Rabbits!

julifhy
Member
My mom’s friends has a rabbit she doesn’t have time to properly take care of and she asked us if I might want to adopt it. Obviously I said yes! I’m not 100% ready to give her away though so it might be a while until I get the rabbit, but I thought I should ask, is there anything I should know before owning a rabbit? What cage is best for rabbits? Should I keep her inside or outside? Is keeping a rabbit similar to keeping a guinea pig? The rabbit is a miniature breed apparently and she’s very social and loves getting held and pet. Any tips on owning a rabbit will be appreciated
 
Willj626
Member
I kept "miniature" rabbits for a while, there are a lot of rabbit cages on the market (my dad and I built mine though) but make sure when you're looking at cages that the mesh or bars aren't wide enough for its feet it fall through or get stuck in. Whats the climate like where you live in the summer and winter? I kept mine outside in the summer (80-90 degrees) with ice bottles to rest on, and inside in the winter. Make sure they get a lot of exercise or outdoor time even if its sitting with them in the grass while they explore (make sure they can't escape or get too far- I used a rabbit harness and an outdoor pen). You'll need hay/straw for bedding and if its potty trained (poops and pees in the same spot) you'll need a kind of potty tray for ease of cleaning. My rabbits loved alfalfa and yogurt treats and raspberry leaves and dandelion leaves as treats, I don't remember the exact feed we used though. They really like toys too! I've never kept a guinea pig but I think rabbits need more space/ a bigger cage. I know I've probably missed or forgotten some stuff but I hope this helps!
 
Ptera
Member
There is tons to know about keeping a rabbit and not something to just jump into.. Please keep in mind that they are a 10-15 year commitment like a dog or a cat, but higher maintenance.
First, start by finding a rabbit-saavy vet in your area. You'll want this before something happens. As prey animals, rabbits hide their symptoms well and it is often an urgent situation once symptoms are noticed. Most vet clinics will do check-ups/treat rabbits, but that doesn't mean they have the knowledge or experience to recognize problems or know which drugs are unsafe for rabbits. Rabbit.org has a great list of screening questions to ask a potential vet.
Rabbits will live much longer, happier lives inside and you will bond more closely and get to enjoy their personalities more this way.
Even a small rabbit needs a much larger cage than what is typically marketed for rabbits to be kept in. We keep our mini-rex in a 4 foot by 6 foot puppy exercise pen when we are asleep or not at home. When we are at home, we typically allow her full run of the house.
Rabbits can be litter trained and this is fairly easy to do once the rabbit has been spayed/neutered, but they do tend to have accidents more as they get older.
Like guinea pigs, rabbits should have access to hay (timothy or similar, not alfalfa) at all times. Alfalfa hay can be given as an occasional treat. Pellets are like a supplement, a small handful (exact amount varies by size and age of rabbit) fed once per day. Fresh vegetables should be fed regularly too, but bunnies have sensitive tummies so vegetables need to be introduced slowly and in small quantities to start. Some bunnies just don't tolerate specific vegetables the same as others. Our bunny for example gets an very upset tummy from green bell pepper, though this isn't a vegetable most bunnies have any problems with. So we of course stopped offering this after figuring it out.
There is so much more. Rabbit.org is a good place to start. I'd be happy answer more questions.. 12 years of bunny experience, but it is just difficult to try to cover eveything in one go..

The next step after tons of research would be bunny-proofing your home. It's a little bit like baby proofing. Probably the most important would be to protect all your cords. Many bunnies like to bite them in half, which can be dangerous. Even though we've kept most of our cords protected with corrugated split tubing (the type commonly used in automotive), we've gone through many cellphone chargers, xbox controllers, and a laptop cable, due to our sweet curious bunnies.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Willj626 said:
I kept "miniature" rabbits for a while, there are a lot of rabbit cages on the market (my dad and I built mine though) but make sure when you're looking at cages that the mesh or bars aren't wide enough for its feet it fall through or get stuck in. Whats the climate like where you live in the summer and winter? I kept mine outside in the summer (80-90 degrees) with ice bottles to rest on, and inside in the winter. Make sure they get a lot of exercise or outdoor time even if its sitting with them in the grass while they explore (make sure they can't escape or get too far- I used a rabbit harness and an outdoor pen). You'll need hay/straw for bedding and if its potty trained (poops and pees in the same spot) you'll need a kind of potty tray for ease of cleaning. My rabbits loved alfalfa and yogurt treats and raspberry leaves and dandelion leaves as treats, I don't remember the exact feed we used though. They really like toys too! I've never kept a guinea pig but I think rabbits need more space/ a bigger cage. I know I've probably missed or forgotten some stuff but I hope this helps!
Ty! My moms friend said she would give us the cage and all the supplies she has to us, but I have no idea how big the cage is, which is why I asked. I’m assuming I’m going to probably have to get a bigger cage, but hopefully not. I think that she said she keeps the rabbit outside, but our backyard is basically a desert after our neighbors cut down all the trees that gave us shade, so I would say the temperature can get up to 90°F and even higher during summer (we also don’t have any grass in our backyard, so that makes it seem even more like a desert lol). We also have raccoons, skunks, and possums that sometimes come into our backyard, so I don’t know how safe our backyard might be. I would also make give her a lot of exercise. I give all my animals as much attention as I possibly can. I also really hope she’s potty trained! If not, I’ll attempt to train her. Any tips on potty training?

Ptera said:
There is tons to know about keeping a rabbit and not something to just jump into.. Please keep in mind that they are a 10-15 year commitment like a dog or a cat, but higher maintenance.
First, start by finding a rabbit-saavy vet in your area. You'll want this before something happens. As prey animals, rabbits hide their symptoms well and it is often an urgent situation once symptoms are noticed. Most vet clinics will do check-ups/treat rabbits, but that doesn't mean they have the knowledge or experience to recognize problems or know which drugs are unsafe for rabbits. Rabbit.org has a great list of screening questions to ask a potential vet.
Rabbits will live much longer, happier lives inside and you will bond more closely and get to enjoy their personalities more this way.
Even a small rabbit needs a much larger cage than what is typically marketed for rabbits to be kept in. We keep our mini-rex in a 4 foot by 6 foot puppy exercise pen when we are asleep or not at home. When we are at home, we typically allow her full run of the house.
Rabbits can be litter trained and this is fairly easy to do once the rabbit has been spayed/neutered, but they do tend to have accidents more as they get older.
Like guinea pigs, rabbits should have access to hay (timothy or similar, not alfalfa) at all times. Alfalfa hay can be given as an occasional treat. Pellets are like a supplement, a small handful (exact amount varies by size and age of rabbit) fed once per day. Fresh vegetables should be fed regularly too, but bunnies have sensitive tummies so vegetables need to be introduced slowly and in small quantities to start. Some bunnies just don't tolerate specific vegetables the same as others. Our bunny for example gets an very upset tummy from green bell pepper, though this isn't a vegetable most bunnies have any problems with. So we of course stopped offering this after figuring it out.
There is so much more. Rabbit.org is a good place to start. I'd be happy answer more questions.. 12 years of bunny experience, but it is just difficult to try to cover eveything in one go..

The next step after tons of research would be bunny-proofing your home. It's a little bit like baby proofing. Probably the most important would be to protect all your cords. Many bunnies like to bite them in half, which can be dangerous. Even though we've kept most of our cords protected with corrugated split tubing (the type commonly used in automotive), we've gone through many cellphone chargers, xbox controllers, and a laptop cable, due to our sweet curious bunnies.
I definitely don’t want to jump into rabbit especially without knowing anything. I did that with my betta and from now on I’m always going to research the animal. I don’t know much about the rabbit yet or it’s medical history, but I will definitely take it to the vet. All I know about the rabbit is that she’s a female, her fur is black, she’s a miniature breed (I don’t know anything about rabbit breeds, that’s just what I was told), and her nails are very long. I used to trim my guinea pig’s nails without any problems. Is there anything I should look out for? I know that since the rabbit is black it could be challenging trimming her nails.
Ty for all the tips about the food! We still have an unopened Timothy hay bag from my guinea pig. Our house is also guinea pig proof, so I think I can say it would also be rabbit proof?

