Rabbits can be very good house pets if you take the time to plan for them and understand exactly what is involved in having a rabbit as a pet. Rabbits require more attention and care than a cat or a dog. They can be excellent indoor pets but do need regular exercise.
Some people view rabbits as a popular pet because they will be simple and easy to take care of. This is not correct. In fact, if you have small children then having a rabbit as a pet is probably not a good idea.
Pet Rabbits Pros and Cons
There are many good reasons to have a rabbit as a pet and many others not to. We will explore all the pros and cons of rabbit ownership so keep reading to learn what you need to know before you decide!
Learning what it will take for pet rabbits to be good family members and thrive in a household is critical before you get one.
Are Rabbits Good Pets for Kids?
For children, rabbits come to mind when considering a new pet because they seem so fluffy and lovable. Young children love rabbits!
However, you need to remember rabbits are wild animals and not usually considered domesticated pets. You have to be sure that a rabbit will fit into your family well and that they are not a danger to your children.
Domestic rabbits can be very friendly and fun as pets with the proper care and consideration.
Why are Rabbits Good Pets?
Reasons why rabbits can be great pets.
- They don’t cost very much to purchase.
- They are playful and silly animals so will be entertaining.
- Rabbits do not require much effort to maintain.
- They can actually display loyalty, and show affection (in their own way).
- They possess positive energy and can be useful as comfort animals for humans to reduce stress.
Are Rabbits Good Pets for Apartments?
Considering the gentle temperaments that rabbits have, apartments are suitable environments for them as pets. However, there are caveats to note to ensure that they have a healthy home living in an apartment.
- Have a good awareness of your rabbit. Some may not do as well as others in an apartment setting.
- Make sure that your apartment is arranged to be rabbit friendly. If you are going to let them roam about freely take note of things they may chew on or damage.
- Confining them to one area is a smart choice and safer for you and your rabbit.
- Make sure there are no wires and other connections in the room they could chew on.
- Taking plants away from their reach to prevent your bunny from eating them.
- Make sure to have a good, safe cage to confine them that provides good living conditions.
Rabbits actually have very interesting personality traits which in turn makes them interesting pets.
Are Rabbits Affectionate?
Yes, rabbits are affectionate! Probably much more than ever dreamed they could be. I dare say that rabbits are one of the most affectionate pets you can have around. They are good at expressing their emotions openly and showing you their love in the simplest of ways.
On the other hand, you do not want to encounter the moody side of a rabbit. Rabbits can get upset! However, you can stay on the good side of your rabbit by treating them right and caring for them on a regular basis.
There is much to learn if you think you want a rabbit as a pet. Start off with having a good understanding of the various rabbit characteristics.
Are Rabbits Carnivores?
No, they are not. Rabbits are, by their nature, Herbivores, meaning they eat plants. A wild rabbit’s diet consists of seeds, grasses, clover, roots, maybe some fruit, and an assortment of other fibrous plants that it can find.
Their lack of carnivorous tendencies is because they do not have a digestive system capable of handling the digestion of meat.
Are Rabbits Color Blind?
No, rabbits are not color blind. Rabbits see colors. Their perception of color does have a small range though.
Basically, rabbits have a “two-color” vision that allows them to see greens and blues. However, rabbits don’t see red. That makes them different from humans who see green, red, and blue within our spectrum of color vision.
Are Rabbits Considered Rodents?
No. Although they share a similar habitat with rodents most of the time and are similar in some ways, rabbits are not rodents. However, they are lagomorphs.
What is a Lagomorphs?
Lagomorphs are defined as Hares and Rabbits. Also referred to as Leporids. The difference between Lagomorphs and rodents is based on their teeth.
Are Rabbits Hypoallergenic?
No, rabbits are not hypoallergenic. They do shed and produce dander which can be a major cause of allergic reactions in humans.
Some rabbit owners state though that their rabbit does not cause them any issues relating to allergies. Proper care, cleaning, and regular grooming can help minimize the problem.
Rabbits That Shed the Least
The good news is some rabbits shed less than others. If you have allergy issues but still want a rabbit check out the Rex rabbit as they are known for causing fewer problems in this area.
Are Rabbits Smart?
Absolutely. You will be amazed at how intelligent rabbits are in several ways. They can be pretty witty at times learning your words and even solving problems to get what they want.
With a good reward system, you can teach them commands and responses, which works well in having a closer relationship with your pet.
