There is a lot more to rabbits than the carrot-loving, cute, and furry creatures we make them to be. They are a lot smarter than we think, they have a mind of their own and can do things you never thought they could.
Are you a parent to a rabbit? Or do you intend to get one soon? Here are some interesting facts you need to know about them.
1. Rabbits Can Also Be Trained To Use Litter Boxes
Just like cats, a rabbit can also be trained to use a litter box, although it can take a bit longer and can be more tasking, it is totally possible to litter train your rabbit and safe yourself from picking their droppings all around the house.
You can do this by selecting a corner of your house or their cage and placing a litter box with a selection of hay. (Rabbits like to eat hay while they go to the toilet).
Then place some of their old droppings into the litter tray. This will encourage your rabbit to start using the tray.
Here’s a video to help you out:
2. Rabbits Can Give Birth to Lots Of Babies
A mother rabbit can have up to 12 babies known as “kits” a short form for kittens, their circle is about 30 days on an average. Rabbits can start reproducing at the age of 4 months.
In the wild, a rabbit gives birth in a hole with less protection for their babies. They cover them with grass and their fur. They spend less time with their babies to avoid predators. The babies grow up fast enough and become independent too.
3. Rabbits Get Easily Bored
When a person is left alone or locked in a room with no person or toys to play with, it gets tiring and boredom sets in, this is the exact way your rabbits feel when you leave them alone in a cage, without toys or freedom to run around and play.
This can lead to depression or cause them to be withdrawn and sad. Therefore, to keep your rabbits healthy and happy, it is important not to make them bored by providing them with lots of toys, space to run, hay to play in and eat, and you will see them jumping and playing joyfully.
You should be playing and bonding with your rabbit daily. It’s important to interact with your rabbit every day so that they get plenty of exercises but it also helps to build trust between the rabbit and their owner.
You should be giving them a set amount of time for them to go into their run each day.
4. When Rabbits Are Excited They Bink
One of the most adorable behaviors of rabbits is binky, they do this once in a while when they are excited and happy. This can only be noticed when you spend enough time with them.
When this happens they hop and make a twist in the air by kicking their feet. The site of this makes me happy because when my rabbit is happy I am also happy, a happy rabbit is a healthy rabbit.
It’s a nice feeling when you witness your rabbit doing this. My rabbit would jump off my house’s walls and then jump and twist/kick his feet in the air. This would carry on for 30 seconds to a minute at a time.
5. Some Rabbits Can Grow To the Size of a Toddler
Often, the rabbits we see are the tiny ones, is it not amazing that there is a species of rabbit that can be as big as a toddler? They are called Flemish giant rabbits, they are the largest breed of rabbits in the world and they can grow to 2.5 feet in length and weigh close to 22 pounds if not more. You might have seen them while scrolling down your social media’s timeline!
The most amazing facts about these giant rabbits is that they are calm and gentle, and are adorable to get as pets.
6. Rabbit Are Crepuscular In Nature
Many get this word wrong and think it means, rabbits sleep during the day and stay awake at night. This is not right but it also does not mean they sleep at night and are awake in the day time. The fact behind being crepuscular is that they are more active at dawn and dusk.
7. Rabbits Eat Their Dropping
I know how disgusted you must be at the sight of this less adorable part of a rabbit. Rabbits are generally cute and very adorable, but eating their own poop is one of the less adorable behaviors they have and you can’t stop it. It is actually really important for them and is a way that a rabbit processes their digested food the second time.
This helps them get all the nutrients in the food and thereby improving their state of health. They have two different kinds of poop, the first type is referred to as cecotropes, this type is always soft and that is the type they eat again while the second type is a waste product they do not eat this type as it doesn’t have enough nutrients.
8. Rabbits Should Not Be Kept Outdoor
It is very unsafe to leave your rabbit outdoors, this is because they are natural preys and can be fed upon by predators. Whether a rabbit is kept in a hutch or not, it is not safe. Rabbits need as much love and attention as you would give a cat or a dog, they should not be neglected and left to stay outside the house.
When rabbits are kept outside unsupervised they may wander off or feed on grasses that have been sprayed with insecticide. When they ingest pesticide or herbicides, it can cause the rabbit to fall sick or even worse the rabbit might die.
Therefore, your rabbits should be kept safe indoors or somewhere you can keep a very close eye on. Also, you should buy your rabbit toys to satisfy their desire to dig or play, but remember to always but rabbit-friendly toys.
9. Rabbits Cannot Vomit
Many animals have the ability to vomit what they already ate, examples are cats, and they can vomit up what they ingested earlier in the day. On the other hand, a rabbit cannot, this is because the digestive system of a rabbit is not built in a way that can move in the reverse direction, so when they eat they cannot vomit it.
10. They Are Remarkably Hygienic
Just like cats, rabbits have the ability to keep themselves clean; they do this by licking their paws and fur. And unlike some other pets, you don’t need to bath a rabbit
11. They Need To Be Brushed Regularly
Rabbits shed a lot of fur and can get hairballs while grooming themselves, but unlike cats they cannot vomit them or cough them out, therefore, it are important to brush them always to remove loose fur and prevent hairball formation.
When your rabbit get hairballs it may require urgent treatment or operation by a specialized vet or the rabbit might end up dead.