Tysm for all the tips! I’m going to make sure to do a lot of research to make sure I can properly take care of a rabbit. I did have a couple more questions, but I forgot them lol. It’s late where I am currently, so I’ll ask more questions later. Again, ty for all the help!
 
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julifhy
Member
I’ve decided that I would keep the cage inside in the kitchen. We have enough space there to keep a pretty big cage (I will also take her out daily of course). The temperature in the kitchen is probably the most stable, not too cold and not to hot in the summer, but it does get pretty cold in the winter. Any tips on keeping the rabbit warm during the winter? I’ve also have done research on the noises they make, how to properly handle them, how to set up the cage, and how to trim the rabbit’s nails. I’m going to watch some more videos on rabbit keeping and any more tips would be really helpful. Especially things you wished you would have known before owning a rabbit. I don’t want to be unprepared for something I didn’t realize might happen.
 
Willj626
Member
julifhy said:
I’ve decided that I would keep the cage inside in the kitchen. We have enough space there to keep a pretty big cage (I will also take her out daily of course). The temperature in the kitchen is probably the most stable, not too cold and not to hot in the summer, but it does get pretty cold in the winter. Any tips on keeping the rabbit warm during the winter? I’ve also have done research on the noises they make, how to properly handle them, how to set up the cage, and how to trim the rabbit’s nails. I’m going to watch some more videos on rabbit keeping and any more tips would be really helpful. Especially things you wished you would have known before owning a rabbit. I don’t want to be unprepared for something I didn’t realize might happen.
Lots of hay and hot water bottles in the winter, I think they sell heating pads but be careful about the chewing with anything electrical.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
A little update: My moms friend said we can pick up the rabbit anytime we want. She also sent her a picture and it doesn't look like she has a cage. I also measured the spot in the kitchen where the cage would most likely be and the biggest we probably would be able to get is 40 inches in length and 24 inches in width. I know that's a little small, but I will make sure the rabbit gets plenty exercise outside of her cage. I also think that I'm going to build the cage (with the help of my grandpa) to make it look "furniture like" because I know my mom doesn't really like the way cages look like. Making it furniture like would also convince them to make it a lot bigger than pet store cages. Is building a cage like this expensive? Has anyone done this before? I'm currently drawing my ideas for the cage, so I'll post a picture later.
 
Ptera
Member
Many accolades (sincerely) for your first steps towards being a responsible and great rabbit caretaker.
For the most part, the breed of rabbit doesn't make a difference, rabbit behavior varies some individually, it doesn't matter which breed. In general, larger breeds are more tolerant of being picked up and obviously need a bit more space. On the other side of that, there are a few breeds that are more prone to some specific problems. Do you know yet what kind of rabbit it is?
The black nails do make them more difficult to clip since you cannot see the quick inside of the nail. Black nails or not, it is much easier to clip nails with a helper. One person can hold bunny gently, but securely in their lap while the other clips nails. We tried the bunny-burrito method with both our buns and it just didn't work out. Some bunny parents use a flashlight to see the quick in black nails and this can work if you happen to have a second person to hold it (or are quite talented and have a calm bunny), but it can also just be too many hands in a small space where precision is important. It's often easiest to just clip off only about 3mm and (if the nails are still too long after this) in a week to 10 days trim again. This allows the quick time to retreat lower into the nail so that you don't nick it. Plus the faster you can accomplish grooming time, the less stress bunny is put through. Do not trim a dark nail if it looks quite short already (compared to the others), sometimes nails get caught on things and break. Under normal circumstances, nails will only need trimming every 4-6 weeks and sticking to a schedule should prevent them from growing out overly long. If bunny is panic-y and/or tends to struggle more and more throughout having her nails trimmed, go ahead and do just the front or just the back, offer a treat and release for 30 minutes to several hours, so long as you'll remember to get the rest of the nails later in the day. Nail trimming time is also a good time to take care of another important grooming task that many don't know should be done..
You've likely read about rabbits' scent glands under their chin which they will rub on things/people to "claim" them; rabbits also have scent glands on either side of their anus and over time these get build up and need to be cleaned, but it is easy to do. They of course don't like it (and we have been pee'd on during cleaning) but it is significantly better than an infection later. Use a Q-tip dipped in warm water to carefully swab the build-up out. You can find videos that show exactly where and what it looks like. Both male and female rabbits need this done every 4-6 weeks or so. It is very possible that your bun has never had it done, in which case the first time will be the worst of it and after that it'll be very quick and easy (and significantly less smelly).

Unfortunately, I've never taken care of a guinea pig, so I don't what pig-proofing entails.. but I imagine this means that any dangerous small areas have already been blocked off.
Aside from other dangers like cords, poisonous plants (which is most houseplants), and possibly other pets, the rest of bunny-proofing is mostly protecting your stuff which in turn protects them from ingesting things they shouldn't.
How high can guinea pigs jump? How mischievous are they? Bunnies easily jump onto sofas, upholstered chairs, and low beds and then get into EVERYTHING on any nearby tables, especially if there is anything of special interest like food, plants, or favorite chewing items.
Each bunny is different about what types of things they like to chew and destroy. For our male, we'll call him Rabert, his favorites were: thin cords like phone chargers, gaming controller cords, laptop charging cables; the plastic things on the ends of shoe laces; and books (especially hardbacks). For our female, we'll call her Rosie, thin cords again (delicious black spaghetti); ANY unattended human foods (she once ran off holding the stick of a whole corndog); and soft plastic/rubber-y stuff like the buttons on the t.v. remote or the grip-y part of my hairbrush. After 12 years, we are in the habit of setting down all remote controls buttons-down, always.

Indoors, in the kitchen should be plenty warm for a rabbit, even in winter. They handle cold much much better than heat, but avoid drafts no matter season. If she is a very small rabbit, that may be enough space short term, especially if she gets lots of time out of the pen. Minimum size should accommodate her litter box, a shelter to hide inside (this can be a smallish cardboard box with an arched opening cut into it), and a heavy non-plastic water dish (ceramic cat dishes work great), with space left to lay down outside of her box/house and fully stretch out. If she does need some extra warmth, some options are: a fleece blanket inside her shelter (so long as she doesn't decide it's for eating) or a heating pad, but like Willj said, something with a cord isn't safe and anything not chew-proof isn't safe either cause bunnies chew and there are usually harmful chemicals in these things (rice isn't good for bunnies either and they will rip open and eat rice warmers). The "SnuggleSafe" is great. It is a hard plastic, frisbee-looking heating pad that comes with a soft cover, you just pop it in the microwave for a bit and it holds heat for up to 10 hours.

The expense of building a cage is definitely going to depend a lot on the design and the materials used. Keep in mind that it will get chewed so do not use any stains/finishes on wood. Any wood parts need to be a safe wood like pine. Do not use any adhesives, and make sure that no nails/staples go too far through of course.
 
Ptera
Member
I was lucky enough to know a lot of the bunny "secrets" from the start. I had a great source of information starting out. We have a local rabbit-only shelter here and the founder of it has been working with bunnies for over 40 years. She has been wonderful.

