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Bunny Bonding Bananza!- Mouse's Journey to Force Two Rabbits to Fall in Love

Thread Description
Last update 7/30/19: The Bad News Is Actually the Good News (Bunny Philosophy Time)

MouseWithADinosaurTail

The Lost Prince of Lightbeacon
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
350
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
Table of Contents!
Entry 1: Meet the Bunstones (you are here!)
Entry 2: How to Bond a Bun
Entry 3: The Journey So Far
Entry 4: Now For Our Union-Regulated Break~
Entry 5: The Bad News Is Actually the Good News (Bunny Philosophy Time)



GrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEETINGS, NUZFORUMS! My name is the Yellow Mouse, also known as the dinosaur-tailed mouse. I come to you with a blog! It will be a story of drama. Of romance. Of falling apart and putting ourselves back together again! What do I speak of?

I speak of bunny bonding, of course.

Now, many of you are probably familiar with normal, non-theater-kid animals such as cats and dogs and sugar gliders. Animals whom, if you put together, will act like normal human beings who are not stupid and weird! But alas, I do not own normal animals. I have a PAIR OF RABBITS! And the journey we will be taking on this blog is the journey to get these two rabbits to fall in love, so they can live together without KILLING EACH OTHER and I can stop using my entire bedroom to house them separately so they don't KILL EACH OTHER!!!

First things first. Let's meet the bachelors!

clover stats.png
First, let's meet Clover, our lovable, not at all irritating, teddy bear bachelor! I adopted this fuzzy guy about a year and a half ago, and since then he's p much become my best bud. He's a big old teddy bear who's always giving me kisses and loves a good snuggle. He's got a lot of spunk and sass; he's always torturing the family house cat, and you should see him binky when he knows it's time for dinner! This little guy is my big love, and I owe him a lot. He saved my life, after all! Of course, I try my best to make this big boy happy. But sadly, when I'm at school, I don't always have a ton of time to spend with him, especially since I can't work on comics on the floor with him anymore. D': I knew that his loneliness was a problem I need to solve! Behind us would be the days of Clover aggressively kissing his llama plushie for three hours at a time. He needed a real live friend to kiss! Enter...

matcha stats.png
And here's Matcha, our fluffy little drama queen who just moved in with us earlier this month! I took Clover speed dating at a local rabbit rescue to try to find eligible bachelorettes to bond him with. Of course, Clover was an absolute nervous wreck trying to speed date -.-, but this little lady was patient enough to be nice to him! They seemed like the best match, and I was in love with her personality and her FLUFFY FLUFF MANE, so I took her on home! She had some trouble adjusting, this girl is VERY DRAMATIC. Seriously, a 15 minute car ride is judgment day for her. But she's settled in and become a spunky little alpha female!

Now that you've met the kids, let's talk bonding!

So, what is bonding, you might ask? This isn't really a concept with more common pet animals. Essentially, bonding is the process of getting two rabbits to accept each other as mates! Now, something to note about rabbits: these are stupid af animals. They love other rabbits and crave each other's company, BUT they're also stupid territorial and untrusting of each other, so it's very difficult to get them to actually accept each other's company :'D. Some of y'all have never seen two rabbits lunge at each other and turn into a little tornado of whirling claws and flying fur, and it shows. But this girl has. Because bunny bonding is HARD. The situation with these two right now is that they don't trust each other. Matcha is always scared that Clover is gonna bite her, and Clover always WANTS TO BITE HER. So right now, neither of them want to be friends! D< But this cannot be, because while rabbits are dumb, us humans (and mice) are smart! And we know that if these two can just accept and trust each other, they'll make each other happy for a whole lifetime! It's going to be AMAZING BUNNY FRIENDSHIP!

The only challenge is actually getting to that point.

So check back to this blog and tune into our journey of bunny romance, and the building of a lifelong friendship. Because, ho boy, it is gonna be a ride. In the next installment, I'll explain more in depth about the bonding process so far and catch y'all up to where we are now. Yellow Mouse, signing off!
 
Last edited:

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
152
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Okay first of all, this is the cutest thing omfg i love them

Second of all,
such as cats and dogs and sugar gliders. Animals whom, if you put together, will act like normal human beings who are not stupid and weird!
This is a blatant lie. As someone who owns cats let me tell you they absolutely act like the stupidest, weirdest human beings when being introduced to each other. They are terrible little gremlin children when dealing with one another.

Third of all, -squints- I don't know that I 100% believe that Matcha isn't just an actual lion? Gonna need to see more proof.

But for real, I can't wait to see more of this! Good luck on your very wholesome mission!
 

