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Rescue bun, not yet spayed, not sure if keeping - any advice?

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pani

Bunny servant Lotte
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Hi everyone, long time no see!

Recently a friend of mine got in contact with me, as a friend of hers had found a lost rabbit and were looking after it. They'd put up 'found' posters and had been looking for any 'lost' posts/posters, but couldn't find any owners. They weren't able to look after her for long, so my friend passed them onto me, and I agreed to take her (at least temporarily, possibly permanently).

I took her to my normal vet for a general health check. He checked for a microchip (none), determined it was very likely that she hasn't been spayed (he was very certain he could feel ovaries/uterus), otherwise advised she seemed to be well cared for, and in good health. He suspected that she's around 2 years old.

We've now had her for close to two weeks. She's a lovely, affectionate little thing - jumps in your lap for cuddles, follows you around the house, gives lots of licks in returns for grooming her. She also doesn't seem to show any interest in chewing cables, which is awesome. Our main concerns are:

1) Litterbox habits

Bun has three litter boxes - one in the bathroom in the middle of the house (where she spends nights if she's not free roaming), and one at each end of the house. She uses these (there's food in each of them to encourage use, and we're moving droppings and paper towels used to clean pees to her boxes), however also leaves droppings and pees in several locations around the house. I suspect this is marking behaviour, however given her age, we're concerned that even if we get her spayed and keep her, this may already be learned behaviour that won't change.

2) Bonding

Clementine (mini lop) is aggressively the alpha bun in my house, while Felix (Nethie) is happy to let her rule. These two are considerably less affectionate than bun, and spend all of their time in their own room. They're not really interested in human affection. Obviously upon meeting (not entirely intended...) the new bun aggressively humped both buns, and I quickly got her out of their room. I'm not sure if this is because she's not spayed or if it's territorial, or both?

I guess our concern is that even if we decide to spay the new bun and keep her, that her litter box habits may not improve, and/or she may not bond with Clem and Felix. I'm just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, and could shed light on how spaying/neutering altered their bunny's behaviour?

Even if I rehome her (there are several people who might take her in, if we can't keep her) I'll insist on getting her new owner/s to spay her - I'm aware of the uterine cancer risk and general behavioural improvements this provides. My housemates and I are just unsure of spending the money on spay/aftercare/etc if we may not even keep her. We'd love to - it's so great to have a rabbit that actually likes us - but not if it's going to upset my boyfriend (due to her litter habits) or Clem and Felix.

Thanks in advance. :)
 
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Akzholedent

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I have three buns myself. Butterscotch and Ellie are best friends (and have been since birth.. they're siblings), and Pippi is the loner bun. Pippi, who is half the size of the other two, is the one who causes fights and such. So we keep Pippi in the living room, and Butterscotch and Ellie get everywhere else. Keeping them separated works very well.
 

pani

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Our house is quite small, and unfortunately if bonding isn't successful, we've agreed that bun won't be able to stay with us. :( It doesn't seem fair to Felix and Clem, as the door to their room would be shut all the time, and they wouldn't get the same socialisation (even though they're not as big on humans, it just feels cruel to almost completely shut them out in favour of a new bun).

She will, of course, be here until she finds a loving and suitable new home.
 

Azerane

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Aww, she sounds like a real sweety, except for poor Felix and Clem :p I'm not sure what to suggest here. It's really tough to know for certain whether things will improve or not. I'd say he litter habits probably would and a large portion of it is probably territorial because she can smell Felix and Clem and the fact that she isn't spayed.

No matter what you decide, I hope we get to see a picture :D
 

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