If you haven’t shared your home with a rabbit, you really don’t know how amazing these creatures are. Rabbits are affectionate, silly and very endearing pets to care for, unfortunately there is a misconception about this. You have to understand what a rabbit is really like to appreciate why rabbit owners are so passionate about them.
Each rabbit has their own personality, for example Cooper has a “resting grumpy” face but in fact he is the sweetest, most affectionate rabbit I’ve known. He opens the “doors” to his bachelor pad to any rabbit who wants to visit and allows any human to pick him up and carry him around. While there are some rabbits that do not like to be picked up. Rabbits are a prey species which is why they are always on alert and may in fact be afraid of humans. It takes them a long time to come around to their owner, you’ll have to spend a lot of time with them on their level, the floor. I am always asked how I trained Cooper to allow me to pick him up and handle him the way I do. Fortunately I did not have to train Cooper, he is by nature extremely docile and trusting. Most of you don’t know but Cooper came from a breeder, he is full pedigree. He was purchased from a breeder by a friend, three months after purchasing him she found out she was pregnant and that’s when I adopted him. He’s been with me since he was shy of 7 months, he’s always had a safe environment where he’s been able to run around and flop wherever he pleases. Most rabbits don’t have the same luck and have suffered from the beginning of their lives in the wrong hands, this makes them fear human contact.
Rabbits can get along with other pets. Cooper grew up with a Springer Spaniel mix dog named Mateo. At first Mateo was curious of this little fluff ball running around but quickly realized Cooper was friend not foe and he accepted Cooper into his home. They would share water bowls and take long naps together. Mateo is still around, but he lives with my sister and has gotten older. He’s now 12 years old and afraid of Cooper, silly dog, but when they visit they can still share the house together alone and nap together. I currently brought a stray cat home, he’s my husband’s cat which we cared for when his feral mom abandoned him, eventually my husband fell in love with him and we adopted him. He’ll be a year old this March, but has yet to come to grips that Cooper is not a toy nor food so we keep them separated. However, cats and rabbits can bond and live harmoniously, google it!
Rabbits are very happy & curious animals, they play with toys and dance with joy; also known as “binky”. They jump and flip in the air when they are happy or excited, this is commonly known as doing a binky in the rabbit community. This is why it’s so important to give you rabbit ample space to run around and jump in. A rabbit kept outside in a hutch will never be a member of your family and you’ll be deprived of knowing how amazing and unique they are. Curious by nature they are, Cooper cannot see us in “his” room moving around things because he immediately comes out from under the futon to see what’s going on. When it’s time to clean his room he is on top of me supervising every step I take. I usually have to lock him up when I clean because he is fearless, a fearless 2 lb rabbit that plays chicken with the vacuum cleaner. Ha! If they see you on the floor, or they see something new on the floor they have to investigate what this item is. They are very curious and enjoy exploring their home, but always remember to rabbit proof your home; they are small and squishy and can chew everything and fit anywhere. Anywhere!
So here are some quick facts about these amazing creatures.
- A rabbit can live from 8-15 years with proper care
- Clip their nails, at least monthly
- Rabbits require adult care and supervision
- Neuter & Spay to prevent aggressiveness, territorial markings and health problems
- Rabbits do require veterinary care from a specialized doctor
- Rabbits will naturally use a litter box
- Rabbits do not have an odor, if they do, it’s the humans fault for not cleaning their litter box routinely
- Rabbits sleep all afternoon and are active in the mornings and evenings
- Rabbits should have access to unlimited hay, 1/4 cups of pellets, and a bowl of vegetables. Their diet is very important as the wrong food can kill them
- Rabbits can die from fright and be injured easily
For more information on what a Rabbit is really like, please visit House Rabbit Society page by clicking here.