Bug

Words Fail
Moderator
🌱Featurer
🎇Contributor
Artist
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
505
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
Agreed with Tails, cats are NOT competent social creatures. I'm still working with mine, but Wickett will probably hate the other two forever.

So, for the bunnies! They're both super duper cute. Are you hoping for baby buns in the future? I don't know if spay/neuter is common for buns. Even if they are small animals like a lot of animals I work with, bunny vet practice is still a mystery to me.
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

The Lost Prince of Lightbeacon
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
350
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Okay first of all, this is the cutest thing omfg i love them

Second of all,

This is a blatant lie. As someone who owns cats let me tell you they absolutely act like the stupidest, weirdest human beings when being introduced to each other. They are terrible little gremlin children when dealing with one another.

Third of all, -squints- I don't know that I 100% believe that Matcha isn't just an actual lion? Gonna need to see more proof.

But for real, I can't wait to see more of this! Good luck on your very wholesome mission!
Whaaaah, but you can at least put unfamiliar cats together without a 100% guaranteed chance that theyll kill each other! Even if theyre goofballs, thats what i mean, yo. :3

As for Matcha being a lion... uhhh.... *dives out window*

Agreed with Tails, cats are NOT competent social creatures. I'm still working with mine, but Wickett will probably hate the other two forever.

So, for the bunnies! They're both super duper cute. Are you hoping for baby buns in the future? I don't know if spay/neuter is common for buns. Even if they are small animals like a lot of animals I work with, bunny vet practice is still a mystery to me.
Oh boy, definitely dont want babies! Its impossible anyway, both my kids were fixed before I got em! Spays/neuters arent only very common for buns, but actuslly required for girls, as girl bunnies are p much guarantees to get uterine cancer by middle age if left intact. Bad bad bad! So yeah, spay/neuter is muy important! But yeah, i dont even know what id do with a litter anyway. >w<



Entry 2: How to Bond a Bun
So. Lets talk bonding.

Ive explained already that bonding is the process of getting two bunnies to accept each other as mates. Simple in concept, very VERT complicated in practice. And since bunnies arent super common pets, I figured Id explain how bonding works so all of you can follow along and understand this journey were about to take!

So, how does one bond bunnies? There are a few steps!

Step 0: Speed Dating
This is an optional first step that some people take if they have the resources! Thr fact of the matter is some bunnies cannot bond. Yknow when you meet your new coworker, and immediately you just dont like him? Hes got a slimey, condescending face, he smells vaguely of axe, and youre pretty sure hes probably a Trump supporter. You dont know these things, but you have a sneaking suspicion, and by day one you just dont like this guy. Well, bunnies also sometimes meet other bunnies who theyre pretty sure are Trump supporters, and from minute one they hate each other and their relationship can never be reconciled! And a really bad thing to happen is if you brought a bunny home to bond with your current bun, throw them together, and turns out they thirst for each others blood. So, how do we make sure that doesnt happen?

Its called speed dating! Basically, you take your bunny to a shelter and have them go on speed dates with the shelter bunnies available for adoption to see who they hate, who they like, and who theyre neutral on. This is what i did with Clover when we adopted Matcha! By doing this, one can make sure they bring home a bunny who has a high chance of being able to bond with their own. Makes sense, right? :D Once your new bunny is home and settled in, then you move to step one!

Step 1: Pre-bonding
So we've got two bunnies, and now we needa prepare em to start the bonding process. This step is when you get them used to each others' scents, behavior, and presence, so that the first bonding session isnt too much of a shock. The most common method is two house the two bunnies in pens side by side. This gives the illusion of living together and lets them get used to each other, but keeps them apart so no bites can occur! Along with that, usually bun owners will do swapping! Every day, we swap the buns' litter boxes, or we swap their pens entirely. That lets them get used to each other's scents! We also may swap toys, houses, blankets, anything really, so they can get accustomed to each other without any direct contact. Some people do this for a couple days, some people do it for a month. But however long it goes, one eventually moves on to the next step!

Step 2: Neutral Territory
Next, we start the dates! Every day, this step involves putting the two buns together in neutral territory to let them interact! Neutral territory means an area that hasnt been claimed by either bun. People will usually use bathrooms, and I was using my sister's bathroom for the past couple weeks until I switched to the family cat's room.

