Three Reasons NOT To Give A Bunny As A Pet

Don't get me wrong folks, I'm a huge fan of bunnies, I have my own delightful (and occasionally psychotic) doe, and I plan to add one or two bunnies to my family this year. Rabbits are delightful, sweet, inquisitive little pets that can be extremely rewarding to keep, however a great deal of time and effort is needed if you want to have a good relationship with a bunny. So if you're not familiar with rabbits and thinking as getting one as a pet for you or someone else, then read on.

ONE: Commitment.

Giving someone a rabbit essentially means giving them a 5 + year commitment. If they look after the rabbit well and it is spayed, possibly a lot longer. This sort of commitment can be problematic for the person receiving the little fuzzy ball of bunny that looked oh so cute in the shop window.

TWO: It's not as easy as it looks.

Many people have next to no idea about how to keep a rabbit. Most people who don't own rabbits, or who even do own rabbits but never bothered to learn about them, think that keeping a bunny in a little hutch and tossing it carrots and lettuce occasionally is all there is to bunny keeping. They're wrong of course, and treating a rabbit in this fashion is pretty cruel, and can even kill them. Rabbits cannot eat lettuce as a general rule, although dark lettuces such as Romaine are okay in small amounts.

THREE: No really, it's not easy.

It takes patience to be a good bunny owner. Many rabbits are sullen, aggressive, and touchy. Time, patience, and good handling can overcome these traits, but your average person, especially one who didn't want a bunny in the first place is not going to have the information or the motivation needed to work with bunnies. I've seen bunny owners rejoicing when their rabbit finally acknowledges them affectionately after a year or more of ownership. Most people are not going to want to wait that long for a pet to start to like them, even antisocial cats will often cuddle up when they are hungry, a bunny may just ignore you and run away even if you're holding food. Rabbits are both intelligent and pretty well socially developed with their own set of rules and modes of communication. How your rabbit positions itself relative to you means a lot, how it approaches you is also significant. Through research and observation you can learn to interact with your bunny in a more rewarding way, but it does take time.

The point of this article hasn't been to put anyone off owning a rabbit. It is designed to make you think about the huge responsibility that owning a rabbit actually is. All too often rabbits are seen as "easy" pets, and suitable for clumsy and forgetful children. This is simply not the case. Rabbits are excellent pets for people with patience and time, and who enjoy watching a little bunny personality blossom. They require careful handling, grooming, attention, and feeding. However, after reading all of this If someone you know really wants a rabbit and is prepared and ready to look after it, then by all means pick them up a bunny.

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Comments 13 comments

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

You have convinced me.

No bunnies

Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 9 years ago Author

Excellent. I think it's important that every pet goes to a home where it will be loved and cared for appropriately, and people who are not prepared to do so are making a good call in not getting a pet, whether it be a bunny, a cat, a dog, or a Siberian tiger.

Brandy Owens profile image

Brandy Owens 9 years ago from Wherever life takes me

This was excellent. I have a very close friend who takes care of rabbits, loves rabbits dearly, and has told me a lot about how people tend to attempt to "raise" rabbits and screw them over, whether psychologically or physically or both. There's also a tendency for parents to buy rabbits and give them to their children because it's Easter and they're cute, yet they don't care about rabbits, nor do their children, and the rabbits just get put off to the side, trapped and unhappy. They die unloved, lonely, and starving because those disgusting type of people just can't be bothered. This is disgusting, and I'm glad you wrote a hub about why people shouldn't deal with rabbits. Great hub.

Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 9 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment Brandy, it's true, and the sad thing is that even many who have "good" intentions don't actually bother to learn about rabbits enough to even feed them properly.

The other tendency people have is to underestimate how intelligent and sensitive their rabbits are. My own bunny who lives indoors has as much personality as any cat, and though she has her temperamental moments, she certainly was easier to house break than any cat (or dog) I've ever had.

They truly are delightful animals, but they're not for everyone.

Brandy Owens profile image

Brandy Owens 9 years ago from Wherever life takes me

Not only do people not realize how intelligent and sensitive rabbits are, but also people tend to think that rabbits are cowards. Long conversations with the close friend of mine who loves and cares for two rabbits have proven to me that they're just as capable of violence as any predatory animal, "prey animal" or not. :P Personally, I get along mostly with cats, and know that I don't know enough to even try to undergo raising rabbits. However, those who do properly raise rabbits are good in my book, so long as they do so properly. :)

According to my friend, rabbits and cats have very similar personalities, so it definitely makes sense that your doe has as much personality as a cat. :P

Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 9 years ago Author

Oh yes, if you read the other hubs you'll often see me mentioning their capacity for violence, mine will still lovingly attack me just because she feels like it. I swear she has little concept of being a prey animal when it comes to those she lives with.

