Newest Review: ... hurts. My bunny is a female (doe) she is a black and white dutch breed rabbit her picture is in my profile. Female rabbits can become... more
Happiness is a House Rabbit
Rabbits in general
Member Name: TabithaT
Rabbits in general
Advantages: lots of fun and warmth from a beautiful creature
Disadvantages: May not be suitable for little children
I would like to write a short paean to the humble bunny rabbit - specifically the joys of owning a house rabbit. I'd like to promote in people's minds the notion that these pets are more than just slightly disappointing, scratchy and bad tempered fur balls that live outside in an old box and are forgotten for a great deal of the time. This is, in fact, the sad fate of many domestic rabbits - one of the most neglected of pets according the the RSPCA. And having shared a house with a rabbit for the last two years it really distresses me that people should treat rabbits in this way. If they knew their rabbit and shared their living space a whole new picture would emerge.
Rabbits have as much personality as a cat or a dog. They are social, affectionate, hilariously funny and capable of meaning as much to you and your children as any other house bound animal. Let me expand.
Mungo is a Rex rabbit, which means he has proper sticky up ears, not floppy ones. His coat is short and as soft and anything I have ever touched. The breed was discovered and bred for this beautiful velvet like fur, and I can see why. We bought Mungo from a local Pets at Home and he has lived inside with us ever since. I cannot imagine life without him now.
Rabbits make ideal pets because a) they don't smell b) they keep themselves very clean c) they can be house-trained d) they enjoy physical pampering!
Cleaning out Mungo's tray takes less than five minutes a week and is not a disagreeable task. Even my son is happy to help. Mungo grooms his own fur several times a week, but is always appreciative of a good brush which we do in the garden to save fur flying around the room. So he is low maintenance.
In terms of pampering Mungo is somewhat ambivalent. He simply loves to have his head stroked (all rabbits do) and will sit for hours on end having this done. In the evening he will sit on the back of the sofa and watch the television with us. Rabbits like to watch tv and nobody really knows why. So he will sit and watch telly while one of us strokes him. The ambivalence is towards being held or cuddled. All rabbits, unless they have been handled extensively from very small babies, will find this a bit of a problem. It is their instinct and should not be taken personally. In the wild something clasping them would be a predator, so it makes them very frightened. It can be overcome to some extent but it is very difficult to get a bunny to feel completely happy being held unless they have that temperament and you have had them from a baby.
The only downside of rabbits in the house is NIBBLING. They will nibble. Carpets especially. Again, this is instinct, and is why they should always have a constant supply of hay at all times. Rabbits left unsupervised in your home are likely to nibble, so you do need to keep a close eye if your rabbit it prone to this. We have an area (hall, stairs and landing) which he is allowed freedom to explore but there is always someone to keep an eye. But it's lovely to see him bombing up the stairs and jumping in the air with excitement. A real delight. He even knows where the hot pipes are now, and after a good jump around will flop down for a rest. We have a specific time for play like this, several times a week and it's just ten to twenty minutes of keeping an eye out. He will go outside into a run when the weather is good whenever possible. But look out for foxes!
There are some good sites about rabbit owning and house rabbits. The best one is fuzzyrabbit.com which is very, very good and has helped a huge amount. The people are very extremely knowledgeable and friendly and have saved me loads in vets bills. You can just post a question and they will answer it. Also there are tons of articles to help you understand rabbits better.
I would not say rabbits are a perfect pet for children personally - better for older children perhaps. See how they get on with guinea pigs first. Rabbits live longer, are not likely to enjoy being handled, and are just not quite as child-friendly. But for me, with an older son, Mungo is perfect. I love his personality (yes, they can be naughty and attention seeking like children!) and his warmth. He will sometimes just reach over and lick your face, which is such a sign of trust it always moves me.
Summary: I love having a rabbit run over to greet me first thing in the morning...
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