Have You Tried Taking Care Of A Rabbit?

Discussion in 'Pets' started by sidney, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    I have always wanted to buy a rabbit as a pet, but I don't know what to expect. Is it a fairly easy pet to have? I don't want to have more than one pet rabbit anyway, so can they stand being alone? And do cats chase them? I have one cat who is an indoor cat, so if it might harm the rabbit then I'm better off not buying one at the moment.

    Do you have a pet rabbit? If yes, then what are your experiences with them?
     
  2. orz

    orzActive Member

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    I'd definitely check out some YouTube channels and websites out, they can tell you a whole lot more than we can. As to whether you need more than one, you definitely do, especially two of the same gender of they'll get lonely. Cats will chase and probably kill them so youve got to be careful!
     
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  3. tipoywizard

    tipoywizardActive Member

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    I have a pair of rabbit before. They are very good pet. There fine and fluffy furs are very nice to touch. We keep them inside a cage.

    The food is also easy to find. We only need some carrots and other leafy vegetables for them. We also buy some pillets for them.
     
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  4. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    You need a cage for the rabbit, that would save you a lot of [cleaning] time. The cage has to be about 5 times as big as the rabbit. If you want to have it bigger, there's nothing wrong with that. Let it [the rabbit] out once in a day so it can play.

    If you are buying a baby rabbit then you'll need to keep it away from your cat else the cat will make it it's dinner. It's not uncommon for bigger cats to kill and eat [bigger] adult rabbits.
     
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  5. CyberGal

    CyberGalMember

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    My best friend growing up had rabbits for 4H. My daughter wanted one but we settled on a guinea pig instead because they're easier to care for and don't require as much room.
     
  6. IcyFirefly

    IcyFireflyActive Member

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    We have a dwarf bunny for 5 years now, and she lives in the cage! She is the sweetest bunny so far in our long history with rabbits. We let her out with us every day when we are together watching television and she just roams on the area rug in the living room. When she is tired, she just lays down and stretches out like a puppy right next to my son. Her cage is being cleaned out twice every week. Bunny is an easy pet to have for people on the go like us! We have soccer games and practices to run almost every day. So she was the perfect fit for us.
    DSC_0624-bunny made a great pet.JPG
     
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  7. Nickchick

    NickchickWell-Known Member

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    I've never had a cat but like other people said I would be careful with the cat. In fact the reason why I don't have a rabbit now is because I have dogs so if a dog will chase one a cat will probably too. I have had a lot of rabbits and I have to say they seem to be the easiest fluffy animal you will find. The only thing that was difficult was cleaning their cage. Their crap may be little pellets but they go the bathroom A LOT so change the litter pan often. I have had two rabbits at a time but I've also had one at a time and I didn't really notice a difference so I think you will be okay with one.
     
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  8. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    In my experience owning rabbits, an outgoing adult rabbit will chase both my low-pre-drive dog AND any cat they came across. Our indoor rabbits always had a litterbox and fence around it as a cage that the dog couldn't fit in. They also had a lot of hiding places where they could go but he couldn't fit. He didn't chase them though. He was trained not to. If we left the house, we sent the bunnies to their pen and closed the door. They can be trained for simple cues as well as to use a litterbox like a cat though mine refused to use a litterbox that the cat had used. We used a cube and coroplast style pen because it was cheap and the levels let us give them a big cage with a small footprint.

    The cat, who used to be a tough street cat used to being a predator, avoided them like the plague because the bunnies wanted to socialize with the cat and cat's are solitary critters. Of course, we had a standard rex (around 10 pounds as an adult) and a flemish giant (18 pounds at her adult weight) so they were equal to or heavier than she was. They're territorial too, capable of powerful boxing (hitting with their front feet and claws) to defend their space and biting. Bunny bites are not something to dismiss easily despite the flat herbivore teeth.

    Our bunnies weren't fond of being held but they did solicit pets by nudging under our hands. They also came when called (for treats, of course). They would hop onto our laps while we were watching TV and sit there as we stroked them. Our Rex used to hop onto our bed at night and burrow under the covers to sleep at our feet, keeping them warm. They were amusing to watch and fun to interact with. Plus, if you have to go away for a few days, they're like cats - just leave them plenty of food and water.

    Drawbacks: nailclipping must be done regularly and is a hassle. Bunnies shed, sometimes a lot depending on breed. And they chew EVERYTHING. Clothes, furniture, shoes, wires. Especially wires. If you want to let them roam loose, there's a lot of bunny proofing needed.
     
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  9. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    @Feneth@Feneth, I'm afraid that the bunny might bite me if I accidentally hurt it by clipping too deep into it's nail or due to other reasons. Are they similar to cats in the sense that if they run a lot or see wood, they scratch it to trim their claws?

