I’ve been convinced for awhile that Jack is either bored or depressed. He has never been an outgoing rabbit, but he would at least run around the house. He recently developed a cataract in one eye, and that has severely reduced the already poor vision he’s had his whole life. When we first got him, he would run into things if I moved them around on him, so I’ve tried to keep things as constant as possible for him. Now that he has the cataract, I think he hates leaving his cage because he can’t see what’s outside of it. All he’s been doing lately is sleeping & peeing all over his cage (even though he uses his litterbox too). We ruled out medical issues, and considered the possibility that it’s behavioral – he’s mad/unhappy & acting out.
I decided to adopt a friend for him to hang out with & help him find his way around. I decided to adopt from a local rabbit rescue this time around, especially after hearing from multiple military people that they would kill & eat rabbits at the end of survival training. One even boasted that he ate the eye from a live rabbit before killing it, and that they got the rabbits from area shelters! That literally broke my heart. Pet rabbits, killed & eaten for training purposes. A quick google search turns up a number of articles on the subject from reputable sources: #1 | #2 | #3. I used PetFinder to track down area rabbit rescues, and chose Luv-N-Bunns because they had so many to choose from. It was important to me that we find a rabbit that was compatible with Jack, so we brought him with us for a meet-and-greet with the available rabbits. It took a couple visits to different foster homes to find a rabbit that fit what we were looking for – outgoing with a good personality, minimal shedding, around Jack’s age, litterbox trained, spayed/neutered, very little bad habits. We decided to adopt Pepper because she fit everything we wanted, except that at 9 months, she’s much younger than Jack.
After having her for a couple days, we love her! The differences between her & Jack are incredible… She’s way more alert & curious than he is, and almost fearless! She doesn’t hate to be held like he does, and stretched out the very first night – a sign that she feels safe & is relaxed. It took Jack MONTHS to fully relax like that when we brought him home!