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To adopt a rabbit when short of money?

(162 Posts)
chocolateroses Thu 21-Feb-19 23:26:41

So we are a stable household, married with two steady incomes. 2 young DC who don't go without and a nice house. We are always careful with money but make sure we have enough to cover all costs each month. After the mortgage and food shops can't afford many luxuries - no holidays for us etc.

My eldest DC (who is 5) is desperate to get a rabbit.

I am looking at re homing two rabbits from the RSPCA, but I'm worried about the cost. I assume I would need to pay for:

- hutch and run (these look expensive!)
- some kind of indoor cage?
-hay and food
- some kind of monthly vet insurance

- costs to buy the rabbit?

Do the RSPCA charge you? I would love to donate, but after buying the essentials above we'd be skint luxury wise for a couple of months.

I can't imagine rabbits are that expensive to keep? Unless I'm missing something?

I can't help but feel that us adopting a rabbit (who would be deeply loved and cared for) but being a bit skint to start and unable to make a reasonable donation would still be a bette option than a rabbit staying in the RSPCA?

FlibbertyGiblets Thu 21-Feb-19 23:31:27

Tbh rabbits are crap pets. They don't like petting and can bite and scratch dreadfully.

A no from me.

RangerLady Thu 21-Feb-19 23:36:07

I have 2 rspca adopted bunnies, they are now 9 and 8. Got them pre DC. Rabbits are.much misunderstood pets. They are harder to look after than people realise. Yes the rspca will charge you but I can't remember what. Hutches and good runs will be quite expensive, DH made ours. Lots of people use little sheds with a run attached. Rabbits need a lot of space. Hay to eat and some pellets,.Not the mix food it's unhealthy for them.

Vaccinations for mixy and viral hemoragic disease for 2 is about £80 a year. I donr insure.mine as rhey are.old and i wouldnt put them through medical.procedures.

You need 2 as they are social animals.

Rabbits are prey creatures and don't like being handled. They're lovely to watch and my girls will hop up and nudge me but I can't say they're good pets for children. I'd recommend guinea pigs.

chocolateroses Thu 21-Feb-19 23:36:48

@FlibbertyGiblets grin thanks! I don't actually want a rabbit, but my 5 year old asks about it every minute of everyday. Her silence is what I'd be getting!

Brownpigeon Thu 21-Feb-19 23:37:30

Even with insurance, mine ended costing me a fair bit at the vets.

Mine were great. Litter trained and spoilt with space (the whole garden).

My hutch (which was minimum size requirements, but as they had garden during day, I didn't mind) was £200.

Mine were on excel food. Hay was about £4 for a medium bag.

Bambamber Thu 21-Feb-19 23:39:40

Why does your child want a rabbit? As above, they're really not cute and cuddly animals. I would highly recommend doing lots of research before getting one

I most certainly wouldn't buy a pet if I couldn't really afford the cost of one in the first place.

Brownpigeon Thu 21-Feb-19 23:39:47

And out of all the pets I've had (hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, cats, gerbils), rabbits were probably the hardest to look after.

RomanticFatigue Thu 21-Feb-19 23:39:57

Chocolate, I used to volunteer at an animal rescue and we were always getting rabbits bought in because the kids had got bored of them. You will be looking after them for the next 10 years (if you are lucky, or look after them well - mine lived to 13 and 14). Will your 5 year old still be interested in them when he is a teenager? Are YOU prepared to clean them and take care of them?

McFrostyNuts Thu 21-Feb-19 23:40:00

Another vote for guinea pigs. Much better first pet to have.

chocolateroses Thu 21-Feb-19 23:41:09

Thanks all. I will ask hubby in the morning, if he can find some ££ for a hutch then maybe...

Brownpigeon Thu 21-Feb-19 23:41:16

My 7 year old is desperate for a dog. She's told no. I wouldn't be too persuaded by a 5 year old, they're bloody hard work!
(Rabbits, not 5 year olds! Well....)

mirime Thu 21-Feb-19 23:42:56

Rabbits aren't great pets for small children.

I had a rabbit in my teens and she was lovely, very affectionate, I loved her a lot. However, if you've ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail she was also a bit like The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Twenty years later if I mention her, my DM will still bring up the time she darted out from under the sofa and bit her, and one time she leapt at me, bit, and was hanging off my hand. She terrorised the cats as well.

Lots of snuffily kisses and cuddles though.

BrendaUrie Thu 21-Feb-19 23:45:03

I know a lot of people will boak at the suggestion but rats make amazing pets. They are very loving and cuddly. Love to be handled and will just sleep in the hood of a dressing gown or pocket for hours.

They really are wonderful. They can even learn tricks and know their name.

RomanticFatigue Thu 21-Feb-19 23:45:28

And yes, to answer your questions, the RSPCA will expect a donation - they have to feed them while they are in their care and need to recoup their costs somehow. Neutering/spaying, although the rescue will probably have covered that too. Annual booster jabs. Insurance for 2 rabbits at around £15 a month each - because you won't just get one and have him being lonely, right? Get a pair, they are sociable creatures. They're not cuddly toys, they are prey creatures who don't like to be grabbed and cuddled, it goes against every instinct and they can bite and scratch as said before. They don't always but they can. And they can also be destructive - diggers indoors and outdoors! I loved my 2 but I wouldn't have rabbits again.

