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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > My bunny won't come out of her cage! Help!
Last Post by hey whats up? at 11/22/2012 10:25 AM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Kathryn282
1 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 1:15 PM

 I have a beautiful new bunny named Tilly. I got her at 12 weeks old about 3 weeks ago, so now she is 15 weeks old. It's just her and I so she seems to be very comfortable with me so far. She lets me pet her, she eats out of my hand, she responds to my voice, licks me and tries to play ball with me in her cage. She's also very good at using her litterbox. She has a large cage with food, toys and a spots for her to crawl under and hide and to run around and climb. The only problem is that she won't come out of her cage. I read that I shouldn't pick her up because her cage should be her "safe place". I've tried everything else though! She pokes her head out of the door and is definitely curious but I've put treats out, hey, her litter box, toys, I even bought her a ladder incase it was easier to get out. She won't come out though! I've tried to get her out a few times and she does not like that at all! I sit with her and talk to her and the door is always open but she just won't come out. She seems very happy and content in her cage but I want to make sure that she's getting exercise and time to run around. I know that everything is still new to her but I feel like with the trust that she's shown me thus far and the amount of time I spend with/around her, and the amount of time the door is open, she should have at least tried to come out so far! 

 

Please help me! Any tips or advice would be helpful! Thanks! 




User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
2734 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 1:37 PM
What kind of flooring does the cage open on to.? If its hard and slippery she might be avoiding it. Try laying out a soft blanket or mat immediately at the cage entrance and she if she fancies that.
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User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 1:50 PM
Roberta is right, my bunny is nearly two and still won't hop on tile or hardwood, the carpeting should help.

Also, try holding a treat near her but outside of the cage. That usually coaxes Ruby out when she's being a little grumpy.

User is Offline hey whats up?
21 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 5:44 AM
Yes, there right. If that doesn't work try like getting close to the cage and pet her and stuff. If that dint work, sit the cage on your bed, talk to her confert her, and lay down on your bed next to her cage for awhile, and she might be scared of how tall you are becaouse shes so small and you might be like a giant to her or if you have any other pets she might be scarfed of them. I hope this helps!

User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 5:53 PM
Everyone has given great tips so far...flooring can definitely be an issue with a lot of buns. You definitely have the right idea - let her come out on her own time, and don't force her. Just give it time!
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7301 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2012 5:43 AM
Definitely examine the flooring and see if there is something you can do. Cover every slippery surface with something more grippy and see if that helps. What type of cage is it?

I'm also going to advise against the "wait and let her come out" technique we usually recommend. She sounds very comfortable with you, so she might just be confused about how to get out on her own. My bun was this way and didn't come out for days, but once I helped him out, he learned quickly how to jump in and out on his own and was fine. Don't push it, but maybe see if picking her up and placing her outside the cage will help her get the idea.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Buckley's Mum
Brighton, UK
94 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 4:48 AM
I have exactly the same problem, my bun is 12 weeks old and we got him on Sunday from a pet shop, so has probably be mauled by 101 kids for the last 4 weeks. He's got everything in his large cage but he won't come out. I've put a mat on the floor so he doesn't slip and have laid on the floor for hours over the past 4 nights, I know he's only little, but when I get him out, he's quite happy to look around (although he's not that adventurous and quite cautious, in my opinion) and has stopped impersonating Edward Scissor-hands with his back legs when picked up, he no longer "scrabbles" and is friendly when held. I've tried coaxing him out with "treats" but he won't take them because he's never had them he doesn't know that they're food so won't eat them. Give the choice it would appear he would just rather hide in his hidey-hole in his cage.

I have never owned a rabbit before so obviously want the best for my longed for bunny!

Any advice will be gratefully recieved - thanks x

User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 5:21 AM
Welcome to BB Buckley's Mum! It can take time for them to want to explore. When Ruby came home with me (I got her from a pet store as well) she was perfectly content to stay in her little house for the first 1-2 weeks that she was home with me. Don't pick her up every time she comes out or it will likely make her go back into her hidey place. Let her explore a bit, and you can pet her while she does but they usually prefer to keep all 4 on the ground, they feel safer that way. Also try not to touch her when she is in her hiding place, that usually means it's alone time, and later on she'll still feel safe in that place if something scares or startles her.

User is Offline tanlover14
3156 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 8:01 AM
I feel like I may be giving really bad advice here... But I'm not really sure.. LOL. Anyone else can feel free to comment on my actions/thoughts, ect.