Basically at this stage, as the buns start to interact directly, we want to prevent negative behaviors and keep an eye out for/encourage positive behaviors. Negative behaviors are essentially aggression- territory claiming, flicking, boxing, grunting, scratching, nipping, biting. We dont want fights, basically. And the behaviors we WANT to see are things like self-grooming, humping, flopping, grinding teeth, non-aggressive nose touches, sniffing, binkying, eating together, and eventually cross-bun grooming or grooming requests. As neutral dates go on, steadily there should be a reduction of negative behaviors and an increase in positive behaviors, and the buns should come to tolerate or even enjoy each other's presence. Once the bun owner feels confidrnt they could leave the bunnies alone for some time without them killing each other, we move on to step three!

Also, just for clarity's sake, here is some bunny vocabulary, so yall can know what all the bun terminology means when i say it! (Ill probs put this in the OP later.)

  • Flicking- When a rabbit hops away and flicks their feet up at you as they hop away. It means they are very annoyed! >:eek:
  • Boxing- When a rabbit punches! Ponch ponch! Also you usually get scratched when they box. Its an aggressive behavior
  • Flopping- When a bunny lays down and stretches their legs out behind them, or lays down on their side! ITS THE CUTEST THING! It means they are relaxed and feel safe!
  • Teeth grinding- This is basically bunny purring. They grind their teeth together softly to express pleasure! Clover grinds his teeth all the time when I snuggle him, haha.
  • Binky- A rabbit happy dance! when a rabbit is really happy, theyll bounce around like crazy and do a funky dance! It means theyre REALLY HAPPY! Or at least, usually. Nonvocal animals like rabbits gotta get emotion out through their bodies, so binkying can also be for anger or annoyance. But it usually means happy!
  • Grooming request- When a bun wants another bun to groom them, theyll put their face under the other bun's chin. I actually can do this to Clover to get him to lick my face, haha. This is actually a dominance act- tops get groomed, bottoms do the grooming! But overall, grooming means love
Step 3: Semi-neutral Territory
Once the buns start to like each other, they can start interacting in places that are more familiar, like the usual exercise room or whatnot! Once the buns start interacting in here, there may be some backtracking in the relationship, but slowly theyll get accustomed to living together. This is the stage when mutual grooming and snuggles should really start to kick off, and the warren hierarchy will get officially decided. :D Usually one bun will be the dominant bun over the other, or sometimes its a more equal partnership. The dominant bun will do stuff like mount the other, request grooming, or give nips to boss the other bun around a bit. But its all normal, so long as bottom bun is okay with it! Once theyre getting along here and have that junk all figured out, we get to the final step. ^w^

Step 4: Forever Friends!
The end of the road! :D The buns can now move into their permanent together home, and they accept each other as mates and join warrens! THE JOURNEY IS COMPLETE!!!



So thats essentially how bunny bonding works! This is just a simplified version, essentially, there are a lot of little details that go into each step. But think of this as p much a road map of the journey well be taking on this blog. ^w^

Clover and Matcha are currently at step 2. Next time, Ill get you fully caught up on the very frustrating bonding journey we've had so far, so we can start normal updates. Till next time!
 

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
152
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Ohhhhhhh this is all very good info! Especially appreciate the terminology being broken down.
but you can at least put unfamiliar cats together without a 100% guaranteed chance that theyll kill each other!
It's about a solid 90% chance tho! Kitties do have pack instincts, but if the're any older than a year and are suddenly put with another gremlin child of the night 9/10 times there will be fur chunks flying. Funny enough, the process of bonding cats is a lot like what you're describing for buns!

The most common method is two house the two bunnies in pens side by side.
Aren't.... Aren't bunny pens fairly bit? Are they in your room? Do you have a room anymore???

The end of the road! :D The buns can now move into their permanent together home, and they accept each other as mates and join warrens! THE JOURNEY IS COMPLETE!!!
The journey is complete and mouse gets her freakin' room back lmao.

I still say we need more pictures of matcha as proof of her bunny status!
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

The Lost Prince of Lightbeacon
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
350
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Ohhhhhhh this is all very good info! Especially appreciate the terminology being broken down.

It's about a solid 90% chance tho! Kitties do have pack instincts, but if the're any older than a year and are suddenly put with another gremlin child of the night 9/10 times there will be fur chunks flying. Funny enough, the process of bonding cats is a lot like what you're describing for buns!

Aren't.... Aren't bunny pens fairly bit? Are they in your room? Do you have a room anymore???

The journey is complete and mouse gets her freakin' room back lmao.

I still say we need more pictures of matcha as proof of her bunny status!
Oh okay, I didn't know that about cats! In my experience, when putting two unfamiliar cats together, they usually were grumpy about it but got along. Like when my sister comes home from school with her cat Mosie, and the housecat Felix has to contend with her living in the house now!