Maryann1975 Thu 21-Feb-19 23:45:30

I wouldn’t be getting a rabbit (or any pet) unless you actually want one. Your dc will get bored very quickly and the care of the rabbit will be left to you. I know of so many rabbits over the years who have been largely ignored because children don’t want anything to do with them after the initial excitement and parents don’t have time for something they didn’t really want in the first place.
Can you borrow rabbits for a couple of weeks while their owners are on holiday day - get it out of their system without having any long term commitment to them. This has worked with the guinea pig argument that my dc kept trying to have with me.

chocolateroses Thu 21-Feb-19 23:47:00

@RomanticFatigue we would be responsible. I can imagine the 5 year olds 'attempts' at cleaning the hutch. We've been putting the rabbit off for about a year now but she's heart set on a bunny (well I've found 2 lovely child suitable ones on the local rspca site).

I'm hoping she won't just loose interest, aware she might. But feel she should have a chance. We're aware we will be looking after it ourselves for the long haul though.

I might ring the rspca and see what they think tomorrow.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Feb-19 23:47:58

If you don’t want a rabbit (or any other pet) don’t get one. Your 5 year old won’t do all the care. That will fall on you.
Rabbits aren’t often keen on being handled and most hutches and runs are stupidly small.
And if money is seriously short? A hamster cost us nearly £100 in vet fees about 30 years ago. They’re not cheap.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Feb-19 23:48:28

Say no. It’s not hard. confused

SnagAndChips Thu 21-Feb-19 23:48:40

I have 2 rescue rabbit and agree with everyone else- they are not great pets for little kids as they hate being picked up. Our rescues are great but have run of the garden all day and are locked in a large run at night. They poo and wee a LOT, you have to clean them often, they eat everything in sight.
They can live to 12 years.
A cat is a lot better suited to a 5 year old.
(but I love watching my buns and they like to lick my feet)

CountingFireflies Thu 21-Feb-19 23:49:55

Agree completely with @BrendaUrie ! Rats are brilliant pets. Sociable, clever, trainable. I had a rat as a teenager and he'd quite happily cuddle the crook of my neck while I did my GCSE revision. They love being handled too, and if you put the time and effort in you can teach them tricks.

chocolateroses Thu 21-Feb-19 23:52:38

Hmmmm starting to think I just can't be arsed with a rabbit!!!!!

Thanks for the input guys.

I think if we got any other pet - rat or cat etc she would still pine for a rabbit and not be happy. She's obsessed. Her birthday party was rabbit themed, with a rabbit cake and invites. Her room is rabbit themed. She's had bunny soft toys that walk along and hop, but she's still desperate.

I'd love to get one for her but.... I really don't think I want one

buzzzzzzz Thu 21-Feb-19 23:54:25

I have 4 of the things living as a group with a 10 foot long by 5 foot wide house and 10foot square run, they get let out daily when I can keep an eye on them. Built it ourselves but it still cost close to £800 to set up with a second hand shed.

Love them but they are a pain in the arse to keep well. Need lots of cleaning, daily grooming for the long haired one, checking for fly strike daily or twice a day in summer, nails clipped every 6 weeks, fresh food, hay and pellets, daily spot cleaning, weekly full cleans. All of this and not one of them likes being held so you have to try catch them, do it all quickly and make sure they forgive you afterwards.

They are hilarious to watch especially when they are happy - binkies could never fail to make a person smile and they love a good head rub on their own terms. Interacting with them is always sat on the floor and on their terms, no holding allowed.

They can get some quite serious health problems, and ensuring they keep eating is essential, if they stop for any reason it becomes a major emergency requiring vet visits, syringe feeding and big vets bills. Fear, pain, illness, or stress can stop them eating and that develops into gut stasis.

If you got them from the RSPCA they would have had their vaccinations for the year and been neutered. So I would imagine the charge is more than you would pay in a pet shop but for very good reason and would save you money overall.

I enjoy keeping them but imagine a five year old would get bored quickly.

We but hay in square bales from the farm at around £5 a go and that lasts a month, pellets are £10 a bag but last a long time - you only feed a small amount of those, about an egg cup full per rabbit a day, then there is fresh herbs, veg and wild flowers which we grow ourselves for them.

We cut nails ourselves but if you need the vet nurse to do it they charge about £15 a go. Vaccinations we pay about £30 a year each I think, get a small discount for taking them all in at once.

Neutering was expensive. Insurance is £10 a month each at the minute but that doesn’t have high cover and I really would prefer a better if more expensive policy.

Other costs are mainly toys and entertainment - if you don’t give them enough to do they chew the house and run out of boredom, or start misbehaving in other ways.

Tillygetsit Thu 21-Feb-19 23:54:41

Guinea pigs are so much friendlier and "chirp" at you! My sister runs a rabbit rescue and we look after them if she's away. Some can be positively evil.

Chelseajunior Thu 21-Feb-19 23:56:16

Look on gumtree or local Facebook for sale groups, you will get a hutch etc much cheaper than in the shops. As long as you have pet insurance (a few pounds each month) and can afford the food for them, give cuddles and play time then you are doing a good job giving an animal a loving home 🏡

mirime Fri 22-Feb-19 00:00:06

I'd love a rat, but I also fancy a couple of degu. When DS is older though, and when we don't have cats - the latter might never happen.

We had a couple of hamsters when I was young as well, found them to be lovely, they had a lot more character than I think people assume. Made them a large cage linked by a tunnel to the stupidly small one pet shops always sell. Our daft ginger fluff ball of a cat used to sleep on top and have his tail pulled through and used as part of the hamsters bed. One of them started to wash her face every morning when I was putting my moisturiser on, which was very cute.

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