Interesting Facts About Pet Rabbits
Rabbits as pets are often underrated! They are commonly seen as a good low maintenance pet for children. But they are so much more than this, they have strikingly distinctive personalities. They can be as playful and silly as puppies or kittens, as independent and fascinating as cats, or as loyal and openly affectionate as dogs. They are intelligent and social creatures and can easily be trained to live in your home with you much like a cat! So if you are a bunny owner or considering getting one in the future here are some facts that highlight how unique and adorable rabbits are!
Their teeth and nails never stop growing
Just like humans and other animals a rabbit’s nails are always growing and need to be trimmed regularly—about once every six weeks. But unlike humans, dogs, and cats, their teeth continue to grow, too! So it is important to supply your rabbit with lots of hay and wooden toys to chew on to get their teeth trimmed and in good shape.
Rabbits eat their own droppings
Often first time rabbit owners are shocked when they catch their pet eating their own dropping. But this is a normal rabbit behaviour as they need to digest some of their food twice. So they eat the soft “cecotropes” which are nutrient-packed droppings that look like poo. Then the small, hard and round pellets that you see are from the second round of digestion.
Rabbits purr when happy
Another similarity between rabbits and cats is that they both purr when they’re happy. Although a rabbits purr is not the same as a cat’s purr! It sounds like teeth chattering or light chomping.
Rabbits can’t throw up
Bunnies don’t have the ability to vomit, so it’s critical to only feed them healthy, appropriate food like hay, grass and vegetables. This is why it so important to make sure everything you feed them is safe! As they don't have the ability to remove it from their bodies once eaten. They also can’t cough up hairballs after all that grooming, so it’s important to regularly brush their coats to prevent shedding.
The adorable binky!
Happy rabbits will do what’s called a “binky”: This is just the most adorable behaviour which looks like a jump in the air and spin around.
Rabbits are active morning & night
Many people think that rabbits are nocturnal! But this is a myth, rabbits are actually crepuscular. This means they’re the most active in the early morning and early evening, this is one of the reasons rabbits make such good pets for working people.
Rabbits are easy to train
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are much happier living inside the house than in a hutch in the backyard. Rabbits are very easy to train and can be easily house trained to use a litter tray! Although it is easier to house train a desexed rabbit.
Rabbits almost have 360 degree vision
A rabbits’ eyes are on the sides of the head, giving them excellent vision all the way around, with a small blind spot at the point directly in front of them and directly behind them. This is from their time in the wild as prey animals, as it enables them to keep a lookout for predators.
Names and terminology
A baby rabbit is called a kit, a female is called a doe, and a male is a buck. A group of rabbits is called a herd.
Trancing can be traumatic
“Trancing” or “Hypnotising”, is a technique for handling rabbits that has been around for many years. It takes advantage of the rabbits' tendency, as a prey species, to “play dead” and stay immobile when placed in a vulnerable position, on its back. But this is actually a really traumatic experience for them, as when a rabbit is held in this position they go into ‘tonic immobility’. They are trying to convince the predator (in this case the person ‘hypnotising’ them) that they are dead, so they will be let go.
Rabbit show jumping
In some European countries, owners and their pets may participate in rabbit show jumping, which began in the 1970s. The sport is similar to horse jumping, with various obstacles for the rabbits to jump—but is obviously on a much smaller scale to accommodate the rabbits size.
Domestic vs. wild rabbits
Pet rabbits have changed in captivity so much that they can no longer successfully breed with wild rabbits.
Rabbits don’t mingle well with guinea pigs
Rabbits and guinea pigs don’t make good friends. These sweet small pets are similar in size and used to be touted as a perfect match, it is now understood that the species should generally be kept apart. Both animals use different methods of communication, so they can’t understand each other and they also eat different diets. Plus, rabbits are extremely strong and one kick from a rabbit can seriously injure a guinea pig.
Their hearts beat very fast
A rabbits resting heart rate is twice as fast as ours! A humans resting heart rate is around 60-90 beats per minute but a rabbits is 130+ beats per minute.
Written by The Pet.co.nz
Written by The Pet.co.nz Team
A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.