12. It Is Difficult To Sneak Up On a Rabbit
You most likely did not know this but rabbit’s vision can cover close to 360 degrees, this makes it difficult to sneak up on them. They can see what is coming from behind, above and beside them even without turning their heads.
But they are partially blind when a thing is placed directly in front of their faces.
13. Rabbits Need Four Hours to Exercise A Day
For your rabbit to remain healthy and happy it has to exercise and play at least 4 hours a day, this helps them to prevent osteoporosis.
14. Their Ears Are Like Antennas
Would you believe it if I let you know that a rabbit can pick up sounds from different directions and can hear from two directions at the same time? The ears of a rabbit are not just big, they are very important to their daily activities. Rabbit ears also help them to keep calm always.
15. Their Teeth and Nail Do Not Stop Growing
Rabbits’ nails do not stop growing just like human, therefore, they require regular nail trimming of about once every six weeks. Also, their teeth never stop growing; this is the reason why they should eat timothy hay regularly and wooden toys to prevent their teeth from growing too long.
When their teeth grow too long, it can become painful and they may find it difficult to eat, which is dangerous to their health. They may in fact starve to death.
16. Rabbits Require Special Doctors
When other animals are sick, they are taken to animal specialists called “vets”, you would have probably thought the same goes for rabbits, but that is wrong. Rabbits are special creatures and they require special doctors that are experts in treating rabbits.
These doctors are rare and when found, they can be expensive but your rabbit’s health is very important and you don’t want it to be sick. When your rabbit shows symptoms such as, a runny nose, head tilt, diarrhea or sneezing, it means they are sick and they need to be paid close attention and taken to a specialist.
17. Rabbits Need To Be Sprayed or Neutered
You should spray or neuter your rabbit because it can increase their life span, a sterilized rabbit can live up to 12years; that is about 4 years longer than a rabbit that has not been sprayed. If a female rabbit is not sprayed, there is a high chance of her getting reproductive cancer.
18. They Are Not Starter Pets
In many homes with rabbits, they are mostly bought as Easter gifts for kids because many people feel rabbits are less work to care for unlike dogs and cats, I am sorry to break it to you but rabbits need more time and attention than dogs, cats, and other kinds of animal companion.
This is because training a rabbit can be a lot of work, they need to be kept in a bunny proof environment, potty trained, and they need to be kept in safe environments with proper supervision so they don’t escape.
Also, rabbits have quite a long life span and can live for about 10 to 12 years give or take. When adopting a rabbit or giving a rabbit as a gift you need to be ready to take responsibilities for a long period of time.
If you already bought a rabbit as a gift or you are simply not ready for such responsibility, it is only appropriate to make researches about rabbit rescue group and not just throw them into the streets or leave them alone in a hutch outside the house.
19. They Cannot Survive On Just Carrot
People often believe carrots are a main part of a rabbits diet due to television programs and movies stereotyping this.
Although rabbits do enjoy carrots they cannot live only on carrots like the cartoons make it seem like. Rabbits do not feed on root vegetables in the wild; they feed majorly on fresh greens like weed, clovers, and grasses.
Although, once in a while, they can be given carrots as treat but it should not be their major food, as it can be dangerous to their health. The high sugar content in carrots can cause their teeth to decay.
20. There Are Tons of Homeless Rabbits That Need To Be Sheltered
When you hear of animals in shelters you think of Dogs and Cats first before any other animal companion. However, there are many rabbits without shelters.
During Easters, many parents are tempted to buy their children rabbits, and after Easter most rabbits are kept outside in a hutch, or abandoned to wander about, in which case many of them end up starving to dead, or fed upon by predators.
It is also advisable to adopt a pet rabbit than buying one from a pet store.
21. Rabbits Are Not Appropriate Companions for Kids
Rabbits are sensitive creatures and they get stressed easily buy slightest excitement of a child, these animals love hiding in the ground and are often frightened when restrained or held.
Also, rabbits don’t play like other animal companions, so kids may find them boring and lose interest in them faster than you can imagine. They may end up abandoning the rabbit and locking it up in the cage.
22. Rabbits Have Their Own Unique Personalities
Some make the mistake of treating a rabbit like they will treat a cat or a dog when it comes to training them to do things or when trying to communicate with them. It is time you realized that rabbits are different and they have different unique behaviors.
It can be a bit tasking to know your rabbit or for your rabbit to become familiar with you and trust you, in fact it is more difficult to know if your rabbit will get along with another pet or even another rabbit. This is because they have different personalities.
When considering adopting more than one rabbit, it is important to know that it is not always easy for two rabbits to get along and it can be dangerous.
Does age make a difference while litter training a rabbit? Yes! It does, older rabbits are way easier to litter train than younger ones, especially the kittens. If you have a baby rabbit, keep training it with time it will learn and if you want to litter train your older rabbit then go for it!
How do I start the search for a rabbit vet? It is advisable to start the search for a rabbit specialist before any case of emergency. You can start by checking the House Rabbit Society’s list of recommended veterinarian. You can then proceed to check Google for rabbit specialists.
Does it make any difference to spray or neuter your rabbit? Yes! It matter, it is the most important factor. At the age of 4 to 6 months, they start developing active hormones and start to mark their territories. Spraying them helps to keep them healthy and live longer.