I don't have half my room anymore. :' ) My bedroom is comprised of two small rooms connected by a bathroom (think Jack and Jill rooms, except both fo them are my room). So one of those rooms are now entirely bunny pens. :' ) I'll get a picture at some point! Maybe for this blog entry. :O

STOP DEMANDING MATCHA'S PERSONAL INFORMATION TAILS!!!!! I WILL BLOCK!!!!!!!!!!



Entry Three: The Journey So Far
So! Now that you know about bonding, lets talk about where we are so far!

I adopted Matcha on Saturday June 1. I actually adopted her when I took Clover speed dating at the Long Island Rabbit Rescue, which is an AMAZING GROUP that deserves all the support in the world!! They helped me to do the speed dating and have Clover meet some eligible bunnies. Of course, Clover during the speed dating was an absolute nervous wreck. X.X Terrified of all the buns, shaking and hiding in a litter box.

Upsetti boy at speed dating. This is when he was starting to feel better though


He met four bunnies: Miriam, Angel, Wesley, and a special little girl named Honey (remember her, she'll be important later). Clover and Miriam tried to kill each other, and Angel and Wesley were both very nervous. At ths same time, the rabbit Honey was having a speed date on the other side of the room with a bunny named Dusty, but she was just not about him. He was a very small, fluffy, happy boy, and Im p sure she thought he was lame af. She was there to meet Dusty that day, but we figured we may as well try introducing Clover and Honey. So we put them together, and even though Clover was nervous, Honey was really nice to him! Just very patient, and she seemed to like him. Clover seemed to be better with her than the others, and was even okay when she hopped into his litter box! So we figured, shes our best bet! I renamed her Matcha, and we took her on home. :3

So unfortunately, Matcha the primadonna had a hard time settling in. She was pretty close to slipping into GI stasis, which is basically when a rabbit's gastrointestinal tract shuts down and they die. ;;;owo She wasnt eating enough, and very stressed. Basically she was living in the purple half of my bedroom, and Clover was living with me in the yellow half of the room where I have my bed and stuff. So I put him in his own pen and moved him to live next to Matcha, so hopefully he could encourage her to eat. And it worked! :D She started eating properly, and a few days later, she was recovered and we were ready to start bonding sessions.

Matcha on the first day home. :3


We started the first bonding session in my sister's bathroom. And the first date was... hoo boy. Essentially, as soon as rhey were together, Matcha jumped on Clover and humped him. Now, in an ideal world, thats actually a good thing! Because it means "I want you as my boyfriend, but also Im gonna be top bunny!" But Clover, was not about it. he fought her off, bit her, and ran away, and within a few minutes he jumped in to attack her again. They wrestled across the floor like a pair of feral cats, and by the time I could pry em apart, I lifted up Matcha and Clover CAME WITH HER, because he was latched onto her mane with his teeth.

So in short, it didnt go great. :' )

Honestly, I think the problem was that Clover is somewhat asocial and was not prepared to have another rabbit on top of him. Clover is a teddy bear with me, but every day he always takes some introvert time under the bed! And he always gets veeerryyyy upsetti when the housecat Felix comes into his room. XD But unfortunately we were still off to a bad start.

We kept up with daily dates in my sister's bathroom. As time went on, they were getting better! Slightly. The two of them found that they were okay being in the same room, so long as the other bun stayed on the other side of the room. Clover decided that his spot was behind the toilet and started taking naps there during dates. XD But sadly, every time they got close, theyd wanna fight again. Matcha went from wanting Clover in her warren to being straightup scared of Clover! She always expected him to bite her, and if he got close, shed get nervous and try to box him. And Clover still wanted to nip her. They could be in the same room alright now, and we even saw some positive signs like grooming and flopping! But it wasnt enough, we were at an impasse. The kids just didnt trust each other. ;-; So I decided to change tactics and a week after we started bonding, began stress bonding.

Stress bonding is basically a tactic used on two buns who are struggling to bond. When stressed, bunnies will often turn to each other for comfort. So us bunny bonders will deliberately but the two bachelors in a stressful situation together in order to encourage them to comfort each other. this shows the buns that they can trust and rely on each other! The usual methods are bringing the buns for a car ride together, putting them on top pf the washing machine and setting it to spin cycle, or putting them together and vacuuming around them. Simple stuff. This can usually break bunnies through an impasse where they dont trust each other or are still aggressive.