I wouldn't want people to think that having bunnies is "hard" in the sense of being like rocket science or anything, but it does take a basic knowledge, some research and a fair bit of patience. A cat will at least have the option to leave if it's not satisfied with the way you're serving it, but poor bunnies tend to end up on lock down with no chance of parole.

Christopher 8 years ago

rabbits definitely do NOT like being picked up. I have two, have had them, and they are very panicky creatures. Being well-grounded makes them feel much safer. Trust me.

tarren 8 years ago

my rabbit loves being cuddled and as for violence she would rather lick you then bit you.

usa-chan 6 years ago

Ohhh It's kinda true that is not easy, but is not so difficult either to raise them, Many years ago I had a rabbit, I didn't know anything about them, but even so, I raised him pretty good, he always was healty, and he even used to try to jump in my bed, when he heard that I woke up,he wasn't violent at all, and he never hurt me, not even a tiny bite. I love him so much, but one morning my parents let him go out side like they always used to do, and somebody stole him from me, i cried a lot for that...

Well I know that this thread was old but I wanna comment anyway, and sorry for my poor english is not my mother language

Ronan Mahon 6 years ago

Rabbits are delightful creatures.

Shaleah  5 years ago

Hi, I've been researching rabbit care for about two months now. I'm thinking of getting a rabbit sometime in the future. I was wondering how many hours a day do you interact with your rabbit? How many hours a day do you let it wander your home? How often do you find it chewing your furniture? How often do you clean its scent glands?


Bunny's mom 5 years ago

'Santa' brought my daughter a rabbit for Christmas and we love having a rabbit. Although he does have a cage (that holds his food and water), he gets the run of the kitchen and my bedroom. I did a lot of research via Internet and by reading books before getting Bunny (yes that's his name) and it definitely is a serious family decision. A well cared for bunny can live as long as eight years or more. I would say a bunny is a little more work than a cat (for instance I boarded it at the vet when I went away on a weekend trip as opposed to just leaving it food and water for two days as I did with my cat) but less work than a dog (I don't need to walk it at specific hours as one might do with a dog). Also, you do need to take your bunny for regular vet (please find a vet that is familiar with bunny care) visits to make sure it's healthy and I did have Bunny neutered because I read it extends the life span, reduces the chance of cancer and curbs marking behavior. It's important to familiarize yourself with vegetables and fruits that are safe for bunnies to eat as bunnies can become ill and die rather quickly if not fed correctly. And, as with any pet, the more time you spend with him, the better the relationship. I made it a point to hold and stroke Bunny every day for a minimum of (uninterrupted) 30 minutes per day the first month-sometimes I would just lay on the carpet with him and let him explore around me. Now Bunny hangs out with us whenever we are in the kitchen and in the bedroom). I feel that made a big difference in his friendly and outgoing behavior. He's very outgoing and likes to be held and petted. He is litter trained and other than the occasional stray pellet, he's really good with his potty behavior. Bunnies do like to chew on things (paper, clothes, wires) so you do have to keep things away that are not appropriate for chewing and he can be messy (I bought hay baskets for him and he loves to chew and dig at them, which gets hay all over the floor-but better that then the furniture!). It is a commitment but if you're willing to put the work into it, bunnies can be very rewarding pets. Bunny is full of personality and constantly keeps us entertained by his antics (binkies, flops, chasing the cat). And nothing is sweeter than bunny snuggles and kisses! It is a little too much work for a child. My daughter is ten years old, and she does help with feeding and watering; but it really does take an adult to make sure Bunny stays safe and healthy.

Sandra 4 years ago

We had a male mini Rex when our kids were younger. So sweet, cuddler, he use to lick like a cat and do a figure eight by hopping around & in between my legs. A lot more work then we first thought. Both my sisters copied and got bunnies for their kids, they ended up being nasty bunnies because of their ignorance. So I recently had to put down my 15 yr old dog ...who along with my 11 yr old dog were buddies with our bunny. My 11 yr old is depressed and missing his friend, so I was thinking of getting another bunny but am afraid it won't be like my last bunny. I found one for sale and would advice as to if I should get him. He is a minilop , 1 yr male who was around dogs, in house bunny, litter trained. I still have to go see it. They said they have to sell it because they thought it was a girl which they have another girl bunny too. Don't know if they took it to vet. What physical things should I be looking for and what questions should I ask?

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