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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?

Yura Sun 24-Feb-19 16:04:26

I only got bitten a handful of times - it was more unsuspecting other people or animals (dog, blackbird, other birds) who suddenly found out that rabbits aren’t cute and harmless. loved them all , great pets for an adult (one liked to go on walks on a leash), but not for a child!

Yura Sun 24-Feb-19 16:01:16

@Lightofday yep, all three. one more viscous than the others, but they were all way more dangerous than our dogs! they all came from rescues, had substantial issues and all were “needs to be kept on his/her own, do not try to introduce other rabbits or guinea pigs”. our dog had quite some scars from her encounter with the rabbit.

givemesteel Sun 24-Feb-19 12:54:22

Agree that the pet should be something that you actually want as well so if you don't like rabbits don't get one, they do sound like a lot of work from pps posts.

What about gerbils? They're easier and don't live as long?

Lightofday Sun 24-Feb-19 12:40:51

Depends on the rabbit, they all have different personalities. I've had ones I didn't really bond with and a couple that were my best little buddies. You can't categorise a whole species as 'crap pets' based on having had a couple. I've never met a dog I particularly liked and many of the cats I've met have been assholes xD I still like cats and dogs.

Thisnamechanger Sun 24-Feb-19 12:29:33

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

I have two that don't bite and scratch and even I agree they are crap pets. grin OP if you get a sickly one it could end up costing you thousands so insure insure insure!

Lightofday Sun 24-Feb-19 12:28:00

Yura? They all attacked!? I've had ten rabbits over the years and only one of them attacked ppl/pets. She was just a big old grump xD But the one I had from rescue...clearly had issues (hated being an a cage at all and was extra destructive ect...) You said yours were all rescue bunnies...makes me wonder what sort of trauma the poor little sods went through before going in there sad so glad someone was there to give them a chance smile. But yeah, think 6 your exp highlights that rescue bunnies often need a certain sort of owner.

Yura Sat 23-Feb-19 19:16:59

i love rabbits as pets. i always had iy one, always from a rescue and ones that did not get along with other animals (one of them attacked my parents dog and bit the dog quite severely.....). tbey are great, social animals - but not for children I think.
mine were trained and pretty much free in my flat when i was in, really big cafe otherwise. but training needs time, patience and consequence.
All of mine also randomly attacked people and other animals, and rabbit bites are deep! (but all of mine were definitely special cases - my parents and i like the challenge of unusual animal behaviour, no matter if dog, horse or rabbit!)

chocolateroses Sat 23-Feb-19 17:13:24

Please read the fulll thread.

Will people please stop posting I must get two rabbits not one. I have said I was looking at a pair of rabbits or there was another rabbit that the RSPCA stated must go as a single as it doesn't like other rabbits. I think the RSPCA know what they are on about.....

chuttypicks Sat 23-Feb-19 16:03:36

Please don't do it!! Rabbits shouldn't be kept on their own and they need a minimum of 60 sq ft housing, 2 vaccinations per year, fresh hay daily, veg and good quality pellets. They're a big responsibility and not at all child friendly.

Cremeeggsareforever Sat 23-Feb-19 14:40:04

Hi OP! I see that you now want guinea pigs. If you do, please adopt two that are already bonded. Guinea pigs shouldn't live alone unless the circumstances mean there is no other option - occssionally one will just not get on with others. Bur generally they are very social animals. Naturally they live in herds. You will notice they behave very differently in pairs - they are so much happier.

I say get two that are already bonded, as I've heard so many stories of people that buy 2 young ones and then the guinea pigs fall out when they become adults and start fighting. When that happens, you have to separate, and to be kind to each of them you have to find them a friend they will get on with...then you have 4!

Rescue centres always have pairs that can be adopted together.

Lightofday Sat 23-Feb-19 13:37:34

I agree with doggy, you don't need a pair of rabbits if bunny will be kept inside (and not be left alone all day). As long as they have plenty of human interaction and play it is fine.

Though as I mentioned before, rescue bunnies can sometimes be extra destructive may have to be outdoor bunnies. In which case, another bunny they can at least SEE everyday (perhaps sniff through their run ect...) is preferable.

But looks like op is going with guineapigs anyway. I had a single guinea pig as a kid and it seemed fine. But I think I would maybe go with a pair if I wanted them again.

PenguinPandas Sat 23-Feb-19 11:22:42

Rabbitmad89 Glad to hear your username is as you love rabbits rather than you have 89 angry rabbits running round grin. Also love rabbits here.

OP, one thing also to check is are either of you have hayfever for any animal that uses hay. I am though its fine as DH and DD are doing looking after, well it would be fine if a trail of hay wasn't through the house with bouncing bunny but once that's gone its fine.

iamyourequal Fri 22-Feb-19 23:12:27

We have two female rabbits and love them to bits. Yes it was a bit of a surprise to discover they really don’t like being picked up/held, although as prey animals this makes complete sense. Ours live in a large two tier hutch in the garden, which is connected to a run via a tunnel (Runaround). The outlay was expensive but worth it as the bunnies can go out/in as they please- it’s surprising how little they actually go out! They are beautiful animals and it’s lovely watching them binky about. We feed them hay, pellets and about £1 worth of fresh veg a day between them - mainly kale/greens and they love carrot peelings and chopped apple as a treat. Cleaning and disinfecting the hutch thoroughly takes 30-40mins, done fortnightly- Small clear out daily. I think they are good pets, but not for very young children if they wish to pick them up etc as they are timid. Having said that, they love the company of being talked to and their faces stroked. We pay for annual check up and vaccinations - about £25 each I think. Getting then neutered was £80 each. We don’t pay pet insurance. Thankfully they have both kept good health the three years we have had them.

