What’s small, fluffy, and trainable?

Many people who live in the DC area live in apartments. If they want a pet, they want one who doesn’t have to go outside in the winter, can be trained, is soft and cuddly, is quiet, and (most important with all the restrictions apartment buildings have) doesn’t weigh a lot.

White house rabbit leaping
Why aren’t all these people going out and adopting bunnies?

Many shelters have house rabbits for adoption and you can find a ton in your area through Petfinder.com and Adoptapet.com.

Need to convince the love of your life why you should adopt a rabbit?

5 Reasons Rabbits Rock

  1. Rabbits can be litterbox trained! It’s fairly easy to teach a rabbit to urinate in a litter box so unlike a dog (much as I love them) you never have to take them outside in the snow or pouring rain!
  2. Rabbits are clean! Rabbits are almost as fastidious as cats. Why, you ask (or, more accurately, my mother’s voice asks) do they seem so often to smell? Well, that’s because a lot of people don’t litterbox train them, don’t help them groom themselves, and don’t keep the area around a rabbit tidy. It’s the people who are making the rabbit smell bad, not the rabbit. He’s using his litterbox and trying to groom himself.
  3. Rabbits are ridiculously soft. I know, it’s shallow, but come on, who doesn’t love petting a soft animal. Rabbits are so well known for their softness that some owners will sell their rabbits blown fur (they blow or significantly shed their coats four times a year, two heavy and two light). Although rabbits will differ in the texture of their fur, I’ve yet to meet a rabbit who wasn’t a joy to pet.
  4. Rabbits are trainable! At a shelter where I used to be involved, volunteers actually clicker trained their rabbits! There were a few who learned how to jump into a lap on command before they were adopted!
  5. Rabbits are often fond of laps! While most rabbits don’t like being held due to the lack of support, many enjoy snuggling into a warm lap. Doesn’t that sound delightful on a cold February night?

If you do decide to adopt a rabbit, please contact your local shelter(s) and, if the shelter doesn’t do it for you, get your rabbit neutered. It’s especially important to neuter male rabbits to avoid the massive sprays they can otherwise be prone to. And you want to fix your female in case you decide to get a pair–because the old sayings about a couple of rabbits, sadly are pretty true in that case.

When I was first learning about rabbits, my friend Diana suggested I look through the resources at the House Rabbit Society’s webpage and I suggest you do the same. They’re a pretty awesome group that has a ton of wonderful resources for both new and experienced rabbit adopters alike. Plus they help save rabbits who are surrendered to shelters when people tire of their kids’ Easter surprise.

Which brings me to the depressing portion of today’s post. I’m incredibly grateful that my parents gave me a stuffed toy bunny on Easter when I was little (known as both “Baby Bunny” and “Green Bunny” because of my very literal naming at that age–she is baby green with a white stomach and face) and not a real rabbit. As we get near to Lent which leads to Easter, please tell anyone looking at giving a real baby bunny as a gift to wait and take the kids to adopt a rabbit from a shelter together.

*For those who know my not-so-secret love of Whedon’s television shows, I’m sure you understand my struggle to not name this post “Bunnies! Bunnies! It Must Be Bunnies!”

About Bethany

Food-motivated though not food-aggressive bleeding heart animal lover and advocate. Views expressed do not reflect those of employers & may include bad words.
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3 Responses to What’s small, fluffy, and trainable?

  1. Cathy M says:

    Bunnies are adorable. My college roomate Bonnie had a rabbit named . . . Clyde. Yes, and Clyde growled. This post brought back great memories.

    And I’ll second that idea of giving soft, fluffy toy bunnies instead of real ones to kids for the Easter/Spring season. Also, please skip the baby chicks as they do grow up to be chickens that are not really suited to home/appartment living.

  2. Laura says:

    Now you have the ‘bunnies! bunnies! it must be bunnies!’ song in my head.

  3. Connie says:

    As someone who has owned two rabbits for over 15 years total, I love bunnies, but they do have their downsides. They gnaw on everything because their teeth constantly grow. If they don’t, they risk becoming over grown and that can be very bad for a rabbit. also teeth that don’t line up properly need to be taken to a vet to be trimmed. They particularly like to chew electrical wires which can be very dangerous when they are plugged in. My baseboards have all been ‘tasted” :)

    Their claws also need attention, which can be tricky because rabbits are prey animals and don’t like to be held down.

    They are also fragile in that if you don’t properly support them when you pick them up you risk them kicking so hard they break their back. They also can die very quickly if they become sick with upper respiratory issues. My last rabbit “Bri” caught something from one of my cats and died with in 12 hours.

    I could go on and on, but my point is that you need to do your research before opening your home up to a rabbit. Nothing is too complicated, but you do need to know it.

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