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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?

Whatsnewpussyhat Fri 22-Feb-19 00:01:12

Your child is 5. Say no. You don't even want bloody rabbit and it's you who will be looking after it not her.
The cute fantasy you have in your head is far from the reality of constant care they will need.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Feb-19 00:01:33

At that age my dd wanted to be a kitten. hmm
Keep it to the books and the cuddly toys etc if you don’t want one. It is unlikely to live up to the cute and cuddly 5 year olds dream and you could be looking after it until your child is a teen. shock

Lovingbenidorm Fri 22-Feb-19 00:03:28

I once had a lop eared dwarf.
Unbelievably cute to look at but I’m not joking when I say that rabbit was a hairy bag of razor blades..
I used to put her in a run in the garden and needed oven gloves to pick her up to put her back in her hutch.
Your 5yo is too young to be responsible for a pet
Is likely to lose interest quickly
Then it’s you up to your eyeballs in rabbit shit
Don’t do it!

FedericaFusilli Fri 22-Feb-19 00:13:49

Don't do it if you don't have money to spare!
They are wonderful animals, it is a joy to see them running and binkying around, and just being, and I would rather have rabbits than any other pet (so I really understand where your daughter is coming from) but they can be expensive if they get ill. Mine got ill when they were new, before the insurance kicked in. And the housing adds up - eg if they jump out of an indoor pen and you need to get a higher one. I spent over £1500 in the first year, a lot of which was on vet bills, but also on housing and equipment.

Even if, as for most people, the insurance will cover vet bills, you usually have to pay out first and then reclaim it, so you need to be able to afford that. Emergency vet bills are especially extortionate. And of course it's not 100% guaranteed the insurer will pay out.

As a prey animal, rabbits tend to hide pain as long as they can, so they are often more ill than other animals before you become aware of it.

Perhaps when your daughter is a bit older, if she is still interested, she could volunteer for a rabbit rescue and even get into fostering some.

PenguinPandas Fri 22-Feb-19 00:14:12

We've just got two (and have a cat) - one was £25, the other £45 - they are adorable - got a mini Lion lop and a lavender mini lop. Both ours will be cuddled. We keeps our indoors and are similar to a cat, you can litter train them. My kids are older 12 and 13. Out in gardens a lot get killed by foxes which wouldn't be great to explain to a child. Children often want one pet for a month then another so I wouldn't worry about getting an easier pet.

You do need to get them neutered, vaccinated etc so few vets fees. Food isn't much. They don't always bond. Our male is very keen to bond with our female but she's not so had to separate.

Maybe start with an easier pet though our rabbits are adorable but will be you doing the work. Have seen a fair few for sale as kids lost interest so you need to want it for you.

FurrySlipperBoots Fri 22-Feb-19 00:15:53

If you're on the fence (and it sounds like you're leaning towards the 'no' side anyway) just don't do it! If you get any pet for a child it has to be because YOU really want it, will bond with it, care for it even when it's pissing down with rain on a winter's night and you don't feel well, cough up for vets bills (and rabbits are prone to illness - if they stop eating it's deadly and they need immediate hospitalization). They're also prone to problem teeth which need regular burring by the vet (mine were done every 6 weeks sometimes at a massive cost!) It would hurt your daughter more to get her rabbits and have it all fail than to get her a realistic toy bunny and have her learn that we don't always get what we want. When I was little I wanted a pony in the back garden. Sometimes life is unfair.

Oh, and one of my rabbits bit my nipple once, as I was carrying him against my (clothed!) chest. OUCH!!!

NCforthis2019 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:16:35

No please don’t Get one - your child is 5. She will get bored of it and you will end up looking after it. It’s irresponsible.

starshollow1 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:17:03

Fgs. Rabbits do not make good pets for children. The reality of a rabbit would likely be very disappointing for your DD and the poor rabbit would end up with a miserable existence once is been forgotten about.

PenguinPandas Fri 22-Feb-19 00:17:53

This one looks a bit of work grin

Wakk Fri 22-Feb-19 00:21:16

Rabbits are really cute to look at but terrible pets.

We used to have lots and I've still got the scars, the bites really really hurt.

Most of them hate being picked up and cuddled, they scratch and kick and bite. It's unusual to find one that can tolerate it, so kids get bored of them.

Also after a bite or two it becomes less appealing to try and catch one.

The RSPCA charge you for their neutering fees and an adoption charge and paperwork. Cheaper to buy from a pet shop but then you'll have to pay injections and neutering.

I still love rabbits but not as a child's pet.

MonaChopsis Fri 22-Feb-19 00:33:27

Get a cat and call it Bunny. She's 5, she'll be delighted!

barryfromclareisfit Fri 22-Feb-19 00:39:59

No. Rabbits are crap pets for children. They bite, scratch, don’t want to associate with you and if they’re house rabbits they’ll make your whole house their hutch. Great for active old women with lots of spare cash, who aren’t houseproud and enjoy mucking out.

Syrian hamster. Bigger the better. Full of personality and live about three years.

