If you are new to the world of rabbits as pets you probably have some questions. The good news is that I’ve had rabbits as pets since I was about 12 years old…no need to do the math folks, let’s just say it’s been awhile.
Today I’m going to try and answer some of the most popular questions about keeping rabbits as pets! If you have other questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them as best I can and possibly add them to the post!
How long do rabbits live as pets?
Rabbits can live for a very long time as pets. We’re talking 9 years or more for most breeds. Some dwarf breeds are closer to 12 or 15 years if they’re properly cared for and have no health issues!
What does this mean for you as a rabbit owner? You’re in it for the long haul. There’s no quick turnaround here. It’s not like goldfish or hamsters that live just a year or two.
Plan accordingly and be sure that you are looking for a long term companion when you purchase or adopt your rabbits as pets!
Are rabbits easy to train as pets?
Training rabbits has been easier than training some of our dogs. It’s amazing how quickly they learn. They are simple to litter train, easy to divert if they have chewing or digging tendencies, and they’re very affectionate.
Some people worry that they won’t be able to bond with their rabbits as pets like they would with a dog or a cat but that’s a common misconception. Rabbits are very easy to develop a bond with and they are quite lovable.
Can I keep rabbits as pets indoors?
Absolutely! I live in a rural area where many people keep rabbits for fur and meat 🙁 it’s a bummer, but it’s part of the world I’ve grown up in. For the most part people think of rabbits as outdoor pets or as wild animals or farm animals. That’s not necessarily the only option.
All of our rabbits have lived indoors most of their lives. We have a few currently who just can’t handle the heat of living indoors and they prefer their outdoor spaces but we’ve learned this through trial and error and by paying attention to what makes each of them happy.
A majority of our herd lives indoors. They have run of nearly all the upstairs of our home! A few exceptions are Brownie and Ramona who will actually walk on the hardwood floors happily, they also roam around downstairs and in the tiled bathrooms…and pretty much anywhere they can weasel themselves into.
The quick answer is that yes, rabbits can live indoors as pets. I’ve never had one that wouldn’t litter train and I also haven’t had one that was too scared to live with our dogs! You’ll need to pay close attention to their behavior when it comes to temperature. Rabbits much prefer cooler temperatures so too much heat indoors will make them miserable!
Do rabbits and dogs get along?
I am a firm believer that animals can be trained to do / behave in almost any manner. Our dogs have been around our rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters so long that they just accept them as part of the family. It doesn’t just happen though. It takes diligence and patience to train them to get along.
Burton Guster is a puppy. He’s turning 4 months old in about a week so he needs constant reminders that the rabbits are delicate and he has to be polite to them. He’s doing very well and introducing them slowly and in a safe space helps make that training process much easier!
Do rabbits and cats get along?
We don’t have any indoor cats here at Charlie and the Pips but notice above my comments on training dogs and rabbits to get along. It takes time and patience but it is totally and absolutely possible to have them coexist peacefully!
Can I keep more than one rabbit as a pet?
You sure can (she whispered while counting on her fingers and toes all the rabbits she has)! Please for the love of all things make sure you totally understand how to sex rabbits if you are keeping more than one as a pet without spaying or neutering…which we totally recommend by the way!
It can be really tricky and I would NEVER trust anyone online or “rehoming” a rabbit to know for sure (unless it’s an older male…in which case it’s pretty obvious). Take them to a vet, breeder, or a shelter for help identifying males and females.
I have bonded pairs who live together of both males and females. It has taken a lot of time and patience but it can be safely done. Neutered or spayed pairs typically do much better so if you can, definitely get them altered!
Can rabbits live with guinea pigs?
They can live together but I wouldn’t cage them together if that makes sense. If you have free roam piggies and rabbits like we do you’ll want to cage them separately especially when it comes to feeding.
Rabbits and guinea pigs can be temping to house together because they eat similar things but not identical! Guinea pigs need a lot of vitamin C and rabbits do not. The extra minerals and vitamins that piggies need can be harmful to rabbits over time. Just because they both eat a lot of hay is not enough of a reason in my opinion to house them together!!
Sure, they can be friends and roam together but I’d make sure they have their own space for safety and for feeding!
Is it bad to keep rabbits in a cage?
I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say it’s “bad”. You need to do what is best for you and your rabbit. Rabbits as pets are much more pleasant when they have adequate space but I have a few rabbits that really don’t do much even though they can free roam the entirety of our second story. The housing that is appropriate for your rabbit will depending on their activity level and their personality.
I will say that many commercial cages are a tad small in my opinion. You can litter train a rabbit and build them a much larger enclosure for less money…More on that to come!
Any accessories you recommend for keeping rabbits as pets?
Yes! I have found some things over the years that have really helped make life with so many furry critters a little easier. I’ll link them below.