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AC7X
14-11-2012, 09:52 PM
Hey hey,

I've never had a rabbit but I really want one now. I'm twenty-four and live in a flat in the city with two others. I don't think it would be a problem getting them to sign off on me getting a rabbit, but I want to make sure I've covered all the bases and know what to expect before getting one.

Firstly, the flat is rented so I can't really allow damage to the walls/carpets. Can I bunny-proof to ensure that there aren't teeth marks everywhere? I'd like to allow the bunny to hop around as it wishes at all times, but if that's not going to work then I guess I could build some kind of pen for it to stay in while I'm not in to keep an eye on it?

How easy are they to house train? I don't really want mess everywhere. If I had a litter tray in my bedroom is it likely to stink out the room?

What vet bills can I expect? Do they get sick a lot? Are they expensive to keep? What about feeding them? Is that pretty straight forward.

Will it be happy being indoors all of the time?

If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work out having a bunny and I can't resolve the problems, what are my options for re-homing it (other than rabbit stew!)? My parents live on a farm and already have cats and chickens, if it really didn't work out then I'm sure they would build a hutch for it and keep it as an outdoor rabbit. I think...

It's something I've thought about before but I decided against it in the end. I just want one though! They look so fluffy and cool!

Crunchie
14-11-2012, 10:12 PM
I don't have house rabbits so am not well placed to offer advice on bunny proofing or litter training.


Will it be happy being indoors all of the time?

An indoor rabbit will be perfectly happy indoors as long as it has access to fresh hay. However it's not advisable to keep a lone rabbit and most on here would advise you to get two (neutered/spayed male, female pair).


What vet bills can I expect? Do they get sick a lot? Are they expensive to keep?
Overall they are quite expensive. One of my rabbits has dental problems and needs work done on his teeth every 3-4 weeks at 120 a pop. If money is going to be an issue I'd strongly advise against a rabbit. Any pet can run up huge vet bills but out of my dogs, reptiles, rodents and iinverts the rabbits are by far the most expensive in terms of vet fees. Rabbits also require a vaccination against myximatosis and VHD every year (whether indoors or out).


What about feeding them? Is that pretty straight forward.
Fresh hay is the main thing on the menu with a good quality pellet feed and fresh veg also being good to offer. Most of what a rabbit eats should be hay or grass though.


If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work out having a bunny and I can't resolve the problems, what are my options for re-homing it (other than rabbit stew!)?
There are many rabbits in rescue at the moment with many rescues running waiting lists and struggling to cope. You could try re-homing through this forum but it would be far better if you were sure you knew it was going to work out before getting any.


My parents live on a farm and already have cats and chickens, if it really didn't work out then I'm sure they would build a hutch for it and keep it as an outdoor rabbit. I think...

It is recommended that a pair of bunnies will need a 6x2' hutch along with an 8'x4' run so ensure there's enough room there.


It's something I've thought about before but I decided against it in the end. I just want one though! They look so fluffy and cool

Rabbits unfortunately suffer from the reputation of being a cheap and easy pet, sadly as many on here have found out the reality is very different. We Paid 100 for a hutch and 200 for a run. We got our male rabbit in March and he has cost us 500 at the vet so far. Of course you may be lucky and get a very healthy rabbit that won't need to visit the vet other than for routine check ups and vacs.

bethepoet
14-11-2012, 10:15 PM
1. You can bunny-proof. Some people put cardboard or wire grids up against the wall in order to stop biting and towels/sheets on the floor to stop digging/munching. I use whatever I can find, really, and am trying to train them to stay away. They don't take kindly to being told what to do though, lo..

2. You can build pens out of C&C grids, although they're not easy to get hold of in the U.K, and can be quite expensive. The cheapest and best option in my opinion is to get yourself a large dog crate. You can get XXL ones for maybe 50, and they'll last you forever.

3. They litter train quite well, they're clean and tidy as far as animals go. Get a large box (32ltr under bed storage is the most popular) and fill it with appropriate litter (non-clumping wood cat litter works, as does Megazorb, short cut straw, newspaper, dust-extracted wood shavings ... lots of options). You may have to experiment to find what works best for you. If you clean it out often enough it shouldn't smell (I do mine every second day). You may also want to have more than one litter box if your bunny has a huge space to run around in, or even as back-up if you're too busy to clean the soiled one right away. They will inevitably poo a lot, though. It's not a problem for me as they are small, dry, they don't smell and they are easily picked up with a dustpan and brush or a hoover.

4. They can get expensive. They will need to be neutered and/or spayed (anywhere from 50 to 130, I've heard) at the appropriate age, and vaccinated every year (15 to 30). They are also susceptible to dental and gut issues and are especially sensitive to shock/rapid heat change. You can get pet insurance for about 6 a month per rabbit from P@H. It does depend largely on the rabbit - I have three who have never needed any vet visits apart from the necessities, whereas there are people here who have spent thousands keeping theirs happy and healthy. As for food, the majority of their diet should be hay. I buy 4.85 bags of meadow hay from Asda, which lasts about two weeks with three rabbits and two guinea pigs, so not a massive expense. However there are other, more interesting hays out there you may wish to try. The rest of the diet (perhaps 10% each) should be pellets and fresh vegetables. Depending on the brand, you can expect to pay 3 to 7 for a 2kg bag of pellets. I personally buy a 10kg bag of Harringtons complete for 10 every month or so. Vegetables should be leafy greens and herbs with things like carrots and peppers given sparingly as they are high in sugar. Introduce slowly so as not to upset delicate tummies.

