Are there any drawbacks to owning a rabbit? They're so high on the pet cuteness scale they practically have their own chart. That fluffy fluff, those long soft silky ears and bright (beady?) eyes... they seem like the perfect pet and for many they are. 2014 statistics suggest that there are between 6-9 million rabbits as pets in the US and in 3% of households in the UK, making rabbits the third most popular "companion mammal" in those parts of the world.
What is a Rabbit?
A rabbit is not just a rabbit - they're so much more! He or she is one of eight different genera in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha. This means there are lots of different types of bunnies with big names, found all over the world. And FYI (we'll make a Trivial Pursuit champ of you yet!), a male rabbit is called a buck, the female a doe, and a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.
Rabbits differ from rodents because they have two sets of incisor teeth (which you'll know about soon enough) and their top front teeth grow at a rate of 3mm a week. Rats, etc., only have a single pair of continuously growing, razor-sharp incisors (which sounds even more terrifying).
And, the answer to that question you've always wondered about: What's the difference between a rabbit and a hare? Rabbits are altricial, which means their young are born blind and hairless; hares are born hairy (surprise!) and sighted, which makes them precocial. Hares are also usually bigger than rabbits (although, have you SEEN the GIANT rabbit?) and hares have not been domesticated.
What's Not To Love?
Let's look at what you might not love about Thumper (more about that below) when you welcome him into your humble abode. The great thing here is that the cons have pros; every cloud has a silver lining and so on. Except spraying - not much good to find in that.
The Fun Part
Yes, rabbits are beloved pets of many happy families and it's not hard to see why. There are lots of upsides to having them around (including long lifespan of between 8-12 years):
Lastly, although the rabbit represents kindness, sensitivity and compassion in the Chinese Zodiac, they also symbolise fertility in your home. :-) So, unless you want endless bundles of fluff flying around, please do have your honey bunny neutered - at 4 months old for boys and 6 months for girls. This will also stop Thumper from humping... everything. :-)
Love... and other stuff too
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