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Thread: The misconception that rabbits are basically living cuddly toys...

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    Mama Doe jay's Avatar
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    Default The misconception that rabbits are basically living cuddly toys...

    A friend who was over with her kids was talking about maybe getting a "pet rabbit" and asked if her daughter could cuddle my bunnies. I said no, they don't like to be picked up. She was actually shocked and said "whats the point of having rabbits then?"

    And there in a nutshell, the reason so many bunnies start out in pet shops, live ignored in tiny hutches and just maybe make it to a rescue.

    I told her all about mine being shy, that the kids could stroke Ruby but Benny is picky about who is allowed to get near him. That Benny is grumpy and Ruby is determined and stroppy one minute and loving the next. That Ruby is nervous and doesn't like change but Benny is brave.

    She listened and said she never realised how much personality rabbits had.

    I told her all about how much time and care and space and love bunnies need. That you need to love them even when they aren't being your friend and are stroppy, that you need to pay their vet bills when they are ill ("you take a bunny to the vet!" she exclaimed shocked).

    This conversation has made me so sad, that rabbits are still seen as a childs pet who can be shoved in a hutch for said child to cuddle and not much more.

    On a positive note my friend did say she wasn't going to get a rabbit after all.

    This conversation came a few days after another friend made a joke about my rabbits becoming stew in the winter. I'm sure the same joke about her dog would not have been acceptable.

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    Wise Old Thumper daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    So glad you got to educate your friend.
    Re: the joke. I'd have made one about the dog becoming dinner just to prove a point.

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    Wise Old Thumper William's Avatar
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    It's interesting that rabbits are more like cats than dogs but a lot of people think they're more like the latter...

    I say like cats/dogs but obviously each species is unique and not actually like them at all. But it'd be beneficial if people realized many rabbits share the general independent nature and 'do things on my terms' of many cats.

    Also the fact that both rabbits and cats both need lots of free roaming space. I don't actually think dogs need as much space since they can be exercised outside of your house/yard whereas not so much with rabbits and cats. But people are much more quick to say 'I don't have the space for a dog' than they are with rabbits and cats.

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    My new neighbour had been talking about getting a bunny for her three children - all under five - when she moved in. I told her about my 2500 vet bill, flystrike, many bunnies not liking being picked up on cuddled, bunnies needing bunny company, how much a bunny bite hurts, the importance of watching their diet and risk of stasis. She has seen me outside cleaning them in all weathers. For some reason she has changed her mind

    I have taken Fran over for the boys to stroke as one is scared of animals and Fran is pretty laid back and lets me pick her up for a cuddle without getting stressed. I am hoping to teach them about bunnies as I don't want them put off for life and they are really well behaved children. My cats go over there a lot as they encourage them to visit whereas my previous neighbours had their own cat so mine stayed out.

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    Mama Doe jay's Avatar
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    When people see mine running about they say "oh, they are like puppies". No...they are like rabbits. This is what rabbits do! Glad your neighbour has changed her mind Rhianna.

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    It really is shocking. I was talking to the local vet practice the other day and they were saying how people just don't think to bring their rabbit to vet. It doesn't even process in my mind!

    I know that it can be frustrating when people compare them to other animals but I think it helps put everything into perspective. Whenever I say 'they're just as much as a commitment as a dog' and explain all the reasons; people realise just how much work and time is put into our furry friends.

    The stew (or likewise) comments really get to me. I like your approach though daphneandphoebe, I don't know whether I would have enough courage to say it, I think I'd feel just as awful!

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    Wise Old Thumper William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LagomorphLion View Post
    It really is shocking. I was talking to the local vet practice the other day and they were saying how people just don't think to bring their rabbit to vet. It doesn't even process in my mind!

    I know that it can be frustrating when people compare them to other animals but I think it helps put everything into perspective. Whenever I say 'they're just as much as a commitment as a dog' and explain all the reasons; people realise just how much work and time is put into our furry friends.

    The stew (or likewise) comments really get to me. I like your approach though daphneandphoebe, I don't know whether I would have enough courage to say it, I think I'd feel just as awful!
    Exactly, I'm not a fan of comparing animals either but I think it helps people understand if they're kind of animal novices. If someone only really has knowledge/experience with cats and dogs then it's helpful to put it into terms they understand. If you say 'rabbits can live 10 years or more, similar to the lifespan of a dog' then it hits home the point better that they're a big responsibility.

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    Alpha Buck EyerollChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    A friend who was over with her kids was talking about maybe getting a "pet rabbit" and asked if her daughter could cuddle my bunnies. I said no, they don't like to be picked up. She was actually shocked and said "whats the point of having rabbits then?"

    And there in a nutshell, the reason so many bunnies start out in pet shops, live ignored in tiny hutches and just maybe make it to a rescue.

    I told her all about mine being shy, that the kids could stroke Ruby but Benny is picky about who is allowed to get near him. That Benny is grumpy and Ruby is determined and stroppy one minute and loving the next. That Ruby is nervous and doesn't like change but Benny is brave.

    She listened and said she never realised how much personality rabbits had.

    I told her all about how much time and care and space and love bunnies need. That you need to love them even when they aren't being your friend and are stroppy, that you need to pay their vet bills when they are ill ("you take a bunny to the vet!" she exclaimed shocked).

    This conversation has made me so sad, that rabbits are still seen as a childs pet who can be shoved in a hutch for said child to cuddle and not much more.

    On a positive note my friend did say she wasn't going to get a rabbit after all.

    This conversation came a few days after another friend made a joke about my rabbits becoming stew in the winter. I'm sure the same joke about her dog would not have been acceptable.
    This is something that really upsets me - no one would even think of keeping a cat or a dog in a cage. Yet no one knows how to look after a rabbit? It isn't fair. And there's no excuse for ignorance in this digital age and yet we see it all the time.

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    Warren Veteran keletkezes's Avatar
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    Given we see enough dogs and cats neglected, and even horses etc., I'm not really surprised so little has changed
    The geeky one...



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    Alpha Buck EyerollChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keletkezes View Post
    Given we see enough dogs and cats neglected, and even horses etc., I'm not really surprised so little has changed
    Well yeah, but there are more people looking after cats., dogs and horses than not... with rabbits it's the other way round

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