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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Advice: not forcing buns out of cage

Okay, I'm posting a lot. But, i'm a new bunny owner and I want to do everything right!

When I first got our babies about a month ago, I had read several places that you shouldn't go in the cage and take the bunnies out. Several sources said it was important not to invade their space and to let them come to you on their own. Of course, I ignored this at first because I wanted to cuddle and bond with them every night.

I took them to the vet this past week and he said, once again, that I HAVE to do this. My bunnies are pretty loving. However, they are also still young and skittish. How do you develop a bond and cuddle with your bunny if they won't come out? If I open their cage door, they come out and run around the house like crazy and then go back in 30 minutes later. However, they aren't at the point where they will approach me yet. Do I just never touch the bunnies until they come to me? It is sooooooo hard.

Last night I opened the cage door and they came and both stuck their heads out. I couldn't help it. I picked them up and cuddled with them on the couch for a while.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 01:44 PM
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I read somewhere once something that really helped. Opened their cage and sit on the floor while reading a book. Eventually they'll be way too curious and approach you. Then try petting them gently only on the top of head. The first few times mine ran away I soon as I would move but I kept on trying. Also try a little piece of banana
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:23 PM
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I am also new here and read the same thing you did. We have our 2 bunnies in 2 sepaerate cages. Charcoal reminds me a bit of a puppy....he sees you enter the room and stands up, pawing his front paws at the cage door, just begging for attention. We open the cage and he comes barreling out, comes over for a quick hello, then he's off to explore the room. He will go back in the cage only if he is hungry and we have just put food in there. Mostly we have to pick him up, cuddle a bit, then put him back.

Cammie sees us enter the room and puts his head back down. We open the cage door and he will come to the door and allow us to pet him, but shows no real interest in coming out. When we take him out and let him explore, it is very difficult to get him back in. He runs away when we try to pick him up and hides under the bed. It is a long and frustrating process to get him back in, but we are hopeful that every day he will improve. We got them 2 weeks ago today.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:26 PM
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It's always best to let the bunnies come to you on their own terms. Bunnies can hold grudges and won't like it if you stick your hand into their territory and grab them. It's hard to resist when they don't come out on their own, but it can actually take longer to bond with them if your grabing them out of the cage because they associate you with that and not with kindness, pets, and treats.

Zeus is older now and will run out of his cage to play as soon as I open it. Barnaby, my new bunny, sits in the cage and hardly ever comes out. It's frustrating, but I know that in time, once he learns that everything is safe he'll come running out the same as Zeus does.

The key for me with Barnaby so far is to ignore him. When I sit there waiting for him to come out, he won't. But if I go sit on the other side of the room and read or watch tv, he'll slowly start to explore the area around his cage. Eventually they will come up to you and you can pet them and give them treats.

Bunnies like things to happen on their terms so just be patient and before you know it they'll be chasing you around the room and jumping up on your lap begging for attention.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 05:05 PM
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let them earn your trust
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