5. They can be happy both indoors and out, as long as all of their needs are met. Appropriate, spacious housing with ample time to run around outside of their 'house', hay and clean water at all times and fun toys to play with. You may also want to consider the idea that you may need to find him or her a friend at a later date. You may have a demanding job or other commitments that mean you can't spend as much one-on-one time with your rabbit as they need, and you can't speak their language! It's nice for them to have a buddy to snuggle up to. Also remember that they can live for a LONG time! Some people here have buns as old as 12, so they are by no means an easy pet!

Rab-bit
14-11-2012, 10:23 PM
My advice is be really really sure you can cope with the responsibility.
There are all of the things you mentioned to think about - firstly the chewing ... It's going to happen bunnys Love to chew in fact the first thing my Moley does when he comes across something is chew it to see if he can chew some more. I was in a rented house and he chewed all the walls and skirting boards .. I buny proofed but he always found a way - he is a stubborn bun. Then there's the carpet and the digging if you have corners and carpet they will get destroyed.

Next you say you don't want mess ..... You will have mess firstly if it's not the hay you and bunny spreads everywhere then it's bunnys fur he/she leaves behind when moulting and trust me there is a lot of fur!

My vet bills aren't huge but it's a cost to consider seriously especially if bun does get poorly. It's more the treat, food and veg bill which I notice approx 50/month on a good one lol.

I don't think you should get one if you're thinking about how to get rid of it already your bun should be for life that's why this decision should be properly considered.
Have you thought about when you go out all night or go visit friends family - who will feed bun morning and night you can't leave them for long periods on their own.. It can become a slight burden in that respect! A good one though :D

Please please think hard before committing to a bun! Good luck in your decision.

Elena
14-11-2012, 10:34 PM
Bunnyproofing -> http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?304613-Indoor-Housing&p=4899625&viewfull=1#post4899625

Provided they are neutered then they are pretty good at going where they should. They do sometimes bring some poops and hay out with them when they jump out. Hay always managed to get everywhere especially with fluffy bunnies! Although you can bunnyproof it's never a guarantee that they won't be round it somehow! They can be pretty good at finding spaces to get through or things you hadn't thought about but on the whole Ive not had a major problem with it but I know it's their nature and I don't freak out at every small nibble.

Tinsel
14-11-2012, 10:43 PM
To be honest - I wouldn't. :? House rabbits are sometimes trainable but in rented accommodation I wouldn't dare attempt it. They can do hundreds of pounds worth of damage without even trying. They can also live up to 12 years so it's a long term commitment. If it didn't work out your parents would need to build a run as well as a hutch, and it would need to be large and fully fox-proofed. My rabbits are outside and hay STILL gets into every room in the house. A hamster would be much more suited to your situation, I would have thought. Rabbits are a really big commitment, and as people have posted, you'd really need two rather than one...

Snowberry
14-11-2012, 10:44 PM
To be honest - I wouldn't. :? House rabbits are sometimes trainable but in rented accommodation I wouldn't dare attempt it. They can do hundreds of pounds worth of damage without even trying. They can also live up to 12 years so it's a long term commitment. If it didn't work out your parents would need to build a run as well as a hutch, and it would need to be large and fully fox-proofed. My rabbits are outside and hay STILL gets into every room in the house. A hamster would be much more suited to your situation, I would have thought. Rabbits are a really big commitment, and as people have posted, you'd really need two rather than one...

This is exactly what I was going to say,

Lolly's mum
14-11-2012, 10:49 PM
[QUOTE=AC7X;5626837]Hey hey,

I've never had a rabbit but I really want one now. I'm twenty-four and live in a flat in the city with two others. I don't think it would be a problem getting them to sign off on me getting a rabbit, but I want to make sure I've covered all the bases and know what to expect before getting one.

Firstly, the flat is rented so I can't really allow damage to the walls/carpets. Can I bunny-proof to ensure that there aren't teeth marks everywhere? I'd like to allow the bunny to hop around as it wishes at all times, but if that's not going to work then I guess I could build some kind of pen for it to stay in while I'm not in to keep an eye on it?

How easy are they to house train? I don't really want mess everywhere. If I had a litter tray in my bedroom is it likely to stink out the room?

What vet bills can I expect? Do they get sick a lot? Are they expensive to keep? What about feeding them? Is that pretty straight forward.

Will it be happy being indoors all of the time?

If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work out having a bunny and I can't resolve the problems, what are my options for re-homing it (other than rabbit stew!)? My parents live on a farm and already have cats and chickens, if it really didn't work out then I'm sure they would build a hutch for it and keep it as an outdoor rabbit. I think...

It's something I've thought about before but I decided against it in the end. I just want one though! They look so fluffy and cool![/QUOT

i don't wish to appear rude but just because they look "fluffy and cool " dosn't make a rabbit an ideal companion.

they require an awful lot of looking after, dental checks, claw trimming, at least twice yearly vaccinations, supplys of fresh hay..... the list goes on.

if the bun is in the house you have to be aware that some destruction will happen, they are natural chewers and diggers.

litter training is possible but accidents will occur from time to time.

i really don't wish to "rain on your parade" but buns are not only a full time occupation but a full time commitment, it's like having a toddler in the house that can learn some things but will never be fully grown up.