Happy Easter every-bunny!
The questions I get asked the most over on Instagram are pretty much always bunny related, which is fab, I love taking about my furry boys and I don’t know why I’ve never considered this before. Luckily, however, one of my lovely followers sdl1503 suggested I do a bunny Q&A Insta-post so thats what I’ve decided to do, well a bunny Q&A blog post instead.
I’ve picked my top 10 frequently asked questions with some recent ones thrown in…
Are they affectionate and interactive like cats and dogs?
Yes. They are super yummy and sociable. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t as loyal as dogs but equally they’re not as independent as cats. It does massively depend on the rabbit but every one I’ve ever had prefer your company to being alone. They all love tickles but all three I’ve had (living in my house, not when I was child) always preferred their feet firmly on the ground. You can read more about them in my previous, but soppy, post.
Wally will nudge your feet or stand on his back paws to beg for attention, whilst Chip just wants to be wherever you are and follows you around under your feet (warning, they are a trip hazard).
For us they are a perfect compromise, they don’t mind being alone (well with each other, I think its recommended that they live in twos and a female and neauted male pair work best) whilst you are at work, as they pretty much sleep all day, but they love our attention when we are home. My advice would be – The more you put in, the more you get back. The more time you spend with them, the more they trust you, love you and their strange little personalities shine.
This is our old boy Soya, he was totally the love of my life and, as you can see, loved cuddles.
Where do they sleep when you’re not home?
So Soya was completely ‘Free Range’ and didn’t have a cage. He didn’t really wander beyond the hall and lounge so that’s where he lived. He would sleep wherever the mood took him.
We had the same in mind for Chip and Wally, we figured once they were litter trained they would roam freely around the house. Unfortunately they had other ideas and have un-bonded (I’ll blog about this at some point but in short they only like each other though bars. They kiss (noses squashed though the cage to groom each other) and cuddle but as soon as they are in the same room, fight.
Enter, the ‘Rabitat’. Whilst I’m a bunny Mummy, as you know I’m also Interiors obsessed and couldn’t bare the idea of a ‘cage’ in the house, we also weren’t fortunate enough to have a spare room. After mucho Pinterest searching we decided on a bespoke built Rabitat. I wanted something that looked like a sideboard but was also a cage.
My original plan for this were much prettier but I just felt guilty so the damn thing grew in to a beast of sideboard, whilst it’s not as attractive as I wanted, I am glad we made the changes. I do feel guilty though as, even though they only really sleep in there, I wish it were bigger. I strongly recommend that, if possible, your bunnies are cage free.
Here is our Rabitat, painted in Zoffany ‘Prussian’ with Little Greene Paint Company ‘French Grey’ and wooden flooring inside (to match the dining room obviously). Nothing but designer interiors is good enough for Chip and Wally!
Are they allowed upstairs and if so do they hide under the bed?
Yep, when they are out they can go wherever they like. They do go under the beds but they soon re-appear when they need food or the loo!
Do they wee everywhere?
Nope, they are good boys and are litter trained.
How do you litter train them?
I’d love to take credit for this one but despite what people think, rabbits are really easy to litter train as they are creatures of habit. Don’t get me wrong, as babies, like puppies, they did wee everywhere but were super easy to train.
Rabbits tend to go in corners so we basically placed litter trays in every corner they chose and over time removed them. The now only have two trays outside beyond those in their cages.
Where are their litter trays?
Hidden! So they might only have two but they’re not the prettiest and most interior friendly of accessories. Ours are hidden in two places…
One, a converted Fortnum & Mason hamper. Ok, so any hamper will do but we basically took one of the sides out of a hamper basket and popped a litter tray inside. They can hop in, go in private (whilst having something to destroy) and when they are in their cage I can just close the lid!
Two, in the alcove cupboard. This one is easy, they like having dark places to hide and we need to open the cupboard to change TV channels. Win win, tray in a cupboard disappears when the door is closed.
How do you keep the house so tidy and clean, isn’t there hay everywhere?
There is hay everywhere, however, I do have lots of tips to minimise it…
Bunnies like their own things, things that smell like them. We have a load of throws and blankets that I put down when they are out, that way most of the fluff and hay stays contained. When the buns are in, I pop the blankets in baskets and tada, tidy house. I also have a crate their toys get tidied too, Chip pretty much goes and pulls them out, Wally will just be destructive until we pass them to him.
Bunny blankets to de-bunnied in a split second.
I also keep their food and hay in some storage bins next to their cages, not only are they then nice and tidy but it stops naughty rabbits chewing holes and helping themselves. I also keep a small dust pan and brush near by so its easy to tidy up stray hays after feeding time.
Do they chew and ruin your house?
Yes. I’m not here to make out that they are perfect. They do chew, it’s in their little bunny nature after all. See our chewed door below. Thing is though, the more you give them, the less they take it out on your home. The storage baskets and crates I mentioned above double up as things to chew. They love toys and cardboard (although they do eat the card and it can be bad for their bunny tummies).
What do they eat, do they eat scraps on the floor like dogs?
Generally no, they don’t eat your scraps like dogs, although I did catch Wally with his head in a Nutella jar once (ok, it was on the floor, with a spoon it – it had been a long day!).
I don’t want to get all ranty but bunnies diets are so important. They have a complicated digestive system and need to keep their guts continuously moving in order to stay alive. By far the most important part of their diet is Hay. They should be eating their body size in hay everyday. Not only is this the best thing for their bellies, it also keeps their back teeth short which is super important. Ours also get a tablespoon of pellets and a handful of greens or kale. Despite the cartoons, carrots are high in sugar and should only be used as treats, carrot tops however, are great for them.
Shouldn’t they be outside, isn’t it more natural?
I guess that depends. Outside in cages with a rare summer run and human contact once a day at feeding time, no. In massive fields with lots of other bunnies, yes.
Ours may live in doors but not only do they have the run of the house but they have so much time and attention from us. They really are sociable and allowing rabbits access to your attention and home allows them to really be content little souls.
To explore Chip and Wally’s lives of binkys and peskiness follow them over on Instagram – @soyarabbit.
Ok, so seriously, they really do make the best house pets and I believe should NEVER be kept outside alone in cages, knowing what I know, it’s cruel. They need love and attention. Rabbits are also classed as ‘exotic animals’ and should be treated that way. They tummy and teeth need taking care of and if your rabbit ever just stops eating then they must be taken to the vet straight away. Unlike a dog or a cat, if they don’t eat they can slip away within 12 hours!!!
If you’re going to be a Bunny Parent then do right by them and remember peeps, a bunny is for life (well they can live up to 10 years), not just for Easter.