Elrowhen mentioned it so I don't feel quite so evil giving the same advice. When we first brought my little girl home she was absolutely terrified of EVERYTHING and is still to this day that way about new area and territory. We waited days and she just wouldn't come out of her cage so we actually felt like we had no choice but to force her to come out. We shut the door to her cage when we took her out and then just left her alone to explore. She actually did REALLY well and slowly began to explore more. Without our intrusion she seemed to feel more at ease at checking everything out. Sometimes she would still refuse to come out but the more we would put her out the more she realized she really did like it out there! I felt really mean at the time but it was literally the ONLY thing that got her out of her cage. If she started getting stressed and banging on the cage to go back in we would quickly open it back up and let her in but if we didn't close the door she'd instantly jump back in. She eventually began banging on her cage door because she WANTED to come out and play! Hahaha. I would only encourage this after the "wait and let her come out" technique of course. My little girl is just VERY cautious and nervous of anything new and I'm pretty convinced she never would have come out without a little forced love. Til this day though even when she's out with the boys in the BIG play area she will only stay on the side she feels most comfortable in but she's started roaming farther and farther - but only after months of being in her own little area.

Now, she's a comfortable little bun in her area and the best thing ever was seeing her binky outside her cage for the first time!
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User is Offline tanlover14
3156 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 8:02 AM
Also, don't attempt this until you're absolutely sure it's not the flooring. My buns REFUSE to step on tile or hard floors or anything of the sort that is slippery so that may simply be all that your problem is.
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User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7301 posts Send Private Message
11/01/2012 9:26 AM
Tanlover, good to hear that somebody else just forced their bun to come out. Haha. In my case, Otto wasn't super cautious, and he's generally extremely laid back, but he never jumped, ever, and jumping the 6" or so to get out of his pet store cage was just too much for him to even consider. It took him months to jump on the little ledge, and weeks after we got the maze haven to get on the second level, so I think he needed to be shown that it was possible to jump in and out.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8645 posts Send Private Message
11/03/2012 10:31 PM

Though I do prefer letting a bunny come out when they are ready, it has been three weeks and you are right, she could use the exercise, and as others have mentioned, she may not know how to really get out on her own.  Is her entry and exit pathways pretty easy?   How steep is the ladder?


I had this issue with my bunny Jack when we moved. He was never comfortable with change and it took him a couple of weeks to just explore out of his pen, and then after two more weeks of not exploring the rest of the house, I carried him to the living room to show him what he was missing.  At first, he was a very worried bunny, but he soon became relaxed and after that, he didn't hesitate to come out and explore.  Our situation may be a bit different because I had Jack for a few years before we moved and though he was not fond of me picking him up, he was used to me and knew I was not a threat. 

I actually had documented his scaredy-bunny ways with photos back then (he has passed since). 

Jack (white bunny) stayed in this pen and would not venture out with his bonded buddy Rucy. She would sometimes hang out by the pen entrance as if to say, "C'mon!, Let go explore". 

   

This is about as far as he'd get...sometimes he'd just stay there and snooze.

  

He did eventually venture out to the rest of the bunny room but he couldn't get past the door - even when I put fun toys and tubes to explore that led out tot he hallway.  He'd just hide behind Rucy at the door and then just watch her go explore the house. 

 

So after 4 weeks, I broke my own rules of letting him explore on his own, and picked him up and took him out to the rest of the house. As you can see, he has a very expressive face -- he's very worried!

  

And once he got over his fear of the pillow, he relaxed and explored and ended hanging out like a King in the hallway.  

  

Again, I usually encourage allowing the bunny to come out and explore, and come visit you, but usually this is when someone just got their bunny and they want this interaction to happen within a few hours or days.  But you have been patient and it has been now three weeks.  I would suggest though that if you do take her out, that you put her near her cage and ladder.  You could also give her a little hidey box nearby on the floor so she has a place to hide for a bit and let her come out from there.  (unless she ends up staying in there for hours!).  Have treats ready!


User is Offline hey whats up?
21 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 4:18 PM
Kathryn, is she on the floor or somewhere else? Maybe you need a bigger cage I fought it! Or she could be sick! Or have a sore! Or just ia they mind of rabbit that likes to rest! How old is age again?

User is Offline hey whats up?
21 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 4:21 PM
Hey, um bb what kind of rabbits do you have? And what makes a better pet a dwarf or a frenchlop? Or is there ant other that's better?

User is Offline hey whats up?
21 posts Send Private Message
11/22/2012 10:25 AM
Reps your bunny come hot?
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > My bunny won't come out of her cage! Help!

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