Two weeks ago, as news of our baby picked up after the ultrasound we noticed a drastic change in Buddy’s behavior. We didn’t want to pin it on sibling rivalry because that would be absurd. What does a rabbit know about the life changing events around its owners?
The problem was this, Buddy would dig out all of her litter, and move her litter box away from the corner and then do her business in the corner. After a few days, no matter how many times we cleaned up and moved the box back, she would keep doing it and it started to smell.
Well, me being the logical troubleshooter I am, I started figuring out what changed in her cage/life around that time. I had run out of some old litter and switch fully to a new brand, after a few weeks of mixing half and half new and old. Could that be it? With the old brand not available at our pet store, Wal-mart, Target, grocery store, Pet Co, Pet Smart, Fleet Farm, etc it seemed we were out of luck.
So Amy suggested securing the litter box in the corner even though that meant some extra work when cleaning it. Buddy tried and tried to move the litter box for days but couldn’t, we finally got her to use it, but not before she would dig all the litter out. With no litter coverage it still smelled.
My next suggestion was maybe the baby’s ultrasound picture on the desktop of my computer was freaking her out. So I put it back to the usual blue background. That didn’t work.
We then wondered if she had a health problem (sore tooth, paw, etc) that she was trying to tell us about. We scheduled a vet appointment for tomorrow.
Miraculously, she stopped last Monday, the day we scheduled the appointment. Perhaps it was this that brought her behavioral issue to a close or perhaps it was one, unusual change that I made.
She has a lamp in the loft on a timer that provides extra light during the day. It has those low energy bulbs so as not to use too much electricity since it is on every day for 12 hours. The timer is a simple Christmas light timer so that we don’t need to worry about turning it on during the day or off at night when we are gone or asleep.
Amy had mentioned that she mainly misbehaved at night. We figured it was because we were in the bedroom and she knew she could get our attention. Which is what she does around 8:00 every Saturday and Sunday morning when she wants to be fed. She’ll bang her food dish, throw a toy around, or start playing with her bell. (Such a demanding rabbit)
Since she misbehaved at night, I wondered if she wanted a light on, so I turned on a light in the nursery so she could have a little bit more light. She was perfect that night. I then bought a photo sensing night light and put it next to her cage for the next night. That didn’t work. The next night I left the nursery light on. She was perfect.
I have since removed the timer from her lamp and she now has a lamp 24 hours a day. It’s a double bulb, so we only leave one on all the time, and have resorted to manually turning on and off the overhead light (which is also the energy saving bulbs). We have had no problems since Monday, which is also, as I mentioned the day we scheduled an appointment for her.
You’d think she would want some darkness, but at night she perches herself on top of her house in her cage in direct light of the lamp instead of hiding on the dark side of it.
We may or may not learn more at the vet this weekend, but for now it seems Buddy is content. As long as she behaves, we are content too.