OHS Rabbit Advocates Rabbit Behavior
So I’ve been wondering… A while back, we took on a beautiful calico rabbit that had been raised in a house full of pit bulls. As a house rabbit (not usually caged), she was subject to puppy play and roughousing far more than a rabbit is built or wired to tolerate. She was no longer wanted, and anyone who knows me will know that it’s difficult for me to turn away any animal that needs a home. We had the space, the vet, the access to supplies, and I love bunnies!
Upon meeting Pita (this being the name the original owner gave her and we know what that stands for), she was loathe to come out of her cage but settled into a nuzzle on my neck when held close. When she arrived home, it took her a little time to adjust because now she was dealing with new people, and gentle cats instead of dogs trained to fight. She took to checking out the living room area and made herself a little den inside the TV table, only using her cage as a litter box (thankfull that training didn’t slip!). My older cat wanted nothing to do with her, but the Himalayan we had at the time also liked the TV table so they quickly became their own little warren, instantly taking to grooming each other and sleeping together.
Now that the Himalayan has a forever home elsewhere and we have an amazing feral kitten that we took in (fully vetted and perfect in every way), the bunny senses play time with this one. Kitten noses up to the cage and bunny starts spinning in circles! I’ve never let them out together because I was unsure how they’d act. Kitten is very rambunctious, very skittish, very friendly mind you, but very jumpy – “his motor is always in overdrive.” Kitten nosed up to the cage again, so I finally decided to open the door. Bunny doesn’t like ANYONE invading her home so she went back to her corner and surprisingly, Kitten backed up too. I brought bunny out and set her on the floor a couple feet from the kitten who backed up further and wasn’t sure what to think. I let bunny go and she attempted to go say hi to kitten, but kitten wasn’t having it, jumped clear over her and took off. Ah well, bunny kicked her big ol feet and hopped back into her cage like HMPH!
She still likes kitten, and kitten still noses to the cage (he even went into it when bunny was out running around) but the thing I was curious about was her jumping and spinning and kicking every time he went up to the cage. Wasn’t sure if this was an aggressive action saying “stay away from my castle!” or just pure glee.
This brought me to this site and the “Yippee!” line made me smile 🙂 I’ll keep trying to introduce them slowly but kitten may just never take to her face to face. If that’s the case, I’ll just keep him in a seperate room while she has her out time. Maybe as he ages he’ll settle down but I’m not counting on it 🙂 I like him when he’s nuts anyway, he really brings life to the place.
But… if there are any new rabbit owners out there (or old ones who never really paid attention), this site gives a good (humorous, even) indication as to what your friend’s little quirks are saying.