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Why won’t my rabbit leave their cage?

If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.

Rabbits are extremely fun and energetic companions, but they are still prey animals and this can lead to some hesitant and anxious-driven behavior. If you have a new rabbit or an older rabbit experiencing anxiety, fear or simply not moving from their cage, we will break down what exactly you need to do.

Getting your Rabbit to leave their cage for the first time or when they’re in a new environment can be difficult. Newer rabbits are usually shy and will be hesitant around people they’re not familiar with. Additionally, your rabbit may be suffering from boredom, illness, or even something more common like sleepiness and old age.

Learning to understand your rabbit’s behavior is a key component to knowing what you need to do to get your rabbit to come out of its cage and crucial to know what its current ailments are.

Reasons why your rabbit won’t come out

Your rabbit is tired/sleepy

If you’re bringing home a new rabbit or looking to help your currently shy rabbit become more confident, these tips may help you!

  1. Put a ramp up and around the cage entrance and exit, this allows your bun to feel safe knowing they can enter and exit the cage with ease should there be any sense of danger and they need to go into hiding.
  2. If your flooring is wood or laminated, it may take some time for them to get accustomed to it, I would highly suggest putting small carpet mats down.
    We got some from a local pound shop, but these should do as well!
  3. His cage is his/her safety zone, be sure to keep out of it as much as possible during this time, as such, it may take time to get confidence
  4. Try putting some old clothing on top of the cage at night time as this will allow them to get accustomed to your scent, this is something we did with Link and he became very loving very quickly.
  5. Try not to let your little bun have too much room right away, they need time to get used to their surroundings.
  6. Act as normal around them, need to vacuum? Just do it, the sooner they become used to your family the better!

My new rabbit won’t eat!

My new rabbit won't eat

It’s worth mentioning the internet will make you panic when you search this, we had the same with Link, he scared us a ton by not eating. If you have any worries about your rabbit’s health (Not eaten in 6 hours at most, not drinking, and not moving), please take them to the vet.

Gi Stasis is a very critical illness for a rabbit, so the sooner he gets treatment the better.

This treatment can be as simple as an injection that helps the rabbit’s guts digest food and help gas escape.

If you can without scaring your rabbit, give them a belly squish and see if it’s soft or solid. If solid, there’s definitely something up and you WILL need to take them to a veterinary.

Try giving your rabbit some greens or treats, if they go for this, it’s a good sign!

Changing your rabbit’s habits

If your bunny doesn’t come out at certain times, it may be due to expectations. Our rabbit Link doesn’t like to come out of his cage between 3 pm – 6 pm as that’s his prime napping time and if he does, he hides away in the same spot he always does!

Bunnies don’t like being handled, so it’s worth keeping that in mind when trying to check over your rabbit when they’re creating habits that aren’t good.

Rabbits are very naughty, they like to cause mischief but this is something that can be changed easily with some enrichment. Definitely do get some toys to help your rabbit stop being shy and break out of their bad habits.

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Thank you for reading this post!
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.