Carolyn Crampton name
 

rabbit proofing your home

 

You need to bunny proof your house. I recommend the Houserabbit Society Handbook. If all else fails, email us. We do consulting. We'll come to you and tell you what to change.

enclosures in the house

Generally speaking, you need to keep the animal away from the area he is destroying or protect the area in some way so that he can't destroy it—until he learns. Training can take months. Keep the animal in a small enclosure or room which is easy to rabbit proof. The enclosure has a litter box in it and food. It may or may not have his cage in it. If it's a room for the bunny, make sure it's a room you spend a lot of time in.

Do not have the animal out of the cage unsupervised. If he makes a mistake he goes back into the cage.

I fnally got a metal fence which makes an enclosure for bunny of flexible size. Most older bunnies will not jump over it. If you need to protect the floor also, I like those washable rugs with a waterproof backing. Make sure the edges are out of the reach of teeth. (Glue and vinyl both taste good and are bad.) You can also use chicken wire for walls, stapled into a 1x2 wood strips.

Some people use a plastic swimming pool.

protecting furniture

Anything that is between the wall and the middle of the room is in the way. Bunnies want to run around the perimeter where it is safer. Move the furniture in from the wall so bunny can run behind it and lay back there. This will often be all you have to do if it's far enough away.

If it's a sofa, also lean a board or plexiglass between it and the wall. Rabbits love to run through tunnels.

If that doesn't work, do the enclosure method. Or try putting small boards around the edges held tight with something other than tape. (Drill a hole and wire it to the next board.) Improvise—it's not rocket science. You can still remove this for company. A barrier can be some kind of washable covering or impermeable surface. Put a tarp over the furniture.

Electric cords

Electric cords look like roots and vines—no wonder they get eaten.

I have great luck with running them up the wall rather than down, sometimes by just putting a plank slanted toward the wall to hold them up. (Doesn't look great but they can then run under the plank giving hours of fun. Sometimes rabbits knock the plank over.

You can protect your electrical cords and other stuff easily. Wrap plastic tubing, a garden hose split down the center or metal around them. IKEA sells cord covers. Or back furniture up against cords. Put a rug or something they can't chew or move over them.

My bunny is licking the urine or eating the rug where he urinated.

The lapping up is perfectly normal. They often lap up their secretions. This is one reason furniture is sometimes eaten. Clean the area as much as possible. Try bitter apple, perfurme, pet odor eaters to get the smell out.

eating carpet

. You may need to confine rabbit to part of the room
. You can then cover the carpet with another carpet or something inedible.
. Rabbits need to dig and eat. Make sure she has plenty of stuff to chew on. A large planter of grass is good too. She can climb in it and rip it up.
. Put bitter apple on it so it tastes bad. Perfume works sometimes.

urinating on the bed

There is a certain allure about beds and where we sleep.
I slept on the floor with one bunny. As soon as I got up he would hop over and play in the bedding, sometimes urinating. This may be a territorial thing. Perhaps they looking for food? Is it just excitement that you finally got up? The softness of the bedding? Beds and sofas are also soft.

urinating outside of the cage:

Regular male spraying is another matter. Regular urinating could be the cage or box is not clean enough for him. Sometimes this is caused by stress or anger. Events triggering: moving, new schedule, furniture rearranged, you spending less time with him, illness or new boyfriend. Try putting a kittybox where he is going. Have several. Try rewarding him whenever he does urinate in the cage. Put another box next to the cage or somewhere else. When a rabbit is sick she may lose housebreaking control. Have the vet check him out.

Training bunnies

It is better to train bunnies by positive reinforcement. Reward him when he chews on the sticks instead of the rug. I like to yell "No" and make a loud clap or giddyup cluck (not loud but distinctive) at the same time. He'll stop and resume and I clap/yell again. We usually do this about 3 times and then he gives up. Give a nice pet or treat for reassurance.

Spraying question

It's sexual behaviour and runs very deep.
a. You can get him FIXED and he may stop. This may also reduce chewing and other annoying behavior.
b. Do not stand around him, Sit down and pet him.
c. You can try training him---a loud "NO" and a loud clap.
d. Cover the floor and the walls.


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