Sunday, 11 January 2015

10 Considerations Before Having A Bunny At Home

1. Your reason
  • Is it simply impulse due to a bunny's irresistible cuteness? If you're a parent, is the reason because your child begged to have one? Are you prepared to welcome a furry companion into your home?
  • Wait for a week or two and think about the question thoroughly. Getting a bunny on impulse often leads to frustration due to the realities involved in the caring of a living being.

2. Expenses
  • The initial expenses include the cage, playpen, bowls etc. Afterwards, can you afford the bunny's food (eg: hay) which may need to be bought monthly - or even weekly? And what about vet expenses if the bunny gets sick?
  • In my case, the average monthly cost for caring a bunny is about RM150 - 200. This amount, of course, does not cover vet expenses. 

    These two 15 oz bags of Oxbow hay (each costing about RM 35) lasts only 10 days!

3. Space
  • A bunny should have a cage which is large enough to place the bunny's things, and for him/her to hop around a few steps in all directions and completely stretch out his/her legs.
  • However, most of the time, the bunny should be outside the cage. You can do this by setting up a playpen. I personally recommend that the area be at least 3m x 2m. Do you have enough space in your house to ensure that the bunny has enough space to hop and, when they're in an excellent mood, binky?

    A bunny binkying - space is needed for a spectacular jump like this!

4. The chores
  • A bunny's cage tray and litter box should be cleared daily to prevent unpleasant odour. Also, the floor should be cleaned 1 - 2 times a week to keep the bunny's area hygienic.
  • Secondly, if you think: poop, poop soaking in urine, poop scattering all around the floor, or anything that has to do with poop or urine, is beyond disgusting ... a bunny, or an animal companion in general, probably isn't suitable for you.

    Shredded newspaper, scattered poop and hay, and urine all over the place. 

5. Time
  • Bunnies, like any other pets, need love and attention. Will you have time to accompany the bunny everyday, after doing the routine chores? To have a good relationship with a bunny, humans should take the initiative.

    Millie enjoying pets

6. Behaviour expectations
  • Did you know that most bunnies actually don't like to be carried and cuddled? Did you know that some bunnies may bite and lunge when they're not yet familiar with humans? Did you know that bunnies relax most of the day when they're not eating hay or exploring their living quarters?
  • As humans, we should abandon many of our preconceptions in order to understand animals as the individuals they are. 

7. The likely mess

Flicka from Bunnyhugga
  • Examples of "accidental" happenings: 
    • chewed wires
    • a pool of urinate in an unexpected corner
    • shredded newspapers or nibbled books
  • Examples of natural happenings:
    • hay and poop being scattered here and there
    • balls of fur rolling around the house during the bunny's shedding periods
  • Are you ready to accept these messes - and more?

8. Handling
  • You must not be afraid of a bunny's claws. In some situations, you may need to carry the bunny - whether the latter likes it or not. I can tell you firsthand that those claws can really scratch.
  • Another important consideration is your medical condition. Are you allergic to the fur of animals? Does your family members have such allergies?

9. Potential "sacrifices"
  • One of the common problems faced by all pet owners: being unable to go on faraway vacations. A bunny should be monitored daily and his/her area cleaned. Leaving the bunny at home for several days is an undesirable decision.
  • When a bunny is sick or moody, you will have to cut down what I'd like to put as "me" time. Less shopping, less internet-surfing, missing your favourite TV show when you suddenly notice you're out of hay and vegetables, etc.
  • In such situations, will you be seeing your bunny as a burden? Are you willing to commit?

10. Your future
  • The future may seem far away - but did you know bunnies have an average lifespan of 10 years? Add ten years to your current age and picture the changes you might go through. 
  • For example: if you're a student, will you be furthering your education in a place away from home? Will your family be taking care of the bunny? If you're an adult, will you be having your own children in a few years? Can you care for both your bunny and child?

Many bunnies - as well as other pets like dogs and cats - are abandoned and neglected every single day. The fortunate ones survive to reach a shelter, but the remaining often die of sickness, hunger or injury on the streets.

Let us not be a single contributor to this harsh statistic. If possible, adopt from your local shelter when you're ready to receive the wisdom of these lagomorphs. (Start HERE!)


  1. Well said! After 3 months of research on rabbits. Once I became a bunny parent the information was useful that I had researched, but there was so much more I needed to learn. I'm still learning 4 1/2 years later. I think with every new bunny. It will always be a new learning experience. No matter how many bunnies I will have loved and lived with. They're just like a human when it comes to personality. Every bunny is different. Bunnies can give dirty looks, happy binkies, spy on you to see what you're up to, make messes when they're upset with you, flip dishes when you're late with dinner and so much more. Please anyone considering a rabbit. Please really think it completely out. As much as I love and adore my 3 rabbits. It's not easy caring for them some days. Sometimes I'm not feeling well or tired, but the bunnies don't understand that. Sometimes my vet bill is $140-$320 for stasis treatment. Please be careful when considering a bunny as a pet. Thank you

    1. Agreed! Just when you think you have acquired a Master in Rabbit Caring, another fella comes into your life and it's just "Oh, I still got much to learn!" If I'm late in serving Jippie his vegetables, his initial "warning" would be making his presence known by standing right next to kitchen cabinet - which he would chew on if I do not catch his message quickly.
      And oh yes, I can't count how many times when I just got back home exhausted and my rabbits instantly greet me with fresh pools of urine on the floor.