1. Rabbits live 10-12 years
Getting a rabbit is not a short-term commitment. Your child may be tempted by their cute ears and wiggly nose but will they still be interested in a few months, let alone 10 years?
2. Rabbits do not make good children’s pets
Rabbits are prey animals and get very stressed when handled. They do not enjoy being cuddled. If they feel unsafe, they are likely to kick out and their hind legs are very strong with strong claws which hurt! They also have delicate spines which can break if handled incorrectly.
3. Rabbits need company
It is not fair on a rabbit to force it to live on its own. Rabbits need the company of other rabbits so you will need to get at least two.
4. Rabbits need lots of space
As a minimum, a pair of rabbits needs a sleeping area at least 4’x2’x2′ permanently attached to an 8′ long run. That’s a lot of space. Many hutches sold as suitable for rabbits are far too small.
5. Rabbits are expensive
Keeping a pair of rabbits is likely to cost over £1000 per year, with food, housing, vaccinations, insurance and other veterinary bills. They may be sold fairly cheaply but you need to factor in the overall cost before committing.
6. Rabbits are complicated
As prey animals, rabbits are very good at hiding signs of illness, often until it is quite advanced. Therefore you need to spend a lot of time with your rabbits to know them enough that you notice when things are not quite right and seek veterinary attention immediately.
7. Rabbits are neglected
Rabbits are one of the most neglected pets in the UK. They are often confined to small hutches at the bottom of gardens, on their own, fed an inappropriate diet and not given the veterinary attention they need. Many rabbits bought at Easter will live miserable lives. Please do not add to this problem.
But I really want some rabbits
If despite all this, you have decided that rabbits are the pet for you, great! Find out as much as you can about them to be certain and just have a bit of patience to wait until the Easter period is over. Rescue centres around the country are full of rabbits, many of whom will have been bought for children at Easter who have then lost interest. They are all looking for good forever homes. Rabbit Rehome is a great resource to find rabbits near you.
But my children really want a rabbit
If you have young children who are pestering you for a rabbit, do not give in to them! Give them a soft toy which will be much more cuddly than the real thing and won’t need cleaning out and feeding every day.