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Old 11-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
Maryn
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Rabbits and Electrical Wires

I've learned our Thanksgiving houseguest will arrive with a lop-eared rabbit. His cage is generous, but he needs to move freely several times a day. In the past, the alleged 'close supervision' hasn't been quite close enough and we've had things nibbled that we wish hadn't been.

Kid Two, the rabbit's owner, is especially worried about electrical wires, and damn it, I want to keep the room's lamps this time. I know pet stores sell a bitter-tasting plastic tubing which fits over cords, but we'd need 40 or 50 feet and that's getting pretty expensive to accommodate a rabbit for a few days.

Is there anything else which might work? Aluminum foil? Styrofoam pipe insulation? A scented spray which is a deterrent (and which humans can stand)? Having The Kid bring her cat, who hates everyone?

Maryn, willing to spend $15 - $20, no more
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #2
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The easiest option is to fence off a safe area rather than let the bunny have the run of the place entirely. IMHO I have had free ranging pocket pets and they don't need unsupervised run amok time. They will get by with a fenced in area and/or supervised free ranging time.

(Emily, the rabbit grinch)

(In my experience, nothing will stop a rabbit for chewing on rubber, plastic or even soap if it has the right consistency.)
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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Pet stores sell a spray to keep cats off of furniture; it might work for rabbits as well. They also make "don't bite" wipes that have a bitter taste that can be put on pets so they don't continuously bite at a sore spot. You could try running the wipes down the length of the cords. Neither of these products smell particularly bad, although I don't think they would ever replace Chanel #5.

I'm afraid veinglory might be right however. I suspect nothing will deter a determined rabbit. I once had some squirrels that tried to eat the siding off of my house.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:27 AM   #4
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You're not going to be able to rabbit-proof a house for $20, and it is avoiding the real problem - the rabbit ought to be closely supervised in a non-rabbit-proofed house, and it isn't happening. This is for the rabbit's safety, so it's not optional. Whether you end up being there for the free times, or just lay down the law to the child that rabbit stays in the cage if it doesn't happen, there has to be supervision.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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That's kind of what I'd feared. His own place is fully rabbit-proofed, but a moment's inattention at my house means Iggy is chewing something. Kid Two is a good supervisor until I open the wine, so it's partly my doing, I guess.

Maybe I should invest in the makings for a temporary pen. It'll cost more than I was thinking of spending, but rabbits live a long time, don't they? Iggy comes here at least once a year, often twice.

Maryn, whose family drinks and plays board games at holidays
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Maybe look on craigslist or whatever for a used playpen like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Pet-P.../dp/B0013TT2SS
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:36 AM   #7
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The sell little playpens in Petsmart for not too much. For a lop bunny I would get a dog one. They can get about pretty good if they want to.

And yeah, bitter spray just made the rabbit grimace as he chewed when I tried it. Although that was years ago so they may have something better now. And if the cord is live that could be unfortunate in more ways than one.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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What is this 'must move freely about the dwelling' stuff? It's a rabbit. Traditionally it lives in a nice safe hutch. In the wild they live in burrows etc, so hawks don't get them.
What does it's beloved owner think it's going to do when he lets it out? It's idea of a hot time is wandering around, chewing things. If you want it properly supervised, you're going to have to do it yourself.
And, Maryn, why isn't Bunny-owner paying for the pen, as it's not something you would be getting if he didn't bring the rabbit?

(I'm sorry, this sounds really cranky. I've had some sort of a flash-back to house-guests of the past - one of whom didn't even mention she was bringing the stupid half-trained dog until she was at my door.
Getting rid of the sofa-bed: best thing I ever did.)
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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We're supporting bunny-owner as he finishes grad school, so if he paid for it, we'd be paying for it.

Apparently bunny-owners, plural, have bunny-proofed their living room, and now bunny is most put-out when forced to roam less space. I, however, would be good with a pen if I can find one.

It's not the pet I've have chosen, nor the way I'd have raised it, but it's also not my call. Damn it, why can't I run other people's lives?

Maryn, not asking too much
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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I have known people with house trained bunnies that hang out in their home like cats. It's cute.

I agree they should make sure they supervise their pet, but clearly this isn't the case. A floor pen seems like a reasonable compromise to me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:55 AM   #11
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We had a free roaming house rabbit that was pretty good, but she'd be crated in a large wire dog crate when nobody was around to watch her.

I'd go with a good sized X-pen like the ones folks posted links to. You can find them inexpensive ones on craiglist. If you were local I'd happily loan you mine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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Yeah, bunnies can do plenty of damage in seconds. Extra healthy treats, some chew toys, and minimal roaming is best. It's temporary.

I will be imposing my parrots upon my mother when I go visit for the holiday. Mostly this means no teflon or candles. They only come out supervised.
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