Sheets with stars and moons against a sky-blue background, or leopard print? Hay stuffed inside a cardboard tube or a ball made of willow wood? These are the kinds of decisions a bunny mom makes when it comes to pen-changing day. How often is that? Well, that depends. If have adolescents, it could be daily. If your rabbits are spayed or neutered adults with litter-box manners, than once a week is probably enough.
This whimsical rabbit was painted by artist Carmen Medlin who has a shop on Etsy.
These playful and innocent little beings are very different than cats or dogs. For instance, a rabbit can love and appreciate you, and still make you feel like a big ol’ scary ogre. You can gently groom your bun while whispering sweet nothings in its ear, and even make them purr – though this is really their teeth grinding in merriment - and they will still run away from you. A rabbit may even lunge at you when you are feeding them. What? Lunge? Yup. Rabbits are very territorial, bossy and some have quite an attitude.
A whole internet site is dedicated to the “disapproving” rabbit.
But if you can appreciate their ways, knowing that their rebuffs are instinctual – rabbits are prey animals – and not-at-all personal, and are willing to feed and house them properly, a rabbit can give you 10-12 years of endless joy. Rabbits require hay, pellets and fresh vegetables, roomy (indoor-preferred) housing where they are a central part of the family, proper veterinarian care and attention. They are not the right pets for families with small children since their fragile limbs can easily get broken, but they can co-exist with most cats and some dogs.
With Easter not too far in the distant past, there are definitely lonely rabbits waiting at a shelter or rescue near you that need loving homes.
This pair, Bernice and Babette, are available to adopt at The Rabbit Haven.
Every year many well-meaning but unknowing parents buy them for children on impulse and then realize they aren’t prepared for the commitment. If you decide to adopt a rabbit - or a pair is nice too – don’t even consider doing so without getting the FREE training offered at your local rabbit rescue. The House Rabbit Society is an excellent resource online for anything and everything rabbit. And, if you are anywhere near the Bay Area, Bunnyfest is happening in Los Gatos, California on May 20, 2012.
Please, tell us about your house rabbit! Questions welcome!