Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hulloh. My name is Max, and somehow I've ended up with a bunny! Well, I've ended up with the bunny because someone else was unable to care for it, but that's not so much the point. My bun's is named Oliver Hopscotch and he's kind of a mystery in terms of age and his past, etc.

Up until a few days ago, he'd been living with some very nice folks, their kids and their two cats. Apparently, Ollie had been dumped somewhere in the woods and he was lucky enough to be spotted by a very kind fisherman who took him home. The folks who have been keeping him say that Ollie sort of just hopped over to the fisherman, and well, the rest is history. All of this is just to say that we really know nothing of his history, short of the fact that it seems he was at some point a pet, as he's quite tame and he's also been neutered.

So, on to the part about how I really know nothing about bunnies! Honestly, I really don't know a thing and I'm trying my best to make sure that he has what he needs. He came with a large cage but little else. As for my surroundings, I live in a very small apartment, so there's really no way for me to put him in a room by himself, or seclude him until he feels more comfortable. At this point, I've placed his cage under my dining room table, as this is sort of out of the way (as much as it can be in a 600sq ft. apartment), but there's really not an area that's secluded, or rather, there's not an area where he isn't subject to being sniffed by both the dog and the cat.

Oh, so that's the other part; I do have a dog and a cat. My dog is a senior, so very calm and very sweet - not prey driven in the slightest. As for my cat, she's very good, though certainly very interested, but all in all, I think once they meet she'll be just fine. For the moment, she is very curious, but she's also doing a good job of sort of ignoring Oliver.

Given that I don't really have a place to seclude Oliver, should I just let him be for a few days? I've read a lot of information indicating that I should work very hard to make him feel like his cage is a safe space, i.e. I shouldn't rearrange things while he's in the cage, or pull him out, or reach into his cage, etc. That said, he's really not interested in leaving the cage right now, either. I'd love to let him hop around a bit, supervised of course, but he seems really uninterested in hopping about. Of course I understand this has much to do with looking out and seeing my 70lb dog and my all-too-interested cat, but how do I peak Oliver's interest and coax him to come out, without physically removing him from his cage?

Sorry this is so long, but I'm definitely interested in any advice you might have on introducing a rabbit to other pets, a new (small, less than ideal) apartment, etc.

Thanks for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,013 Posts
if you just got him give him time to settle in. then take him out gradually to give him some free roam time. hes probably just nervous due to a new life.
 

·
Betta Bomb
Joined
·
5,202 Posts
Welcome :) Congrats on your little guy! How do you know he's neutered? Chances are you he's not unless you have his vet records bc males hide their balls until needed... *ahem*...
I would leave him be, like Nibbler suggested, and slowly introduce him to his surroundings when he feels comfortable. Maybe take him into the bathroom with you separate from the cat and dog so can get used to YOU first.
Maybe clip the cats nails so she cannot harm him while the introductions take place? When I introduced my bunnies to my sisters cat I had his nails clipped. Bunnies just ignored him and each time he tried to grab them he was corrected either by water or scolding. But having a cat scratch your bunny could turn into a couple hundred dollars of vet bills if he developed an abscess from it and trust me, you do not want abscess problems!
Check out www.rabbit.org for basic care and behaviour and diet and such. They're the best! ^^
Oh, another note, a"fairly large cage" means its not big enough. When bunny is used to the animals I think you should bunny proof your apartment and let him free roam. Bunnies need room to stretch and jump and explore, all popular commercial cages are simply too small. Keep it for his kennel and litter box so he has a safe place to go but otherwise try to bunny proof the apmt. The house rabbit society's website offers tips on bunny proofing as well!
Good luck!!! Also, make posts to get a count of 20 so you can upload pictures!! Then we can see him! ^^ And possibly help you out with breeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to you both for the information.

Well, to be honest, I'm not sure (or I don't know - is there a way I can tell?) that he's neutered. When I was at the person's apartment who was caring for him, she tried to show me why she assumed he was neutered, and then, well, he was kicking and she couldn't catch him again. From what I've gathered, just from being there, their house was pretty busy and I'm guessing (and she said as much) that he spent most of his time in his cage. He's actually extremely calm, but this is to say that I think when he was held, it was probably when he was being chased by 7 year old twin boys!

His cage is fairly large, but as you said, I know it's not big enough. At this point, he doesn't have any interest in coming out likely because of the dog and the cat, so for the moment, I'm just going to leave him be.

I've been doing a lot of reading and the sites you've mentioned, I've been there, and they are both very helpful. I've read a lot, but I'm still not sure that I'm understanding one thing; the litter box. So, Oliver, well at this time, he's just sort of going wherever. Basically, he's nibbling on his food, and is seems he's going as he's nibbling. I've read about how to fix up the litter box, and it seems that I had been doing the wrong thing; I'd just put down CareFresh and no hay, but now I've put down the hay, and he's still not interested.

I'm guessing that he's staying put in his box (I've made him a cardboard box enclosure) because he feels frightened, and the litter box is in the other corner. That said, I was trying to follow the rules of putting the bed in one corner, the food in another corner, litter in another corner and so on; is that correct?

Any ideas are welcome, of course. I'm home sick today, so I've actually been able to watch him a bit, and he comes in and out, but for the most part, he prefers to sit very still and come out when he thinks the coast is clear.
 

