how to raise a happy and healthy rabbit
menubar Food and Treats Rabbit Housing Rabbit Play Dealing with bad habits
How to Raise a Happy and Healthy Rabbit
- Playtime

shredAttention and play time:

Rabbits are social creatures. I read one place where it is actually possible for a rabbit to die of loneliness. If you only have one rabbit you will need to spend a lot of time with it. The saddest thing is when rabbits get lonely they get mean. When Spot gets tons of attention she acts the way you think an ignored animal would act. She wants more attention. When she doesn't get enough she gets aloof and even feisty. After being gone at work all day she often wouldn't’t want anything to do with us when we got home. Even nipping at us occasionally when we’d try to play with her. Her second papaya treat always comes when I get home so that makes her a bit happier to see me. But the biggest help is we now leave a small radio playing a mix of soft jazz when we are gone. She likes the soft stuff but other bunnies may like other music. (The Phantom of the Opera makes her very agitated. She will thump like there is danger and try to hide). I don’t know if the music makes her think someone else is there or what but it defiantly helps.


As mentioned in the bad habits section, rabbits love to play and if you don't give them things to play with they will chose items on their own to chew on and try to destroy. Simple toys can be made out of toilet paper tubes, slinkys, small cardboard boxes (make sure it is plain brown cardboard). Spot loves toys made out of willow and especially ones that have bells or other noise makers in them. She seems to really like being able to hear what she is doing too.


It is important that you keep your rabbit active. They like to run and play, they even like being chased around a bit, as long as it is a playful chase (you'll be able to tell the difference between a playful run and a frightened run. And always remember that rabbits will dart from side to side and stop very quickly so if you are chasing it around be sure to give it plenty of distance to avoid stepping on it. I often drag my feet when playing with spot just to avoid any chance that she will get under them.

mendocinoHolding Rabbits:

Rabbits aren’t typically lap pets. They just don’t like sitting in your lap. And if you try to force them they won’t want to come around you. You kind of have to take what you can get and find out where they do like to be when petted. Spot generally likes laying with her head up higher than her body so we work to position her like that and she will stay longer. They still seem to have a short attention span so they will often move on quickly to the next thing that interests them.

With their eyes more towards the side of their heads they don’t have great depth perception so they may think the place they want to be is closer than it is, which is why most rabbits don’t like heights.

We are incredibly lucky with spot in that she doesn’t mind being picked up. She has never kicked at us when we pick her up by scooping a hand under her belly. But that is why we got her, a girl at the pet store picked her up and ran all around the store carrying her and I turned to my wife and said “if she sets the rabbit down lets buy it”. Many rabbitssanta cruz will kick like crazy if you try to pick them up. Sometimes you can just lift them enough to skootch them along the ground or slowly build up trust to where they will let you pick them up but if they start kicking it is generally good to give up and let them stay on the ground. Spot is unusual in that she loves being carried around. She’ll stay until your arm aches and cramps up from holding her and if someone taller comes along she’ll try to climb or jump to them. She’s older now so she doesn’t do it anymore but she used to think she could fly. If you were standing holding her an the person she wanted was 3 or 4 feet away she’d try to spring off in their direction. If the bed or couch caught her attention she’d think she could jump the same distance to them so we always had to be ready to tighten our grip or move very quickly towards what she wanted.
In the cold weather we find she is always more inclined to stay with us when holding her, especially if we wrap her in a blanket or form a tent for her to hide under a blanket.


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Food and Treats   |   Housing   |   Play Time   |   Bad Habits   |   Health
Food and Treats Rabbit Housing Rabbit Play Dealing with bad habits