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Rabbit Fact Sheet

        

Link to:  Rabbit Fact Sheet to Print

by Connie Andrews 

  1. Rabbits are “lagomorphs” (not rodents) and they are related to hares and pikas.

  2. A house rabbit pet can live up to 10 to 12 years and is a long-term commitment.

  3. There are over 45 recognized breeds in the United States and all domesticated rabbit breeds are descendants of European rabbits.  Cottontails are their cousins from the Americas and they cannot breed and produce live offspring.

  4. Rabbits can be litter box trained and it is much easier to train them after they have been neutered or spayed.

  5. A rabbit’s digestive system is similar to a horse and they require daily hay to prevent digestive problems.  Rabbits cannot vomit and hairballs can be fatal.

  6. Rabbit teeth grow constantly and bunnies will naturally gnaw wires, furniture legs, etc. so rooms in a house must be bunny-proofed where they are allowed to run.

  7. Rabbits can mate as early as 3 months of age and gestation is 31 days with a litter size of 4 to 12 kits.

  8. When bunnies become adult rabbits they can exhibit aggressive and territorial behavior.  They will spray urine, mark territory with their feces, bite and grunt.

  9. Young bunnies should not be separated from their mother until they are 8 weeks old.

  10. Domesticated rabbits are very social and do best as when adopted in pairs.  They can also bond with cats, dogs and guinea pigs with proper supervision and patience.

  11. Spaying and neutering prevents health problems for rabbits.  Females are prone to uterine cancer after 5 years of age if they are not altered.  Altering makes rabbits less aggressive and prevents overpopulation.

  12. Rabbits can become very affectionate pets that can enjoy cuddling, being petted and quiet interaction with humans especially after altering. 

  13. Rabbits can learn their names and respond to many other words.

  14. Most rabbits do not enjoy being picked up since they are ground dwellers by nature.  Many will scratch and kick violently to avoid being picked up.

  15. The skeleton of a rabbit  and especially the backbone is very fragile and it can break easily when the rabbit is handled improperly or dropped.  Legs can break, too, if contact is made with a hard surface when a rabbit is struggling violently.  

  16. Rabbits require a solid floor in their cage instead of a wire grate since their feet are not padded like a dog or cat.

  17. Domesticated rabbits need exercise to stay healthy and time outside a cage to run.

  18. Rabbits have their own version of a purr.  They will grind their teeth softly when petted. 

  19. Rabbits also communicate through a variety of ways such as stomping a hind leg, grunting, honking/oinking softly, grooming each other, etc.  

  20. Rabbits are nearsighted and have a blind spot right in front of them.  

  21. Domesticated rabbits do not survive in the “wild” if they are abandoned.  

  22. Rabbits are most active in the early morning and in the late evening making them good pets for working adults..

  23. Rabbits are not Hares, but they are closely related.  Hares have fur when they are born and their eyes are open whereas rabbits are born blind and furless. "Jackrabbits" are hares.

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