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Facts on Rabbits - What You Need to Know

Updated on July 16, 2015

10 Facts On Rabbits

If you are currently a pet rabbit (or bunny) owner, or if you've had the joy of caring for them in the past, surely you know how silly and sweet rabbits can be.

If you are contemplating acquiring a rabbit as a new addition to your household, know that their needs are different from that of a dog or cat.

Just like no two humans are alike, rabbit personalities vary. I had a mini-lop that would come hopping to you immediately upon hearing you call out his name. I fostered a mom rabbit with 2 babies who would know the sound of the fridge opening and would hustle over eagerly anticipating veggies. My dwarf rabbit was litter-boxed trained, and didn't like to be bothered during his 'nap' times.

Rabbits are my favorite pets, and it's no wonder. They are clean by nature, easy to take care of, and a joy to be around. They make great indoor house pets.

Check out these 10 fun facts on rabbits to learn how to take care of them properly. You may just be surprised at what you find out!

1. Pet rabbits live 8-10 years

Rabbits commonly live 8 to 10 years as a pet. In the wild, they would be lucky to make it to a year old from predation and disease.

When acquiring a rabbit, plan to keep it for its whole life-span.

It is not fair to the rabbit to be tossed out when the novelty wears off and/or 'cause the proper planning wasn't taken ahead of time to understand its needs.

2. Rabbits are social animals

Don't think 'cause a rabbit is quiet that it isn't social.

In fact, rabbits love attention. They can get this from human company, or from another rabbit, or from even a cat or a dog that is trustworthy.

In the wild, rabbits hang out together, so it's only natural they need attention as a pet.

Consider that a rabbit will be lonely, if enough time and care isn't given to it.

3. Rabbits need exercise

Rabbits shouldn't solely exist in a cage. It is cruel to leave a rabbit confined for long periods of time.

Plan to give your rabbit exercise, such as what can be provided with an indoor rabbit pen. Or supervised house runs, or yard play. Look at giving your rabbit at least a couple of hours of run time per day.

Rabbits are most active during dawn and dusk, so perfect for people who work the 9 to 5.

4. Rabbits don't like being picked up

Most rabbits don't like being picked up 'cause it makes them feel insecure.

You have to understand, that unlike dogs and cats, rabbits are prey animals. Their survival in the wild depends on their ability to safeguard themselves.

When you pick a rabbit up, it doesn't have the proper foot holding and will often want to kick out from your grasp. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't handle a rabbit.

Rabbits most definitely love to be pet. They just prefer to be seated next to you. Also, you may find that some rabbits don't mind being picked up.

5. Rabbits can be litter-box trained

Rabbits make delightful pets, and are kept inside of many homes.

Leaving a rabbit alone in a hutch outside sounds awful, when they make such wonderful indoor pets.

Once spayed or neutered, you can easily learn how to litter train rabbits. Some are better at it than others.

But "going" in specific locations is natural for rabbits, so as to avoid predators in the wild.

Supervise your rabbit indoors, as they love to chew wires (deadly!), plants (poisonous), and excitedly like to get into things.

6. Rabbits should be 'fixed'

Rabbits make better pets when they are spayed or neutered. The likelihood for health complications is decreased.

Unaltered rabbits mark their territory with their urine and droppings. They are better able to use a litter box when "fixed". They won't present mating behaviors. Aggression is also curbed.

Plus, you won't find that your pet rabbit population has suddenly tripled in size! As a responsible pet owner, it's important to get your rabbit 'fixed'.

7. Rabbits are herbivores

Rabbits are herbivores, meaning their diet is composed of grass, plants, and similar food.

It is important that you feed your rabbit the right type and amount of food, to ensure that your rabbit lives healthy and happily.

Knowing what to feed rabbits will prevent your rabbit from getting sick, or worse.

Rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system, so new foods must be given in small quantities. Any diet changes need to be made gradually.

8. Rabbits need grooming

Rabbit teeth never stop growing, so it's important that your rabbit have a variety of food sources to keep its teeth trim.

Thus, if you notice that rabbits are chewy, it's because it's a natural behavior. Some rabbits experience teeth problems, so it's important to be mindful of this.

You will need to also carefully trim your rabbits nails every few months, avoiding the veins (ouch!). A Vet can show you how it's done, so you can get comfortable with it. If rabbits have space to run outdoors, often their nails will wear down naturally.

Regularly brushing your rabbit is important too. They cannot cough up hair balls like a cat. Instead, their stomach gets blocked. This is deadly.

Illustrative purposes - Rabbits don't enjoy baths.
Illustrative purposes - Rabbits don't enjoy baths.

9. Rabbits are very clean

Rabbits actually groom themselves more than cats do, and you know how tidy cats are with their appearance.

Their urine has a stronger odor and is what makes people say that rabbits "smell". But, rabbits do not sweat and have no body odor.

Their droppings are easy to pick-up. Cleaning up after your rabbit regularly, just like with any other pet, is a good way to ensure that your rabbit housing stays fresh and stink-free.

10. Rabbits hide being ill

Rabbits actually hide the fact they are sick 'cause in the wild this would alert predators.

If a rabbit stops eating or pooping, it is an emergency. If a rabbit is listless, when it otherwise would be more active, it is an indication that something is wrong.

Once you notice unusual changes in your rabbit, you need to take your rabbit to the Vet immediately.

It is good to give your rabbit a general health check-up annually, by a Vet that is knowledgeable on rabbits.

Which rabbit fact was suprising or interesting?

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    • bizgrrl profile imageAUTHOR

      bizgrrl 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      @anonymous: I don't like seeing rabbits picked up by their ears either. I know it wouldn't feel very good if done to me! I agree that every rabbit has a unique personality which you wouldn't discover, unless you spent some time with them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I promis, I will never pick a rabbit up by its ears, I've always wondered who came up with that one. Growing up, I had outside rabbits and since have had a house trained rabbit that was the sweetest first. Each raavvit does have its own unique personality.

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