Tips for a first time rabbit owner, please?
I'm a first time rabbit owner who has some questions! I am very excited about getting my new pet rabbit, and I've been reading about them and their needs for the past few days.
However, I still have some questions.
1. Is it absolutely MANDATORY to get your rabbit spayed or neutered?
2. Are they happy alone sometimes or do they NEED companions?
3. What sort of fruits/vegetables should I avoid feeding them?
4. What kind of bedding(if any at all) should I buy for my rabbit?
5. How big does their cage need to be? Is it better if I get a two story cage or a regular one?
6. How do I know whether my rabbit is healthy or unhealthy, and what are some ways I could tell if my rabbit got sick?
- Kate MLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
1. Getting them spayed or neutered is a good idea. Females do have a high risk of cancer and you really won't know until it is far advanced. Both males and female can have hormonal behaviours such as aggressiveness, humping, spraying, and not using the litter box. Some of these behaviours can really impact your ability to do much with your rabbit and people do give up their rabbit due to hormonal behaviours. A spayed or neutered rabbit does generally make a better house pet. I would get a female done just for the health benefits, but males are more due to behaviour. If you want to bond, both rabbits should be spayed or neutered to prevent breeding and so they can live together peacefully.
2. Rabbits can be fine living alone. Some do like to have a companion, but some actually prefer to be alone. Bonding can take time, you can't just put them together and hope for the best. If you did get a second rabbit, you would need to be prepared for them to not get along.
3. Leafy green veggies are best. Fruit is high in sugar as are carrot, so are best given in small amount. Veggies high in calcium should be limited as they can contribute to bladder stones, sludge and other issues. There are a variety of lists of safe and unsafe foods to feed.
4. Rabbits can be litter trained, so do not need litter in the whole cage. You can use fleece or a towel to provide something soft and give traction. In the litter box, wood or paper pellets are good to use and safe. Wood pellets are quite cheap and very effective.
5. The bigger the cage the better. Most sold at pet stores are too small for an adult rabbit. Look into wire dog crates (XL size), x-pens, or NIC / C&C cages. These all tend to be cheaper than a cage, bigger and more suitable for a rabbit. You can add a level, but still need a good floor space.
6. One major sign that a rabbit is not feeling well is they are not eating. Not peeing or pooping does follow the not eating. This is when they start going into GI stasis and can be deadly quite quickly. Tooth problems are common as well, look for drooling and not wanting to eat some foods, the front teeth are easy to see if they are overgrown. You will get to know the rabbit and can watch for things that are different. If you think there might be a problem, call the vet. My friend's rabbit recently had surgery for a big bladder stone and the only obvious symptom was straining to pee and very frequent tail lifting.
- SapienLv 76 years ago
Castration has immense benefits to health in the long run. It also calms hormones, and makes rabbits less likely to spray or show aggression. It's totally up to you, but I would urge you to adopt a rabbit from a shelter (where they are already castrated so you don't have to pay for it :)
Rabbits are naturally social animals, and happier with another rabbit companion. However, they are also territorial if you keep them in a small cage, and especially when they are not castrated. Getting two is a better idea then getting one, but you must ensure both are castrated, and your cage is spacious (homemade cages are best - nothing in pet stores is large enough)! If you go with rescuing your new pets, shelters often have bonded pairs that need to be adopted together and thus have a harder time finding homes.
There is a number of harmful foods you need to know never to feed. Too many to list, I suggest you read through this and bookmark it: http://www.rabbitmatters.com/poisonous-to-rabbits....
Of course you need bedding. Never use the type of cage that has mesh flooring, as this will harm their feet. Rabbits should live on solid floors, directly on bedding. You can use anything that isn't pine or cedar which are toxic. Aspen, paper products, and hay are all fine. You can also litter train your rabbits and line the cage with carpet or linoleum, etc.
As I mentioned, the majority of pet store cages are too small for even a single rabbit. A lot of owners are wising up and starting to build their own (cheap) homemade cages. The size depends on the type of rabbit you have. Take a look at this page, and keep in mind that the rabbit this cage was built for seems to be a dwarf: http://breyfamily.net/bunnycage.html
These are the symptoms you can look out for in ill rabbits: http://www.rabbit.org/care/sick.html
- KatieWritesLv 56 years ago
1. It is better to get your bunny neutered/spayed. It can help reduce behavioural issues such as spraying, if you're having a male bunny, and it can completely scrap off the possibility of your bunny of (male) getting testicular cancer and (female) uterine cancer. However, neutering/spaying should only be done when they're 6 months old and above.
2. Bunnies can live solitary with humans, but you'll have to accompany them for a certain period of time every day! If you get two bunnies (a couple, one boy one girl), well, you still have to accompany them, but they will have each other companies when you're not. HOWEVER, since you're a first time bunny owner, I do not recommend you to get two bunnies at once. Just one bunny first, when you get the hang of it after a few months, then get another one. :)
3. I don't really know what fruits and vegetables bunnies can't eat. I heard iceberg lettuce and radish can't be given. Well, here's a list of what they CAN eat: http://bunniesbunnycottage.blogspot.com/2011/08/pr...
4. About bedding or litter, you can read here: http://bunniesbunnycottage.blogspot.com/2011/06/se...
5. I personally don't recommend a two-storey cage, I'm scared of bunnies falling down. No cage is large enough for a bunny! I recommend you to purchase puppy pens, as they can rearranged again and again to make different size of spaces! Bunnies kept in cages 24 hours would be more wary and territorial.
6. A healthy bunny eats, poops, drinks, pees, and grooms him/herself constantly. Especially the pooping part! If your bunny doesn't poop, that's a serious problem. If your bunny got sick, there will be physical symptoms you would see, such as discharge - but this rarely happens if you take care of your bunny correctly!
You can email me to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have bunny questions along the way! I would be happy to help! :DSource(s): Bunny owner of two happy bunnies
- CF_Lv 76 years ago
Spaying or neutering does have health benefits and is good if you have two (because you do not want babies)- males sometimes spray so neutering reduces that.
Yes they are happier with a pal.
Avoid all lettuce except romaine, avoid onions, garlic, avocado. Wash all fruit and veges before you feed them.
I like aspen shavings, or pine - cedar is terrible, straw is okay too.
Large cages are always better.
If you have not got your rabbit yet I suggest going to the local animal shelter and looking around, they often get them for adoption and some come with free cages and supplies.
If sick they do not eat as much, get lethargic,lose weight, and so forth.
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- MarisaLv 44 years ago
I would say use wood pellets for the litter. Not cat litter. And you can buy a corner litter box that fits in the corner of a rabbit cage. First see what corner she goes in the most.. it should be put there. Also, buy her some Timothy hay. Rabbits love that stuff! It's very healthy for them too. For a rabbit that young, I would suggest a veg/fruit mix for her food. Anything that is the Kaytee brand is good. For treats they like honey sticks, and yogurt bites. Good luck! Rabbits are great pets! I absolutely adore mine! She's the best pet I've ever had!
- Anonymous6 years ago
Rabbits do not need a pal.No iceberg lettuce.Pine pellets,(Never use Cedar).Cage size depends on the size of the rabbit .rabbits can weigh from less than 2 lbs too 25.Snotty nose and this is very serious in rabbits its not a simple cold like people get.diahhrea ,acting different not eating.There is some controversy as too wether rabbits need spayed and especially if you only have one.they do not do as well with anesthesia as dogs or cats.I recommend a male rabbit as generally they make better pets.avoid petstores.read everything you can about rabbit care.do not feed greens or fruits too rabbits less than 4 months old.Source(s): Over 25 years raising and exhibitioning rabbits.