Something I wish I'd known from the start or rather, something I was very lucky to know from the start, but took awhile to master..
When you get ready to pick up and handle a rabbit; whether it is for cuddles, grooming, bedtime, or safety reasons; bunnies know whether you are confident or nervous and they react to this. If you are very nervous, it can make them nervous too, or not, but either way, they'll take advantage of it and do whatever they can to prevent you from picking them up. Just having confidence about it makes tons of difference, it is crazy. But this of course is tricky, because when you don't have experience, you don't have that confidence. Obviously you don't want to hold too tightly or too loosely since either could hurt the rabbit/allow the rabbit to hurt him/herself. MOST adults don't hold a rabbit firmly enough, because they are delicate/fragile. Hold a rabbit with approximately the firmness you'd hold a cat.
Though rabbits are held differently than guinea pigs, you may have some advantage here, but I'm not sure how adverse guinea pigs are to being picked up or how much this new bun has been handled or how well she tolerates it.
If a rabbit's struggles and protests are successful, and you're noticing this in the moment, don't tighten up your grip too much or grab at them, this can cause panic and injury. Instead, get lower to the ground (or sit down on the sofa/bed if it is close) to eliminate/lessen the drop. You can try again after and you will both get more used to it.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
Many accolades (sincerely) for your first steps towards being a responsible and great rabbit caretaker.
For the most part, the breed of rabbit doesn't make a difference, rabbit behavior varies some individually, it doesn't matter which breed. In general, larger breeds are more tolerant of being picked up and obviously need a bit more space. On the other side of that, there are a few breeds that are more prone to some specific problems. Do you know yet what kind of rabbit it is?
Thank you so much for all this info! I've been watching so many rabbit videos today and reading on how to properly take care of them. Unfortunately, I always get my hopes up way too fast. If it only depended on my mom, she would say yes to the rabbit, but my dad said the rabbit is too big and he doesn't like the color :/
I guess now I need tips on how to convince someone to get a rabbit
I really want to help rehome my mom's friend's rabbit though. She can't properly take care of her and she keeps him in a potable kennel in the garage during the night and in an exercise pen in the backyard during the day. The rabbit seems a little over weight and her nails are very long. I will attach a picture later. I'm also assuming she wasn't spayed or had any vet visits. I don't know the breed, but she has short fur and her ears are perked up. She's so cute though. All black with white outlines around her eyes, ears, and nose

Ptera said:
The black nails do make them more difficult to clip since you cannot see the quick inside of the nail. Black nails or not, it is much easier to clip nails with a helper. One person can hold bunny gently, but securely in their lap while the other clips nails. We tried the bunny-burrito method with both our buns and it just didn't work out. Some bunny parents use a flashlight to see the quick in black nails and this can work if you happen to have a second person to hold it (or are quite talented and have a calm bunny), but it can also just be too many hands in a small space where precision is important. It's often easiest to just clip off only about 3mm and (if the nails are still too long after this) in a week to 10 days trim again. This allows the quick time to retreat lower into the nail so that you don't nick it. Plus the faster you can accomplish grooming time, the less stress bunny is put through. Do not trim a dark nail if it looks quite short already (compared to the others), sometimes nails get caught on things and break. Under normal circumstances, nails will only need trimming every 4-6 weeks and sticking to a schedule should prevent them from growing out overly long. If bunny is panic-y and/or tends to struggle more and more throughout having her nails trimmed, go ahead and do just the front or just the back, offer a treat and release for 30 minutes to several hours, so long as you'll remember to get the rest of the nails later in the day. Nail trimming time is also a good time to take care of another important grooming task that many don't know should be done..
You've likely read about rabbits' scent glands under their chin which they will rub on things/people to "claim" them; rabbits also have scent glands on either side of their anus and over time these get build up and need to be cleaned, but it is easy to do. They of course don't like it (and we have been pee'd on during cleaning) but it is significantly better than an infection later. Use a Q-tip dipped in warm water to carefully swab the build-up out. You can find videos that show exactly where and what it looks like. Both male and female rabbits need this done every 4-6 weeks or so. It is very possible that your bun has never had it done, in which case the first time will be the worst of it and after that it'll be very quick and easy (and significantly less smelly).
My guinea pig had 2 white paws and 2 dark brown paws where you couldn't see the quick. She also hated her nails cut, but I managed to cut them by myself or with the help of my mom holding her. With a rabbit, it's most likely going to always be a 2 people job lol. For all 6 years we had my guinea pig I never cut her quick. I feel really proud of that lol and hopefully my streak will continue if I convince my dad to get the rabbit . I'm always careful with cutting nails. The flashlight trick didn't work for my guinea pig though, but I will try it again if I have to.
Also thanks for telling me about the scent glad. I knew they had it, but didn't know I had to clean it.

Ptera said:
Unfortunately, I've never taken care of a guinea pig, so I don't what pig-proofing entails.. but I imagine this means that any dangerous small areas have already been blocked off.
Aside from other dangers like cords, poisonous plants (which is most houseplants), and possibly other pets, the rest of bunny-proofing is mostly protecting your stuff which in turn protects them from ingesting things they shouldn't.
How high can guinea pigs jump? How mischievous are they? Bunnies easily jump onto sofas, upholstered chairs, and low beds and then get into EVERYTHING on any nearby tables, especially if there is anything of special interest like food, plants, or favorite chewing items.
Our guinea pig proofing included hiding and blocking off cables, small spaces where we couldn't see her and keeping a close eye on her. We actually didn't have to do much with our guinea pig. She was so trust worthy, we never closed her cage unless we would be gone for a couple of days and she never ever left her cage. We don't have any house plants on the floor, only on high shelves. I think guinea pigs can jump 6 inches? Maybe 12?

Thank you so much for all this info. Sorry if I missed somethings. I'm definitely going to look back at this response

Ptera said:
I was lucky enough to know a lot of the bunny "secrets" from the start. I had a great source of information starting out. We have a local rabbit-only shelter here and the founder of it has been working with bunnies for over 40 years. She has been wonderful.

Something I wish I'd known from the start or rather, something I was very lucky to know from the start, but took awhile to master..
When you get ready to pick up and handle a rabbit; whether it is for cuddles, grooming, bedtime, or safety reasons; bunnies know whether you are confident or nervous and they react to this. If you are very nervous, it can make them nervous too, or not, but either way, they'll take advantage of it and do whatever they can to prevent you from picking them up. Just having confidence about it makes tons of difference, it is crazy. But this of course is tricky, because when you don't have experience, you don't have that confidence. Obviously you don't want to hold too tightly or too loosely since either could hurt the rabbit/allow the rabbit to hurt him/herself. MOST adults don't hold a rabbit firmly enough, because they are delicate/fragile. Hold a rabbit with approximately the firmness you'd hold a cat.
Though rabbits are held differently than guinea pigs, you may have some advantage here, but I'm not sure how adverse guinea pigs are to being picked up or how much this new bun has been handled or how well she tolerates it.
If a rabbit's struggles and protests are successful, and you're noticing this in the moment, don't tighten up your grip too much or grab at them, this can cause panic and injury. Instead, get lower to the ground (or sit down on the sofa/bed if it is close) to eliminate/lessen the drop. You can try again after and you will both get more used to it.
I just finished watching a video of how to hold a rabbit . This is still really helpful and tysm for all the details.
 
Ptera
Member
Rabbit Bonding
Bunnies are social and should be kept in pairs, so try to get her a companion as soon as you can (after she is spayed, if she isnt). This can be a long process though. We had Rabert for a couple years before he bonded with Rosie. At the rabbit shelter, we were able to set up "bunny dates" for Rabert, because bunnies chose their companions, not humans. You can read lots about this by searching "rabbit bonding".

Most bunnies enjoy being petted, but would rather sit/lay next to you rather than on your lap. Though we did foster a bunny that liked to sit partly on the back of the sofa and partly on your shoulder to get petted.
Rabert also would get up there, but only to attempt to get my banana as I was taking bites.