They also seem to have a musical side indicated by when they hear music they are known to move their ears.
Are Bunnies Smarter than Dogs?
Don’t want to start a fight here on this one! In general, it seems the consensus is that dogs are smarter than bunny rabbits.
If you are thinking about getting a rabbit as a pet you probably have many questions. Here are some answers!
Do Rabbits Close their Eyes when They Sleep?
The answer is yes and no. Rabbits behave differently when it comes to sleep than some other animals.
While some rabbits sleep with their eyes open, others close their eyes. Some rabbits also have their eyes at a half-closed position while sleeping.
How Fast Do Rabbits Run?
European species of rabbits generally can run from 25 to 35 miles per hour. Some Hares (long legs) have been said to run up to 45 miles per hour!
Comparatively, the fastest human, Usain Bolt, ran at just under 28 miles per hour. This means that rabbits run faster than humans at certain times!
They also can maintain uniform speed while they run. That is unlike cats and some other animals who reduce their sprint as they progress in a race. Amazing.
How High Can Rabbits Jump?
The highest a rabbit can leap off the ground is about four feet. Normally, three feet would be about the average.
When it comes to jumping over obstacles, rabbits can jump a maximum height of roughly two feet over a fence. However, if being chased by a dog or other predator, rabbits have been seen jumping higher.
How Long Do Pet Rabbits Live For?
Pet rabbits have an average of five to eight years but some have been known to live up to 12 years of age. However, that is when they have a good healthy diet and are well-taken care of.
The best way to avoid health problems is to take proper care of your rabbit. An unhealthy rabbit might have a shorter life span. When rabbits do not die of natural causes, it is usually because of conditions such as anorexia, gut stasis, sudden collapse, uterine cancer, and flystrike.
Flystrike in Rabbits
The term “flystrike” is used to explain a situation whereby the furs of rabbit is attacked by flies in an intolerable amount. If you catch this problem early and seek treatment it is survivable.
Flystrike has the most contributions of deaths among the population of rabbits in the world.
Why Are Rabbits Called Bunnies?
The term “bunny” dates back to Scottish history and was a term used in their manner of speech to describe rabbits.
Squirrels and hares also are addressed as bunnies in Scottish usage. In modern usage, bunnies refer to young rabbits.
How Many Hours Do Rabbits Sleep?
Here are some interesting facts about rabbits concerning their sleep habits.
- Rabbits sleep, on average, between six to eight hours each day.
- They generally sleep during the day.
- Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they become most active around dusk and dawn.
- They like to sleep on materials that have a soft texture.
Do Rabbits Close their Eyes when They Sleep?
The answer is yes and no. Rabbits behave differently when it comes to sleep than some other animals.
While some rabbits sleep with their eyes open, others close their eyes. Some rabbits also have their eyes in a half-closed position while sleeping.
How Many Rabbits Are Born in a Litter?
A rabbit litter can have one to 12 (or more) baby rabbits. Called a ‘kindling’ (giving birth) the average number of babies in one delivery period is five to seven.
The crazy thing is female rabbits reach sexual maturity at a young age and can have many litters per year only separated by about a 25 to 30 days gestation period. Most will have three or four litters a year.
What are Baby Rabbits Called?
Just like it is for cats, the young offspring of rabbits are called kittens. The art of birthing kittens is called kindling, and it is performed by the doe or female rabbit.
Baby rabbits are called bunnies.
How Many Teeth Do Rabbits Have?
Rabbits have 28 teeth. The arrangement includes 16 teeth in the upper region and 12 in the lower region. Prominent are the front four incisors.
One interesting feature that separates humans from rabbits is that while our teeth are differentiated according to functions, rabbits have teeth that perform similar functions due to their simple feeding manner.
Do Rabbits Teeth Stop Growing?
This is another aspect of rabbits’ teeth that differs from humans. Rabbits’ teeth never stop growing! So it is possible that will have to take your rabbit to the vet at some point to have their teeth ground down.
How Much Do Rabbits Weigh?
The weight of rabbits varies across species. A few of the common rabbit breeds weights are summarized below:
|Rabbit Species||Weight in Pounds|
|European Rabbit||2 to 5|
|Eastern Cottontail||2 to 3|
|Omilteme Cottontail||6 to 7|
|Mexican Cottontail||5 to 6|
The Biggest Rabbit in the World
Rabbits can vary greatly in weight ranging between two pounds all the way up to the Flemish Giant that can weigh 20-22 pounds!