Rabbitmad89 Fri 22-Feb-19 23:08:05

As you can see from my name I absolutely adore rabbits. I’ve got a little guy who’s a house rabbit and he’s got the best personality. They’re quite expensive to keep, we easily spend about £20 a week on fresh hay/vegetables as well as a big bag of nuggets every couple of months. They need their regular vaccinations, especially if they’re going to be kept outside. If they are outside then they need to be in a VERY secure hutch so that the foxes don’t get them! They also need a large area to run and interaction. Some rabbits are cuddly, some aren’t - most don’t actually enjoy being picked up!

Really take the time to consider it as they are a big commitment, but so rewarding!

Doggydoggydoggy Fri 22-Feb-19 22:56:48

Not necessarily

Doggydoggydoggy Fri 22-Feb-19 22:56:29

Single rabbits actually, provided they live indoors and have near constant attention/company can and usually do live very happy lives..
It is necessarily a requirement to have two in my opinion.

Snuffalo Fri 22-Feb-19 22:12:10

Keeping a single rabbit is cruel. They need to be in pairs. That need a hutch that allows them to do at least three full hops (10 feet for a big bunny). They need to have their tray cleaned daily and they need expensive hay and fresh food (pellets destroy their teeth). They need their claws trimmed and regular vet care. Does all of that sound feasible for a pet you can’t cuddle or play with?

roboticmom Fri 22-Feb-19 22:05:26

Look up 'Guinea Pig Olympics' on Youtube.

My DD is like yours- obsessed with rabbits. Every birthday when she blows out her candles she wishes for a rabbit. But I had never had rabbits and they seemed too complicated and bitey. So we got a male guinea pig (I think the boy ones are a little more boisterous).

She ignores him like she ignores our dogs. But I have a feeling it would have been the same with a rabbit. But my DS loves him. (And I love him too.) So no regrets!

We clean his cage once a week and feed him once a day. Not much work really and he eats our vegetable scraps. My DS holds him while reading or playing video games. We put the top of his cage outside in the Summer so he can nibble on grass (supervised). They are just the sweetest most docile creatures.

MessEnoughClean Fri 22-Feb-19 21:32:54

Your daughter sounds like me when I was a child. I've always been OBSESSED with cats and wanted one for as long as I can remember. Asked for one constantly as soon as I could form sentences.

My parents told me at age 4/5ish that I was too young to be responsible for an animal but if I still loved cats and wanted one when I was 8, they would let me. This stopped all of the begging and pleading because I knew I would get one eventually. Every time I asked I was told: when you're 8. Then no more conversation about it.

When I was 8 I was given a wrapped cat care book, and I was told when I had read it cover to cover 3 times, we would go and look at cats. It didn't take me long! As a result I knew loads about caring for cats and I felt like I had proved myself. And my parents had a few years of relief from the pleading because I was busy counting down until my 8th birthday!

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Fri 22-Feb-19 21:32:02

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

TheDHand Fri 22-Feb-19 21:17:02

I know others have said this but please don’t get a rabbit as a pet for a 5 year old. They don’t like being held and they are a totally inappropriate pet for a small child, which will went to pet them.

We have 3 completely free range houserabbits. They are wonderful pets provided you give them as much space and attention as you would a dog.

If you wouldn’t keep a dog in a crate all day then don’t keep a rabbit in a hutch. If you wouldn’t leave a dog outside on its own for 23 hours a day then don’t do it with a rabbit. They are one of the most mistreated pets in the UK. They are more expensive to keep than a cat and live for 10-12 years. They have fragile skeletons and are frequently very severely hurt by being mishandled by small children who don’t know any better and want to cuddle them.

Minglemangle Fri 22-Feb-19 21:12:17

You cannot get one guinea pig it will be very unhappy, they must be kept at least in pairs. I’ve had several over the years and have never bitten. They are extremely cute and don’t need vaccinations like rabbits.

CatinMyLap Fri 22-Feb-19 20:48:43

To be fair on the basis that the 5 year old loves everything bunnies, and there’s a very small budget, I don’t think it’s fair on any pet.

Smidge001 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:45:23

I'm surprised by all the negative comments about rabbits as pets. I've had rabbits twice in my lifetime - once when a child (I was 7 or 8, through to about 17 I think) and then again when I had my own home in my twenties. In both situations they were great at being handled, could be let to run free in the garden all day (unfenced but never ran away - found out by chance when she escaped!) as well as in the house (supervised). My recent bunny was a house rabbit, and would come when he was called! I'm desperate to get another but want to be sure it's a dwarf so doesn't get too big. The local place I see them in just says they're mongrels and can't guarantee how big they'll grow! I've loved rabbits since I was 5 and never thought any other pet comes close. grin
But you need to handle them a lot so they get used to you.

highheelsandbobblehats Fri 22-Feb-19 20:30:28

I loved my guinea pigs when I was a kid. We had a rabbit too. He was fucking evil and we named him Elmer Fudd as he was so grumpy. I'd have guinea pigs again in a heartbeat. Absolute sweethearts.

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