I have recently become the proud fur-mum to two rabbits, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rhonda Rousey. Arnold came to me the way most vet staff acquire animals – as a stray handed in to the clinic and needing a home. He is a seal-point lop, with a love of face cuddles and escaping out the cat door. Soon after, Rhonda was adopted from the SPCA as a companion. She is a fawn coloured mix-breed with one ear up and one ear down.
I have learned a lot about rabbits in the short time I’ve had them. There is so much to know! Nutrition, de-sexing, parasite, behaviour and handling…. But mostly the massive personality they will show after spending just a small amount of time with them. Like cats, they love a good pat and can even purr. They run, jump, explore and play. They are friendly, sociable and ridiculously cute.
So, if you are considering a rabbit as a pet, here are the things you need to know:
- They are very sociable, and always need a friend. They are best paired male + female, and pairs bond for life.
- They are high energy animals and need an opportunity every day to run and explore.
- Rabbits digestive systems are very different to ours, and they have specific dietary needs.
- They need protection from various diseases and parasites that can be life threatening
- As a prey species, they need to be handled gently and are easily stressed or injured.
- Rabbits are high maintenance, messy, and not a good pet for children.
With some time and effort, they are great companions, cuddly and super cute, but please do your research before considering one. As with any species, if you adopt from the SPCA, you save a life.