How Much Do Rabbits Cost?
Depending on how you go about getting a rabbit, there are different prices that you could pay.
If you are getting your rabbit from a pet store, you will likely have a price range between $20 and $40. Rare breeds of rabbits from a breeder could cost as much as $75 or more.
House Rabbit Society
This worldwide organization is dedicated to helping abandoned rabbits find good homes. They have chapters across the United States and provide a wealth of information about rabbits. Utilize the House Rabbit Society website to find a rabbit rescue near you.
If you choose a rabbit from an animal rescue, they could go for as low as $5 to $20 at your local shelters but there may be adoption fees as well.
What is the Best Bedding for Rabbits?
Remember, rabbits like to sleep and rest on soft materials in a quiet environment. The goal is to have something that is safe for the rabbit and comfortable.
Also, keep in mind that rabbits may decide to eat their bedding so choose wisely and avoid anything that could be bad for their health. You will also need to change the bedding on a regular basis to have a healthy rabbit.
Here is a short list of popular rabbit bedding options.
- Bedding pellets
- Fleece bedding material (you will have to wash it often)
- Plain paper that has been shredded up
- Soft litters designed for use as bedding (not cat litter)
- Aspen shredded wood bedding
- Hay (not straw)
- Hemp bedding
- Old towel
These are all friendly to the rabbits’ fur and will keep them safe from overheating and other adverse side effects. Remember to change it out often and don’t leave any rabbit poop in their bed! Good rabbit care takes time, effort, and love!
What NOT to use for Rabbit Bedding
- Wood chips
- Cat Litter
- Cardboard boxes (some people say cardboard is ok, some don’t)
What Plants Do Rabbits Eat?
Remember, rabbits will try to eat almost anything! The kinds of plants and fresh vegetables that rabbits eat are wide and varied but include:
- Budding tender shoots
- Okra leaves
- Romaine Lettuce
A rabbit can be a fun and entertaining animal. They all have a different personality and some unique behaviors!
Why Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Noses?
Rabbits may wiggle their noses to bring more air into their respiratory pathway. The action of twitching their noses helps get air in much quicker and without obstruction. This could also be to help regulate their body temperatures.
It is also an action done when the rabbits want to get a good smell of a scent. When it is time to eat, bunnies may also twitch their noses in anticipation of food. Some also say it could be a form of self-defense mechanism.
Why do Rabbits Shake?
Sometimes rabbits tremble in their sleep and that is normal but there are also many other reasons. In case you find your bunny shaking when it is not sleeping, it could be because of the following reasons:
- The presence of an illness
- Food poisoning
- Ear infections
- Digestion challenges
All the above can cause a rabbit to exhibit trembling episodes. However, it is best to have your vet identify the correct reason for the trembling.
Why Do Rabbits Hop?
Ever wonder why rabbits hop around at different points during the day? Well, these are some of the reasons rabbits hop.
- Courtship display with romantic partners
- Expressing happiness
- Alerting other rabbits about a looming danger (remember rabbits are prey animals)
Apart from the above reasons, a rabbit hops by design naturally. That is because its anatomical design gives it long hind legs and shorter forelimbs. So hopping is convenient for them and natural!
Why Do Rabbits Grunt?
Since rabbits are emotional creatures they can express their feelings about situations through grunting. The following are conditions that can make rabbits grunt.
- Expression of anger
- Giving feedback of its dissatisfaction with something
- Signal of mating attraction wiles in progress
- A sign of an imminent threat at hand
Most Popular Rabbit Breed
Ok, everyone has an opinion as to what breed of rabbit is the most popular as a pet. If you do some research with pet rabbit owners you will find that one breed seems to get mentioned the most.
The Mini Rex is one of the dwarf breeds of rabbits and highly popular because of its calm demeanor and super lush soft fur.
While not a dwarf breed, the Mini Lop is small, compact, and cute as a button! Probably why they are very popular as pets worldwide.
The Holland Lop is another great choice for a pet rabbit. These cute animals came originally from the Netherlands and grow to be between two and four pounds usually.
They are super cute with long, floppy ears and a favorite for children.
Rabbits are a unique species that can make wonderful pets, providing you with years of happiness and love as a member of the family.
BUT if you are seriously considering getting a rabbit as a pet please read this article from the Rabbit Welfare Association before you do. It is full of great information that asks the question, “Think you want a rabbit?“