·
is a little "special"
Joined
·
4,131 Posts
How do you have the litter box set up? The best way to do it is leave the entire cage beddling-less (You can put down a blankie, towels, newspaper, ect if you want, but the idea is to have no loose bedding anywhere else in the cage except for in the litter box, because otherwise they will get confused), put litter/bedding in the litter box, and put TONS of hay in there too. As youve noticed, they go to the bathroom where they eat, so putting the hay in the litter box helps alot. :)
Have you taken him go a good rabbit savvy vet? They will be able to tell you if he is fixed, or if he is actually a she. Its usually pretty easy to tell the gender of a mature rabbit... Their "Manly Bits" are rather obvious, LOL. If there isnt anything "down there", then your bun is probably either fixed or female.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi.

Thanks so much for your reply! Actually, I think this, the bedding-less part, is exactly where I have been going wrong. I thought that he would need bedding throughout, so I have a little CareFresh in between one side of the cage, which is his cardboard box/hut, and then the other side of the cage, which is his litter box. His box is one of the corner boxes, filled with pellets in the bottom, then a grate, and then like you said, lots of hay. But yes, of course, now that you've mentioned it, it makes perfect sense that having CareFresh everywhere would be confusing. I guess I was in hamster/gerbil mode, and assuming that they needed bedding throughout.

Thanks so much for your response! Honestly, as much reading as I've done, I don't think that the bedding, or lack there of, has been mentioned. Or maybe I just overlooked it thinking that I already had that part down!

As for the vet, I don't have one as of yet (Ollie has just been here 3 days as of tomorrow), but I've checked and my area seems to have quite a few. I live in a area with a lot of vet schools, though, so I suppose that makes sense.

Thanks again for your response - shared knowledge is definitely why I love forums.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
wow, thank you all for the great information!
we feel so much more relieved aabout the litterbox situation and ollie seems happy and content to sit in his loo.

p.s., i joined the forum at max's urging - i'm oliver's other (human) parent/caretaker/friend. my name is allison & i am so excited that oliver has joined the animal family! i'm an artist/designer/crafty girl, a serious cat lady, and max's sweetie. i've never had a bunny, thought had close friends in the past who had them in their family. love them!!

at my apartment, i have two cats - a little old tortie lady named enid, and miss evelyn, a wacky grey tabby girl. they get on famously but i don't think there's any room in chez allison for a bun in a figurative or literal sense. miss evelyn has a serious predator complex and is a frisky 3? 4? year old kitty. i don't think a bun at my small studio apartment would be a good idea.

that being said, i looooove spending time with my extended pet family. buns!!
 

·
Betta Bomb
Joined
·
5,202 Posts
Woah, overload. Hang on, Max and Allison? Seeing each other? Living together? I'm now super confused. Either way, welcome to you both.
That's why we're here. To help and share knowledge :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Max and Allison (I'm Max), live across town from one another; we're partners, so to speak. (Allison just snickered and said "business partners" - obviously, we sit on the couch together, too)

We sort of took on this bunny and I've been doing lots and lots of reading, so I figured having Allison join the forum would be like that whole, two eyes are better than one, kind of thing. I've never had a bun, and need all the help I can get!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
thanks for the welcome, purple hops :)
sorry if my post was confusing.... ah!!!
i guess i'm not so good at introductions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
hahaha -
for some reason, i didn't see that max wrote my 'business partners' comment.
hehe.. oops
 

·
is a little "special"
Joined
·
4,131 Posts
Well welcome to both of you! :D


Oh, one more thing about the litter box stuff. You said you had a corner litter box? Try getting a big square cat litter box instead. Since alot of rabbits (including mine!) practically live in their litter boxes, its nice to have a big roomy one. Plus, since its bigger, theyll be better about using it too. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He did have a square litter box when he came to me, but at the time, I didn't have any idea that he would be, well, sleeping in his litter box! Today, as he was feeling more comfortable, he started to sort of tip over... eyes narrowing, and then I realized that he was sleeping, ha.
 

·
Betta Bomb
Joined
·
5,202 Posts
:D Thats a rare sight!! My bf asked me earlier this week if bunnies even slept bc Acacia is ALWAYS so alert!! He hasn't mastered the head massage, I put her to sleep last month by rubbing her head as another bunny would. She loved it and even for like the first time ever ground her teeth in happies.
The bigger the litter box the better :) Acacia, like Smudge, sits in it for long periods of time munching and picking through hay. ^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mr. Oliver has definitely mastered falling asleep. What can I say... I'm pretty quiet, and I have a feeling that he came from a pretty boisterous house, so I think he's enjoying all of the quiet time, actually. His eyes will be so, so wide and then I'll look over, and all of a sudden they're these tiny and narrown little slits; kind of cracks me up!
 

·
is a little "special"
Joined
·
4,131 Posts
LOL, they are SO cute when they are falling asleep! Smudge will just be sitting there, close his eyes, start rocking back and forth, and forget to twitch his nose... Then he'll wake up a little, twitch his nose really fast to make up for lost time, and start dozing off again. :p When he decides he cant stay awake any longer, he plops into the "dead bunny flop" and sleeps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
max constructed an awesome hutch for oliver, and he seemed to be sad because his house was taking up so much room. now he is happily snoozing in his litterbox and bringing his toys into it... haha
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top