Rabbits - Rabbit behaviour

Domesticated rabbits were bred to be docile and comfortable around people. Wild rabbits on the other hand are still wild and will panic if confined and will bite. However, if a domestic rabbit is neglected and not given enough attention, they can revert back to their wild state. Rabbits never lose their instinct as a prey animal, so if scared will make a run for cover.

Rabbits are intelligent and sociable animals, active and very inquisitive. They do require interaction with their owners on a very regular basis, otherwise they will become bored and if they don’t have enough activity their health will certainly suffer. You should provide an interesting environment for them so they can do what comes naturally – hopping, foraging and standing up on their hind legs – these are all natural activities for them, and should be encouraged. They also enjoy playing with other friendly rabbits, other pets and people.

Litter Training
The majority of mature rabbits that have been brought up in hutches will choose one place in their hutch in which to use as a toilet. Place the litter tray in their cage in the same place and they will start to use the tray. Once they use it regularly, you can then place a litter tray outside the cage, and place a few of their droppings in the litter tray to give it their scent – they should start using the litter tray from there on.

If your rabbit is a youngster and less than 3 months, you may have a few teething problems – if they haven’t learned yet to use just one place in their cage to go to the toilet, getting them to learn to use a litter tray outside the cage will be problematical and a bit hit and miss – so to speak! Be patient though, keep an eye on them and get used to the signs of when they are about to urinate or defecate. If they look as if they are about to, by backing up or pushing their bottoms against a wall or raising their tail, this could mean they are about to go, so quickly put bunny back in their cage. This will help teach them that they should urinate/ defecate in their cage. Once they use their cage regularly, then you can introduce the litter tray into the cage until they use that, then put a litter tray outside the cage.

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