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Small pets

Can you tell me all you know about house rabbits?

19 replies

Purplebuns · 31/10/2010 20:01

I have wanted one for as long as I can remember and we are moving to a house where I hope we could keep one.
It would be kept downstairs which is mostly open plan, except the conservatory and utility room, both which I am thinking could be possible bunny hideaways?
Dd is 18 months and at an age where it would be nice to introduce a pet.
However, I would like to know your experiences and just anything I need to know/consider really.
I have grown up with cats and dogs so rabbits are not my area of expertise :)

OP posts:
countydurhamlass · 01/11/2010 07:36

my MIL has one and u can't house train the fully. she often finds the odd bit of poo on the floor which would not be good for dd 18 months if she was to find it!

lurcherlover · 01/11/2010 18:39

I had two. It lasted a month before they moved into the garden.

They pooped everywhere. They mostly weed in their littertray, but rabbits scatter dry poos to mark their territory and it's very hard to get them to confine these to a tray. Sure, they're easy enough to sweep up, but it's not nice when visitors come before you've had chance to get the dustpan out and there's rabbit poo all over the carpet.

They chewed EVERYTHING. We expected them to go for cables and put protectors on them. But they also ripped wallpaper off walls, chewed the carpet to bits, ripped spines from books, chewed shoes, chewed the coffee get the idea.

Rabbits eat lots of hay, all the time. Hay is the messiest substance in the world. It cannot be contained and strands of it get everywhere.

They moved into a large hutch and had free-range access to the garden. IMO they were happier out there, and I was certainly happier (although I did have to redecorate the living room).

TBH, rabbits aren't great pets for tiny children anyway. They hate being picked up and aren't cuddly. They bite and kick readily. Could you not have a dog or cat instead?

ginodacampoismydh · 03/11/2010 13:10

is it usefull to bring the rabbit in in the winter, just to sleep and out in garden in the daytime?

im finding the rabbit is being ignored just now as dd is not playing out quiet as much. the hutch stinks today as it has been so wet out and the ground is muddy. I dont think i will want to be going out and cleaning it out so much in the winter.

if it comes in to sleep only, in a wire cage will it make the house smelly?

FernieB · 04/11/2010 17:39

We have a housebunny and whilst there is the odd poop on the floor, she is pretty good about using her litter trays. Ours did chew when she was tiny, but we trained her (using a water spray) and now she only chews her toys. She's become part of the family and understands about 20 words/commands (it takes a lot more repetition to train a rabbit than a dog), although she does not always obey them.

I wouldn't recommend a house rabbit for such a young child though. Rabbits do not like being handled very much and pretty much like to be left alone. They can be easily startled by sudden noises and may bite or scratch if upset.

An indoor bunny in a wire cage should not make the house smell so long as you keep the cage clean.

sarah293 · 04/11/2010 17:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

triballeader · 04/11/2010 18:37

Contact the Rabbit Welfare Association if your serious about a house rabbit.

I have had many but they are NOT suitable pets for young children leave a rabbit until your children are at least secondary age unless your willing to p[rovide all the care and cleaning. Rabbits can and will bite, kick and scratch if sacred, they do not like being picked up or chased. A hormonal rabbit can be very aggresive with a small child who does not understand their needs and behaviour.
A neutered rabbit can easily be litter trained. A none neutered bun will spray and mark territory. Forget house tidy- hay gets everywhere and they will also chew, bunny proofing makes toddler proofing look easy.
Oh and rabbits do not smell if they are neutered- something I recommend for the rabbits own sake [costs £35-80 depending on sex], you feed them the correct hay diet [bail of hay £4.50 pw]plus fresh herbage, fresh high fibre veg, twigs et al [extra £6-10 pw] and you need to clean them every day. They cost as much as cats at the vets so look at insurance. They also need bi annual myxi jabs and annual VHD jabs.[vaccines can cost £100 pa]
Remeber rabbits get classed as 'exotic' pets by vetinary schools for a reason.

BabyDubsEverywhere · 04/11/2010 19:55

if your rabbits home stinks you need to clean it out more often.

TotorosOcarina · 04/11/2010 19:57

They are ALOT of work and chew everything, mine could NOT be house trained and it ended up being too much.

Puppies and kitten eventually 'grow up' and learn to pee/poo outside and cats become pretty independant.

A house rabbit is like having a puppy for life.