Fruit has a lot of sugar in it and should only be given as an occasional treat and in small amounts, like one 1/2" banana slice. Also, make sure any fruit/vegetable is a bunny-safe one before offering them.


To keep cool in the summer..
*Frozen water bottles are great, place one in the pen for bunny to lie up against if she is too warm. These water bottles can be refills. Switch them with others from the freezer as needed.

*Drape a damp towel over one side of the pen and run a fan in the room (pointed away from the pen) **do not use this method if your bunny likes to chew towels/blankets/etc.**

*Get your hand or a washcloth damp and gently dampen your rabbit's ears. They release heat through their ears, kinda like a dog's paws.

*If the pen is large enough, offer a ceramic tile or two to lay on for cooling down, but always make sure there is still room to stretch out off of the tile, not all bunnies will use it. Rabert loved it, Rosie has NEVER used one, she prefers to lay against a cold water bottle only or just stretch out. This was a bit strange since Rabert would NOT enter any slippery-floor rooms, but Rosie has no issues and runs around on the hardwood floors of our new house like a pro. We always had rugs all over for Rabert to use.

Don't.. point a fan towards the pen
Don't.. use ice packs where bunny could chew them
 
Ptera
Member
I'm sorry you may not be able to give this one a home, but maybe you can help her find another home with someone. Once you're in your own place might be a better time to get a bunny anyway since not everyone in the house agrees.
Also, if you or anyone in your home is allergic to hay, a bunny is not the best pet choice, but you've had a guinea pig before.. I don't know about guinea pigs, but with a bunny, hay manages to get tracked around the house everywhere no matter how much sweeping/vacuuming is done, but this could be partially from Rosie digging in it and us wearing socks..
I'm still happy to answer questions, but convincing someone to get a pet they don't want usually isn't the best way to go about things. I know it's not what you want to hear, but showing a continued interest in something, demonstrating your knowledge and research (without pestering anyone), and consistently showing responsibility and helpfulness around the house does tend to be the best way to convince parents over time though.
 
Fisheye
Member
Was litter box training addressed yet? I had a friend who's rabbit "free ranged" around the house and his home base was under her bed-he didn't have a cage. He had a litter box that he used and never made a mess in the house.
 
Ptera
Member
Fisheye said:
Was litter box training addressed yet? I had a friend who's rabbit "free ranged" around the house and his home base was under her bed-he didn't have a cage. He had a litter box that he used and never made a mess in the house.
Briefly mentioned, but I haven't gone into details.

julifhy, let us know if you still want potty training tips.
 
Ptera
Member
A little love story to cheer you up.. sorry it's a bit of a long read and sappy too..

The first rabbit I had my heart set on to adopt didn't work out either, but I have no regrets over this. I was 16 or 17 when I first became interested in house rabbits. At 18 (and at least a year of rabbit research), my boyfriend and I were settled into our first apartment and we felt ready for a bunny. (ready, including financially; it would be irresponsible to not plan for potential vet bills no matter how well cared for a pet is.) We also made to sure, before signing the lease, to ask the apartment management specifically about getting a rabbit, to make sure we wouldn't have to make the choice later to move out or move the rabbit out. We even listed a rabbit on the lease paperwork even though we didn't have one yet.
It took a little while to find a bunny in our area to adopt, since we had decided to not buy one from a pet or farm store (it encourages breeding mills; like cats and dogs, there are lots of rabbits in need of homes). We had not yet learned about the rabbit shelter nearby. I found "the perfect" little guy for adoption, I emailed his owner questions about his age, history, things like that, and of course we worked out the details about $ and meeting up. I was in love and I was very excited. About a week later, I got an email from her that the bunny was no longer up for adoption. It turned out that this was her boyfriend's rabbit that she was trying to get rid of, that he didn't want to get rid of and they had had a fight. What the H?! I couldn't get over how awful she was that she would try to do that (to the bunny or his human); at the same time, I was crushed, dreams shattered, no bunny for me.
Eventually, I'd guess less than a year later, I adopted my wonderful sweet "baby boy" (he was already 4-years-old) and no bun could ever replace him. He passed away, about 4 years ago (2016), after being with us for 8 very special years (He lived to be 12). He chose a great lady bun, Rosie; who, at first, couldn't care less about us, but she certainly loved him and eventually us too. Though she is still sassy and always will be, she warmed up to us in a big way, it just took her a little longer. She is a lovey, bossy, old lady bunbun with big personality. 13-years old now and hasn't slowed down. I'm very thankful for the time we've had with her and I greedily hope for a few more healthy years.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
I'm sorry you may not be able to give this one a home, but maybe you can help her find another home with someone. Once you're in your own place might be a better time to get a bunny anyway since not everyone in the house agrees.
Also, if you or anyone in your home is allergic to hay, a bunny is not the best pet choice, but you've had a guinea pig before.. I don't know about guinea pigs, but with a bunny, hay manages to get tracked around the house everywhere no matter how much sweeping/vacuuming is done, but this could be partially from Rosie digging in it and us wearing socks..
I'm still happy to answer questions, but convincing someone to get a pet they don't want usually isn't the best way to go about things. I know it's not what you want to hear, but showing a continued interest in something, demonstrating your knowledge and research (without pestering anyone), and consistently showing responsibility and helpfulness around the house does tend to be the best way to convince parents over time though.
Hay was everywhere with my guinea pig too lol, but it wasn’t really a problem. My parents trust me to be responsible and they would agree to a rabbit if it was smaller. I guess the biggest issue is size. I will try my best to convince them though. I know that once he sees the rabbit for himself and knows it’s going to live in our home, he’ll be more than okay with it. If my mom is okay with a bearded dragon (she calls him her son now lol), I might be able to convince my dad for the rabbit.

Fisheye said:
Was litter box training addressed yet? I had a friend who's rabbit "free ranged" around the house and his home base was under her bed-he didn't have a cage. He had a litter box that he used and never made a mess in the house.
Ptera said:
Briefly mentioned, but I haven't gone into details.

julifhy, let us know if you still want potty training tips.
I did address it. I think she is somewhat potty trained, but I’m not 100% sure. If I do end up getting her, I was thinking of putting a litter box under where the hay would be. I read that they often poop when they eat, so I think that would work best, right? If he’s not potty trained outside of his cage, any tips on how to train him? I haven’t gotten to researching potty training yet lol.

Ptera said:
A little love story to cheer you up.. sorry it's a bit of a long read and sappy too..

