7 things you didn’t know about ... Rabbits!

7 things you didn’t know about ... Rabbits!

02/02/2016

They are cute, they have large ears and they like nibbling on things ... But did you know that rabbits are also very smart and fascinating little animals? And at Pawshake, you can bunny-sit the cutest rabbits when you sign up as a pet sitter! For all the rabbit lovers out there: 7 fun facts about rabbits.

1) Rabbits are very intelligent
Did you know that rabbits are very smart? Some breeds are even particularly trainable. You can, for example, teach them to recognise their names and come to you when called. Rabbits also have a very good memory: they don’t forget negative experiences and emotions easily. In order to create a nice bond with your bunny, it’s important to make them feel at ease at all times.



2) Rabbits aren’t rodents    
Despite having continuously growing teeth just like rodents, they are actually a different order of mammals called 'lagomorphs'. Lagomorphs have an extra pair of incisors that rodents don't have. But, just like rodents, they are herbivores and like to gnaw on objects. There should always be something to gnaw on within their reach - something safe, of course! We would not want them to nibble on cables or on the furniture :-)

3) Rabbits are social animals
In the wild, rabbits live in large groups with strong hierarchies. So it’s common sense that they don’t want to spend their days alone in a little hutch, becoming listless and lonely. Always keep at least two rabbits together and give them enough space to live in harmony. A male and female make the best couple, but make sure that they are spayed or neutered to avoid lots of little bunny surprises.

4) Rabbits feel secure sitting in or underneath something
Just like cats - if it fits, I sits! Your rabbits will be so grateful if you offer them a shelter or two, such as upside down boxes with a holes cut out. A cat tunnel also does the trick! And did you know that rabbits are really playful? They enjoy romping about and playing with toys. For playtime, they may require some more space than your average rabbit cage offers.



5) There are as many as 50 different rabbit breeds
From dwarf bunnies who weigh no more than 900 grams to the giant lorraine, weighing in at a minimum of 5 kilos. Each breed also has their own character traits. Consider which breed fits your family situation best before choosing your rabbits. There are of course lots of lovely rabbits in shelters and at humane societies waiting for a new home!

6) Rabbits communicate through body language
Rabbits can tell you a lot through their body language, but they do it in a more subtle way than, say, a dog. They can be angry, tense, afraid, stressed, sad or happy: just like us! For example, a rabbit that wants to warn that there is danger nearby will thump their hind legs. A rabbit who is scared or in pain can squeal or growl. A rabbit lying flat on the ground with his ears flattened is tense or afraid. A happy rabbit will be lying in a relaxed way, ears facing to the front. They will be active and playful, and you might spot them softly grinding their teeth with joy!

Jeff, the rabbit of Pawshaker Nicky

7) Rabbits are very clean animals
Yep, rabbits are super hygienic! Most rabbits will have one particular spot where they go to the toilet. You can put some newspaper or wood pellets under the straw in that spot to soak it up and keep their enclosure dry, but be sure to change their litter daily and clean the entire enclosure regularly to avoid smell. To keep your rabbit healthy, you need to keep them supplied daily with fresh, clean water and keep the food bowl and water bottle clean. Just like cats, rabbits keep their coats clean, so they don’t need a bath. In fact, they absolutely hate baths! You can brush your rabbit with a soft brush, especially when they are going through their biannual periods of shedding.

Rabbits are great fun as well as clever, and are just lovely to be around. They deserve the best care! Would you like to be a pet sitter for rabbits? You can be! Register as a pet sitter today!