Love Bunnies? Here’s How to Care for Your Own

Jenna Crossley

What should I feed my rabbit?

Rabbits are herbivores and should never be fed meat or dairy products. A rabbit’s diet consists primarily of hay, which should always be available. Hay provides rabbits with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and is also vital for chewing as it wears down their teeth. There are several different types of hay available, but rabbits typically enjoy timothy hay, grass hay, and oat hay. Make sure that you provide fresh hay daily and remove old hay to avoid attracting parasites.

In addition to hay, rabbits should be provided with fresh water, fresh vegetables and greens, and a small amount of fibre-rich rabbit pellets. In terms of greens, rabbits eat broccoli leaves, cabbage, kale (in small amounts), cilantro and celery, with parsley being a favourite. Fruit should be fed sparingly and as treats. Safe fruits include apples, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas.

Where should I house my rabbit?

Rabbits should be housed indoors in a bunny-proofed room with lots of movement and interaction. In the past, rabbits were bred for meat and fur and were confined to small cages, which should never be the case. Bunnies should also not be kept outside, as this leaves them vulnerable to the weather, to predators, and to parasites. Give your rabbit the best life you can by allowing her to free roam, as you would with a cat or a dog. Rabbits require a lot of exercise and spend a lot of their time hopping around. They even get the zoomies!

Make sure that when you introduce your rabbit to your household, you have done some bunny proofing. Cover up cables and wires with flex tubing, make sure that your books and favourite items are not within her reach, and block off any areas you do not want your bunny to wander into.

Do rabbits like to play?

Rabbits are very intelligent, and they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, but keeping your rabbit entertained does not have to be expensive! Rabbits are known to enjoy cardboard boxes, as they can burrow and chew to their heart’s content. Cat toys (without catnip), tree branches, eggboxes and cardboard tubes also make great toys.

Do I need to wash my rabbit?

Rabbits groom and clean themselves and should not be bathed. However, brushing your rabbit is very important as they go through multiple shedding cycles a year.

How do I get my rabbit to stop pooping everywhere?

As rabbits tend to poop and pee in one area, they are very easy to litter train. Rabbits like to do their business while eating hay, so placing their litter tray near their food, hay, and water. When buying a litter box, make sure that you purchase either a medium-sized cat litter box or a shallow storage box, so that your rabbit can fit inside of it. Place a thin layer of litter at the base of the box, and cover this with a bit of hay. This will help to reduce odour and moisture.