The first rabbit I had my heart set on to adopt didn't work out either, but I have no regrets over this. I was 16 or 17 when I first became interested in house rabbits. At 18 (and at least a year of rabbit research), my boyfriend and I were settled into our first apartment and we felt ready for a bunny. (ready, including financially; it would be irresponsible to not plan for potential vet bills no matter how well cared for a pet is.) We also made to sure, before signing the lease, to ask the apartment management specifically about getting a rabbit, to make sure we wouldn't have to make the choice later to move out or move the rabbit out. We even listed a rabbit on the lease paperwork even though we didn't have one yet.
It took a little while to find a bunny in our area to adopt, since we had decided to not buy one from a pet or farm store (it encourages breeding mills; like cats and dogs, there are lots of rabbits in need of homes). We had not yet learned about the rabbit shelter nearby. I found "the perfect" little guy for adoption, I emailed his owner questions about his age, history, things like that, and of course we worked out the details about $ and meeting up. I was in love and I was very excited. About a week later, I got an email from her that the bunny was no longer up for adoption. It turned out that this was her boyfriend's rabbit that she was trying to get rid of, that he didn't want to get rid of and they had had a fight. What the H?! I couldn't get over how awful she was that she would try to do that (to the bunny or his human); at the same time, I was crushed, dreams shattered, no bunny for me.
Eventually, I'd guess less than a year later, I adopted my wonderful sweet "baby boy" (he was already 4-years-old) and no bun could ever replace him. He passed away, about 4 years ago (2016), after being with us for 8 very special years (He lived to be 12). He chose a great lady bun, Rosie; who, at first, couldn't care less about us, but she certainly loved him and eventually us too. Though she is still sassy and always will be, she warmed up to us in a big way, it just took her a little longer. She is a lovey, bossy, old lady bunbun with big personality. 13-years old now and hasn't slowed down.
That’s so cute! I was planning on adopting a guinea pig from a shelter near by and right when we were about to leave, I found out someone already adopted it . I felt heart broken too.
And even earlier than that when I was in 4th grade I kept dragging my parents to pet smart to see this one guinea pig my sister and I were trying to convince them to get. Eventually they agreed, we went to pet smart, and we found out earlier that day the guinea pig that we kept visiting had broken it’s leg and had to be put down. I was about to cry. The guinea pig I have been visiting for days died hours before I got there. But, I went to see what guinea pigs they had and there was Ginger. She was getting bullied by the other guinea pig with her, so me and my sister decided to adopt her. It was clear she was so happy with us. In the first week we had her, she was already really comfortable with us and we would play with her all the time. She quickly became a part of the family. Like I mentioned, her cage was always open. When she wanted to play, she would bite the cage in a certain place to let us know she wanted to be outside and when she wanted to go back to her cage, she would wait for me to put my hands under her belly even though she could easily jump in on her own. Sadly a year ago she passed away from old age and what I’m guessing might of been some kind of stones. Here’s a picture of Ginger and her friends:

219D4F68-077D-479C-8E34-B5196EAEC4D8.jpeg

I think you’ll be able to know which one Ginger is lol. She really stood out
 
Fisheye
Member
julifhy said:
I did address it. I think she is somewhat potty trained, but I’m not 100% sure. If I do end up getting her, I was thinking of putting a litter box under where the hay would be. I read that they often poop when they eat, so I think that would work best, right? If he’s not potty trained outside of his cage, any tips on how to train him? I haven’t gotten to researching potty training yet lol.
Gosh, I'm sorry I know nothing. Just wanted to share something anecdotally. I do know that the litterbox wasn't near where the rabbit ate and it was a litter pan lined with cloth diapers that she washed (ick).

Look forward to seeing pics of your rabbit!
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Fisheye said:
Gosh, I'm sorry I know nothing. Just wanted to share something anecdotally. I do know that the litterbox wasn't near where the rabbit ate and it was a litter pan lined with cloth diapers that she washed (ick).

Look forward to seeing pics of your rabbit!
Hopefully we do get to help rehome her. Here’s a picture the owner sent us:

AD267F02-1C8C-402E-833F-80EDEC6E1DDE.jpeg


7BBEB778-A0ED-45B1-A71E-909F9F00C42A.jpeg

Does the rabbit look a little fat to you? I don’t think she gets a lot of exercise.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
According to this:
She does seem overweight. Ptera does she look overweight to you?
 
flyinGourami
Member
I only know about rabbits from online research so I probably can't offer very good or accurate advice.
I wish you luck! Also Ginger and her friends are so adorable!
 
Ptera
Member
Your piggies are so cute! Ginger is my favorite.. she looks really easygoing, I'm sorry you lost her.

Cecal pellets, related to litter training
Rabbits re-digest some of their soft-poos called cecal pellets.. yeah, it's a bit gross, but this is important for their nutrition and digestion. If you see some uneaten cecal pellets; they look a bit like a small bunch of grapes and are wetter and stickier than regular poos; it usually means something is wrong. Most often it means either more hay needs to be offered and/or other foods need to be reduced, like treats/pellets, to encourage more hay to be eaten. Sometimes it means that the rabbit can't easily reach her face down to her anus due to obesity or arthritis, but there are a lot of other reasons too.

Litter Boxes & Training
We were fortunate enough to get bunnies that were already used to using litter boxes. I've been told that "litter training" is very simple though (after spay/neuter), since rabbits are an animal that likes to go in a corner anyway to keep the rest of their space clean, and tends to eat and poo at the same time.

Hay holders: At first we did put the hay in a holder above the litter tray just like you said and they do eat and poo at the same time, just like you learned. They will even stop in the middle of eating hay to re-eat one of their cecal pellets.. but no matter which type/size holder we tried, it didn't hold much hay and it wasn't easy for the bunnies to pull hay from. So that didn't last long, we switched to doing what we saw at the rabbit shelter..(and these bunnies were treated well, nice big pens, hay always available, pellets and fresh cut veggies daily; their indoor pens have little pet-sized doors in the wall that go out to covered, fenced-in grassy space safe from predators, so that they can have some outside time each day, but only if they want to..) Anyway, I got off track, we just put the hay on top of the litter. Yes, they will pee on some of it, but they won't eat the parts they've pee'd on. This seems a little wasteful, but even if you put it into some kind of holder that does work, they will pull some hay out with no intention of eating it, they want some of it to pee on. You still need some litter too though, for absorbency.

Training: If she isn't used to using a litter box or has been kept in a cage a lot and isn't used to running around the house, you'd need to take things slowly and not let her run all over the place for quite awhile or else she'll get into a bad habit of "the whole place is my litter box".
Place the litter pan/tray in a corner with about 1" of litter and some hay and put some of her droppings into the box too so that she knows this is where she should go. Put her in the box, pet her, tell her she is a good bunny, show her the hay. If she poos outside of the box, move these into the box. If you catch her pee outside of the box, gently place her in the box. If she decides a different corner is her favorite, you may need to re-arrange and move the box to her favorite business corner.
It is important to change the litter box often to keep it clean, but while she is still learning, you have to let it get a little bit dirty or she will think she's not supposed to go there.
During litter training, don't allow very much exploration of other places, only allow access to the room the pen is kept in. Or you can even use a bathroom as her pen during training if your family has an extra one, but I'm not a fan of this method since then bunny is isolated from socializing with the family and this is extra tough in a scary new place.
Once she is getting the hang of using the litter box, let her start having access to another room (if your goal is to eventually have her be fairly free-range). Oh, baby gates are great for this. After some time, like a month or so, let her explore another room (or two). Keep expanding where she's allowed to go, but a bit at a time.

Potty accidents
When a potty trained rabbit refuses to use their litter box, it often means they want it kept cleaner, but like most things, there are many other reasons for this. Some are urinary tract problems, infection, kidney stones, calcium build-up; a sample of pee would need to be collected to be tested at your veterinarian. Sometimes it is about marking, if the rabbit feels its space is being intruded upon by another pet, new or not (but new or visiting is more likely), or even a person visiting. Anytime we've had visitors with dogs with them, the bunnies would almost always "have accidents" after everyone had left. And the 2 weeks my brother-in-law stayed with us, with his dog, that was a nightmare pet-wise. Keeping baby gates up all the time where we usually wouldn't, cleaning up so many potties.. We did live with roommates with a small dog for 1 year and this wasn't an issue. We did have to use baby gates to keep them separated and the pets had to "take turns" playing in the living room, but potties were not an issue for either side.
Another reason for accidents could simply be old age, Rosie is quite the little old lady now and she frequently has accidents. This happened with Rabert too when he got older. Just like with him, we got a shallower litter tray for her to be sure it wasn't from having any trouble accessing it. And we arranged a check-up and took a sample of urine to the vet just in case and she is healthy, just old.

What kind of litter?
There are so so many choices.. and some of this you may have heard already from taking care of guinea pigs.
Do NOT use cat litters or any clay-based litters
Do NOT use pine/cedar or other softwood shavings
Do NOT use corn litters
there are probably several others I'm forgetting..

