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Ok...I need some help/advice.

Tulia&Susie

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Ok, I have a rabbit that is a few years old(not sure on the exact date) and I'm not sure what to do. Her cage(doesn't meet requirements) is so that the door opens on the side and not the top so here is the problem. Whenever I go in and try to pick her up she tries to attack me. It's like a charging at me. I try to approach her slowly and draw her out with veggies but it doesn't work. After about ten minutes of this I finally get her out but it is such a battle. I mean she loves being handled and loves to be loved but I'm not sure why she's acting like this. Any advice would be greatly appreicated. Thanks.
 

VoodooJoint

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She's cage aggresive. She is defending her territory. Because she has a very small space she feels the need to defend it against all intruders so that she doesn't lose more of it.

The best thing to do is to give her more territory by making her at least a partial house rabbit. Give her a rabbit proofed room or fence off an area with an Ex. Pen or something similar so that she can get out of her cage and get exersize and explore on her terms.

It's really the only thing that may help although she may always be protective of her cage anyway.
 

naturestee

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Also make sure that she can get into and out of the cage on her own. Put the cage on the floor, give her steps, etc. I don't see any reason why you should have to pick her up while she's in her cage, unless it's an emergency. My rabbits consider that to be one of the highest offenses I can commit. The highest being vet visits or picking them up while they're in their cages and then clipping their nails.

All three of my girls are cage territorial to some extent although they improved a bit after their spays. I have learned to respect what is theirs and allow them their safe spaces. That's very important for a prey animal.

You should see the look my rescued rabbits all gave me when I opened their cage doors and allowed them out on their own four feet for the first time. Shock and disbelief followed by pure joy.
 

Tulia&Susie

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Well, thanks for the comments. Now you suggested having a room for my bunny. I'm not able to have that. I know the conept of not getting an animal if I can't take care of it but I got her awhile ago and didn't know better. Ok...sadly my parents want me to have the rabbit outside but I won't allow her outside until we get something that will work. The only reason why I pick her up is because I figured if I don't have any contact with them that she may turn mean or something. But thanks for the advice.
 

SoCalCavies

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not put your bunny outside!

Here is a great website you need to see: House Rabbit Society Rabbit Care Guide

Also, I don't know anything about being "cage aggressive", but I had two bunnies for over 12 years. (They were never caged.) One thing you have to always keep in mind is that their eyes are located on the sides of their heads. Which means, they can see almost all the way around, 360 degrees. There is only ONE place they cannot see, and that is straight in front of them. So, when you come at them (with both hands on the sides of their face, for example) they literally cannot see you until your hands are right next to their eyeballs!!! Imagine how frightened you would be if you couldn't see a pair of hands coming until they were literally on top of you! :eye-poppi Try to get onto their level and approach them where they can definitely see you instead.

Another really easy trick is:

Whenever you want bunny to settle down, whether she is kicking at you, screaching at you, charging you, or whatever - all you have to do is put your cupped hand over her ears and head. Not hard. Just rest your hand on her heads. She'll calm down instantly. It's VERY easy then, to scoop her up and out of her cage. ;)

Also, did you know that there is a "feel good gland" right behind their eyes? There is! If you rub it, you'll see bunny go comatosed! They LOVE it. :cheerful: Hope that helps!

Oh and I know you probably won't go for this, but your bunny needs a friend - just like we all do!!! I don't suppose I could convince you to adopt another one?
 

VoodooJoint

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I know you probably won't go for this, but your bunny needs a friend - just like we all do!!! I don't suppose I could convince you to adopt another one?
Normally I would agree with you 110% but in a case like this I don't think getting another rabbit would be wise. She is already having problems accomodating one rabbit and adding a second to the situation will only make things more cramped.
 

Solebomber

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Normally I would agree with you 110% but in a case like this I don't think getting another rabbit would be wise. She is already having problems accomodating one rabbit and adding a second to the situation will only make things more cramped.

I was thinking the same thing, being cage aggressive and getting a friend is just an invitation for a fight. I was also wondering if she was Altered ? Sometimes a Doe can become aggresive when she is ready to be bred and Altering her can help eliminate that.
 

bunnyluv17

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I agree with Solebomber, if this rabbit is not already spayed, then spaying her should help with the situation. I doubt it would eliminate her aggression, but it should help her to calm down a bit and would also have enormous health benefits.

I was also wondering if she was Altered ? Sometimes a Doe can become aggresive when she is ready to be bred and Altering her can help eliminate that.
 

Tulia&Susie

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Well she is not spayed and no I can not right now and don't believe it would be right adopting another rabbit. I a few years ago didn't know the great amount of responsibilty rabbits were and now I'm trying to make it all up. I know rabbits or really any animal should be outside but would if it was a insulated and had a big cage...because I'm not sure if I can convince my parents to keep him outside all year around. And I could provide him more space if he was outside. But I am not able to devote a room for my rabbit. If I could I would but I don't.
 

