If you are like most people today, when you think of a companion animal, you think of a cat or dog but what about bunnies? They make great companions too but they aren't the right companions for everyone. If you
- Are patient
- Have a good sense of humor
- Enjoy learning the language and movements of another intelligent species
- Have plenty of time to spend at home with your companion
- Are comfortable spending a great deal of time on the floor and
- Don't have your home furnished with priceless antique furniture
Then you have the qualities and character traits that make you a prime candidate to adopt a house rabbit.
Bunnies are nothing like kittens or puppies, they don't like to be held and cuddled. Keep in mind that rabbits are prey animals and they perceive and interact with their environment as all prey animals do. To have you bend over them, grab them around their rib cage, and pick them up scares the living daylights out of them because it's the way a hawk would swoop down and grab them. The best way to interact with a bunny is to open his or her cage while sitting quietly on the floor. Rabbits are intelligent, inquisitive creatures and yours will soon cover to investigate you. Soon you will be able to pet your companion as the two of you sit quietly on the floor, side-by-side.
Rabbits, unlike hamsters, gerbils, or white rats, need plenty of exercise time outside of their enclosure. You can't keep them penned up all the time. They need a good 30 to 40 hours of free running/exercise every week to remain in good health, physically and emotionally. They need plenty of "Bunny toys" to play with and to nibble on or they may start nibbling on the furniture. Cat toys, baby toys, old telephone books, cardboard tubes, and untreated willow baskets all make great bunny toys. Bunnies are a lot like children, they are curious, they like to explore, so you have to bunny-proof your home to keep them from getting into things that might injure them.
There is a great deal more that I could say about having a bunny for a companion but if I did, this article would become a book. The Indiana House Rabbit Society/Heartland Rabbit Rescue (IHRS) has a fantastic web site loaded with great information on house rabbits-everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Here's their link http://www.indianahrs.org/rabbit-care/rabbits-as-pets.aspx
Ok, great, you want to get your very own bunny companion. You can purchase yours from a breeder, from a local pet store, or you can become some bunny's hero and adopt one. February is adopt a bunny month and the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society has bunnies desperately seeking a good home. Come on down and be their hero or heroine.