Carefresh is okay and works great for many, BUT I found that it isn't great for odor control and... Rabert liked to eat it, a lot, so this was a blockage risk and I gave it away.

My favorite rabbit litter have been pelleted recycled newpaper litters and compressed sawdust pellets.
*Yesterday's News is good but tends to be more expensive.
*Crown Animal Bedding is almost the same as Yesterday's News, but WAY cheaper, I just have trouble finding it anymore, it might be discontinued.
*Feline Pine (original only) seems to contradict what I said earlier, so I will explain why it is okay.. it is made from compressed pine sawdust, but is not toxic because the harmful phenolic compounds are removed during the process of their manufacturing. You'll notice they don't have a strong scent like pine shavings and many other pine pellets do.
*Many people also recommend aspen shavings, but I have not tried these. Rabert had a very sensitive respiratory system.

Another litter box tip:
Many bunnies like to lay in their litter box and will even cuddle with each other in it. Cement mixing bins which can be found at Lowes/Home Depot, make for great nice big (and cheap) litter box if the pen can accommodate this size.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
Your piggies are so cute! Ginger is my favorite.. she looks really easygoing, I'm sorry you lost her.

Cecal pellets, related to litter training
Rabbits re-digest some of their soft-poos called cecal pellets.. yeah, it's a bit gross, but this is important for their nutrition and digestion. If you see some uneaten cecal pellets; they look a bit like a small bunch of grapes and are wetter and stickier than regular poos; it usually means something is wrong. Most often it means either more hay needs to be offered and/or other foods need to be reduced, like treats/pellets, to encourage more hay to be eaten. Sometimes it means that the rabbit can't easily reach her face down to her anus due to obesity or arthritis, but there are a lot of other reasons too.

Litter Boxes & Training
We were fortunate enough to get bunnies that were already used to using litter boxes. I've been told that "litter training" is very simple though (after spay/neuter), since rabbits are an animal that likes to go in a corner anyway to keep the rest of their space clean, and tends to eat and poo at the same time.

Hay holders: At first we did put the hay in a holder above the litter tray just like you said and they do eat and poo at the same time, just like you learned. They will even stop in the middle of eating hay to re-eat one of their cecal pellets.. but no matter which type/size holder we tried, it didn't hold much hay and it wasn't easy for the bunnies to pull hay from. So that didn't last long, we switched to doing what we saw at the rabbit shelter..(and these bunnies were treated well, nice big pens, hay always available, pellets and fresh cut veggies daily; their indoor pens have little pet-sized doors in the wall that go out to covered, fenced-in grassy space safe from predators, so that they can have some outside time each day, but only if they want to..) Anyway, I got off track, we just put the hay on top of the litter. Yes, they will pee on some of it, but they won't eat the parts they've pee'd on. This seems a little wasteful, but even if you put it into some kind of holder that does work, they will pull some hay out with no intention of eating it, they want some of it to pee on. You still need some litter too though, for absorbency.

Training: If she isn't used to using a litter box or has been kept in a cage a lot and isn't used to running around the house, you'd need to take things slowly and not let her run all over the place for quite awhile or else she'll get into a bad habit of "the whole place is my litter box".
Place the litter pan/tray in a corner with about 1" of litter and some hay and put some of her droppings into the box too so that she knows this is where she should go. Put her in the box, pet her, tell her she is a good bunny, show her the hay. If she poos outside of the box, move these into the box. If you catch her pee outside of the box, gently place her in the box. If she decides a different corner is her favorite, you may need to re-arrange and move the box to her favorite business corner.
It is important to change the litter box often to keep it clean, but while she is still learning, you have to let it get a little bit dirty or she will think she's not supposed to go there.
During litter training, don't allow very much exploration of other places, only allow access to the room the pen is kept in. Or you can even use a bathroom as her pen during training if your family has an extra one, but I'm not a fan of this method since then bunny is isolated from socializing with the family and this is extra tough in a scary new place.
Once she is getting the hang of using the litter box, let her start having access to another room (if your goal is to eventually have her be fairly free-range). Oh, baby gates are great for this. After some time, like a month or so, let her explore another room (or two). Keep expanding where she's allowed to go, but a bit at a time.

Potty accidents
When a potty trained rabbit refuses to use their litter box, it often means they want it kept cleaner, but like most things, there are many other reasons for this. Some are urinary tract problems, infection, kidney stones, calcium build-up; a sample of pee would need to be collected to be tested at your veterinarian. Sometimes it is about marking, if the rabbit feels its space is being intruded upon by another pet, new or not (but new or visiting is more likely), or even a person visiting. Anytime we've had visitors with dogs with them, the bunnies would almost always "have accidents" after everyone had left. And the 2 weeks my brother-in-law stayed with us, with his dog, that was a nightmare pet-wise. Keeping baby gates up all the time where we usually wouldn't, cleaning up so many potties.. We did live with roommates with a small dog for 1 year and this wasn't an issue. We did have to use baby gates to keep them separated and the pets had to "take turns" playing in the living room, but potties were not an issue for either side.
Another reason for accidents could simply be old age, Rosie is quite the little old lady now and she frequently has accidents. This happened with Rabert too when he got older. Just like with him, we got a shallower litter tray for her to be sure it wasn't from having any trouble accessing it. And we arranged a check-up and took a sample of urine to the vet just in case and she is healthy, just old.

What kind of litter?
There are so so many choices.. and some of this you may have heard already from taking care of guinea pigs.
Do NOT use cat litters or any clay-based litters
Do NOT use pine/cedar or other softwood shavings
Do NOT use corn litters
there are probably several others I'm forgetting..

Carefresh is okay and works great for many, BUT I found that it isn't great for odor control and... Rabert liked to eat it, a lot, so this was a blockage risk and I gave it away.

My favorite rabbit litter have been pelleted recycled newpaper litters and compressed sawdust pellets.
*Yesterday's News is good but tends to be more expensive.
*Crown Animal Bedding is almost the same as Yesterday's News, but WAY cheaper, I just have trouble finding it anymore, it might be discontinued.
*Feline Pine (original only) seems to contradict what I said earlier, so I will explain why it is okay.. it is made from compressed pine sawdust, but is not toxic because the harmful phenolic compounds are removed during the process of their manufacturing. You'll notice they don't have a strong scent like pine shavings and many other pine pellets do.
*Many people also recommend aspen shavings, but I have not tried these. Rabert had a very sensitive respiratory system.

Another litter box tip:
Many bunnies like to lay in their litter box and will even cuddle with each other in it. Cement mixing bins which can be found at Lowes/Home Depot, make for great nice big (and cheap) litter box if the pen can accommodate this size.
Tysm for all the info again! Guinea pigs also have cecal pellets, so I'm used to seeing her eat her "poop" lol.
How would you suggest keeping the hay? I was thinking maybe getting a shallow litter box for the poop and a deeper litter box for the hay?
All of these potty training tips are so helpful!
The current owner also has a dog, but I don't know the rabbit's and dog's relationship. I might be going to see the rabbit next week to decide if we can help rehome it or not and I'm really hoping we will.
 
Ptera
Member
She appears to either be mostly a rex or mini-rex depending on her age. It is very difficult to tell from pictures if a rabbit is overweight. Even an underweight rabbit can look overweight in the breadloaf position for example.

Something important to know about rex and mini-rex rabbits in particular:
With their short plush coats, their nails will tend to look a bit too long even when they are being properly trimmed. Their fur is so short, the nails show more than on other breeds. It is still important to keep to a trimming schedule though.

