.

    My previous rabbit, Bunny, just LOVED to go outside. She would run through the shrubs and investigate every nook and cranny. There were some bushes on the property line between me and the neighboor and the bushes were near the sidewalk. She loved to go lay down hidden in the bushes...I'm sure she got a perverse joy laying so near the sidewalk while people walked their dogs and the dogs never saw her. We never let her outside unless me or my wife were constantly with her. She was such an obedient rabbit, when it came time to go back in the house, she would run back in the house. It took a couple of light pats on the hindside to let her know it was time to go back in the house. We did have to be careful when the front door was open since she was very sneaky about acting like she was asleep on the living room floor and then running full speed to bolt out the door!
     
  7. Mar 30, 2016 #7

    MaryAnne

    MaryAnne

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    Hello 08. Please don't beat yourself up. Your rabbits are warm, safe, and fed. They have a human who loves them. Sometimes circumstances aren't ideal but they are better off than a lot of buns.
    That said, I like the jumping/training idea, though I've not tried it. I use a piece of indoor outdoor carpet that I cut into 2 ft strips and put through the house, I call it the racetrack. He knows what to do when it comes out, and it's like a treat for him. We also go sit on a concrete porch, he investigates all around that which is good for filing down his nails.
    You really can play with them with treats also. Make them stand up and stretch for a craisin. Run around the house with a tempting chunk of banana. My guy hates the harness but I think I might try that again.
     
  8. Mar 31, 2016 #8

    ts786

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    I took a soft/stuffed plush ball about the size of a soccer ball, skewered it, fed para cord through it, and then tied it off so I have this soft plush ball on a rope. Then I proceed to bump Bunny on the butt with it until she gains enough interest to investigate. After a short period of time, she realizes it is a game and starts chasing it like mad, bumping it, biting it, grunting, binkying, and flopping. When she gets really into it, each time the ball bumps her on the butt she immediately does a 180 degree binky
     
  9. Mar 31, 2016 #9

    Whiterabbitrage

    Whiterabbitrage

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    If the slippery floor bothers them, maybe lay down a blanket or some towels. This works great for Harvey. She also loves a cardboard box. Best toy ever.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2016 #10

    rabbitlover08

    rabbitlover08

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    Thanks very much for the help everyone, I have since purchased them the 2 in 1 ball/food dispenser and they do enjoy cardboard boxes! The issue with cardboard boxes is I'm worried they'll ingest a lot of it when it's out and possibly cause a blockage.. They love to shred the boxes and I usually fill the box with paper and they dig through it and it's kind of like a small fort. I'd love to take them outside but don't feel comfortable in the city doing that although they loved it in the country and had their own enclosed area and as someone mentioned I do think most rabbits still have wild instincts unlike cats etc which are more developed as being domesticated and I could definitely tell that they prefer it outside.. Some bunnies may just be used to life indoors but when they're outside I have noticed they act happier and more curious being able to properly use their senses.. They even dug holes and made burrows deep in the ground in their enclosed area when I lived in the country! I also think it's good for them to not be confined to a small room as their eye sight is meant to view far distances as well and when they become used to only viewing a close distance in a small apartment or room and can't view far distances this must also be a negative experience for them. I know when I'm in my apartment for more than 12 hours and don't go outside I almost develop a headache so being able to use your body the way it's meant to be used naturally probably makes a big difference in happiness for all animals. I also have a snake like cat toy they like that they'll chase around and play with which Is quite nice to see. Too bad there aren't as many rabbit toys as there are cat toys though. I'll try to make their play area larger and take them outside when I get the chance. Any other ideas for home made toys or anything similar are more than welcome!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  11. Apr 2, 2016 #11

    missyscove

    missyscove

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    Christina - Moderator

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    Do they have any tunnels? If they enjoyed digging their own burrows outside a good cardboard tunnel can mimic that inside. You can usually buy them at the pet store at about a foot long but I use a concrete form (cardboard tube made to fill with concrete) from the hardware store which is much longer and they're available in a variety of dimensions.
     
  12. Apr 9, 2016 #12

    Ivythelionhead

    Ivythelionhead

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    You said they enjoyed the grass why not bring grass to them you can buy grass seed at a lot of dollar stores or places they sell plants and all you have to do is grow a bit in a planter and put it down for them I'm sure they would enjoy it and other then that try getting some new toys a lot of cat toys can be used for rabbits like jingle balls also are you sure there unhappy because some rabbits are Just lazy, I have one girl who loves to run and jump and be silly but my other two are very down to earth and just wanna laz around all day.
     
  13. Apr 27, 2016 #13

    rabbitlover08

    rabbitlover08

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    Thanks guys, I have two tunnels for them as well that I forgot to mention, they're just from the dollar store and are made from a type of fabric, I think that cardboard tunnel would be preferred by them though because they could chew it. And ya they like grass a lot, I usually pick some from outside in the least accessible area being in the city because I worry that the grass could be dirty. I found they like hanging toys too like when I dangle their snake toy in front of their faces they seem to get excited so maybe I'll attach a string to a hook on the ceiling and put a ball with some hay at the bottom for them to play with, that is if they don't eat the string or chew through it! Thanks for the help guys, I'll keep my eyes open for other rabbit toys that they might like. I've found creativity to be helpful when it comes to finding/making your own rabbit toys

    Rabbitlover08
     

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