General Question

squirbel's avatar

Are rabbits clean and non-stinky pets?

Asked by squirbel (4277points) October 18th, 2008

I’m thinking I want a rabbit as a pet. But I do not like animal smells in my house. Is a rabbit an okay pet for me?

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16 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

All animals poop. And pee. If you intend on keeping an animal indoors, you should also include in your intentions the possibility of a smell.

That said, fish won’t stink up your house. Also, the female “Fancy Mouse”, unlike some other mice, has “scentless urine” and goes through cat-like lengths to keep herself well groomed.

But, again, you need to clean the cage out weekly. Same with the fish and cleaning out the water.

All, repeat, ALL animals smell.

poofandmook's avatar

rabbits are great, but if you don’t clean the cage, they do smell.

squirbel's avatar

Are they litter-trainable? Like cats?

My cat doesn’t smell bad. I understand there are some smells from animals – but light or nonexistent odors are bearable. I just don’t want overpowering smells, like what you get from weasels.

poofandmook's avatar

I’ve had two dwarfs… keep in mind that who or whatever created this planet intended for rabbits and bunnies to be prey, and not pets. For this reason, they’re not resilient animals. Dwarves, for instance, have an expected lifespan of about 5 years, and once they get sick, it’s almost impossible to save them… especially if it involves their digestive system.

AstroChuck's avatar

Of the small animals, the rat is actually the cleanest. Rabbits can smell pretty funky.

SoapChef's avatar

They do have less odiferous poop than cats and dogs, but watch out, they are chewers, furniture legs especially.

El_Cadejo's avatar

All i can say is if you get a rabbit, you better put a pancake on its head

and yea they can smell pretty bad(brother had one) but rats are,like mentioned above, very clean.

mea05key's avatar

their poop will smell and they are not sticky. THey are clean animals except that the poop smells terribly if it is unattended.

MissAnthrope's avatar

We had a rabbit for a while.. he was not stinky, the only bad smell was if his cage wasn’t cleaned often enough. Supposedly, you can litterbox train them, but I never had any luck getting him to learn.

As someone else pointed out, rabbits are huge chewers. You’ll want to keep all cords above bunny range. We would let ours run around the den and when I moved, every single cord I owned (computer, telephone, electric) had been chewed by the bunny. Also, he once chewed all the way through a plugged in lamp cord, the lamp was on at the time.. there was a loud pop and I think he got a shock, but in the end he was okay.

osullivanbr's avatar

my rabbit is very clean. She returns to her cage anytime nature comes a callin’. She runs free around the house most of the time and we never have any problems. She’s sitting down in front of the telly with us at the moment eating a plate of grass. I think she thinks she’s a dog though. She follows me around the house looking for treats and comes running when called. I couldn’t recommend a rabbit as a pet more.

On a side note, we have a guinea pig but she’s very nervous poor thing, cute as anything though. She freaks out with excitement when she hears the bag her food comes in being moved. We have two gerbils as well. When I’m cleaning out their cage I leave them run around the downstairs bathroom (nowhere in there for them to go that I won’t be able to get them back). But I’ll sometimes sit in there and watch them playing. Word to the wise though, make sure they don’t go up the leg of your pants, nothing stranger than the feeling of a gerbil on your inside leg.

Oh can’t forget the turtles, but they don’t do much

suse's avatar

female rabbits are more clean and tidy than male ones. had one of each (nuetered) they were out during the day in very secure yard, in hutch at night. Female one never went to bathroom in the bedding section just a neat pile in the corner of the hutch, and used to poo alot first thing in the morning on the grass. Male one pood and peed in the bedding section and all over the living section. apparently this is common

nicobanks's avatar

Rabbits can be wonderful pets.

But rabbits do require very particular, unique care. Often they aren’t provided with that care and they become nightmarish pets to own, and they end up allocated to a small cage in the garage, or abandoned in a park, thus transferring the nightmare from you to them.

