We are a multi-species household: one dog, two cats, and one rabbit. Although Lulu, our bunny, doesn’t get much blog time, she pre-dates Ruby and has been part of our family since 2010. In fact, before we adopted Ruby, we tested her with Lulu. Ruby showed no aggression or interest in Lulu (and vice versa) so we knew she was the one.
Rabbits are now the third most popular pet in America. But despite their growing popularity, there’s still tons of misinformation about how to care for them. This is the first of four posts focusing on bunny basics. Tune in next Friday for a look at diet and exercise. But before we get to the facts, let’s have some fun. The following list is approved by Lulu.
10 Reasons Rescue Rabbits Rock
1. Rabbits make great apartment pets. They are super quiet – no barking or meowing. They like to hop around, but are light on their paws and won’t disturb downstairs neighbors.
2. Rabbits are eco-friendly. They love cardboard boxes and toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay. Their litter is compostable and most of their food can be grown in your backyard.
3. Rabbits live longer than other small animals. With proper care, bunnies can live 10-12 years. Lulu is about 10.
4. Rabbits are in tune with human schedules. Bunnies are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. They sleep during the day and are ready to play and snuggle when you get home from work at night.
5. Rabbits help you stick to your diet. As herbivores, rabbits are great for vegetarians, vegans or anyone trying to add more greens to their diet. Rabbits eat two salads a day and keep your fridge stocked with all kinds of greens.
6. Rabbits are highly expressive. When they are happy they do bunny flops, happy laps, and binkies (little hop spins and kicks). Lulu has arthritis and doesn’t bink much anymore, but she still greets me with happy laps every morning.
7. Rabbits are wonderful listeners. Those ears, enough said.
8. Rabbits make great watch dogs bunnies. In the wild, rabbits warn other rabbits of danger by thumping their back feet. Lulu thumps when she is frightened or displeased. She will thump at night if she hears people outside or smells a raccoon or possum in the yard. She also sometimes alerts us with a thump when Rosie is up to no good or my daughter and her friends are making too much noise.
9. Rabbits don’t jump and climb on stuff like cats or require walks like dogs. They have some of their own little quirks, but we will save those for a future post.
10. Rabbits have big personalities. Bunnies are sweet, social, sassy, funny, bossy, stubborn, and loving. Big hearts come in little packages or big packages because some bunnies are huge.
Each year, thousands of rabbits, chicks, and ducklings are purchased in the weeks leading up to Easter with many (80% by some estimates) abandoned a few weeks later. The lucky ones end up in shelters while many others die after being “set free” outside.
I support responsible rabbit adoption and urge everyone to make informed, well-planned decisions when adding any new pet to the family. Rabbits are not toys or holiday decorations – they are a living, feeling, long-term commitment. If you are unable or unwilling to provide a life time of care, please choose a chocolate bunny instead.