Many lovers who keep rabbits at home face their destructive behavior. Destructive for homeliness, acts of defiance and a device of total disorder in the performance of benevolent, seemingly helpless and innocent creatures often put discouraged owners into a dead end.
What to do if a rabbit suddenly starts scattering, chewing and nibbling everything, trying to dig tunnels in a carpet or a sofa, turn over indoor flowers, bite and pinch, and generally behave unbearably?
Read on for the bad behavior of rabbits and how to revive them.
The causes of the destructive behavior of rabbits.
Often the roots of this behavior lie in the absence of the limits of what is permitted and banal rabbit boredom, and sometimes in a combination of both of these reasons.
Boredom is often a huge problem when keeping a furry pet, who needs the company and the active communication of a person much more than individuals living in pairs.
The establishment of boundaries, the restriction of the territory, the filling of the rabbit’s space with interesting toys, and in some cases the acquisition of another pet can all help to solve the problem of a bad mood and destructive behavior.
The teeth of rabbits grow throughout life, and this means that they will gnaw everything, simply because of the vital need to grind down their teeth, making them short enough for normal nutrition.
The gnawing pet needs to provide items that can and should be chewed – wicker and wooden toys, hay or twigs.
And yet this may not be enough – rabbits are very curious, they like to try everything unusual – from wires to wallpaper on the walls.
There is an obvious danger to the life of the rabbit, eating a wire from an electrical appliance turned on, eating upholstery or foam rubber – the result of such an active walk around the house can be deplorable.
Therefore, a room in which a pet is allowed to walk should be safe. It means that all wires, potentially dangerous and/or valuable items must be moved beyond the reach of the little traveler.
In some cases, special bitter or sharp-smelling sprays that are applied to the legs of chairs or other furniture can be useful, and sensitive animals bypass such objects.
Nevertheless, the primary and main measure of protecting home comfort from sharp teeth is to satisfy the rabbit’s natural need by providing suitable chewing toys and roughage.
The desire to dig a hole is another natural, but rather an unpleasant habit of rabbits. When a pet is digging a tunnel in the garden with intent and knowledge, this is perfectly acceptable and even funny.
But when he tries to do the same, with the same zeal and perseverance in the living room or the kitchen, scattering pieces of carpet or removing layers of linoleum, it can cause a lot of trouble.
As in any other case of destructive behavior, its leading causes are boredom and the lack of exciting activities.
If the rabbit wants to dig, you can give him this opportunity by installing small cardboard or plywood box filled with suitable material, and pre-bury some toys in it to maintain the intrigue. Most likely, this toy will be the most favorite fun.
Rabbits are extremely affectionate animals, but sometimes the owner with annoyance can learn that they have rather sharp teeth, and the bite is very painful. Besides, they can pinch, which is also very unpleasant.
As individualists, rabbits are jealous and possessive of the territory they consider their own. Sometimes a pet may bite a hand dropped on the roof of a cage, unexpectedly for the owner has decided that this is an encroachment on personal space.
Too active and careless children can cause a natural desire in an exhausted animal to protect itself from unnecessary, annoying attention, even in this most radical way.
Sterilization (castration) can help relieve excessive aggression. But in any case, the rabbit must be socialized, to give it the opportunity to feel that he is a member of the family and is safe, not to be disturbed without the need for his home, and then the hostile manifestations will run out by themselves.
Compliant and happy rabbit can perceptibly pinch if it is pressed too hard or it is painful to pull the fur during grooming. Sometimes pets stinging with delight, having missed affection, or just paying attention to themselves.
When this happens, you can loudly say “Ouch!!!” and smart animals will soon realize that it is unpleasant to man and stop doing so.
Like any other pet, the rabbit is important to make it clear what is possible and what is not. If a pet is chewing on shoes, trying to dig a carpet, or is behaving in any other unacceptable way, you need to divert his attention and at the same time make it clear that he is doing something unacceptable.
To do this, you can clap your hands or stomp your foot comfortably. An angry intonation will also help bring to the impressionable rabbit the idea that he is behaving incorrectly.
In such a training, the main thing is not to overdo it — you don’t need to frighten an animal or pull it up too often, this will make its character unbalanced, will lead to excessive isolation and will only spur his desire to do things his way.
If a rabbit on a walk behaves very badly, you should not enter into an unequal struggle with him – in this case, it is better to temporarily limit his movement by sending him to a cage or an aviary.
And how do you cope with the destructive behavior of your pet? Have you encountered the above mentioned or other difficulties of a rabbit in the house? Share your secrets of raising and maintaining rabbits by leaving a comment below or sending material to the section Our Stories.