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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bunny pooping outside litter box while playful??
Last Post by DaisyMae at 12/20/2015 11:42 AM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline Juliet Madeline
1 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2015 7:00 PM

Hello!

My bun is a little over 4 months old. We got her when she was 8 weeks old. When we got her, they said to make sure you hold her a lot so she'll want to be held, but everything I read online said don't force it. So at first we'd hold her, and she was so snuggly and docile. But then once I read that bunnies don't love to be picked up, and we should let her come to us, we backed off because I wanted to develop trust and not have her run to the corner of her cage when we'd open the door. Was this the right choice, or should we have just continued to pick her up daily? So fast forward to now, she gets tons of time to roam around the house supervised and she has recently been really cute about laying down for me to pat her when I put my hand in her cage. (We leave the cage door open, but she spends lots of time in there even though she has the choice to come out.) But we do wish she'd come sit with us on the couch so we could pet her comfortably rather than squatting next to her cage to pat her. But anyways. Tonight she was SO playful - chasing my kids, and running circles around my feet! She even willingly hopped up on the couch next to me for a brief moment. Progress! BUT while she was running around playfully,she was pooping everywhere!!!! She usually poops in her litter box (which is in her cage), so this was really unusual! Was she just too excited to stop playing and use the litterbox? Thanks for any advice!


User is Offline Lexiee
14 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2015 8:27 PM
I too have heard not to pick up bunnies a lot, and I totally ignore it! They fear being picked up because they are prey animals, and think they are being carried off. My two bunnies are just under 5 months old, and I picked them up every chance I got, and now the male loves it, and his ears constantly stay high meaning he is comfortable. He also runs up to his door when I walk by or go over to see him. When I open the top of his cage, he stands up on his back feet for me to pick him up. I can't ever tell if the female likes it because she is a lion lop so her ears flop to the sides, and occasionally go back a little but not often.
Sometimes, the laying down in the cage can mean they don't want you bothering them. If they go flat down and put their ears flat on their back, they don't want to be touched and it's best to leave them alone. My male bun does this sometimes and other times he is fine.
The pooping is completely normal. Some people can train their bunnies to never do it, but it is something that just happens. If you want, keep picking up the poop and place it in the litter, sometimes this helps. They generally don't know they even dropped one.

I do wish my bunnies were as playful as yours! Chasing the kids and circling your eat! How did you get them to be that way?!


User is Offline LBJ10
Bunny Name Master
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12/15/2015 9:06 PM
I wouldn't call the behavior "playful". It is likely hormonal. Bunnies will do "love dances" by circling. It means "let's make babies together". As for the pooping, that could be partially hormonal and partially territorial. Bunnies will often leave little trails of poop to mark their territory. Your bunny is about the right age for all of this, so I think it's time to talk to the vet about having her spayed.

Picking up bunnies is generally not recommended. As Lexiee said, it can be scary for some bunnies since they are prey animals. This doesn't mean you should never pick your bunny up. There have been cases where bunnies were never handled by their owners and then their owners had a difficult time catching them in an emergency situation. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with getting them used to being held. They likely won't enjoy it, but they will tolerate it better. I've done this by picking them up briefly and giving them a treat, then gradually increasing the duration. This has helped A LOT with Leopold, in particular. I can pick him up more easily when I need to (grooming, nail clipping, etc.) and he doesn't struggle. For the most part though, you should let your bunny come to you on their own terms in order to built trust. Getting up on the couch with you is an encouraging sign.

User is Offline Juliet Madeline
1 posts Send Private Message
12/16/2015 2:55 PM
Oh goodness! Here I am thinking she's suddenly being playful with us. I thought doe bunnies are usually around 6m when they are spayed, so I didn't realize she'd be exhibiting hormonal behavior at 4m. Thanks for the info!

User is Offline LBJ10
Bunny Name Master
Forum Leader
12666 posts Send Private Message
12/16/2015 4:30 PM
Some vets like to wait until girl bunnies are 6 months old before being spayed. But girls will often start exhibiting hormonal behaviors well before that, especially in smaller breeds. That's why I suggested talking to your vet about it. You may be able to have it done a little sooner, depending on what they have to say.

User is Offline DaisyMae
60 posts Send Private Message
12/20/2015 11:42 AM
Our female bun did the same thing before she was spayed. She would run circles around us, and everytime she did, she would drop poop on the floor. Now she doesn't circle us anymore but she occasionally will drop a poop or 2 next to her litter box, but now I think it's just a case of not making it into the litter box on time. When she was circling it would just come flying out!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bunny pooping outside litter box while playful??

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