So basically, I started taking them for car rides! I put em together in the car in a plastic laundry basket. Now, 99% of the time, I always say transport animals in proper carriers only. But during stress bonding, I gotta be able to reach the buns in case they decide that its very important to murder the other right this second. So laundry basket it was! Now, I was expecting these two to wanna kill each other in the car. But surprisingly, the first stress bond session went as good as it could have! The buns snuggled hard, and when I put them in the neutral date space after (we moved from the bathroom to Felix's room at this point (yes the cat has his own room if we didnt put him in it at night he would BANG ON ALL THE DOORS AT 5AM ITS NOT GUCCI)), the aggression was gone! They sat next to each other, had some nose touches. It was our best date yet!

Stress bonding!

Matcha has a face like she did not ask for this.



We did two more stress bonding sessions after that, and both went equally as well. The second one was less good cause I was in a mood that day and the buns felt it, but it was def better than the normal dates. We took a break after three stress bonds to give Matcha a rest, and then we tried a normal date, but sadly the aggression was back. :( It seemed like the stress bonds were reducing the aggression, but the effect wasnt permanent.

So we went back to stress bonding! Yesterday i did our first stress bond after a couple days break, and the positive effect was back! In the post-stress date in Felix's room, the buns flopped, had nose touches, groomed near each other. All excellent stuff!

He hates Felix, but he loves Felix's bed

She also loves Felix's bed. :3
He snuggled up by Felix's scratch post, awwww


Aaaaand thats p much where we are now! We're back to stress bonding, and the goal of this upcoming week is to keep it up and hopefully finally break through that distrust. We've definitely gotten a lot better. Even if they dont interact well, the buns will flop and groom near each other, and clover grinds his teeth a lot during dates, which is an EXCELLENT sign! We just need to break through this impasse! WOOP!

Now that yall are all caught up, we'll start talking about bonding sessions as they happen! Woohoo! \(^o^)/
 

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
152
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
They wrestled across the floor like a pair of feral cats, and by the time I could pry em apart, I lifted up Matcha and Clover CAME WITH HER, because he was latched onto her mane with his teeth.
Holy shit Clover I know she came on strong but damn.

Matcha went from wanting Clover in her warren to being straightup scared of Clover! She always expected him to bite her, and if he got close, shed get nervous and try to box him.
I mean valid AF if you tried to pull me away from someone and the got dragged along cause they were still holding my hair I'd be scared too! Poor baby!

(yes the cat has his own room if we didnt put him in it at night he would BANG ON ALL THE DOORS AT 5AM ITS NOT GUCCI)),
I like the implication that this isn't the sort of thing that every cat does X'3 Every cat has their own room; sometimes the owners just mistakenly think the room belongs to them and not their cat.

we tried a normal date, but sadly the aggression was back. :( It seemed like the stress bonds were reducing the aggression, but the effect wasnt permanent.
So the aggression was back, but was it lessened at all compared to before the stress bonding sessions? Curious if the bonding had any long term benefit, even if it was only a little.

Aaaaand thats p much where we are now! We're back to stress bonding, and the goal of this upcoming week is to keep it up and hopefully finally break through that distrust.
Good luck mouse!!! Get these babies falling in love!!!
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

The Lost Prince of Lightbeacon
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
350
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Holy shit Clover I know she came on strong but damn.

I mean valid AF if you tried to pull me away from someone and the got dragged along cause they were still holding my hair I'd be scared too! Poor baby!

I like the implication that this isn't the sort of thing that every cat does X'3 Every cat has their own room; sometimes the owners just mistakenly think the room belongs to them and not their cat.

So the aggression was back, but was it lessened at all compared to before the stress bonding sessions? Curious if the bonding had any long term benefit, even if it was only a little.

Good luck mouse!!! Get these babies falling in love!!!
Thanks Tails! The time is now to TRY TRY AGAIN!



Entry Four: Now For Our Union-Regulated Break~
GrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEETINGS, NUZFORUMS! Mouse is back with a new entry in the bunny bonding drama thread! :D I know it's been a crazy long time since we last had an update. So what's been going on with the bunny bonding since I last updated?

Well, in short, I took a break. ;;u;;

So, to catch y'all up to speed, after the last update, I tried changing my bunny bonding tactics since it just wasn't working. I texted back and forth with the rescue group where I adopted Matcha for a bit and followed their recommendations. I tried using a much bigger pen as a bonding area, put some litter boxes with hay in the bonding pen, that sort of thing. But sadly, it didn't work out at all. The two of em got worse, had another big fight akin to their fight on their first date (I think you'll recall Clover latching onto Matcha's mane with his teeth). I was going through a bunch of other mental garbage at the time, and the bunnies were obviously just as stressed and upset. So I said "fuck it, everyone needs a break." I took down Clover's pen, moved him back into my yellow room with me, and the buns said bye to each other for a whole month!

