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Thinking about making a bunny the newest member of your family? Good choice! Rabbits make great house pets and many people find them just as rewarding as dogs and cats. Here are some facts about rabbits that might just convince you to open your heart and home to a bunny today.
Some people are under the mistaken impression that rabbits are boring. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most rabbit owners will tell you that you shouldn’t leave a rabbit alone in an outdoor hutch all day. When you have a house rabbit around, you’ll be amazed at how fun and playful they are. They will entertain themselves (and you) by burrowing in and out of towels and blankets, get the crazies and jump and run around, and even nudge a book or phone out of your hand if you’re not paying them enough attention.
Like cats, rabbits are fastidious about grooming and keeping themselves clean. In fact, rabbits shouldn’t be bathed, as a dunk in water could shock them. Aside from giving them an occasional butt cleaning, they’re very low maintenance. They also create a designated “toilet” for themselves and use that one place go to the bathroom, leaving the rest of their area clean. It’s also easy to train them to use a litter box like a cat. Rabbit poop is small and inoffensive. FYI, they also produce “cecotropes”—partially digested food that they will eat as it exits their body.
Rabbits are great apartment pets because they are mostly silent (a characteristic of prey animals). They make quiet little “pleasure sounds” like clicking or soft tooth grinding when they are happy. An annoyed rabbit may grunt or growl. If your rabbit is very frightened or in pain, it will let out a disturbing scream, so be warned!
If you work a regular 9-5 job during the week, your rabbit’s schedule will be perfectly in sync with yours. Rabbits are “crepuscular”—most active in the morning and evening—so they will be happy to interact with you before and after work, following you around and waiting for their feeding. While you are asleep or out, rabbits will be less active. But be prepared, they like to keep to their schedule, so they will expect the same feeding time on the weekends, too.
Looking to put all of that used newspaper and cardboard to good use? Use newspaper to line their litter pans, give them newspaper and things like cardboard tubes for chewing and shredding, and use cardboard boxes filled with newspaper for them to burrow in and climb on. You can get creative and make whole habitats for them with interconnected boxes filled with paper.
Rabbits are social and affectionate animals that bond well with their owners. They don’t really like to be picked up (a prey animal trait), but they do enjoy interacting with their human family and other pets in the household. Try sitting on the floor with them and stroking them, especially after mealtime, and see how loving they can be!
Become a rabbit parent, check out things to know before getting a rabbit here.