Cage Free Bunny Update - This Cutie Ruined Our Sofa

November 14, 2019

Cage Free Bunny Jolien Nathalie

This picture was taken when we clipped Chloé's nails. We do it every month and a half or so. It's not often that we get to hold her in our arms so I really wanted to capture this moment, with her daddy. Most rabbits don't like being picked up and it's the same for Chloé. That's okay, she loves attention and she loves being pet. She enjoys nose rubs the most. She's adorable. A lot has changed since I wrote about her last. She turned 2 on the 1st of September, she's become a great hay eater and has learned many more bunny tricks. She's a lot more confident now and climbs on top of furniture any chance she gets. She also decided that mommy and daddy's couch needed to be customised. Stuff like that happens when you have a cage free bunny, they're funny like that. Even thought I definitely wasn't pleased to see my sofa ruined, I would never reconsider the fact that she can roam around free. I see other pets doing the exact same thing, the only difference is that they're not bunnies.

Chloé's one of the cleanest bunnies I know. Some people look at me weird when I tell them my bunny roams around free. They assume that she's dirty. She's not. She doesn't smell and she religiously uses her litter box. When she was a baby I made a conscious effort to make her associate her litter box with something comfortable, safe and fun. It worked. The only reason she has to poop around, in my opinion, is when she's mad because dad sometimes walks by without saying hi or when she's feeling ill. She's only been ill once so far. We immediately gave her something to make her feel better and she was just like new the morning after. I'd never seen her in so much pain. I woke up in the middle of the night to go check on her, make sure she was okay. She was sleeping in the corner of the sofa, which is very unusual. Last time she was poorly I immediately took her to the vet, they were not so concerned so this time we decided to wait a little longer before calling for an emergency appointment. Chloé doesn't like traveling. It stresses her out so much she doesn't eat, poop or wee. We waited until the morning to see if she was better and she was. Eating, playing, flopping over. I was very relieved. She's my little baby.

I wouldn't say I'm not used to having a rabbit as a pet after a year and a half but I still find it funny when I sit in the couch and see Chloé coming from under the sofa, after taking a big nap. She yawns, she stretches, it's so cute. I'm still surprised about how well behaved she is. I taught her well, true, but I think it's her character too and the fact that she has plenty of stuff to keep herself entertained. I buy new toys every 2 months. She also gladly destroys all the card board boxes we get from our online purchases. That's probably her favorite. Having a bunny free roam in your living room is messy, I can tell you that much. She has 4 hidey houses at the moment, 1 cat tunnel, 4 chew toys, 4 throw toys, 3 blankets and 2 stuffed animals. I've been told she's very spoiled. Last time I checked, my house doesn't smell like I have an indoor pet and my furniture is still intact. I've not known her to get into too much trouble and I believe that is because she has exactly what she needs. Toys and boundaries. Yes, I did wake up one morning to find all of the cushions in my sofa ruined and we recently had to do some more bunny proofing but that is one incident in all that time we've had her. She was bit antsy that week, not going to lie. I had noticed that she wasn't feeling herself. Female rabbits can be very moody at times. I tried to make her feel better but she preferred to have a go at the cushions.

She wasn't caught in the act so there wasn't much I could do other than sow my couch back together. I believe that she knew she'd been naughty because she spent most of the morning under the sofa. Most of what I taught Chloé was by sound aversion training (clapping hands for example) and positive reinforcement. Rabbits love praise. She wasn't into doing binkies anymore like she used to when she was a baby so I decided to start praising her when she'd do one and give her treats, now she does way more. She has the zoomies and she flops over a lot. Even though Chloé is an only rabbit she's a very happy girl. I always talk about getting her a friend but we don't have the space for that right now. Our apartment is too small. I've seen a lot of people on the internet get very mad about keeping only one rabbit. I believe it is better to have one indoor rabbit that is cared for and loved than 2 neglected rabbits outside in a hutch. If you've read my other articles about Chloé you know that she came from a pet shop. A family member bought her and then got bored. I didn't want her to go to a shelter where she'd run the risk of being put down and I didn't want her to go back to the shop to be sold to another ignorant person - so she came to live with us. There's not one day that I don't wish that she would have been bonded already. Soon, I hope. It's something me and her dad are actively working on.

Chloé just hopped on the sofa next to me. She's been real busy this morning, I'm thinking she'll probably go to bed soon. She sleeps between the hours of 1pm and 6pm. She wakes up for dinner and then goes back to sleep until 10 o'clock at night. I recently accommodated her with a bigger litter box and she likes it so much in there that she sometimes falls asleep in it too. She usually relaxes in one of her hidey houses or simply under the sofa. It's not that her litter box was too small, she just liked playing in it. Digging around and stuff. Now she has plenty of space and she loves it. She's been a much better hay eater since too. I've noticed a lot of people don't know rabbits are supposed to eat hay. That it's the main part of their diet. It's something I've had to explain to some of her pet sitters too.

We were really lucky this Summer we found a great one. He'd never taken care of a free roam rabbit before but he did so well. We decided to pay for housesitting. I missed her a lot. Chloé was mad when she saw us again after we'd been gone for a week. Rabbits hold grudges and I think she missed us a lot too, even though she'd made good friends with her sitter. It was important for us that she was able to stay at home, in a place that she knows with someone who is able to meet her needs. We had many people offering to babysit for free but most of them had no experience taking care of pets, wanted their children to take care of Chloé or casually mentioned she had to 'stay in her cage'. Needless to say, I wasn't going to let my baby stay with a bunch of helpful idiots simply because I wanted to go on holiday. The people that know how much of a responsibility it is to take care of a pet are usually the ones to decline when we ask (we offer to pay of course) or they respond saying they'll do it in case the actual petsitter cancels. Rabbits are high maintenance pets. They require a lot of attention. They also live longer than a decade. I wonder what Chloé's going to look like then. I bet she'll be really fluffy.

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