However, I do wanna note that I wasn't doing nothing the whole month! We actually went back to step one of bunny bonding- pre-bonding! As you'll recall from entry two, pre-bonding is the step when the buns aren't interacting directly yet, but you do things to get them ready for bonding. Most commonly, you'll put them in two pens side by side to simulate them living together. Obviously I didn't wanna do that since both my buns were steamed at each other. So instead, I did another common pre-bonding tactic: switch their litter boxes every morning. I change the litter boxes at night, and by morning, they're always pretty full of poop and pee and all the good stuff. So every morning, I'd switch their litter boxes. That way they'd be getting used to the other's scents and waste and all the good junk, instead of the other bun's smells being completely unfamiliar. On top of that, every few days I'd switch their toys! I'd switch their plushies, hidey houses (aka cardboard boxes), chew toys, p much everything! Mixing smells like these is a good way to keep getting them used to each other's smells, make them smell as close to each other as possible so they don't smell like strangers, and keep them from getting too territorial over their toys. The only toy I didn't switch is Matcha's blanket, because she loves her blankie SO MUCH that I'd feel mean if I took it away from her. ;n; But everything else was swapped every few days!

The rescue group where I got Matcha, the Long Island Rabbit Rescue, recommends starting bonding as soon as possible once you adopt a bun. However, I'm also a member of a pet rabbit forum called Binky Bunny, and those guys recommend doing a whole MONTH of pre-bonding before you even start bonding sessions! They think that mixing the smells for a long time is an important step to making sure there's no aggression when you start bonding. That's why I took as long a break as I did, even though me and the buns had all calmed down by a couple weeks in. I wanted to try the Binky Bunny method to see if it works! Since Clover and Matcha have been a really hard bond so far (most bun pairs would be COMPLETELY BONDED AT THIS POINT), I figured we had nothing to lose!

A few days ago, I did the final step of my mouse-approved pre-bonding tactic. For the whole month, Matcha lived in my purple room and Clover lived in my yellow room (where my bed is). That was a whole MONTH of smells settling into the walls and carpet and furniture of each room. It was a goldmine of smells that I wanted to tap into. So, I did! Last Wednesday, I switched em! I moved Matcha into the yellow room and Clover into the purple room! Now each bun was living COMPLETELY in the other's territory, living in the other's smells one hundo percent! I figured it'd be the final push they needed to get completely used to the other! Obviously as time goes on, the yellow room will start smelling like Matcha and the purple room like Clover, but i plan to switch them 1-2 times a week to make sure smells keep mixing, even when we go back to bonding sessions!

Here are some pics of them in the other's room!

Matcha enjoying breakfast in the yellow room! If she looks like she's gotten scruffier since you last saw her, it's cause I haven't been combing her mane. dkjfhkdfg I don't have a wire comb yet! Aaaah, I'm so sorry Matcha! ToT


Clover enjoying breakfast in the purple room! He's enjoyed being in here a lot! He likes to sit on the couch. :3


Since we weren't doing bonding, I took this time to get to know Matcha and bond with her more, since p much all my time with her was devoted to bonding before the break. She's become a lot more comfortable with me! She'll hop around me a bunch, and she likes to climb on my legs, haha! She's even started to like petting a lot, and she grinds her teeth when I stroke her nose and rub her neck! So she's liking me a lot more, she used to be just neutral on me. Used to be if I was in the room, she'd hang out under the couch, but now she's more comfortable with me being around her. Good progress! Unfortunately, she's gone in the opposite direction with my sister. XD Every time my sister is in the room, Matcha attacks her. ;;w;; It started a couple weeks ago when my sister was sitting on the floor with me and sort of blocking Matcha's way to the sofa. Matcha got steamed and boxed her! Then another time, my sister was sitting on the couch. Matcha came out from under it and bit her ankle! D: And it wasn't just a nip, since bunnies will nip you gently to let you know they need to get past or you're in their way. This was a full on I-want-this-to-hurt bite. ;;n;; So now my sister is very Matcha-phobic >w<. I think Matcha just takes issue to humans being in her room when she hasn't approved of them yet. People gotta go through the full Matcha approval process before they can chill in her space! But at least she's liking me, cause oh boy I would not know what to do if she hated me just as much! Especially since she lives in my bedroom now...