    And can the bunny be petted as much as you like, or they also have a tolerance level like some cats? Because my cat attacks me when I over-pet him. I now think it depends on the personality of the cat whether they would be prone to chasing rabbits or not.
     
  10. akiii123

    akiii123Active Member

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    Rabbits are a very delicate creatures and it is very difficult to take care of them. It is best to be left in wild zoo than taking care of them. My neighbour had a rabbit which died in a few days and was really terrified. They need to be given a lot of care and attention.
     
  11. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    The easiest way to trim bunny nails is to wrap them in a towel, head included, and leave out only the foot you want to trim. A bunny bite to skin can break skin and depending how serious the rabbit was, potentially need stitches BUT if you wear long sleeves and gloves while trimming bunny's nails or administering medical care, the worst you're likely to get is a small bruise. Our bunnies typical annoyed nip just felt like a pinch and did not break skin at all. Or, you can 'trance' them if you're good at it but trancing is stressful and shouldn't be done too often.

    Something rough to walk on definitely reduces the need for nail trimming though does not completely eliminate it because bunnies have claws farther up on their feet that are rarely walked on. We used to put paving stones in the freezer in the summer and then put the (rough) stones on the floor for them to lay on the coolness. Bunnies are not very heat tolerant. Anyway, during the time we used the paving stones, we were able to do nail clipping every 3 months instead of every 6-8 weeks.

    Some bunnies chew their own nails so you might just need to file them occasionally to get rid of rough edges. BUT nails that are too long are painful for the rabbit to walk on and can get caught in fabric or carpet, ripping off and making a bloody mess. Keep some flour or styptic powder on hand when you clip nails. If you clip too short and the bunny bleeds, that will help them clot more quickly. Even if you don't have those things, a healthy bunny will be fine and will clot eventually. House bunnies are hardy creatures and while it's true rabbits CAN be scared to death, a young bunny brought into your home will very quickly get comfortable. Ours required very little veterinary care and lived long lives.

    As far as friendliness, that definitely varies based on individual rabbit personality. I find them to be more like cats than dogs BUT they are social animals. Most bunnies like attention. Mine never liked to be held suspended in the air or tightly but they slept with me. They would come to me to request petting, even jump onto my lap and stay there for extended periods of time when I was petting their head just right. The larger the breed of bunny, the more zen it's likely to be.

    Pic of just the bunny is of our flemish giant mix at around 7 months old (so not yet full grown). She used to knock her food bowl over so she didn't have to exert effort to eat from it. And she'd lay in the middle of the living room floor, forcing everyone else - adults, children, dog, cat - to walk around or over her. If someone sat next to her and held out their hand, she'd shove her head under it, demanding petting. If you called her "Treat!" she would come zooming over to you and if you were eating anything she thought might be interesting, she begged more than the dog. Pic of bunny and dog is when we were away and Sabriel stayed with a friend of ours. She was fully grown at that point. She had never even met the dog before going there for two weeks. You'll notice that she's very relaxed with it, not alert or nervous at all.

    10636623_751571918229238_3982508383482951960_o.1522603_224399214399302_1513134312_o.
     
    #11Feneth,Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
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  12. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    @Fenneth, Wow, your bunny is large, its like as large as my cat, but a bit larger! Do all full grown bunnies grow up to be like that, or it depends on the breed? He looks so serene and cute! :D Sabriel seems to be the same size when he was 7 months and when he grew up, which pic is the one where he was 7 months old, is it the solo pic?

    We have a nail clipper here, but it's for the dog. That would suffice, right? If I let them loose outside on the ground, that would also help in keeping their nails short right? I haven't tried clipping any nails of my pets before. I wonder if it's required to do so or it can be skipped if they're active enough.

    Well when I buy one in the pet shop I want a friendly and affectionate one. I just hope my cat won't mind his presence. The dog is nice, some dogs will probably bark or even harm foreign creatures like cats or bunnies.

    What do you usually feed your bunnies by the way? I had my 3 hamsters die because I gave them contaminated veggies with pesticide. I feed them that kind of vegetables many times, so I'm sure what my mom bought was contaminated, because within hours my 3 hamsters were lifeless already. :( Now I think cooked veggies are safer since the pesticide has been washed away.
     
  13. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    In the solo pic, Sabriel was only 13 pounds and had not yet reached her senior weight. In the pic with the dog, she was 5 years old and weighed 18 pounds. Bunnies are very densely muscled and powerful. Not all bunnies get to that size. She's a Flemish Giant mix and an adult weight flemish giant female should be at least 14 pounds. Most giant breeds get into the 12-18 pound range as adults. Medium rabbits, like a standard rex are more likely to be 8-12 pounds. They get smaller from there with some of the dwarf varieties only reaching 4 pounds. In general, the larger the bunny, the safer it is from your cat. It will also be more laid back and less highstrung/nervous.

