Stressed and anxious

Help Support RabbitsOnline:


Active Member
Oct 15, 2019
Reaction score
I've had my bunny, Dante for almost 2 months now and I don' know what to do. First of all i have no idea if he likes me or not, he lets me pet him when he's laying down, other times he just hops away. He usually goes on the bed and tries to pee there and when I try to move him to the litter box he gets really anxious and scratches me and then hops away, flicking his feet. I know I shouldn't try to pick him up this much and I hate myself for it, I just don't know that if I stopped trying to pick him up and let him get as comfortable as possible with me, would he let me pick him up then? Also how long does that usually take?

Also I read that dilated pupils mean that the rabbit is stressed or worried. After I picked him up and tried to comfort him afterwards, I saw that his pupils were dilated. I don't know if what I did caused it or something else.

Also Dante's 8 months old and got neutered at the end of september.

Blue eyes

Supporting Member
Mar 19, 2012
Reaction score
Arizona, USA
Patience. To start, it can take up to 6 or so weeks after neuter surgery for hormones to settle. He hasn't had that time yet.

Don't try to pick him up and put him in a litter box. That will only make him hate the box. That is not what you want. He should love his litter box. He should want to go in the box.

You'll need to figure a way to prevent him from hopping on your bed. (block access with a pen or put something on top of it like foam boards - those ones used for project displays- 50Cents at dollar stores)

Most rabbits do not like to be picked up. He isn't purposely scratching you. That just happens when he is moving his feet to get away. Some will learn to tolerate being held. I would work on getting him to trust you more first.

Take a read here (from my website) for more detail on getting a rabbit to trust you. It goes into more detail.


Dec 13, 2017
Reaction score
The reason he pees on the bed is probably to mark his territory. Which in this case could possibly be you since the bed smells like you. Once his testosterone goes down it will probably help like, Blue eyes said. Once thing that could help is washing what he peed on with a little bit of vinegar to help get his sent out of it so when he goes on the bed he won't immediately go to that spot because he can't smell it.

Also don't take it to hard when you have to move him,pick him up, or make him uncomfortable. Just know that you are doing what is going to be best for him in the long run. It will take time but eventually you both will better understand each other and things will get easier. Hope this helps.


Aug 13, 2012
Reaction score
Houston, Texas
Well, there's also just something about soft things like beds and sofas that make even (normally) well-trained rabbits want to pee at times. Alice was a big culprit in this department for a while... whenever she peed, I immediately picked her up and put her back in her condo. After a while, she learned that peeing on the bed meant fun time was over! We still have a waterproof mattress pad, though, since I like to snuggle rabbits in bed while watching TV and they can't necessarily tell me when they need to go back to their condos to pee (they never hop off the bed because they dislike our cats) so sometimes there are accidents. Happened just last night, in fact.

#1 - try to stop stressing yourself out! Rabbits have a good poker face and it's easy to feel like they dislike you - there's a very fine line between love and indifference. There are websites dedicated to "disapproving rabbit" faces! Many rabbits just have that look to them most of the time, lol. If you're tense and anxious around him, though, he'll pick up on that and be anxious too. When handling rabbits (or doing tasks like nail clipping, gland cleaning, grooming, etc.) confidence is KEY. The more calm and confident you are, the more accepting of what you're doing your rabbit will be.

#2 - it's ok to pick rabbits up! I encourage it, to be honest. Not all the time, necessarily, but often enough to make your rabbit accustomed to it and tolerant of it. Bend down to the rabbit, scoop one hand under their chest and as you pick them up/pull them to your chest, get the crook of your arm (or your other hand) under their bottom feet quickly so they feel supported and don't have a chance to kick. You NEED to be able to pick up your rabbit without it being a big deal - what if there were an emergency and you had to get them out of the house asap?

#3 - dilated pupils can mean a number of things. For example, pupils dilate and contract based on the amount of light in the room and will be bigger in a darker environment.

#4 - bribery works! Instead of just giving him a pile of pellets to eat, try hand-feeding some or all of his daily pellet ration. Offer a couple pellets any time you put him down from being lifted/carried. Offer them when you're petting him.

Latest posts