If you’re like me, you spent most of your childhood thinking of bunnies as rather rare pets, and occasionally would see a couple in a hutch with a wire floor at a local farm. It was only recently – a few years ago – that I began to hear about house rabbits, and how bunnies in fact could be very easily litterbox trained, and absolutely love to live and interact indoors with people. They are smart and playful and almost all buns loooove to be petted!! In fact, they will melt down and go totally flat while you pet their ears and back.
Bunnies are extremely amusing pets to have around the house – while many do not like to be picked up, they are quite social and like to be with people. Our bunny, Confucius, hops right to the door when we come home from work at night! He also stands up on his hind legs to beg for apple slices and blueberries, and has all sorts of various cardboard box “projects” he’s working (nibbling) on at the moment. When bunnies are very happy, they also zoom around the house and do crazy frolicking jumps that bunny people call “binkies” (I know, it’s a silly word… but apparently that’s what it’s called!) – it’s hilariously adorable every time!
Bunnies need space just like dogs and cats do (many bunnies are just as big as cats – or bigger!), so a little cage or hutch just isn’t fair to them. Also, wire-bottomed cages (meant to make it easier for people to clean up after a non-litterbox trained bunny) hurt a bunny’s paws and can cause arthritis. They are also silly because a bunny can be box-trained quite easily! Also, bunnies living outside are subject to very cold or hot weather, predators, and quite simply, loneliness and neglect. So really, a house bunny is happiest with a room or two (or more!) that are bunny-proofed (no wires to chew, etc.) so he can stretch his paws and hop around, or at the very least an exercise pen-enclosed area that he can be let out of every day for more room to roam.
Oh, and you will find yourself in the produce department a bit more often as a bunny owner… bunnies need their daily salads ? and they’ll beg at the table for yours, too! Probably the best thing about bunnies living in your house is that they’re so darn cute! Their fur is supersoft, and they’re just so lovable.
As with any pet, if you are thinking of getting a bunny, PLEASE check out your local shelters, don’t go to a pet store or a breeder! So many bunnies – from babies to adults, of all different breeds, colors, and levels of fluffiness! – are waiting to be adopted and most likely are in great health and already box-trained! Our favorite resource for adoption is the House Rabbit Society, a nation-wide rescue organization that provides shelter for rabbits and connects them with adopters, as well as educates the public on house rabbits and rabbit welfare. Check them out – and SO much more about bunnies! – on their website, House Rabbit Society. And if you want daily cute bunny photos and a little bit of silliness, check US out at Daily Bunny!
Kate and fiance Jay are the creators of Daily Bunny, a blog about her favorite pet rabbits.