Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Do Rabbits Make Good Roommates?

    When you think about adopting a pet rabbit to add to your family, it is natural to think about the period of adjustment as your new bunny friend gets used to her new surroundings. How long does this take? How well do pet rabbits adjust? What does it take to help your new pet rabbit fit in and become a regular member of your family? All these are normal concerns, and the answer to most is that - thankfully, pet rabbits do adjust fairly easily and fairly well to a new loving home.
   It does help considerably to know what to expect, and what preparations to make. It will also be helpful to create the best environment at your home ahead of time so that when your bunny comes home, the transition will be a short and easy one.
   The website offers the following advice:

   "Rabbits as Roommates
When you first bring your rabbit home, he is likely to be somewhat timid in his new surroundings. But given time and the freedom to explore, he will quickly make himself at home. As prey animals, rabbits steer clear of open spaces where they feel exposed, preferring to hug the wall and hide under furniture. A rabbit’s typical pattern of exploration is to start from an area of perceived safety and to venture out a few feet at a time, increasing his range with each successive trip. Some spirited thumping is not unusual as the rabbit encounters new aspects of his environment.
Territory is claimed and marked in several different ways—some of which can be disconcerting to new owners. Mature, unneutered males spray urine, and both males and females (even those who are reliably litterbox-trained) may leave what many owners tactfully refer to as “calling cards”—fecal pellets containing anal gland secretions that relay information to other rabbits and mark territory boundaries. They may also mark their territory by rubbing objects firmly and repeatedly with their chins, releasing a substance (imperceptible to humans) from a scent gland under the chin. Some rabbits consider human beings their own personal property, and many an unsuspecting owner has been liberally “marked” in more ways than one.
Most rabbits adapt remarkably quickly to the hustle, bustle and noise of a normal household, particularly if their cage or pen is placed in a high-activity area, such as a family room. This gives the rabbit a safe place from which to see, hear and smell all that is going on. Housing a rabbit in a child’s room or an extra bedroom, where there are sporadic bursts of activity, may actually delay the rabbit’s adjustment to normal family life.
Rabbits can also get along quite well with most domestic cats and many breeds of dogs. Even cats and dogs who chase small animals outdoors tend to accept indoor rabbits as co-equal family members and usually do not harass them if the owner is present. Introductions must be done carefully, and supervision of interactions is always a good idea."
    You can read the full article here Rabbits as Roommates
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