Author Topic: Moving House Rabbits Outside?  (Read 4125 times)

Offline Accidental Damage

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Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« on: May 21, 2013, 06:08:54 PM »
This is hard for me to even think about doing but I am at the end of my tether with my rabbits and other than rehoming them, which I really don't want to do, I feel I have run out of options.

Fidget refuses to use her tray, this has been an ongoing problem since we got her about 5 years ago. Both her and Rafiki were originally in our huge family room in a large 11ft x 5ft cage but she ended up ruining the carpet with pee and it was decided to move them both downstairs to my craft room which has a tiled floor. This room is much smaller and so there cage is only about 6x4 but they are never locked in it.

The room is just a big disaster area, I have to vacuum at least twice a day if I don't want poop everywhere and she pees in any corner she can find which makes the room stink and the smell rises up into our main living area. If someone randomly showed up they would think I never clean down there  :( 

Since moving downstairs they never flop out or binky anymore and it's clear they aren't happy down there.

 I have tried everything I can to get her to use a tray and I am out of ideas, I even tried looking for a rabbit behaviorist in our state and came up with nothing so I am seriously considering getting a large dog kennel and moving them outside. I feel guilty for so many reasons, one being we live in GA and so it gets very hot but I think it would allow me to spend more time with them rather than just clearing up after them.

Does anybody have any opinions or ideas? Even criticism if you think I shouldn't. If anybody already haS outside rabbits and have pictures of the set up I would love to see them.

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 06:12:39 PM »
I really think you shouldn't.   

Questions - I am assuming she is fixed?   

Have you put boxes in all corners?   

Can you contact the house rabbit society for suggestions?


Offline Accidental Damage

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 06:55:50 PM »
She was fixed as soon as she was big enough.

I have tried every possible litter tray combo, having there cage completely full of them besides a small rabbit sized area (care to guess where she picked to pee?!), one litter tray in a small cage, large cage with different kinds of litter trays. When I put a tray in a corner she has been favouriting she then pees in the corner that the litter box creates. I have tried food dishes in their trays. Different litter.

I contacted the HRS listing what I had tried and they had no other ideas. I tried to contact them to see if they could send someone (with us paying for the service of course) out to see what I was missing or doing wrong but they said they don't do that.





Offline MiserySmith

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 07:08:00 PM »
Has she been checked for any UTIs or similar things? They can lead to animals peeing all over the place because it hurts.
How about keeping a blanket down to change once a day vs just having a bare floor to wipe up all day?

Another option I'd consider first would be an outdoor play area for their X amount of hours a day, and then housing her indoors in a normal dog crate with litter on the floor when they aren't housed outdoors(Seeing as a larger area is hard to cover in litter).
I know some rabbits don't enjoy being inside very much but I think the switch from indoor to out is an extreme one and can really stress out rabbits who are used to being around their humans all day and who aren't used to preditors or weather.
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"-
Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Accidental Damage

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 07:37:18 PM »
She has been checked a few times for anything medically wrong.

There cage is towels with fleece over it but the room itself because of the set up isn't really possible to place a blanket down and in fact its probably easier and quicker to wipe up the pee. It's the cage itself that ends up stinking the room up because even if I clean them daily the towels are just saturated in pee. They don't really like the tile floor so that's why its necessary to have the towels and also why theres a rug in the middle of the room.

Also Fidget hates being handled so carrying her back and forward daily would stress her out more than just moving them both outside. It would also mean Rafiki would have to be moved back and forth too and Rafiki is completely untouchable due to previous abuse.

I also haven't been spending much time down with them the past couple of months because it's so demoralising to go down even an hour after cleaning to see such a mess. I spend about an hour daily trying to keep up with it all which I would much rather spend actually playing with her.

Ugh I just don't know what else to do, if I think too much about it I end up an emotional mess, I just need some relief from it and don't know what other options I have besides moving them outside.

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 07:50:14 PM »
Also, what state is over the rainbow located in?

Sounds like outside would be worse for them - how would you clean their enclosure if one doesn't like being handled and one is untouchable?   Could very easily be a recipe for disaster and escaped or injured bunnies.   You would also need to transport them inside for severe weather, as well as vet trips which might be more frequent since exposed to more bugs etc.   

Have you searched for rabbit forums, the rabbit section on here is not very active.   
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 07:55:01 PM by *Kat* »

Offline Sidders

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 10:28:24 PM »
I have absolutely no rabbit experience, but I'll still try and help.

Can you put some of her pee in the litter boxes? Animals will usually go where they smell they've gone before. For example, I recently got a new puppy. The breeder actually had him litter boxed trained with wood pellets but I wanted him to switch over to wee wee pads placed in one of those holder things. He actually understood that right away but when he started tearing apart and EATING the pads I had to cut a plastic grating to place over the top which he didn't quite understand and stopped using the wee wee pads completely. So last week I took him outside to wee, dabbed a paper towel all over the grass to soak up as much pee as I could, went back inside and SQUEEZED the pee out of the paper towel all over the plastic grate (with a plastic glove on of course). Showed him again that this was the place to 'go potty' and guess what? He used it that day and has been continuing to use it since.

With my ferrets they would always get rewarded with treats when they used their litter boxes but I guess if she's refusing to use the litter box at all that won't really work. :-\ Also with ferrets they say to make their living space smaller until they start using the box but it sounds like you've tried that too...

Georgia is quite hot to have them outside permanently, in my opinion. I would also try a bunny forum to get more experienced help. I hope you find a solution. :)

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 11:05:39 PM »
Also an enzyme cleaner so where she has gone doesn't smell like pee can help too.   

An offtopic thing about pee pads for dogs, I've found if a dog is trained on pee pads it will pee on any plastic bag that is ever left laying around - ugh.

Offline Sidders

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 02:19:53 AM »
Also an enzyme cleaner so where she has gone doesn't smell like pee can help too.   

An offtopic thing about pee pads for dogs, I've found if a dog is trained on pee pads it will pee on any plastic bag that is ever left laying around - ugh.

That sounds quite unfortunate! :doh: I'm glad I haven't run into that issue. My childhood dog, Peanut, has been trained to go on a wee wee pad for 13 years and we've never had that problem. I actually love the grating I made out of drainage tiles. Keeps his feet dry rather than stepping in pee. ;D

/end hijack :P

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Moving House Rabbits Outside?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 07:23:15 PM »
I have the same situation with two of my surrenders, and am also at the end of my rope with them. I considered outside too, but I just can't - they're almost 8 years old and there's just no way. Neutered male/spayed female bonded pair, and been through the mill, these two.

My own boys are in puppy pens and have low tubs for litter box and kitchen area which they use religiously without my teaching them anything at all, so when this pair came I tried the same and ended up with the same problems/mess/smell you have. Took a good month for the No Odor to kick in and I didn't know if I was gonna make it.

At this point I'm caging for most of the day just for my sanity. The cage is in the pen, and I can just open the door for them to have out time for a few hours in the evenings, then they have to go back in. I feel badly about it, but at least they get some time out and I get my house back.