6 Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Rabbits
Rabbits have become much more popular as pets in recent years, but funnily enough most people aren’t well educated on these furry friends. As opposed to cats or dogs, which most people have a basic grasp of when it comes to their behavior and needs, rabbits are a little more mystifying for the common person. Here are six things you (probably) didn’t know about rabbits!
Rabbits are Crepuscular
If you’re an adult who owns a rabbit and works a typical 9 to 5, this is good news because you’ll be home when your bun is most active. Crepuscular animals are most active neither during the day nor at night – rather, the early morning and early evening are their busiest hours. You’ll notice that outside of these times buns take lots of naps!
They Purr When They’re Happy
Not in the same sense as a cat, but when they are relaxed and happy rabbits will quietly chatter their teeth to create a tooth clicking or purring sound (almost as if they are lightly chewing on something). If you are sitting and stroking your bun you can often feel the purr even if it is too quiet for you to hear. Take it as a compliment because it means your bunny loves and trusts you!
They Eat Their Own Poo
Rabbits produce two types of droppings: the hard, round pellets you traditionally see littering your bunny’s litterbox and another type called cecotropes, which are softer and nutrient-packed. In order to obtain all of the necessary nutrition from their food, rabbits must digest some of it twice, and so healthy rabbits eat their cecotropes. They often do this early in the morning so it is unlikely you will even notice. The aforementioned “rabbit pellets” are what are left after a rabbit’s second round of digestion.
They’re Very Tidy
If you were worried after reading the last fact, you’ll be heartened to hear that you don’t need to give up cuddling with your bunny. Rabbits are very clean animals and will bathe themselves from head to toe multiple times per day. Some longer-haired breeds may need a little extra help with grooming to shed excess fur, and you always want to check for fecal buildup on your bun’s behind, but unless a rabbit is very filthy you shouldn’t need to clean it yourself.
Their Nails and Teeth Never Stop Growing
It’s important to ensure your rabbit has access to unlimited timothy hay and rabbit-safe wood or wooden toys to chew on in order to properly wear down their teeth. If a rabbit’s teeth grow too long they can actually prevent the rabbit from eating and cause painful dental problems like malocclusion. If you think your rabbit’s teeth have overgrown, a vet who specializes in rabbit care should be able to help file them down for you.
Likewise, a rabbit’s nails need to be properly trimmed or worn down in order to avoid painful problems. When a rabbit’s nails grow out too long, it changes the angle at which it puts down its feet. This can place extra wear on the joints due to unnatural movement and/or lead to a serious condition known as sore hocks.
They’re the Third Most Abandoned Pet in America
According to the Humane Society of the US, rabbits are the most popular pet in America after cats and dogs. Unfortunately, this also means they are the third most abandoned pet as well. Many people have a skewed idea of the care that goes into having a rabbit for a pet, as well as of their behaviors and life span (10+ years). There appears to be a great disconnect between people’s actual understanding of rabbits and the fact that they are apparently such commonplace pets. But rabbits are not a starter pet, and I can’t stress enough the importance of doing the proper research before bringing a new pet home so that both you and your new friend will be comfortable and happy together.
Do you know anyone with a pet rabbit? Which fact surprised you most? I’d love to know!