VoodooJoint

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I share my workroom with my rabbits. They don't have a whole room for themselves as I simply do not have that kind of space.

Even an area 4' x 6' would do if you can allow the rabbit out for 8-12 hours during the day. Like I suggested, you could set up an ex-pen for part of the day and it's better the nothing at all. The rabbit will gladly share the kitchen, livingroom, diningroom or bedroom with you.
 

Tulia&Susie

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I don't have room for my rabbit inside with the space your saying. I really, really wish I did but I don't. I really don't want to give her up. I have school during the day so there would be no way to supervise her if I had a place for her just to walk around. Is there a possible safe way for rabbits to be housed outside?
 

Tulia&Susie

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When you say that you rabbits would take offense in you picking them up, naturestee, then how do you love them? Do you mean they just don't like being picked up in the cage?
 

Martina

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Well one thing that helped some of our buns with being cage aggresive is, *if* the cage top can come off, take it off and usually the bun will not go after you right then, sometimes they are a little surprised and then you can scoop them up when they are looking what happened to the rest of the cage.
But usually I like side opening cages better because the buns are not as surprised as when they are approched from the top...but I have had all reactions from different buns. Our guys are no longer cage aggresive because I just let them know I am not there for nothing or a bad/scary time for them...but they now have plenty of more room (my room) too.

Can you never let the bun play then?!?! You don't need a whole room to start necisarily, just a safe supervised area where she can stretch her legs...maybe you will realize how much fun buns can be and try harder to give her more room/time eventualy.

Please do not put the bun outside no matter what, And please spay her as soon as you can.

You don't just show love to buns by holding them, you show them love by treating them right with the safe play time they need.
 

Tulia&Susie

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Ok I understand. And sometimes(I know I should do more)I go into my room, lay out a blanket, and let her go for awhile. I will try to convince not to bring her outside but it isn't really up to me. It's my parents. Also my parents I know won't go for the spaying. She will not be housed with any other rabbit, unfortunately, so it will just be her.
 

Martina

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Right now it is no problem if she is alone. You should just try and spend some more time with her, in your room on a blanket is great, does she have toys that she likes or something fun you can do with her?

Yeah parents, everyone has parents and can change there mind maybe a little, and from setting a good example for them they might realize making her an outdoor bun is a bad choice. Maybe if you spend more time with her take extra care of her etc. they will be more willing to let her stay inside.
 

Tulia&Susie

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Ok I will make sure that I spend more time with her. I'm trying to change my ways with my rabbit and make sure her life better. The only thing I fear is right now I can't give her the cage size she needs. Not inside. So should I wait till I can pay for a big enough cage for her and leave her inside or...what? I will also make sure I will buy her some toys so she can have some more fun. Any other suggestions for toys and if you could answer the questions above that would be good to. Thanks everyone for your patience.
 

rabbitsncavyluv

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She needs more space and she needs to be able to come out of her cage on her own to exercise. If you want to curb her cage aggression, you need to get rid of the cage and house her in something like an xpen or puppy pen and get her spayed. If you don't get her spayed - she will get cancer and not live as long.
 

naturestee

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When you say that you rabbits would take offense in you picking them up, naturestee, then how do you love them? Do you mean they just don't like being picked up in the cage?

I sit or lay on the floor with them. They love to jump all over me and one will actually get really fussy if I don't let her jump up on my back to lick me when she wants to. I pet them while they stay on the floor or next to me on the couch, which they can all jump on (although my foster rabbit does enjoy laying in my lap sometimes). I play with them- they all have their games they like to play with me. For example Sprite, who hates being touched due to prior abuse, loves it when I hand small noisy toys to her. She flings them around then throws them back to me so I can pick them up for her again. Loki likes to steal my broom and dustpan while I'm cleaning, and Oberon the foster bun steals bookmarks.

Oberon usually doesn't mind being picked up because he likes to snuggle, but my other four don't like to be picked up at all. I pick Mocha and Loki up on a semi-regular basis so they're used to it. I only do that occasionally with Fey and never with Sprite (unless she needs nail trims or a health check) due to their abusive past. I never pick them up if they're in one of their "safe spaces." If I need too, I lure them with a treat or shoo them out first.

You do need to keep in mind that most rabbits do not like to be picked up. Their instincts tell them that they're about to be eaten, even though they know the person.
 

Solebomber

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If you don't get her spayed - she will get cancer and not live as long.

She "may" be at an increased risk for Cancer but not Gaurenteed as stated. benefits such as behavor and inability to reproduce would be the main reason to have her Spayed in my opinion.
 

Tulia&Susie

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Ok so bringing her out into my room with a blanket work? Then I can bring some toys out for her. One question still...I won't at this time be able to get a proper inside cage for her...should I just wait and give her as much free time as possible?
 

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