If you have had rabbits as house pets then you know that they require special care. In my opinion, however, they're worth the time and effort. They can be very entertaining and fun to watch and you better watch them close. A pet rabbit can and will be destructive, not on purpose mind you, it's natural to them. They love to chew on things and most anything will do. Keep in mind when you have rabbits as house pets it helps to bunny proof the place or watch them while they hop about. I do a little of both.
To bunny proof you first get rid of access to electrical cords. Bunny can spot a cord a mile away! Then get house plants out of their reach. Beware they can stretch up farther than you think and grab a leaf before you can blink an eye. The next thing you know they're running with it in their mouth chewing as they go. In case you don't know, the problem is that most house plants are toxic to rabbits.
Another thing you need to know is that pet rabbits are smart and sneaky. I didn't know this and he got over on me a few times in the beginning. My pet bunny actually looks for me if he is getting ready to do something he knows is wrong. If I am not around he goes for it and when he sees me enter the room he runs. I suppose you could say that they're mischievous.
Rabbits as House Pets for Kids
Rabbits can be friendly, but many don't like to be picked up. They can squiggle and squirm their way out easily and if dropped can get hurt. Kids want to hold and cuddle bunny's because they look cute and cuddly. However, rabbits are very independent sort of like cats, they want it their way. The best way to get a pet rabbit to cuddle up is to sit in the floor and usually they will hop in your lap.
You see, this way it is their choice not yours. My bunny will hop in my lap and sit for long periods, but when I pick him up he may kick or bite me. To get him to comply I have to turn him upside down on his back and hold him snug and close or he may still try to flip over and escape. It is better to pet the rabbit and let it go on about his business or sit on the floor as mentioned above.
However, if you raise a pet bunny from birth with kids, being picked up by them, being around them etc. it may be another story. My experience is that when kids come over bunny gets nervous when they're loud and running around. As a result, he hides under the bed or someplace. If they sit in the floor quietly then he hops over and gets in their lap. The kids know to let him go loose when he chooses.
My experience is that dogs are better pets for kids. They're man's best friend, faithful and show unconditional love more than a rabbit can. It is a dog's nature as a pet to be this way and not the nature of a rabbit, rabbits are still considered wild and aren't as easy to tame.
Indoor Bunny Cages
An indoor bunny cage is a necessity. Rabbits as house pets don't mean you give them the run of the house all the time. When you leave, bunny needs to be kept safe you never know what they may do. In case you aren't aware, rabbit urine has a very strong odor and trust me you don't want it on the carpet. Rabbits can be litter trained and will go to the litter box when you're watching, but when you're not around they may not. It is best for both of you to cage bunny when you're not home.
The cage must be cleaned often due to that same odor. Bunny loves to be clean and wants his house clean too. An indoor bunny cage with a pull out tray underneath is best. It is easier to clean and bunny doesn't have to lie around in urine and feces. Invest in a resting board for bunny to sit on as wire can hurt their feet. Also, the more room the better for bunny to fully stretch out.
When pet rabbits are content they're very quiet and make no noise, which is a bonus as an indoor pet. However, when rabbits are agitated or angry they thump. They may also thump to get attention, which might mean they want out of the cage to play and be with the family. Whatever the case may be, try to figure out what they're trying to communicate and take care of it.
Rabbits as house pets can work amazingly well when a rabbit is matched with the right family. The family needs to be educated on proper care of rabbits before they buy one to see if it is the right choice for them. Too many people buy rabbits as pets and find out afterward that it isn't working as they hoped it would. Bottom line, do research first for your sake and the rabbit.
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