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About having a rabbit for a pet - Part 1

Posted 10-08-2008 at 01:16 PM by Ethane
I've had more than a few folks around here ask me about having a rabbit as a pet. Here I'm going to share what I know about a pet rabbit from experience, with a healthy dose of my opinion thrown in - and remember, if you don't like it, you can always lump it.

I bought Leviticus from a generic pet store. I have no idea exactly what breed of rabbit she is, if she's a mutt or what. She cost 15 whole dollars, and I have to say I'm very happy with her.

She's never bitten me, not even once. She's very affectionate and attentive, and will follow me around the house. She's litter-box trained, which was remarkably easy to do - all I had to do was locate her preferred corner, put down a litter box, and that solved that. She got the concept really quick.

She'll nibble on the carpet every once in a while but she stops when I tell her no. She also knows which areas of the place she's not allowed to go - like under my desk where all my wiring is. Every once in a while she'll try to be sneaky and I'll give her a sharp "no" and that solves it.

I got lucky. Like other rodents, they have a wild range of personalities that you can't pin down to a type of breed or what sex it is. Every rabbit is different. Leviticus is a sweetheart, the rabbit you buy may be a real asshole.

As you can guess, there's a lot of information on the internet about rabbits, their care, and all that crap. The bad thing is, most of this information is tainted by the batshit insane rabbit fanatics who take owning a floppy-eared hopping little animal to an illogical extreme.

The first of these is the House Rabbit Society. The site has lots of good knowledge on bunnies, if you can look past their fanaticism. For instance, they insist that rabbits aren't pets, they're companions. I don't know what your opinion on the subject is, but my rabbit is a damn pet and nothing more. They also have a section on "rabbit humor" - and no, it's not corny rabbit jokes, they actually discuss and believe that rabbits - get this - have a sense of humor.


If one thing will raise the hair on the back of these folk's necks, it's doing what I did and purchase a rabbit from a pet store. There is no graver sin in their eyes, and the only acceptable way (to them) is to purchase from a "respectable" rabbit rescue, a "respectable" breeder, or rescue one from an animal shelter. From a breeder you can expect to pay several times more for a pet rabbit than what you can get from a pet store - most of these are bred for pedigree or breed for shows or whatever and something I could care less about, because I want a pet and not a showpiece. Rabbits at rescues and animal shelters are mostly there not because they escaped and got lost, but because they were assholes. Getting a rabbit from either of those places creates a larger risk of adopting a maladjusted rabbit, and you'll soon learn why they were abandoned by their previous owners.

I'm not defending the callous abandonment by the previous owners, but at the same time you shouldn't be expected to pick up their slack and deal with a destructive/tempermental beast because a bunch of nutty rabbit cultists on the internet think you should.

Here's an article about the whole pet store debate by one of the House Rabbit Society wierdos in question. According to her logic, purchasing a rabbit from a pet store condemns more rabbits to die and suffer somehow. It doesn't matter where you buy your rabbit, be it from the world's most respectable breeder or from a crack alley, you never know the personality of the rabbit you're getting. That being said, it's just a rabbit, and getting tangled up in the psuedoethical implications of where you obtained said rabbit is just silly.

However, the internet is not completely overrun by folks who think rabbits are dire and serious business, and I've found a few articles which plainly and honestly discuss what rabbit ownership is really like. This one in particular is the best I've read so far. I highly recommend you read it before bringing your new floppy eared friend home.

Part 2 - Feeding, more general info, and myths

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  1. PedroRomero's Avatar
    I used to take care of rabbits at the zoo I worked at. Th petting zoo section had 3 rabbits. So that's what got me interested in rabbits. And then i found out they were pretty cheap at pet stores.

    I'll read the info u suggested.. although as earlier stated, my parents are against the idea of me getting one cos I have dogs. I still wanna know
    Posted 10-08-2008 at 07:58 PM by PedroRomero PedroRomero is offline
  2. Yume's Avatar
    8) The bunbun seems to be very understanding and you're lucky to have such an obedient one.
    Posted 10-09-2008 at 03:58 PM by Yume Yume is offline
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