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Small pets

I want a house rabbit!

8 replies

BrandNewAndImproved · 06/10/2015 15:44

Can anyone talk to me about them? Pros and cons?

OP posts:
FernieB · 06/10/2015 16:50

Firstly, rabbits really need the company of other bunnies as they are generally social creatures. Rabbits also must be neutered for health reasons and need annual vaccinations, so you have to factor in those costs. Another important consideration is what will you do if you go away? This can be especially difficult with house rabbits as most rabbit boarding facilities house the buns outdoors which would not suit a housebun. Just a general point, a lot of people get rabbits mistakenly thinking they are lovely fluffy, cuddly creatures. They are fluffy, but not especially cuddly and most hate being handled. They can kick and scratch if they really object. They do like to be stroked but usually only on their terms, i.e. With all four paws firmly on the ground. Remember also that they can live up to 10 years.

A housebun can be very destructive. You need to consider how rabbit proof your home is. Rabbits will chew wallpaper, carpets, any electric cables they find, furniture etc. They are very chewy creatures. Unless neutered they have a tendency to spray their urine (esp. Males) which is a lovely brown colour and really strong smelling. They need a lot of space and plenty of hours where they have access to that space. A housebun should not spend most of its time shut in a cage with just a small amount of run time. They need hay to nibble and that has a smell you may not like in the house. Also they moult - you'll spend a lot of time hoovering fluff up and will find fluff everywhere.

On the plus side, they can be litter trained with a bit of patience. They can also be trained to obey commands if you have enormous patience and time to spare with them. They are very funny when they do mad runs round. They also seem to be obsessed with cookery programmes (at least the ones I've had have been). If you're prepared to put the work in, they can be very rewarding but it does take a lot of time to train them to behave appropriately inside.

CarriesBucketOfBlood · 06/10/2015 17:02

I used to have a house rabbit. He house trained easily and slept in a smallish dog crate. Other than that he was free to roam.

As I was home almost all the day, he used to cuddle up with my constantly and was really lovely.

Cons: chewing through wires. Nothing is safe.
They are most active at dusk and dawn: not always when you want them to be active!
Fur everywhere, vegetables everywhere, shredded paper everywhere. Any accidents can be quite smelly!

If you have the time to invest and don't mind seeing the whole house become gradually devoted to the rabbit, then do it! I really don't think they are much less work than a dog though, they just require the time walking spent doing other things. If you couldn't handle a dog, don't do a rabbit.

BrandNewAndImproved · 06/10/2015 17:13

I'm home by 2 most days and leave the house 10 so they would be out all the time when I'm home. Holidays wouldn't be a problem. Would being in a smallish dog crate be ok for night time and those few hours?

I haven't got a garden otherwise I'd probably have a dog.

Am I being slightly naive thinking if me and the dc are around they wouldn't be able to start chewing wires?

There is a couple of pairs of rabbits in the local rspca home already neutered and I would take out pet insurance that covers yearly vaccines ect.

OP posts:
FernieB · 06/10/2015 17:32

Whether you are there or not, they will chew things. They don't care if you see and they can chew through something very quickly and quietly before you've noticed.

How old are your DC? Rabbits and small children don't mix particularly well unless very well supervised. Small children tend to want to cuddle and rabbits tend to object.

FernieB · 06/10/2015 17:36

A smallish dog crate is probably not big enough for two rabbits to be shut in at night and during the day. They really need more space. Have you thought how you will catch them when you want to put them away? They can be devils to catch especially in a house when there's furniture to hide under. And they're fast too. You can easily spend a good hour trying to round up an uncooperative bunny. Mine have always been free ranging for this reason.

BrandNewAndImproved · 06/10/2015 17:46

Thanks fernie you've put me off. I imagined just picking them up and putting them away would do. Dc are fine around animals that wouldn't be the problem but as I have a small flat I couldn't get anything bigger then a small dog crate and that won't be fair on them.

OP posts:
HarveysMum22 · 22/12/2015 20:44

I know this is an old thread but wanted to comment,
We have had three house bunnies, 1 lived on her own and the other two are a pair. They are fantastic although I would agree cuddles are on their terms not yours but we found that when we kept one on her own she was almost like a cat, (slept on the sofa, had to have her dinner when we did, followed me to bed and slept on my bed too. They do require some investment so a cage, neutering/spaying, yearly vaccinations and claw cuts. They can live happily in a cage until you want to let them out as ours did (although she did object if we were at home and she was locked in) but would definitely need to be daily and for a good few hours.

Ours became like a cat she could easily be rounded up when she needed to go into the cage either by simply picking her up or bribing, rattling a packet of treats or fresh food normally did it.

They are destructive but so are all animals plenty of chew toys removing cables from bunny height works to some extent

Every rabbit is different but seem to learn routines fairly easily and litter training is a must.

Know you said that you had been put off but everyone has different experiences with different bunnies so just thought I would give you a different perspective on life with a housebun

milkbottle · 24/12/2015 01:25

pros: lovely cuddly
cons: shit everywhere

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