Anyways, bonding sessions start again TONIGHT! I'm still debating what approach I wanna use. I'm not sure if I want to start with stress bonding, or just try a neutral territory date and see how it goes. It has been a whole month, so the grudge should have died down a lot at this point. But it's hard to know how to start cause I don't wanna mess it up and ruin the bond again! It'll take some mulling over, but yup we are starting again! I'll update y'all soon with how it went and how it looks like things are gonna go from here. Yellow Mouse, signing off!
 

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
152
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Aww it sucks to hear the bonding has taken a few steps backwards. These bunnies are so stubborn! >m< I thinkbyour interm stratagy is really smart, and I hope it pays off! These bunnies will fall in love dagnabit!
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

The Lost Prince of Lightbeacon
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
350
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Aww it sucks to hear the bonding has taken a few steps backwards. These bunnies are so stubborn! >m< I thinkbyour interm stratagy is really smart, and I hope it pays off! These bunnies will fall in love dagnabit!
I'm trying my best! These buns are stubborn, but I'm stubborn too! This is a battle of wills!



Entry Five: The Bad News Is Actually the Good News (Bunny Philosophy Time)
It's been an interesting week! Uphills, lots of downhills, but through it all, it's been bunny bunny bunny time. Well, my life is always bunny bunny bunny time, so maybe not too much has changed! We are officially back on the bonding train! We've been going again for a little over a week now, so I'll catch you all up to speed on the goings on!

So, we started off with normal bonding sessions! I still had Matcha living in my room and Clover living in the purple room, with no direct interaction between them outside of bonding sessions. I was kind of wading in slowly; I didn't wanna completely jump in with the stress bonds and the side-by-side pens and all the bells and whistles immediately, since things turned sour last time! >w< I guess I was a little nervous to try again, so I just took it slow. We were bonding in the family room this time, where we started to bond last time for just a few days before we went on break. A big open space with two boxes of hay in the middle! Since these guys don't have a history of doing well when shoved up against each other, both me and the folks I rescued Matcha from (who I text with p frequently grumbling about my bonding woes) agreed that a bigger space should do them better!



For the first few days, things were uneventful but surprisingly good! I plonked them both in the pen on opposite sides, and they'd go about their business and ignore each other. Matcha would hop around exploring, Clover would usually march right up to the boxes and start eating like a big moncher boy! He's hungry hungry!!! Bunnies ignoring each other is actually a good sign. It means they're sizing each other up and observing from afar, but they don't think the other bun is an immediate threat. Hence, they don't run over and attack! It's good stuff! We did have some thumping, but I think it was just the result of being in a strange room with a strange bun. They'd gotten used to bonding before, but they gotta get their feet wet again!

It was a good start! Unfortunately, the good start didn't last 100%. A few days in, Matcha and Clover came face to face for the first time in over a month. Clover didn't react, but unfortunately Matcha got upset and tried to box him. :( I blocked with my magic shoe-hand and pushed her away so she could cool off (she gets very annoyed when I do this XD, you should see her Annoyed Tapdance). I was actually very impressed with Clover! Usually HE'S the problem, but it seems all the aggression problems stemming from him vanished over the break! Matcha and Clover came face to face a few more times to about the same result over the next couple of days. Matcha would get upset and aggress on him, and most of the time Clover wouldn't react. He only tried to bite back maybe once or twice, but no real fights broke out. I was always able to separate them in time! But sadly, while Clover was no longer an issue, Matcha still was. Her aggression was stopping us from bonding properly! I didn't want to let it linger (mainly cause I was paranoid), so I decided it was time to start stress bonding again!

Now, last time we did stress bonding, we did a method where we took the buns for a 20 minute car ride and then put them together for a date immediately afterwards. This time, I decided to try a different, more slow-burn approach. For a few days, I'd take them for 20 minute car rides together, but then instead of doing a date after, I'd put them back in their pens right away. Not jumping into dates immediately. After a few days, THEN I'd start doing car rides + date right after. I thought since these buns have been struggling, it wouldn't really help to just rush into things too fast, especially since the old stress bond method didn't seem to have lasting positive effects. We took a two-day recess on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday, I bit the bullet and moved them back into the same room! Along with needing to stress bond, I also thought Matcha needs more exposure to Clover. Buns have to learn to trust each other and exist in the same space. I didn't think it was helping Matcha to be apart from Clover for 23 hours and 55 minutes a day. I'm sort of using exposure therapy on her right now; teaching her that Clover is safe by just shoving him up to her! So on Sunday, I set up their two pens and moved Matcha back out of my room and into the purple room. The immediate result of it wasn't super comforting. Matcha was very territorial and kept sort of darting at Clover, even though they couldn't reach each other through the bars! They also tried to scratch at each other through the pens which wasn't good. :( I had to move them further apart. Since then, though, things have calmed down. We have some territorial marking, and Matcha will still occasionally dart at Clover when he moves in a way she doesn't like, but otherwise they've been calm enough! Calmer than I could hope to ask for! I think this is a good direction to take.

