Author Topic: Considering a rabbit and have "?'s"  (Read 2316 times)

Offline justKris

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Considering a rabbit and have "?'s"
« on: May 02, 2010, 12:36:24 PM »
So I am slowly doing research as I am not planning on anything til late June at the earliest. Anyway, a few questions. I'm sure I  will have more and hope you don't mind me asking here.

1) Vet care, there is yearly required shots like dogs, cats, and ferrets, right? What are the shots?

2)Are they as social as rats? is one rabbit acceptable like a dog?

3) rabbits and kids? I know every animal is different, but in general do they do ok with kids?

4) would a rabbit be able to run the house like a dog or cat when we are home and just be "crated" when weare asleep or gone? Would I have to worry about bunny puddles and piles everywhere? Would Chewing be a big problem while they free range?

Offline Jennicat

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Re: Considering a rabbit and have "?'s"
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 05:19:17 PM »
1.)  It depends on what country you're in.  If you're in the US, then no, since our wild rabbit populations don't have the communicable diseases that UK/Australian bunnies do.  A yearly checkup is still a good idea, though, to do dental checks and have your vet palpate for internal growths.  They do need to be spayed or neutered.

2.)  I know a lot of people keep single rabbits because they can be difficult to bond, but rabbits are quite social.  I'd recommend adopting a bonded pair.

3.)  If your kids can handle not picking them up or grabbing at them, then yes.  However, they're not like rats at all -- they're prey animals.  99% of rabbits hate being picked up and will kick and scratch and even bite if they are.  They will kick so hard they can break their own backs in the process.  They're very independent and everything they do is done on their terms.

4.)  If spayed/neutered and littertrained, then yes, but you'd need to do a tremendous amount of rabbit proofing.  They chew and dig everything -- carpet, baseboards, cords, furniture, you name it.  most people have a rabbit "room" that they make into a bunnyproof fortress for out of cage time.
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Offline Zipfelmuetze

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Re: Considering a rabbit and have "?'s"
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 09:24:13 PM »
I have one lop eared rabbit who is neutered.  He would have been ridiculous if I hadn't neutered him.  He was always attacking my legs to hump them.  He really loved my pink fluffy socks. 
I have no idea why rabbits are so attracted to cables/electrical wiring.  My place isn't fully proofed.  I just have too much stuff, and he has managed to find wires and chew them within seconds.  It does not take long.  Replacing these wires is a pain and costly.  When you have a rabbit, it is much easier the less furniture and stuff you have in your home.  He used to chew the carpet, but has lost interest in that.  When he realizes that I'm trying to grab him to put him back in the cage he will run and hide under the couch.  Fortunately he is potty trained.  He loves to be scratched on the head and pet in general.  You will most likely be able to sit NEXT TO your rabbit and pet it.  As soon as you try to put it on your lap to pet it, it probably won't like it.  You can turn your rabbit up side down and lay it on its back, cover its eyes, and it will fall asleep...sometimes.  Ditto, the kids should respect that the rabbit won't like to be picked up.  The kicking is immensely strong and even difficult for me to handle...I can't imagine a child having to deal with it.  Pick the bunny up by scooping both hands under the chest and placing it sideways against your chest, holding it with one hand under the chest and the other hand supporting the hind legs. 

Offline fuzzfanatic

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Re: Considering a rabbit and have "?'s"
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 08:05:41 AM »
I have a big fat rex rabbit and she is ADORABLE but definitely do your research because rabbits are complex creatures. Totally worth the time and money if you appreciate them for who they are though and don't expect them to be stuffed animals.

1) Vet care - if you live in the US, no shots required. Definitely spay/neuter though, aside from just preventing the possibility of reproduction if the rabbit gets loose, they will also live MUCH LONGER and be much calmer if you spay/neuter. It's well worth the cost.

2) How social the rabbit is really depends on the breed and individual. You can keep a single rabbit and they will be fine. Typically the larger breeds are friendlier (rexes in particular) and the more space the rabbit has, both in its cage and for free-range time, the happier and friendlier the rabbit will be. A lot of rabbits are only aggressive when they are kept in small cages, and then people find that the same rabbits are totally cool when they move them to larger cages.

3) Kids - rabbits are okay with kids, but preferably older kids since most rabbits don't like to be held and they don't like quick movements or feeling like they're being "controlled". Usually they do prefer to be on the ground while being pet, and whenever they need to be picked up, a lot of care has to be taken to make sure they are picked up properly, their feet are supported to prevent spine injury from kicking, and the person holding them is strong enough to hold them still. As mentioned above, you can get them to go into the "bunny trance" by flipping them on their backs, but this is a prey instinct where they play dead. They REALLY DO NOT ENJOY this, even though it may seem like they're relaxed, so only do it when absolutely necessary, like when clipping nails.

4) Free-ranging - rabbits can be let out of their cages in a VERY rabbit-proofed room, but have to be supervised the whole time. They're a lot of fun to watch and play with out of the cage, but they can and will get into lots of trouble, and are very tactful and clever so don't underestimate them! Make sure your rabbit has a big enough cage to hop around in when it's not out, but definitely set aside a room or closed-off area to let it dash about in during supervised free-range time. Rabbits love to binky, which is when they jump up in the air and wiggle back and forth. It's a sign of pure happiness and they don't usually have room to do it in their cages, but it's adorable to watch outside the cage. You can make a decent rabbit cage for really cheap by buying those wire squares for making cube shelving, and attaching them together with cable ties. Mine is 2-leveled and I just use a few wooden dowels to keep the "roof" and second floor sturdy. Rabbits can also be litter trained pretty easily, but they will scatter dry turds around to "claim their territory", so you'll vacuum that up regularly, but no, if you litter train your rabbit and he/she has access to it, you'll rarely ever have to clean up pee.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask! I'm a bunny expert.  :)
"Love of animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet. By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other."
        --Dr Louis J.Camuti (1893-1981)