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Mom2BDec2010's avatar

What are the pros and cons of having a pet rabbit?

Asked by Mom2BDec2010 (2666points) August 27th, 2010

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13 Answers

zophu's avatar

pro: You have a cute fluffy animal to play with whenever you want.

con: Poop

daytonamisticrip's avatar

They live a long time and you can form a bond with them, but when they die because how long they live it can be very hard for some people. Especially kids.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

These are just from my experiences with rabbits. As with any type of pet, they’re not all the same.

– For the most part, they’re pretty low maintenance.
– They don’t make noise, or shed very much.
– They’re adorable.

– They are not as pet-able as you might think. You can’t pick them up and pet them like you would a cat or dog, you’ll just get clawed up pretty badly.
– You don’t get the sense of love/loyalty that you would from a cat or dog.
– Poo. Lots of poo.
– If you have two rabbits, you will soon have many rabbits. (This could be a pro, too).

serafina's avatar

Brushing aside the cuteness factor and little twitching nose as @jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities has said they are not as pet-able, they can be quite unsociable, unlike a kitten or puppy. They make lots of mess that takes a lot of cleaning up.
And wear a peg on your nose too.

iphigeneia's avatar

Rabbits are really cute. They eat vegetables, which don’t smell as bad as meaty petfood, but the poop kind of ruins this point. Also, you have to keep moving the hutch onto fresh grass every now and then. But if you have a secure hutch, they won’t get out, so they’re always there for you if you need them.

On a final note, if you get more than one rabbit, be extra certain they are of the same sex. We got three female rabbits… except one was not, and then we had a number of little problems on our hands.

Cruiser's avatar

Rabbits have been the best pets I have ever owned. Harley in my avatar will lay in your arms and let you pet his belly and you can carry him around like a baby. He will jump up on the couch and watch tv with you. Very easy to litter box train. The only con I have ever seen is most rabbits I have owned for some reason love chewing on wires especially low voltage phone wires. So removing your accessible wires is probably a must or covering them in heavy clear ½” tubing works for me. Harley has free reign of my house when I am home and has never made bunny balls outside his cage. They are a riot to watch zip and jump all over the place. You can leave them home unattended for a weekend no problem with a bowl of food, hay and water. Rabbits are very clean and like any pet only stink up the place if you don’t clean up after them.

Michael's avatar

@Cruiser‘s experience with house rabbits is very similar to mine. We had a dwarf lop (although he got pretty big for dwarf) for many years, and it was great! He was litter trained, so we generally didn’t have to worry about poop everywhere. He definitely liked to be held and even responded to his name.

The only caution I’d throw out there is: don’t get a bunny from a pet store. They often have many more health problems.

MissAusten's avatar

We’ve had a rabbit for a couple of years now, and he’s a great pet.

The “petability” depends on how the bunny is raised and socialized, as well as its personality. Ours is quite friendly. We trim his nails so don’t get scratched up. If the rabbit is male, having him neutered will greatly increase his docility.

Our rabbit is litter trained. It’s not quite as easy as litter training a cat and takes patience. Any good rabbit care book will explain how to get the rabbit to use a litter box, and I can’t stress enough how much easier it makes the cage-cleaning process. Rabbit poop doesn’t smell and is easy to clean up, but rabbit urine stinks. If the rabbit isn’t litter trained, you have to scoop out the soiled bedding daily or be prepared to put up with quite a smell.

It can be hard to find a vet who will treat rabbits, so before you get one I’d suggest you call around to make sure someone will see your bunny if he or she gets sick. Pet rabbits can be prone to digestive issues that are fatal if untreated. Our rabbit once had this problem, and we were lucky to catch it in time and find a vet who knew how to fix the problem.

Rabbits should not be kept only in cages. They need interaction and room to run around. We bought a large hutch for very cheap on Craig’s List. New hutches are very expensive, but most small animal cages don’t give a rabbit enough room to run around. We also let our rabbit out of his hutch to run around and play. We have a long hallway and just close all the bedroom doors and put a baby gate at the end to keep him contained. There are no wires for him to chew on, and because he’s litter trained he “holds it” until he’s back in his hutch. We also have an outdoor “playpen” and a harness-style leash so he can walk us around the yard. A rabbit that sits in a cage will not be social or healthy.

As for diet, rabbit food is pretty inexpensive. You’ll also need to give the rabbit timothy hay every day. Rabbit food doesn’t have enough fiber in it all by itself. Our rabbit also loves fresh veggies, greens, fruit, and Cheerios. Again, a rabbit care book will let you know what fresh foods are safe for your rabbit and how much is too much. Rabbits like to chew and enjoy rabbit-friendly toys, which you can find in any pet store.

Our rabbit does shed. Every few months, he goes through a phase where he sheds a lot. A lot. We brush him a few times a day when he sheds like that. The breed of rabbit may determine how often and how much the rabbit sheds, so I’m sure that can vary. We bought our rabbit from a friend who raises them on her farm. One of her children is in charge of the baby bunnies and plays with them daily so they are used to human contact. There are also house rabbit rescue groups that have bunnies available for adoption. I’d look into those before going to a pet store where you will pay up to a hundred dollars for a rabbit whose history the employees may know nothing about.

Like any pet, rabbits have their ups and downs. Learn as much as you can about them before deciding to get one. I’d even go to the library and check out a book about caring for rabbits before you make up your mind. They live 8–10 years on average, and that’s a big time commitment for an animal if you don’t know what you’re getting into.

Cruiser's avatar

OK….very important and only from my experience is the choice of litter is “EVERYTHING” in caring for your rabbit and controlling odor. Your first inclination would be to get scented litter….I have found it is NOT GOOD for the rabbit. They have very sensitive sinuses and scented litter I have found can be problematic for the bunnies and pine bedding sticks to their fur and is soon all over your house. A real awesome litter I have found is called Yesterdays News made from recycled newspaper and it is really absorptive, doesn’t clump and easy to clean and best is Harley seems to like it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Pro: It would consume the interest of the cat and dog.

Con: It would consume the interest of the cat and dog.

MissAusten's avatar

@Cruiser We use Yesterday’s News litter as well. Another litter that is good for rabbits is Feline Pine. Traditional clay litters are considered too dusty for rabbits and not good for their respiratory systems. It can also make them sick if they ingest it, and rabbits sometimes eat their own waste and might nibble the litter in the process.

Cruiser's avatar

@MissAusten I agree…good point!

CMaz's avatar

It’s a pet you can eat.

You have to take care of it.

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