Below is a table showing the most common breeds and their characteristics – hopefully this will give you an easy-to-use-guide to choosing the perfect bunny for you and your lifestyle.
|Dwarf Hotot||√||White dark eyes||√||√||√|
|English Spot||√||7 colours dark spots||√||√||√|
|Himalayan Rex||√||White w/black tips||√||√||√|
|Mini Satin||√||Red, white||√||√||√|
Tip: Rex rabbits lack the heavy protective fur on their pads, so you must house them onsurfaces that provide some softness.
Choosing the Right Rabbit For You
Rabbits are considered to be interactive pets, and live between 7 and 10 years – therefore they will need a fair amount of your time to play with them and keep them entertained! Rabbits need care and affection to put them at ease and make them feel safe and secure and happy. If a rabbit is neglected it can become timid and be nippy, it will then be considered vicious when all it is doing it is reverting to ‘wild rabbit self preservation’ mode.
An important point to think about is that a significant number of people have an allergic reaction when near rabbits, so please have some contact with a rabbit before you have one as your pet to make sure you aren’t one of those people. Contrary to popular believe it isn’t actually the rabbit’s fur that causes the allergic reaction, but the protein in their saliva. So, anything the rabbit licks will then carry traces of the protein and can be picked up by humans. The human immune system kicks in and shows itself in the form of streaming eyes, sneezing and even a rash. However, also remember that your allergy may be caused by dust, hay or the rabbit’s bedding, so you need to check that before you doing anything rash (excuse the pun!).
Indoor vs Outdoor Rabbit
Deciding on whether you would like your rabbit to live indoors with you or outdoors in a hutch is naturally only a choice you can make. Both Indoor and outdoor rabbits require their own cage as a safe place and also need adequate exercise and attention. Indoor rabbits will need a litter tray and can be trained to use the tray, they also need exercise so will generally run around your house, but make sure it is rabbit-proof before you let them run around and explore, e.g. all low cupboards should all be securely closed! Indoor rabbits are also at risk of being stepped on, sat on, even inadvertently kicked.
If some sort of physical contact has occurred or you think may have, the most important thing (and this holds true for any emergency) is to contact your vet immediately.
Rabbits kept outdoors will need a hutch positioned in a sheltered position and out of direct sunlight. They will also need plenty of exercise, which can be in the form of a rabbit run or if your garden is secure and there are no poisonous plants they can be free to run around, but you will need to keep an eye on them.
Multiple Rabbit Households
Rabbits need companionship, whether it be you or another rabbit or another pet. However, if you plan to have more than one rabbit, then female rabbits (does) can usually live together quite happily, but a male rabbit (buck) is best on his own. Please read the chapters on Neutering and Reproduction if you do have a buck and a doe or plan to breed from your rabbits.