Another important grooming tip:
Do NOT bathe a rabbit.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
She appears to either be mostly a rex or mini-rex depending on her age. It is very difficult to tell from pictures if a rabbit is overweight. Even an underweight rabbit can look overweight in the breadloaf position for example.

Something important to know about rex and mini-rex rabbits in particular:
With their short plush coats, their nails will tend to look a bit too long even when they are being properly trimmed. Their fur is so short, the nails show more than on other breeds. It is still important to keep to a trimming schedule though.

Another important grooming tip:
Do NOT bathe a rabbit.
Ty! I think that maybe that’s what the owner meant by “mini” and knowing that that position can make them look fatter/bigger than they actually are can maybe help me convince my dad lol. I didn’t know that about their nails!
It make sad to see people bathing their rabbits. I was always told not to bathe them and I definitely never will.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Is it okay to leave a rabbit alone for a couple of days in it's cage? Like if we were to go on a short vacation, will the rabbit be okay for about 4-5 days alone?

Edit:
Also is this a good cage for a rabbit?:

Or this one:
 
Ptera
Member
Something like that may be enough room for a mini-rex to sleep in and for when no one is at home to supervise time outside of the hutch, but only if the rabbit is spending the majority of its time out of the hutch is it going to be getting enough exercise to stay healthy.
Something else to consider is that even bunnies with great litter box habits have accidents and wood will soak up urine and smell.

julifhy said:
Is it okay to leave a rabbit alone for a couple of days in it's cage? Like if we were to go on a short vacation, will the rabbit be okay for about 4-5 days alone?
No, a rabbit will need someone trust-worthy, and preferably experienced with rabbits, to look after it while you are away. Even for just 2 days. Rabbits have very delicate digestive systems and things can go very wrong, very quickly. Please read about:
Whoever looks after your rabbit needs to be familiar with his/her regular behaviors and able to notice subtle changes and take it very seriously if he or she is not eating or is otherwise acting strangely.

This can certainly be a downside to having a pet rabbit/s.
Since having rabbits, we have only left home for 2 days at a time and we boarded them at the local rabbit shelter while we were away. Doing so was not inexpensive.. Over the 12 years we have had rabbits, we have avoided vacations/camping trips longer than 2 days for this reason.
While we certainly don't look forward to Rosie's passing and I hate that it is an eventuality, we will be having a break from owning pets (besides fish) when this happens so that we can do some worry-free, guilt-free camping/traveling.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
Something like that may be enough room for a mini-rex to sleep in and for when no one is at home to supervise time outside of the hutch, but only if the rabbit is spending the majority of its time out of the hutch is it going to be getting enough exercise to stay healthy.
Something else to consider is that even bunnies with great litter box habits have accidents and wood will soak up urine and smell.



No, a rabbit will need someone trust-worthy, and preferably experienced with rabbits, to look after it while you are away. Even for just 2 days. Rabbits have very delicate digestive systems and things can go very wrong, very quickly. Please read about:
Whoever looks after your rabbit needs to be familiar with his/her regular behaviors and able to notice subtle changes and take it very seriously if he or she is not eating or is otherwise acting strangely.

This can certainly be a downside to having a pet rabbit/s.
Since having rabbits, we have only left home for 2 days at a time and we boarded them at the local rabbit shelter while we were away. Doing so was not inexpensive.. Over the 12 years we have had rabbits, we have avoided vacations/camping trips longer than 2 days for this reason.
While we certainly don't look forward to Rosie's passing and I hate that it is an eventuality, we will be having a break from owning pets (besides fish) when this happens so that we can do some worry-free, guilt-free camping/traveling.
Luckily the floor of the cages isn't wood, so I think that should be fine, right? She would obliviously spend most of her time outside the cage though. Do you have any cage suggestions?
Not being able to leave the rabbit at home could be a problem... We travel quite often. We do have a couple people who could possibly take care of her though.
Also thanks for the link! I'll make sure to read that!
 
Ptera
Member
Rabbits tend to back up against their pee spot and then go, and it doesn't go straight down, it goes back at an angle, so it is probable some would get onto the wood, even if the bottom tray has a lip on it.

I use two of these dog exercise pens connected up together to create a larger rectangle. Under it, covering the floor is a long length of fleece fabric (from JoAnns or Walmart's fabric counter) which gets changed as needed to keep the area tidy and sanitary. Fleece because it is soft, wicks away moisture, and if it is scratched at or chewed on, it doesn't fray like many other fabrics. Under that is several puppy pee pads to protect the floor from any accidents (potties, spilled water bowl, etc). These get changed as needed also. Between those two layers, we place old towels in the most likely spots to need them, like around the litter tray. Along the two sides of the litter tray that touch the cage, I put pieces of cardboard to guard from pee over-spray.. these need changed out often. And they need put back into place often, bunny will rearrange them.
This isn't the only way, but this set up makes cleaning much easier than any other options I've seen, which I believe means that the cleaning is more likely to be done as often as needed.
This also gives plenty of room for a large litter box, a house, water bowls, some toys, and plenty of room to stretch out. Rosie spends hours in here, so the space is important. When we are home from work (and awake) she gets freedom to run nearly the whole house (the craft room door is kept closed, there is just too much to get into), but she mostly follows us to whichever rooms we are using.
edit to add a note: Every place we have lived, we have taken the bunny-space into consideration and "the bunny pen" has always dominated the living room space. The person we adopted Rabert from gave him his own small bedroom.

julifhy said:
Not being able to leave the rabbit at home could be a problem... We travel quite often. We do have a couple people who could possibly take care of her though.
I know it isn't advice you want to hear, but it may be best to wait to get a rabbit. Getting a pet is a big commitment and it affects everyone in the household. A pet should be chosen with your family's current lifestyle, needs, finances, and space in mind and not forced to "make work", nor should a decision like this be made with expectations of big changes to lifestyle/habits etc. especially when other people are involved.
Rabbits live approximately 10 years, this also needs to be considered. Will the rabbit stay with your family when you move out? or will he/she move with you? A rabbit will significantly limit your housing options whether you go to college or not. It may also limit your family's/roommate's other pet options. And a rabbit can be quite a financial burden, especially to someone living on their own for the first time. Even when well-cared for, it is likely the rabbit will need medicine at some point in his/her life. Rabert had a very sensitive respiratory system and he had two upper respiratory infections that he had to be treated for during his life, he recovered from both, but those trips to the vet and those medicines were expensive. Rosie has had suspected stasis scares, it turned out that some veggies just make her gassy and then she doesn't eat, but we had to medicate her with baby simethicone drops to relieve the gas and get her eating again. At another point we suspected she might have a urinary tract infection and had to take in a sample of urine for analysis. The fee for that, just the urine analysis, not including the check-up, was over $80, but was the least expensive of our veterinary bills. And trips to the vet also means missed work which either eats into your paycheck or your sick/vacation days. My point being is, it is not just your love and dedication to your pet that matters, having a pet has an effect on all aspects of your life.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
Rabbits tend to back up against their pee spot and then go, and it doesn't go straight down, it goes back at an angle, so it is probable some would get onto the wood, even if the bottom tray has a lip on it.

I use two of these dog exercise pens connected up together to create a larger rectangle. Under it, covering the floor is a long length of fleece fabric (from JoAnns or Walmart's fabric counter) which gets changed as needed to keep the area tidy and sanitary. Fleece because it is soft, wicks away moisture, and if it is scratched at or chewed on, it doesn't fray like many other fabrics. Under that is several puppy pee pads to protect the floor from any accidents (potties, spilled water bowl, etc). These get changed as needed also. Between those two layers, we place old towels in the most likely spots to need them, like around the litter tray. Along the two sides of the litter tray that touch the cage, I put pieces of cardboard to guard from pee over-spray.. these need changed out often. And they need put back into place often, bunny will rearrange them.
This isn't the only way, but this set up makes cleaning much easier than any other options I've seen, which I believe means that the cleaning is more likely to be done as often as needed.
This also gives plenty of room for a large litter box, a house, water bowls, some toys, and plenty of room to stretch out. Rosie spends hours in here, so the space is important. When we are home from work (and awake) she gets freedom to run nearly the whole house (the craft room door is kept closed, there is just too much to get into), but she mostly follows us to whichever rooms we are using.
edit to add a note: Every place we have lived, we have taken the bunny-space into consideration and "the bunny pen" has always dominated the living room space. The person we adopted Rabert from gave him his own small bedroom.