Nat6999 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:40:33

Don't do it, my DS wanted a rabbit, we got him a mini lop, forked out for a cage & all the equipment, it was bloody vicious, hated being stroked & only lived 23 months before we found him dead in his cage. This was after paying over £100 to have him neutered & vaccinated, in total he cost around £500 over his life. Get him a pair of guinea pigs or a hamster.

ritzbiscuits Fri 22-Feb-19 00:47:44

'Please' do not get a rabbit. I also have a 5 yo and there is no way kids that young should be driving your decision to get a pet!

My mum was a loving breeder for 25+ years and it takes a good amount of money to looks after them properly. So many poor rabbits are brought up in shit condition, eating crap quality food and kept in dirty hunches. And that's before your DS are (unintentionally) mishandling them, then will inevitably lose interest. To bring up rabbits in sufficient standard costs more money than you think.

Many are also bred in vast quantities on farms. Before Mum need her own we had bought various rabbits with all sorts of health complications, leading to vets bills and premature death in cases. You don't know anything about these rabbits background (the RSPCA won't either) and could easily develop complications.

I had to wait until Junior School age before I had my first one, and was made to read every book in the library about looking after them first. I was made to clean out their hutch and hated it!

I love bunnies but I certainly won't be getting one! Too much hassle around everything else I need to do!

Furrydogmum Fri 22-Feb-19 07:24:32

We got our bunny as our oldest son went to secondary school at 11, son now 21 and bunny still going strong. He's very much my responsibility but thats ok for me - he kisses me but growls at dh 😬 they are not easy pets by any stretch..

Decormad38 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:27:44

I have two rabbits. One of which is rehomed. They take quite a bit of looking after and need space. It’s not fair to keep them in a hutch. I have a big aviary type home plus an indoor area so they have space.

Decormad38 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:31:14

Also when rabbits are frustrated usually due to cramped conditions they get frustrated and can bite. My poor adopted bun was kept in a crappy hutch before here and she has needed alot of care. At first she would lunge but now she is happier she will let me stroke her and pick her up. It annoys me that people buy rabbits and do no research first! Its not that difficult to read a few websites!

Maneandfeathers Fri 22-Feb-19 07:33:21

Agree with the majority here. Rabbits make terrible pets.

If you were seriously considering a small pet I would go for something like a Guineas pig which are much more interactive and have nicer personalities.

BlueTrews Fri 22-Feb-19 07:34:10

I've still got a scar on my hand from my 'pet' rabbit years ago! it was evil!
we bought 2 together as we were informed they love company. They had a huge cage like a small shed with an outside run.
One morning I went out and Mr evil had killed his mateshock
Try explaining that to a 5 year old!
I've never seen a friendly bunny.

GirlfriendInAKorma Fri 22-Feb-19 07:38:55

We have a pet that the kids hassled me for.

Fast forward 2 years and I don't even think they remember they have it. I do all the work. Which is why I would never have chosen a rabbit.

EvaHarknessRose Fri 22-Feb-19 07:39:17

Hold firm OP, don’t do it - Its a rite of passage 1. Prove you can nag parents into getting you one 2. Realise its a bit yukky, scary and or boring 3. Take no more interest 4. Parents disappointed in you and telling each other I told you so 5. Parents shamefacedly rehome rabbits. Out of all my friends who have gone down the get a pet for the child route, none have worked out in the ‘teach them responsibility way’. Cats and dogs are different.

Decormad38 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:41:27

That was a bonding issue and they should have been separated at the earliest sign. There would have been signs. The issue is kids get them then lose interest so basically don’t do it unless you yourself are interested and want to keep rabbits.

Wakk Fri 22-Feb-19 07:41:59

The cages stink too when you clean them out.

AFistfulofDolores1 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:43:46

How has a five year old got you so wrapped around her little finger? (To be clear, this is about you, not her.)

Bellatrix14 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:44:01

Rabbits are lovely pets in my opinion, but probably not a very good choice for a 5 year old. I have two and they are both fairly high maintenance (mine live indoors but I don’t think that makes much of a difference), they need their toilet area cleaning out every day and a pretty much constant supply of hay, which might not be ideal if you’re all out of the house all day. I could put a day’s worth of hay in with mine, but they would wee on it at some point and then refuse to eat it because someone’s weed on it hmm They’re also not massively ‘cuddly’ pets, if you were to buy one from a specialist breeder then it probably would be, but that would defeat the point of adopting one!

I haven’t got mine insured but they are on the vet’s healthcare programme which is £7.50 per month per bunny and includes all their yearly vaccinations, bi annual check ups and a treatment that is meant to prevent fly strike. Mine also both need their teeth filing down once or twice a year which wouldn’t be covered by insurance even with they were insured and is about £80 a time... They should also really live to be between 10 and 12 but generally only live to be around 5-7, which is an indicator of how badly taken care of a lot of them are.

As other people have said, maybe start with something more low maintenance and see if you end up doing all the work? I wouldn’t recommend a hamster though. I’ve had a couple and they’ve either been lovely or evil. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground!

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