7 things you never knew about ... rabbits!
Rabbits are cute, boast large ears and enjoy nibbling things ... but did you know that they’re also extremely smart and fascinating creatures? Thanks to Pawshake, you can now bunny sit some of the loveliest rabbits there are! So, for all you rabbit lovers out there: 7 fun facts about rabbits.
1) Rabbits are extremely intelligent
Did you know that rabbits are incredibly smart? Indeed, some breeds can even be trained. You can teach them to recognise their own name and come to you when called, for example. Rabbits also benefit from an extremely good memory, which means that they don’t readily forget negative experiences or emotions. So, if you want to create a special bond with your rabbit, it’s important to make it feel at ease at all times.
2) Rabbits are not rodents
Even though rabbits have continuously growing teeth, just like rodents, they’re actually classified as lagomorphs - a different type of mammal that boasts an extra pair of incisors. They are herbivores though and enjoy gnawing stuff just as much as the average rodent. Which means you must ensure that your rabbit has something nice to nibble on at all times. Something safe, of course - after all, you wouldn’t want it to start chewing your cables or furniture :-)
3) Rabbits are group animals
In the wild, rabbits live in large groups with strong hierarchies. It therefore goes without saying that they don’t like to spend their days alone in a cramped hutch, becoming increasingly listless and lonely. Always house at least two rabbits together and provide ample space for a harmonious life. A male and female make the ideal pair, but don’t forget to have them spayed or neutered to avoid any little bunny surprises.
4) Rabbits enjoy hiding in or underneath things
Just like cats, really! Your rabbits will be truly grateful if you provide some welcome shelter, such as an upside down cardboard box with a hole in it. A cat tunnel will also do the trick! And did you know that rabbits simply adore toys? In fact, they love nothing better than running around, digging and playing. Of course, they’ll require much more space for this than the average rabbit hutch tends to offer.
5) There are as many as 50 different rabbit breeds
From dwarf bunnies that weigh no more than 900 grams to the Giant Lorraine which weighs in at a minimum of 5 kilos. Each breed has its own unique (character) traits, so it’s important to consider which is best suited to your current living arrangements before getting one. And remember, there are plenty of lovely rabbits in shelters and rescue centres eagerly awaiting a good home!
6) Rabbits communicate via body language
Rabbits communicate largely through body language, although in a much more subtle way than say dogs. They can be angry, tense, afraid, stressed, happy or sad: just like us! When a rabbit wants to warn of danger for example, it thumps its hind legs. When it’s scared or in pain it often squeals or growls. If a rabbit lies pressed to the ground with flattened ears, it’s a sign that it’s tense or scared. A happy rabbit on the other hand, will lie in a relaxed manner with its ears pointing forwards. It will also be active and may even softly grind its teeth with joy!
Jeff, the rabbit of Pawshaker Nicky
7) Rabbits are particularly clean animals
Yes, rabbits are extremely hygienic! Most rabbits will have one preferred spot where they toilet. You can place some newspaper or wood pellets underneath the straw in that particular area, in order to soak up their pee. Clean out your rabbit hutch regularly - before it starts to smell - and clean their toilet area daily. To keep your rabbit healthy, you must supply it with fresh, clean water on a daily basis and keep its food bowl and water bottle nice and clean. Just like cats, rabbits clean their own coats, so don’t need a bath. In fact, they positively hate baths! You can, however, groom your rabbit using a soft brush, which is especially beneficial when they’re undergoing their biannual shedding.
Rabbits are great fun, exceptionally smart and simply lovely to be around. So, they deserve the finest care! Always fancied being a pet sitter for rabbits? Well, now you can! Register as a pet sitter at Pawshake today!