Please, please, research rabbits before bringing one home. Particularly focus on these areas:
– diet
– environment (housing, furnishings, rabbit-proofing, etc.)
– play, human interaction, communication
– medical care
Here are some great resources to begin with:
http://www.rabbit.org/
http://www.ontariorabbits.org/
http://www.adoptarabbit.org/
http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

To answer your specific question: rabbits are on-average very clean pets. They groom themselves all the time, like cats. They are easily trained to use a litter box. Even when litter-trained, though, rabbits will sometimes poo outside the box. They do this for territorial reasons and while there’s things you can do to reduce it you can never eliminate it completely. Rabbits are very territorial animals. But rabbit feces doesn’t smell, doesn’t stain, is hard, small, and dry, and is easily swept or vacuumed-up. Rabbit urine is another matter. Rabbit urine is smelly and if the litter isn’t changed every day it will start to smell, and given time it will smell terribly. But if you change the litter every day, and thoroughly clean the boxes on a regular basis (every month or two), you won’t have a problem. Sometimes you’ll still smell it but it won’t be bad. It’s nothing like the smell of a cat or dog, it’s more… ruttish. Less sharp, more earthy. Having owned cats and rabbits I can say cats smell much worse. Scooping a cat’s litter box is disgusting, scooping a rabbit’s litter box is just an annoying chore. In my opinion, of course. And cat shit smells like shit, but rabbit shit smells like nothing, so that’s very nice. I mean I admit sometimes when I enter the room it’s like “smells like rabbit in here,” but really it’s not bad, and you just change the litter and open the door for awhile and it’s gone.

And of course, with any animal you bring home, you’re bringing home an individual. I say rabbits on-average are very clean pets, not every single rabbit you could encounter. My rabbit is an old guy, not fixed (I do not recommend leaving rabbits intact, but in this case altering him is not an option), and litter-trained only when he came to me a few years ago: I would not call him a very clean pet. He poos quite a bit outside his box, sometimes pees too, and the fur around his back-end is matted and stained. So really you have to be prepared for any eventuality.

serena933's avatar

Yes, Rabbit.org is a great website, and great way to find rabbit-knowledgeable vets in your area…which can be surprisingly difficult!

Rabbits are much more difficult pets to own than people think! Males should definitely be spayed. They will spray urine all over if they are not, they will be more aggressive-potentially biting you, and more susceptible to disease in old age. Females also need to be spayed to prevent cancer and other diseases in old age-80% of female rabbits will get cancer if not spayed. Rabbit rescues will spay/neuter before adopting them out. If you have to find a vet to do it, it can be extremely expensive($100—$400).

Rabbits are intelligent and loving animals, but they have short lifespans and can get so many different diseases! You may spend a fortune on vet bills over the life of just one rabbit. Be prepared!

Even if litter trained, and spayed/neutered they are still very messy…but depending on how much that bothers you, they are wonderful pets! I have had three rabbits in the last 6 years, and one is still alive. He brings me smiles everyday:)

nicobanks's avatar

@serena933 I agree with everything you said except for rabbits having short lifespans. If we consider national averages, then yes, absolutely they have short lifespans because most people don’t take care of their rabbits and they die young. Rabbits taken proper care of, however, easily live a good 8 years, even well into their teens – for dwarf rabbits it is lower, though. (Of course there are always accidents, emergencies, deformities – but I mean “normal” rabbits who meet a natural end.) People shouldn’t buy a rabbit thinking it won’t be long-term commitment.

nicobanks's avatar

People also shouldn’t by a rabbit if they aren’t into closely observing it every day and paying for the emergency vet bills. Rabbits are delicate creatures, it’s true – like someone said, they are prey animals – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be helped when something goes wrong. It just means you have to know your rabbit well enough that you notice immediately when something is off.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend of people thinking a sick or injured rabbit is a lost cause. I even know someone whose rabbit – otherwise healthy and young – died of snuffles (!!!). That is ridiculous – completely preventable. Yes, of course, if you don’t treat your rabbit’s illnesses, it will die from them. Hell, if you don’t treat your rabbit’s gas, it could die from that after a day or two. But if I – something comparable – break my leg and can’t make it to food or water on my own (as a rabbit with gas is so uncomfortable that it won’t want to eat or drink), should I be left to die? Of course not. Even a severe case of gastro-intestinal stasis can be helped, as I know from recent experience.

If you aren’t willing to put in the time and money required, you have no business with a rabbit. You can’t let your pet to it’s own devices: once you bring it home, it is your responsibility.

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