If you’ve ever wondered if rabbits as pets are a good idea, I’m here to tell you that they are. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that bunnies make better pets than cats when it comes to kids.
I currently own two lionhead bunnies. We purchased them when they were babies and now that they’ve grown up they’re still freaking adorable. We have them in an inside/outside situation, so they hop around on our rabbit-proof deck during the day and at night they come inside.
Originally I thought of having a hutch outside, because I never really thought about having them inside 100% of the time, but they were too small and too cute to put outside.
Let’s run a comparison:
Pros of rabbits as pets
- Can be trained to do their business in a litter pan.
- Like to be pet
- Cages are easy to clean
- Need little supervision
- Gets along well with other pets
- When you want a break, you put them in a cage and lock them up.
Pros of cats as pets
- Can be trained to do their business in litter pan
- Most cats enjoy affection
- Like to play
Cons of bunnies as pets
- They like to chew on things – I blame myself for not realizing, but bunnies like power cords. So far mine favor Apple products, and they’ve gone through a MagSafe power cord, a iPhone power cord, and numerous headphone cords. Thankfully, these things were not plugged in at the time.
- They leave their droppings everywhere – Even litter trained, bunnies will drop little pellets everywhere they go. It does get better as they get older, but they still drop tiny bombs.
- They don’t always like to be held – Rabbits have the instinct to run away whenever someone tries to grab them, so they may scramble when you pick them up. However, if you hold them every day, they will learn you aren’t a threat and enjoy petting. Just don’t let your kid haul them all over the place. Bunnies have been known to just drop over dead from stress.
Cons of cats as pets
- Cats shed a lot – If you have a fluffy cat, they’ll drop hairballs all over the place. Maybe you can’t see them as well on carpet, but they’re there all over my hardwood floor. And speaking of hairballs…
- Hairballs are disgusting – Have you ever seen a hairball? Wow.
- Cats are independent to the point where they aren’t that affectionate – Sometimes I want to pet my cat, and my cat wants nothing of it. Cats also tend to be scratchy with little kids, because they have nails and they aren’t afraid to use them.
- They roam all over the house – Have you ever woke up at 3 am because a kitten was watching you sleep and then pounced? It’s all good fun. ha ha. Not.
I love my cat, I really do, but once I adopted my bunnies I definitely saw the other side. Rabbits as pets aren’t what you’d think. They’re social, sweet, and so adorable you won’t be able to get enough of them.
If you plan on getting a rabbit, be sure to check out the local SPCA or Petfinder for bunny adoption.
One last thought. Rabbits are grazers and the bulk of their diet should be hay. Kibble is easy to feed and make less of a mess, but it will also shorten your bunnies life so expect to feed them mostly hay. Also don’t forget to get a list of fresh vegetables that are bunny suitable.
“when you want a break you can just put them in a cage and lock them up” UM REALLY??? WORST PET OWNER EVER, GEE THANKS. Rabbits are NOT dumber or less in need of affection and freedom than any other animal. In fact they need MORE freedom and are natural runners, diggers, and endlessly curious. Rabbits are not meant to be in cages, EVER. Nor more than any other animal. You failed. (Also, FYI, rabbits don’t get on well with little kids.)
Seriously? I failed? My rabbits are alive, happy, and part of my family after 3 years so I think I’m doing a pretty good job. If you let a rabbit run around and never be in a cage, especially at night when other animals would be very interested in eating them, they’d be dead. They’re natural prey.
You read the entire article and yet you took that one part about locking them up and called me the worst pet owner ever? I’m in awe. I lock them up when we’re not playing with them or watching them for their own protection. And as for the tunneling, you could take a look in my yard and it would show you exactly how happy my bunnies are because there are holes and tunnels everywhere.
FYI – My rabbits also get along very well with little kids. They’re extremely socialized, very tame, and very happy to play chase or eat from a child’s hands. They also love it when the kids brush them. If you’ve never been around rabbits that are socialized and taken in as part of a family, you probably wouldn’t know this.