|Written by Human Dad|
|Monday, 15 December 2008 15:20|
As what I have described in other articles, I am currently the owner of 4 pet rabbits. Caring for 4 pet rabbits, all indoor rabbits, is quite a task for many. For me, it is both a heavy and fun responsibility at the same time. Many times, people asked me why do choose rabbits as pet. In this post, I shall share on how and why we ended up with four rabbits as pets.
Are rabbits really that fun to have as pets? The answer is both yes and no, depending on what you are looking for in a pets. To some, rabbits can be boring pets as most of the time, they would prefer to stay by themselves. They are the least capable pet animal who would greet you at the door when you return from work. When my wife and I had our own apartment, we thought that maybe we would like to have a pet.
We thought that dogs may be a bit too noisy for apartment living and were considering of getting a cat as pet when one day while waiting for the traffic light to turn green, I saw a big billboard advertisement with a photo of rabbit on it. Remembering how one of my relatives used to have a pet rabbit, I wondered how it was keeping rabbit as a pet. I discussed with my wife, and she seemed to be quite excited with the idea. Immediately, we began to do some research through the internet and conducted some readings from books on pet rabbits. From our research, we found that rabbits are not really that boring after all and may actually make good pets.
As rabbits are extremely quiet animal, it is the perfect choice for apartment living. The desire to have a rabbit as pet grew stronger by the day, and on one Saturday evening, we visited a pet shop nearby our house just to check if they have any rabbits for sale. And there, we saw two young rabbits that are black and white in colour, probably siblings. We develop quite an immediate liking of them, but after some questions and discussions with the pet shop owner, decided to give the matter a final thought.
Early on the next morning, after breakfast, we visited the pet shop to look at the two bunnies again. There and then, we decided that we would like to have a rabbit as pet. After buying a rabbit cage, a water bottle, a dish rack, a comb and a toy ball with a bell in it, we got our first pet rabbit. We placed him and the cage at the balcony. My initial thought was keeping him at the balcony and was not intending for him to come into the house.
Honestly, my understanding of pet rabbit at that time was very shallow and we had no idea that pet rabbits can be litter-box trained. We’ve even fixed a plastic fence to prevent the little bunny from going into our living room, but he had always been able to find his own ways to come in. After a while, we realised that it may be quite futile trying to keep him outside, and we’ve decided to research a bit more on how others had been able to keep a house rabbit. We began to house train our pet rabbit and in no time, he was quite well-trained to always return to his cage whenever he need to use the toilet.
One of the main key to toilet-train or litter-box train a rabbit is by treating his cage with respect. We made our bunny the king of his cage and will not forcibly pull him out of his cage if he does not want to. In fact, he grew so fond of his cage that even when we relocate his cage, he protested by not using it as a toilet and by going on a starving strike! Soon, both our bunny and we understand each other well.
We bunny-proof the whole house as we understand that rabbits can resist chewing on electrical chord and on furniture. To date, some of our furniture still bear the biting marks of a young bunny. As far as our bunny is concerned, he knows well what upset us. Biting on furniture and electrical cable is a no no. He knows that when we switch off the lights at night, it means that he would have to return to his cage. In fact, most of the time, we have no difficulty in getting him into his cage. He was no longer just a pet, but very much a part of the family.
We pampered him like a child and he learnt how to demand from us too by scratching on our legs. That was until one fine day when my wife brought home a female rabbit (called a doe.) By then, our bunny was already a sexually matured buck (male rabbit). Our original intention was not to keep the female rabbit as pet, but to temporarily board it to be given to my mother-in-law who had found our pet rabbit very interesting and lovely creature.
However, all plans went wild when the female rabbit was pregnant. In less than two months of staying with us, she gave birth to seven kits. To keep a long story short, we gave up five of the kits for adoption and decided to keep two. All the two bunnies are now grown up adult rabbits, and that is how we ended up with keeping four rabbits as pets.
We have learnt a lot by having the rabbits as pets. They have thought us to extend our loves and their bunny tricks never failed to amuse us no matter how many times they were repeated. It had became a habit for us to call their names whenever we reached home. We always went to see them in their cage the first thing in the morning. Now, all of them no longer stay at the balcony, but instead shared a large cage at the yard.
Of course, the entire unwanted rabbits pregnancy episode had taught us to be more careful and we have all of them altered. Keeping four rabbits as pet has always been a memorable event and it will continue to be even after we have our own children.
The first rabbit that joined us is now already approaching five years old. Times fly and he had slowed down quite a lot as he approached his middle age. Rabbits had taught us not only about unconditional love but also about slowing down to admire the wonder of life. To the rabbits, they always have all the time in the world, and it is always we human who have forgotten to slow down in life and to really live. Even having been pet rabbits owner for close to five years, we are still learning new things about keeping rabbits as pet.