Bringing home a new rabbit is exciting! It’s also a little hectic. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions…with answers! We are answering your questions about rabbits right here to try and help you learn as much as possible about your new furry friend!
Commonly Asked Rabbit Questions | Rabbit FAQ
If you are new to the rabbit world it can all be a little overwhelming. I get that. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I’ve had rabbits for most of my life. There’s a lot to consider and a lot to think about. If you have questions, hopefully we can help!
Here are some answers to some of the most commonly asked rabbit questions.
Can I keep my rabbit in a cage?
Yes. You can keep your rabbit in a cage. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest leaving them in the cage 24 hours a day, they’ll likely end up being destructive. Much like other animals (I’m thinking of dogs especially) rabbits will chew, dig, scratch, become aggressive, and sometimes even become depressed if they don’t have adequate means for exercise.
If you keep your rabbit in a cage, make sure you are setting them up with a way to exercise. That might mean adding a wire or plastic run area or taking them on walks, etc. If you litter train your rabbit when they are young or when you first get them, it makes it easier to let them out of their cage for exercise. As much time as you can possibly give them out of their cage, they’ll repay in friendship 🙂
Should I let my rabbit out of his cage?
Absolutely! If you are still litter training and correcting bad behaviors in a young rabbit it can be tough to let them out of their cage. We’ve had everything from cord chewers to carpet diggers and even one male who would try and mount our 120 lb German Shepherd…teenage rabbits are a handful sometimes!
It’s important though that you give your rabbit time out of their cage. They like to explore and in the wild they spend a lot of time roaming, burrowing, and developing relationships with other rabbits. If your bunny is a lone pet, they will need time with you to fill that need!
Try and let your rabbit have as much time out of their cage as possible. They’ll soon learn that their cage is a safe space and not a prison and that makes it a lot easier to train them, bond with them, and more!
How much time does my rabbit need out of their cage?
Every rabbit is different. Some rabbits, like Charlie, will want nothing to do with exercise and exploration. He gets out of his cage, hops over to his favorite spot near the dog beds and he flops down. That’s just what he prefers. Other rabbits will need a lot more time to explore. Brownie, on of our French Lops, could run 23.5 hours a day and still have energy. Give your rabbit as much time out of their cage as you can!
Most people will suggest at least 3 hours a day at a minimum. That doesn’t need to be all at once, don’t panic. If you can get them out in the morning while you are getting ready for your day and then again in the afternoon or evening for a few hours, they’ll love that!
Can I take my rabbit on a walk?
You might be surprised, but yes! We’ve had little jogging vests and harnesses in the past when we didn’t have the space indoors or outdoors to let our rabbits roam free. Taking them for a walk can be challenging because it’s not like walking a dog. They aren’t going to want to just following the side walks, etc. You’ll be better with following them around a grassy area while they hop around, enjoying a new space.
What does my rabbit need?
Rabbits are actually kind of needy! I know you rabbit owners won’t be shocked but new owners might not know how much rabbits require. They live a long time. Like 10+ years, long time. So be prepared to invest a lot of time and money into your rabbits! Here’s a quick list of what I consider essential for rabbits.
- Cage / Habitat
- Water Bottle, Food Bowl, Hay Feeder
- Water, High Quality Timmothy Pellets, Hay
- Toys or Interactive Cage Enrichment
- Grooming Tools (Nail Clipper, Brush)
- Leash or Outdoor Run
That might not seem like a lot but over the years it can add up. And remember, these are just the essentials. Your rabbit will benefit from all kinds of thing like spaces to dig, chew, and hide as well as interaction with other pets, rabbits especially!
Do rabbits need to see the veterinarian?
Rabbits don’t typically need to see a vet on a yearly basis like other animals who get vaccinated. But they will from time to time need vet care. We’ve had everything from eye pokes to neutering and the bills can get expensive. I’d make sure to budget for vet care even if you think it won’t be a necessity each year. Just because your rabbit doesn’t need shots, does not mean he or she won’t need to see the vet.
Problems with their eyes and teeth can be common in some breeds and if you don’t learn to take care of their nails on your own, they’ll need to see a vet or a groomer for that as well.
Can I build a rabbit cage indoors?
Yes! This is a great idea. We’ll be posting some of our set ups soon so you can get some inspiration. But there are many ways to build a rabbit cage indoors that will help save you money and give your rabbit a lot more space without sacrificing safety and security of a cage / habitat!
Can I litter train my rabbit?
Yep. You sure can. Learn how here.
Do rabbits bite?
Sometimes rabbits will nip and they can bite…hard. They can take off a finger if they really wanted to. They have incredible strength and sharp teeth, in the wild it’s one of their only defense mechanism. That being said, you don’t really need to fear being bitten by a rabbit. Proper handling and building a bond with your rabbit will reduce those chances even further. They will typically only use biting as a last resort and in my experience only when they are fearful for their lives or in a lot of pain.
How do I stop my rabbit from chewing on my stuff?
Teach them what is theirs to chew on and keep a good eye on them! I know that sounds crazy but it’s just like training kids or dogs to mind their manners and only play with their own stuff. If left unattended long enough, rabbits will get into trouble. It’s key to keep an eye on them until you know they can handle themselves.
Providing lots of interesting stuff for them to chew, dig, and explore will help keep them from messing with things you don’t want them to touch. Cords, books, furniture, etc. will all be safe and sound if your bunny has access to their own stuff like boxes, hay, hiding huts, etc.
A loud noise, a water spritz, or removing them from the area can be used to correct these bad behaviors. Consistency is key!!
How many hours will my rabbit sleep?
Adult rabbits in captivity will sleep upwards of 8 hours a day. They don’t sleep 8 hours straight through the night like we do though, so don’t be surprised if you hear them in the night moving around, munching, or stomping.
Your rabbit will sleep in small increments throughout the day and depending on their activity level they might sleep more or less than that estimated 8 hours.
Does my rabbit need to go outdoors?
Rabbits that are housed solely indoors can run into health issues! It’s important to make sure your bunny gets some sunlight. Windows can block the types of UV rays they need to produce Vitamin D so it’s essential that you make time to let your rabbits get outdoors and catch some rays!
Will my rabbit get cold outdoors?
Sudden temperature changes are hard for rabbits. If your rabbit is living outdoors and you bring them into the warm house this can be just as damaging for them as a the other way around. Acclimating your bunny to any types of changes in climate are extremely important so as not to stress them!
The chances of your rabbit suffering from a heat stroke are far more likely than those that they might freeze. In extreme cases rabbits will need help staying warm but in most instances as long as they have a space to be protected from excessive wind and moisture, they’ll be just fine in cooler temperatures!
Our bunnies prefer the cooler temperatures and even the indoors buns here at Charlie and The Pips prefer to have the fans or AC running!
Do you have more posts about rabbits?
We sure do! Here are a few to check out!
- Keeping Rabbits As Pets
- How to Bond Rabbits
- How to Litter Train Rabbits | Litter Training Rabbits
- How to Select Your Best Rabbit Breed
- Questions You Should Ask Your Breeder before Buying a Rabbit