Aaaaaanyways, on Monday we started stress bonding. We've done two sessions so far, and both sessions have gone pretty perfectly! The buns got stressed, they snuggled! They got some time being up close and personal to each other! No aggression in the car at all. This is pretty much how it went last time so I'm not gonna start tooting the victory horns yet, but it's good! I would've felt so disheartened if they'd started fighting in the car. The aggression IS lower now than it was beforehand. We're still in the "stress bond, no date after" phase, so it's too early to say if there's been any good from it. But it's a start!

Car ride snuggle times!


Clover! Get off her, you fiend!!!


So that's pretty much where we're at for the most part. However, some other stuff did happen, more on the human side of bunny bonding than the bunny side. I joined a new rabbit community, recently. I hopped onto the pet rabbit reddit (r/Rabbits I believe) and their discord server! I was mainly looking for advice, some new perspectives aside from the rescue group that's been helping me. I knew I had a difficult pair on my hands, and if there was some secret method, any method, to getting my buns to bond, I wanted to find it. I ended up talking with another bunny owner who'd had success bonding an aggressive pair, but... she also said that it took her an entire year to accomplish, and that I should be prepared to experience something similar. At first, I was pretty floored, and upset. An entire year to bond my buns? When the normal timeframe is two months (a deadline we're very close to missing)? I had to sit down, honestly. I started mulling over the idea of whether it's even worth it to try for a year, if maybe I need to consider the possibility of bringing Matcha back to her foster home, if I might want to try again with a different bunny.

But then, a minute later, I didn't just feel upset... I also felt relieved. And at first I couldn't understand why?? Like, taking a year to bond your bunnies is BAD, isn't it? Why was my intuition trying to tell me this wasn't a thing to freak out about?? But then I realized, the reason it's okay if my bunnies take a year to bond is because there was really no rush in the first place. When I first tried bonding, I was admittedly very stressed about. I was always thinking Oh god Clover's aggressive now Matcha's aggressive this is all going wrong and if I can't get them to bond soon I'LL HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT GIVING MATCHA BACK! It was really stressful. It was part of the reason we needed our union-regulated break, I was starting to crack under self-applied pressure. But there really is no point in rushing. I'm still in school and my home is still open to me. I have plenty of time and places to work on bonding! I have space at both school and home to house mah bunnies separately for the time being. And even if it's one year of bonding, what even is that compared to 8, 9, or 10 years of a loving family between the three of us, a decade of love and friendship for my kiddos?

NOT MUCH AT ALL, I'LL TELL YA!

So it's okay that I have a difficult pair. It's okay if it takes a year! At the end of the day, it's just bunny bonding! Not the end of the world. ^w^ Cause I had Clover first, but Matcha is my daughter, too. She has a home with me as long as she's alive, and she is not! Goin'! Anywhere!

Here's Matcha sneaking into Clover's pen and eating his hay while he's out of the room. She always loves trespassing. I'm watching her feast on his food and binky around his pen right now, hahaha!

She sneak. She's a sneaky


Monch monch, sayeth the thief


Next time, I'll share how the stress bonding went. See you then! (And feel free to leave a like or a comment, too! It's hard for me to tell how many people are actually reading this blog >w<)
 

Zero

Jet's Black Nuzlocke
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
51
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
109
Location
In front of the Computer
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
she/her/it
Pokémon Type
Fire, Bug
Pokédex Entry
It is born asleep, and it dies asleep. All its movements are apparently no more than the results of it tossing and turning in its dreams.
Oh man, these bunnies are really giving you the run around, but hey! Its good to know that even after two months, its not going to be too late to bond the bunnies! I'm glad the break seemed to have at least helped one of them, I really hope the stress bonding works out! Matcha is absolutly beautiful and it would be sad to see her go, so I'm glad you're going to commit to this troublesome girl!
 

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
152
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
These two babs are so mcfreakin stubborn!!! I'm glad that you're feeling better after finding out how long this could take. I hope it doesn't take a year, but I'm glad to know you're comfortable if it does take that long. I hope the next few rounds of bunny bonding go smoother for you, with smooth bunny dates afterwards. At least in the meantime you can enjoy Matcha's love of trespassing lol. This mischievous girl is too good to give up!
 

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