Bunnies! It’s actually starting to warm up around here, so we were able to set up Licorice and Toast in their outside house without shocking them in the cold weather. That means the 4 pairs are in the Bunny Castle and we have one bun left over… Momo!
Poor Momo is a little lonely since losing his bonded partner Millie a few months ago, so we have let him run free in the house 24/7 to visit with us and the cats and dogs. We have decided not to replace his bunny wife so he will likely remain a house bunny where he will have lots of attention. We lucked out and he has GREAT manners; he doesn’t chew, dig or otherwise make a mess of things, he doesn’t leave many poos in the house, and does all his pees either in his litter tray or in the downstairs shower (seriously, I don’t know who trained him to do this but he did it immediately and it is amazing) He also gets along well with all of the cats and the two dogs.
Having a house bunny is really fun! They are great little house guests, but there are a few things that should be done to make sure a house bunny is safe. Here’s what we’ve learned with our rabbits:
1.Bunnies chew stuff, so it’s important to make sure there are no exposed electrical cables that could be bitten. Electrocution is real! If the bunny is loose during the night and you can’t watch them, make sure you remove any hazards they may get into. We don’t have many exposed cords; most plugs are behind a piece of furniture and my computer set up (so many plugs!) is in a room that stays closed. Get down to bunny level to see if cords can be reached under furniture and if so tape them up out of the way. When the TV was plugged in downstairs the cables were out in the open so I just unplugged the power bar when we weren’t using it as a precaution.
2. Bunnies eat leaves, so they will also eat your houseplants. To make sure your bunny isn’t poisoned by eating something they shouldn’t have, make sure all plants are up off the floor. Momo doesn’t chew on the cacti (too pointy) but he has nibbled everything else; aloe, haworthia, paddle plant, ponytail palm, monstera, peace lily… everything. I have since moved all my plants up onto shelves or other furniture, and put a few onto plant stands. Like with the cords, if you have toxic houseplants but don’t have anywhere high up to put them, try putting them in a room and keeping the door closed.
Here’s some damage done on a well established haworthia I had on the floor by the window.
3. House bunnies still need a space of their own that makes them feel safe and where they can get food and water. I set up a folding puppy fence with the door left open and a cardboard box with a little doorway cut in it, then filled it with hay. You could also use a large animal crate and leave the door open. When rabbits are scared they bolt to a safe place they can hide, so having their own house is important to keep them calm. Never pick up a rabbit from or pull a rabbit out of their safe space! Once they are in there just leave them alone.
4. Make sure they can’t get out and run away! Keep furniture away from windows so they can’t climb up and jump out, and watch for doors that have been left open. Again with the puppy pen; I set one up outside the door downstairs so we can leave it open for fresh air and Momo can venture outside, but can’t get away. Momo is a rescue that was found in a park in Abbotsford, so I assumed he had been dumped. He had already been neutered and tattooed though, and does have great house manners, so it also occurred to me that maybe he ran away and that’s how he ended up in the wild on his own. Gotta keep careful watch on your bun ❤
Momo in his outdoor space:
We got lucky and Momo gets along well with the other animals and doesn’t trash the house. This isn’t always the case though; when we had the other rabbits loose in the downstairs they chewed all my baseboards, ripped strips of drywall paper off the walls, and got pee splatter everywhere. In the end this is why we focused on building safe and spacious housing outside, it was just too hard to repair the damage done and keep the house clean. Rabbits are intelligent and hilarious little creatures, and if you can find a well mannered bun to live in your house with you it’s lots of fun!