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Common Rabbit Problems......

Bunnys don't always mean to be naughty. With some gentle persuasion you can change most bad rabbits into polite, tidy rabbits. This may take some time, but is well worth it.

Pooping and peeing everywhere
Rabbits CAN be litter trained. Rabbits are naturally tidy animals when it comes to the toilet. In the wild, rabbits will use one spot as the toilet, as leaving poops everywhere will let predators know that there are rabbits around, and may lead them to the warren. Most rabbits will poop in the same place if you provide them with a toilet in safe place. Put a few litter trays around to help your rabbit become accustomed to using the litter tray. Place some hay or pellets in the tray to make it a good place to visit frequently. If you give rabbits too much space to roam around in initially, they seem to forget how to use the litter box. Restrict the area your rabbit can roam around in until he/she is using the litter box, then slowly extend the area. Once rabbits are litter trained, they may leave the odd poop around just to let everyone know that this is their territory.

If your rabbit is not spayed or neutered, it can be part of the problem. Unneutered/unspayed rabbits tend to mark territory much more than altered rabbits.

Why do rabbits dig up the carpet?
Rabbits need to dig
Rabbits love to dig. Your carpet just happens to be between the rabbit and the dirt... Try getting your rabbit some dirt to dig in instead.

Click here to see a movie of Thumper digging 1402kb

Why do rabbits nip/bite?
Rabbits can bite for several reasons:
  • Rabbits nip to say "I love you". This is usually accompanied by the bunny circling you, often grunting gently. What your bunny doesn't realise is that bunny nips hurt!

  • Rabbits can also bite to get your attention, as in "Hello up there!! I'm down here !!! I need snacks NOW".

  • If you are in the bunny's way, he will bite you to get you to move.

  • If you are holding a rabbit and it nips you, it probably wants to be put down on the ground.

  • Rabbits will attack with their teeth and claws. If you are on the receiving end of this, you are offending and/or intimidating your rabbit. Back off. Bunny bites can be very very painful.

  • If you reach your hand out to pat a rabbit's head, the rabbit may bite you in self defence. Rabbits can't see what is in front of their noses, and not being able so see what is touching them, they will bite you. This is why rabbits will sniff something before taking a bite. Its good manners to put your hand out so your rabbit can see it's not threatening, then stroke your bunny.

To stop your bunny nipping you, try squealing when you are bitten. Rabbits associate squeals with severe pain/fear. Hopefully the rabbit will understand that biting hurts.

Why do rabbits bite each other on the backside?
This is their way of saying "I'm the boss, get out of my way". Now you know this, you can use this to your advantage. To get your bunny to move out of the way, try giving him nudges in the backside. If you are the boss then the rabbit will take your orders and move out of your way.

Why does my rabbit eat fluff and dust?
We don't know. If you find out, let us know. Fuzzy loves to eat dust. Its a novel way to keep the house dust free :-)

Why do rabbits chew cables?
Rabbits living underground often get roots growing into their burrows. This annoys them as it blocks access. The roots get nibbled off by the rabbits to keep the burrows clear. The cables in your lounge room are roots. If they get in your rabbit's way, instinct takes over and they get nibbled... The best way to deal with this is to restrict your rabbit's access to the cables. The best way to do this is to obtain some flexible plastic tubing to cover any exposed cables. If you slit the plastic tubing the whole length, you can put the cables inside. Be sure to pick a hard plastic, as a soft plastic tube is quite edible by bunny teeth.

Why does my rabbit poop in the food bowl?
Rabbits will poop in their food bowl just to show you (and other bunnies) that it is their food bowl. Its basically a territory marking exercise. Fuzzy does it every day, and she is very possessive of the food bowl. If we reach in to get the bowl out, we get grunted at.

Help, my rabbit is chewing furniture/skirting boards/anything it shouldn't be!!!
Rabbits have teeth that continue growing throughout it's life. For this reason, rabbits need to chew things to wear their teeth down. Unfortunately this is often wooden furniture or skirting boards. The first thing to do is buy your bunny something else to chew on. You can buy bunny safe toys from many online rabbit shops. An untreated wicker basket works well too. They also enjoy chewing on sea grass mats. To deter rabbits from chewing on the naughty things, try putting some double sided sticky tape on the area that is being chewed. Rabbits will not like their whiskers getting stuck on the tape. You can also try putting vinegar in the area too, as rabbits find the smell and taste very very offensive. Bitter substances tend not to deter rabbits as they enjoy eating bitter foods (ever tried eating endive? very bitter.)

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