    Dogs with high prey drives may never be safe with bunnies but most dogs can be trained to ignore them. It takes time and patience and you just keep them separated unless closely supervised. With cats, I would only be worried about small bunnies. Sabriel outweighed our cat and was more than a match for her.

    We have never managed to get a rabbit to wear down their nails enough not to need a trim or at least a gentle filing. I don't like being scratched by accident when I'm holding them though so we keep them short. The dog style clipper will work well. Just snip, snip, snip, and it's done. Only takes 10 minutes once every few months. Nails that are too long can hurt hem or grow into their paws or alter their gait. They wont' complain because they're prey animals and don't like to show injury or sickness but not taking care of them is cruel.

    Ours got commercial rabbit food pellets from a feed store or pet store and grass hay. You can find small bales of hay at the pet store but a feed store that sells large bales for horses has better prices. We also pick up organic veggies farmer's market (no pesticides to worry about). They should not have cooked veggies but you CAN wash veggies with vegetable wash first. They do not NEED fresh veggies as long as you supply hay. Ours like cheerios cereal, rice cakes, and pieces of fruit as treats though Sabriel will try a nibble of just about anything. We used horse stall pellets in the litterbox; you can use straw or shavings or feline pine or yesterdays's news or corn cob or plain clay litter. You should NOT use cedar or clumping style litter in the bunny box.
     
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  14. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    @Feneth@Feneth Thank you for the thorough response, the bunnies that I see in the pet shop are quite smaller than Sabriel, it's like half his size, so I'm not sure if it's their adult size or they're already fully grown.

    Well I'm afraid that a bunny might bite me if I clip his nails, but I guess I will just hold him tight and I won't clip it that short. I wonder how those bunnies in the wild trim their nails? Maybe it's because they're in the wild, their very active lifestyle never allows their nails to grow long enough?

    Is it harmful for them to eat steamed or cooked veggies? I'm now afraid to give them raw ones. It's ok to feed them any fruit, right? We always have bananas in here. I intend to place the bunny in my cat's cage, since my cat is now an indoor cat. Is hay necessary, or he can put up with the cage? I intend to feed him pellets for bunnies and cooked rice. That's ok enough right, along with washed veggies?
     
  15. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    Binky Bunny is a very good source of information. I urge you to do more research because while bunnies are hardy usually, they depend on their people to give them the right things and their digestive systems are delicate. You can't just feed them human foods like rats or dogs or pigs.

    Here is a fruit and vegetable list:

    Please Log In to view this link


    Bunnies are not fed cooked foods, definitely not rice. Fruit only in moderation.

    Wild rabbits wear down their claws and break them short by digging in tightly packed earth to create their dens. Most domestic rabbits will dig in their litter box if they have one but it's not the same sort of digging because the litterbox will only be loosely packed. SOME bunnies will also chew their own nails but they usually don't chew them evenly enough to avoid needing them clipped.
     
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  16. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    @Feneth@Feneth Thanks for the link, I thought that the same human food that my cat eats like rice can be given to the bunny too, since they live in the wild after all, so it couldn't be that bad, but I guess it's not allowed, and only vegetables are. I think I will give him a mix of veggies and pellets.

    Yeah I guess clipping nails isn't a big deal, it's just that my cat doesn't like me touching or holding his feet, and he more often than not attacks me when I do that, so I'm afraid of clipping the bunny's feet. I hope the one that I will get won't bite.

    Thank you again for all your help! :)
     
  17. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWenchActive Member

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    It's interesting that you ask this question because it reminded me that I had a rabbit when I was a child. A very young child. I have no idea where or when or if the rabbit died so I ended up speaking to my mother about it. You inadvertently depressed me. :(
     
  18. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    We didn't have much space in our previous home, so growing up, the family only ever raised two to three dogs. My mother wanted a pet that could protect our home at the same time. Now that I have the leeway to own a pet, I'm seriously considering raising rabbits. Our neighbors have raised a few and they don't seem costly. Of course, the pee had to come into consideration too. Maybe an innovative cage with smell nullifier would do the trick.
     
  19. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    Oh I'm very sorry to hear that. :( Well, do you intend to take care of one in the future? What happened to the bunny anyway, if you don't mind me asking? I had my first pet when I was 7 years old, so I vaguely remember what happened to my cat and how she came into our lives, she was a stray that just meowed on our window, and the rest is history.
     
  20. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWenchActive Member

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    Based on her story she said the rabbit died but she ended up telling us it ran away at that time. Of course I was too young & dumb to question that giant ball of fur running anywhere but such is life.