Why won’t my rabbit leave their cage?

Last modified date

Getting your Rabbit to leave their cage for the first time will either be absolutely manic or they’ll be very shy! In this post, we’ll break down both sides of this and how to prepare for either scenario.

Some basic and easy steps to get your rabbit out of his/her cage is to offer then pellets and greens just outside of the cage. However, I highly suggest reading the rest of this post for more tips on getting your rabbit to leave their cage!

I’m taking a guess here that your rabbit is fairly new in your household, if so, this is totally normal behaviour as your rabbit will be adjusting to its surroundings.

I’m assuming you’ve read our post “Are you ready for a rabbit?” and you’re moving onto the next steps!

Definitely do work on bonding in the early stages of having your little bun friend as this is the crucial time to get to know them and let them get used to your mannerisms and scent.

As your rabbit gets to know you more this phase should stop and they should be following you, listening to your calls for them and being socially involved moving forward. Link took around 5 months for this to happen and in this time he became a full roaming bun.

Some useful ways of getting your new or shy rabbit to come out of their cage

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 ontop of the cage at night time as this will allow them to get acustomed 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 of your rabbits 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 rabbits 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 vetinary.

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

Changing your rabbits habbits

If your bunny doesn’t come out at certain times, it may be due to expectations. Link doesn’t like to come out of his cage between 3pm – 6pm 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 habbits 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 to break out of their bad habits.