Every year baby rabbits are given to children for Easter and more than half of them end up in a shelter or worse.
It was never the intention to abandon or abuse the little creature but there are a multitude of reasons why people do.
You’ve now spent about thirty dollars purchasing the bunny, sixty dollars on the cage and twenty-five on bedding, food pellets, toys, and treats. The cage for the cute little bundle of fur seemed more than adequate when it weighed a pound or two but suddenly it is triple in length and five to ten pounds and can barely move around.
Letting it roam the house causes all sorts of problems since rabbits like to chew on everything including electrical wires, wooden chair legs, mattresses and carpet. Unless you have your rabbit litter box trained it’s bound to leave fecal pellets and urine where ever it roams.
So, once its baby cuteness wears off and the cage begins to smell, since nobody wants to clean it every other day, the rabbit is ostracized to the garage or backyard. Eventually the family will realize that no one pays any attention to”Thumper” and he is a lot of work so they try to give him away. If that doesn’t work then its to the animal shelter.
However, you can make you and your pets life more enjoyable from the very beginning. Many people who own rabbits successfully keep then as house pets. They cover all electric wiring with plastic tubing, set up a littler box, involve the whole family in the chore list and learn to close doors for the off limits rooms. This takes a lot of
perseverance and time but its a bit like having a new puppy. Rabbits, like dogs, can live as many as ten years and often stay active their whole life.
The house not working for you and your pet? It is easier than you think to build a wonderful cage that gives your pet his own space with ample room. When deciding the kind of cage keep in mind that rabbits cannot handle heat. If the sun shines directly on the cage during the summer it will be too hot for the little critter. They do die
rapidly if the temperature is over 80 degrees in their cage. On the other hand you must also protect it from the other extremes so a solid roof is a have to.
Some people like the cage with the chicken wire bottom so cleaning fecal droppings is easier however, some of the flooring needs to be solid especially in the sleeping area. The cage should be at least three feet by five feet if the rabbit spends most of his time in the hutch. Remember that a rabbit likes a burrow so enclose the sleeping area on all sides. Some owners put a removable rabbit house inside the cage as it is easier to clean. You can make your own or buy one at the pet store.
The absolute favorite cage is one that sits on the ground. Basically a box frame with chicken wire on every side including the bottom. You will still need an inside house for sleeping and escaping when scared. Keeping the cage on the ground helps keep the rabbit cooler but its a little harder to clean. Grass hay or wood shavings help collect urine and should be changed regularly. As well, if you make the cage tall enough it will be easy for you to get in for cleaning and visiting.
Keep your rabbit happy and healthy. Don’t forget to give him grass hay or Timothy hay, vegetables, fruit and rabbit pellets. Protect your pet by getting the required vaccinations and if possible get it neutered.