I know it isn't advice you want to hear, but it may be best to wait to get a rabbit. Getting a pet is a big commitment and it affects everyone in the household. A pet should be chosen with your family's current lifestyle, needs, finances, and space in mind and not forced to "make work", nor should a decision like this be made with expectations of big changes to lifestyle/habits etc. especially when other people are involved.
Rabbits live approximately 10 years, this also needs to be considered. Will the rabbit stay with your family when you move out? or will he/she move with you? A rabbit will significantly limit your housing options whether you go to college or not. It may also limit your family's/roommate's other pet options. And a rabbit can be quite a financial burden, especially to someone living on their own for the first time. Even when well-cared for, it is likely the rabbit will need medicine at some point in his/her life. Rabert had a very sensitive respiratory system and he had two upper respiratory infections that he had to be treated for during his life, he recovered from both, but those trips to the vet and those medicines were expensive. Rosie has had suspected stasis scares, it turned out that some veggies just make her gassy and then she doesn't eat, but we had to medicate her with baby simethicone drops to relieve the gas and get her eating again. At another point we suspected she might have a urinary tract infection and had to take in a sample of urine for analysis. The fee for that, just the urine analysis, not including the check-up, was over $80, but was the least expensive of our veterinary bills. And trips to the vet also means missed work which either eats into your paycheck or your sick/vacation days. My point being is, it is not just your love and dedication to your pet that matters, having a pet has an effect on all aspects of your life.
Sorry, I forgot to reply! Unfortunately, I don’t think I will have a rabbit... I don’t think it’s the right pet for my family currently. I’m glad that I know so much more about rabbits now! Tysm for all the help!
 
Ptera
Member
julifhy said:
Sorry, I forgot to reply! Unfortunately, I don’t think I will have a rabbit... I don’t think it’s the right pet for my family currently. I’m glad that I know so much more about rabbits now! Tysm for all the help!
You're welcome. I'm always happy to answer bunny questions, they are very special to me.
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera
I wasn’t able to help rehome my mom’s friend’s rabbit, but it looks like a rabbit came and rehomed itself in our backyard lol.

About a week ago I saw what I thought was a rabbit in our backyard, but I thought it might of just been a bird and my eyes were playing tricks on me. It turns out my eyes were right! We have a rabbit in our backyard! My mom said she saw it today. It’s grey with white around its eyes and it has a white tail. It also has a round head and short ears. From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem to be wild at all. It also seemed to make itself at home under our shed. IMO it’s a pretty good spot lol. There’s a lot of green and dry grass behind our shed and there’s a water bowl in front of it that we left out for the birds. My best guess is that someone set it free . This actually happened before. People tend to “free” their animals in our neighborhood for some reason.

Anyways, I was doing some research on how to catch the bunny. I was thinking of borrowing a puppy pen from our neighbors and trying to lure the bunny into it with apples and carrots. We also have the cage part of our guinea pig cage and the bunny looks pretty small, so maybe we could use that? Or maybe use an old blanket? If the bunny does take the apple and carrot bait, what would be the best way to catch it in your opinion? Should we take it to the vet or the shelter if we do catch it?
Since it seems to be a domestic rabbit, my mom, sister, and I would seriously consider keeping it and since the bunny sort of came to us, I think my dad will be a lot more open to the idea of keeping it as well. I’m so glad I made this thread lol. It looks like I really might need it now lol.
 
Ptera
Member
I'm sorry I didn't see this and answer sooner..
Have you managed to catch it already?
 
Redshark1
Member
Just given this thread a skim read, otherwise I feel I would be a joint world authority on the subject of bunnies!

My brother keeps rabbits and I am certain it is not my imagination that he has had lots more trouble with diseases and ailments, some fatal, with his rabbits than I did with my Guinea Pigs. So I would want to be forearmed with information on diseases and prevention before getting any rabbits.

I have kept Guinea Pigs and would recommend them wholeheartedly, except to say they need a lot of cleaning (I know you have mentioned the upkeep is more than a cat).

I miss my three Guinea Pigs which lived for 8 1/2 years. My children and I (but mainly I) made them part of our daily life and they were very well cared for and gave us a lot of pleasure in return. They were kept in a busy part of the house near the kitchen and regularly demanded treats when they heard us.


Toffee, Fudge and Marshmallow Steve Joul 10.02.13.JPG
 
  • Thread Starter
julifhy
Member
Ptera said:
I'm sorry I didn't see this and answer sooner..
Have you managed to catch it already?
It’s completely fine! It turns out we either have 2 bunnies or just one wild one. I’ve set up a “trap” to try to catch it, and he took the bait but we didn’t catch him because he was wild. Here’s a picture :

1230A90F-709F-4810-BC02-E66DFDD0D88F.jpeg


E939B2F4-6645-461D-A089-7ACE9EB0B25D.jpeg

I was kind of disappointed haha, but I showed my mom the pictures and she said the one she saw for the first time was smaller with shorter ears, had more white around its eyes, and was grey. I guess now I just have to wait and figure out if there’s only 1 bunny or if there’s actually 2.
I also have one more question, do wild rabbits ever put their ears down?

Redshark1 said:
Just given this thread a skim read, otherwise I feel I would be a joint world authority on the subject of bunnies!

My brother keeps rabbits and I am certain it is not my imagination that he has had lots more trouble with diseases and ailments, some fatal, with his rabbits than I did with my Guinea Pigs. So I would want to be forearmed with information on diseases and prevention before getting any rabbits.

I have kept Guinea Pigs and would recommend them wholeheartedly, except to say they need a lot of cleaning (I know you have mentioned the upkeep is more than a cat).

I miss my three Guinea Pigs which lived for 8 1/2 years. My children and I (but mainly I) made them part of our daily life and they were very well cared for and gave us a lot of pleasure in return. They were kept in a busy part of the house near the kitchen and regularly demanded treats when they heard us.


Toffee, Fudge and Marshmallow Steve Joul 10.02.13.JPG
They’re adorable! I went to petsmart recently and I fell in love with 2 of the guinea pigs there Unfortunately, we don’t have a cage or any supplies for them yet, so we couldn’t get them. Guinea pigs definitely do need a lot of cleaning lol. I would be up for it though. I’m also only now realizing that guinea pig cages and liners are really expensive lol. If I do end of getting guinea pigs, I would want the best for them. Both my parents also want guinea pigs again, so I’ll see how it goes
 
Redshark1
Member
That is an adorable rabbit.


16.01.24 House in Guinea Pig Cage Steve Joul (4).JPG

Guinea Pigs 14.01.11 (8).JPG

16.01.24 Vetbed bedding Guinea Pig Cage Steve Joul (2).JPG

Guinea Pigs and run Steve Joul 16.08.08 - Copy.jpg


I made sure my Guinea Pigs got to play out of their cage for at least half an hour per day usually more. In good weather they were mowing the lawn. I never needed a lawnmower. Their indoor cage had absorbent sponge cloths which could be removed individually for washing and could be replaced immediately with another one. The vetbed was spread on top and allowed liquids to run through to the absorbent cloths. The vetbed was washed periodically.
 
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