Its hard work.

cyb · 04/11/2010 19:57

I wouldnt let an 18mth old have a rabbit

MayDayChild · 04/11/2010 20:03

We had a house rabbit he came inside one winter as he got pleurisy
He lived another 5 years indoors and never poo'ed anywhere but his litter tray tho already trained outdoors.
Rabbits are totally unpredictable so you have no idea what character your getting.
I have had many over the years, and would only bring an excellent well behaved bun indoors not start that way.
Have to say I wouldn't recommend it

ginodacampoismydh · 05/11/2010 21:51

im surprised to be told by the pet shop not bring rabbit in just to sleep as she will malt to adapt to house temp and cenrtal heating and would be detrimental to her as she would be frezzing outside in day time, despite using the hutch and this could kill her. Shock

I called the vet who confirmed that it should be either exclusivly indoors or outdoors as this would be detrimental. i would have thought house rabbits went outside in the day time? I dont have my heating on at night time so dont see why it should be so deterimental.

so i have moved the hutch to a fairly sheltered area so i dont get wet cleaning her out in winter. Sad

FernieB · 06/11/2010 20:29

Indoor rabbits don't always moult in the same way as outdoor rabbits. Ours lives a fairly cosseted life of relaxation by radiators, therefore is probably warmer in winter (when the heating is on) than in summer (when the radiators she still insists on cuddling up to are freezing cold). An outside rabbit will moult to adapt to colder temperatures in winter, whereas an indoor one will not.

ginodacampoismydh · 06/11/2010 21:22

well i brought her in last night as i was at a fire work display and she was in total bliss. when i came home she lay on her back in the middle of the living room and did not move but was restless when i went to bed so put her back out. i left her out tonight as she didnt care one bit about fire works. I will keep her out as i dont want her in all the time and she is happy out, she loves the wind and the rain so im sure she will be better off outside if i make sure she is warm at night.

Meglet · 06/11/2010 21:28

I had a house rabbit once, she was wonderful. She was in at night and in the garden in the day, in her kennel. Totally spolit.

But I would not get a house rabbit with a young child in the house. Rabbits can be hot-headed and I've had worse scratches from a stroppy rabbit than from a cat.

gino I've not had a problem with having rabbits / piggies in at night and outside in the day. I used to think it was risky but started having them inside about 15 years ago and not noticed them being affected in any way.

MittzyBittzyTeenyWeeny · 06/11/2010 21:37

My house rabbit was completely mad, and chewed through everything.. especially electric cable... nearly killed my then DH once.

He used to spray DH if he came near me and grunt at him. He was a very possessive Rabbit, called Gandalf, he was pure white and I loved him, he loved having the back of his head rubbed.

veritythebrave · 24/11/2010 13:05

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GlitteryBalls · 02/01/2011 21:45

They are lovely - I have one called Stella - a spotty holland lop.

However, don't expect to be able to let them wander around the house unsupervised like a cat would. You can train them to pee in one place (mine does it in one corner of her cage - she just digs in litter trays - so I just scoop out the wet shavings once a day and clean the cage out properly once a week) but they will always leave droppings in variable amounts when you let them out. And mine will wee on the sofa if you let her on it, or on your lap unfortunately! She never wees on the carpet though. And she chews wires if you don't watch her. So my advice is to get a cage with plenty of room (I want to get mine a 2 storey one) and let them have a run around as much as possible when you can keep half and eye on them. I also let mine have a run around outside in the summer.

Mine is gorgeous and so affectionate, she licks people she likes like mad and humps mine and my mums legs and arms if she gets the chance, we are special obviously as she doesn't do it to anyone else. I have never known her to bite apart from when she was pregnant, and she used to get arsey when I cleaned out her cage, which was understandable territorial behaviour in the circumstances! She is really tame and confident as I have given her lots of attention and handling since we got her when she was tiny. I adore her and wish rabbits lived forever!

Spanky100 · 07/01/2011 16:58

I really wouldn't.

I had a lovely little rabbit that lived outdoors, one day there was a monumental thunder storm outside and I felt very sorry for him so he came indoors.

In the space of about 4 days he chewed through and destroyed my telephone so i bought another and he destroyed that so then i 'borrowed' the neighbours and that one came to a sticky end too. He squeezed in beneath the book drawer and the sofa to reach the wire that i'd tried to cunningly hide behind the wall.

Not contend with my phones he nibbled the corner of my very expensive wooden book drawer, managed to get behind the tv and destroyed that too and picked a nice, secluded, perfectly well hidden spot behind the chair to go to the loo.

He wasn't an indoor bunny for long!

He was a grown up though, maybe you'd have more luck with a baby?

Spanky100 · 07/01/2011 17:06

Also, to all the people though saying how unsuitable they are for young children....

They all have different personalities but my little boy was incredibly gentle and never bit or kicked, loved to be picked up and hugged and didn't mind being carted round in the basket of a children's bike. He was never neutered and never, ever, smelt.


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