Pet Rabbit

A Furry Little Friend

I am officially a rabbit owner! Well, just a ‘2 weeks’ rabbit owner if I so have to add. I brought home Mr. Bruno on a faithful Sunday afternoon only to find out that our landlord prohibits us to keep him. I was throwing a tantrum and going into a fit after I heard the news but I soon came to accept that I don’t have the last say in this. I have been consistently posting ads to find Bruno a new owner but only to receive just one potential interest.

Before deciding to have a rabbit, I did my fair share of research on how to care for a rabbit. In this short period of bonding time with Bruno, I did make some observations which were highly similar to what rabbit lovers/ specialists have posted online! On my end, I will share a few things which I think are important for new rabbit owners, like myself, to know.

The active period

Bruno is mainly active during twilight. Hence, I will let him run free in the kitchen during breakfast and dinner times where I am able to busy myself in there while keeping an eye on him. It is important to have him supervised to make sure that he does not ‘break the rules’. I tried twice to take him out of the cage in mid day and he was grouchy! How did I know? I got nipped by him.

Their sense of smell

I tried waving food in front of Bruno but he does not react to the action. However, once I bring the food closer to him, his nose will start twitching and sniffing for the scent before deciding if he wants to take that morsel from my hand. Hence, whenever I want to give him a back rub, my hand will have to go through his artful nose. Once all is good, he will lower his head to show that he wants the affection. Allowing him to sniff my hand will allow him to familarise with my smell and not be threatened by my presence.

Needing love and attention

I have had other rodents like hamsters and guinea pigs. Those were more independent animals where they were happy in their cage most of the time. However, a bunny needs more tender loving care. There are days where I would be out for the whole day. When I return home and greet Bruno, he would step forward in his cage to sniff me. Sometimes he would go to his food bowl and signal to show me that there is not much food left.  When I open the cage door and put my hand in, he will bow his head to show that he wants a rub. When given a good rub/ massage, he will make some low grunting noises and lay low.

Cleaning the cage

I would say it is almost necessary to clean the cage every week unless you don’t mind having the unpleasant poo and pee smell all around the house. Sometimes during the midweek, I will clear some of the litter just to ensure that the cage does not smell too unpleasant. I use enough wood shaving (ecologic ones) for the cage to soak up the secretion.

Here are a few websites which I feel gave interesting and useful tips on how to care for a rabbit:

  1. http://www.rabbit.org/
  2. http://www.myhouserabbit.com/care.php
  3. http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/litter.shtml

Rabbits are definitely for people who have the time to commit. They may or may not make good pets of children. Their pleasant nature allows children to get close to them without getting hurt. However, it also takes skills in handling rabbits since they feel threatened easily and in general, they do not like to be picked up. Lastly, do not make the mistake I made. Aside from doing your basic research before getting a pet rabbit, make sure you are also able to have them in your environment.

Signing off with love,

Esther

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