A few years ago, after seeing rabbits all over Bangkok being sold as house rabbits, I decided to buy one. What I was thinking I don’t know. With little research and not much clue I brought one home followed, two days later, by another one to be his ‘friend’. Now, several years down the road, I’m realizing what an incredible responsibility rabbits are, in Thailand or anywhere else, and what a huge mess they make if they live inside. So, before you take the plunge and buy a house rabbit as a pet, read on for the disadvantages you’ll also have to deal with.
1. Rabbits Poop And Pee Everywhere! Rabbits poop and pee more than any other animal I’ve ever come across. As they’re eating, the poop is literally stacking up in little piles right outside their back end, and huge amounts of pee follow soon after.
If you have a male rabbit that isn’t neutered, they will also ‘spray’, which means you’ll end up with rabbit pee all over your furniture. I spend half my life cleaning now where, before, I could clean once or twice a week and still have a nice home. House rabbits cause a lot of work.
2. Rabbits Are Destructive. Rabbits are pretty much untrainable when it comes to stopping them from biting things, and they bite everything. In the several years I’ve had mine, they have chewed through the printer cord so I can no longer print anything, they’ve chewed my treadmill, smashed plates, peed on clothing, eaten shoes and generally destroyed everything their little teeth can get hold of.
Yes, they have toys. Yes, all the wires were tucked away and taped up so they couldn’t get to them. But, with rabbits, where there’s a will there’s a way and if they want to destroy something they will. For me, the destruction to my home has been the biggest disadvantage of owning indoor rabbits.
3. Rabbits Have A Lot Of Babies. I bought what I was told by the store owner were two male rabbits. Imagine my surprise a couple of months later to find one of the ‘male’ rabbits was pregnant. Two babies later, the real male rabbit eventually went to the vet to be ‘fixed’.
Two babies are all I can handle. So, if you get rabbits, make sure you’re absolutely sure what sex they are and get at least one of them neutered right away. Because a sudden slew of indoor rabbit babies would probably be the biggest disadvantage of all.
4. Rabbits Are Expensive. Food for rabbits isn’t cheap. Mine eat pellet food made especially for rabbits, but they also have a fondness for kale, celery, cilantro, apples, carrots and bananas. I end up having to go to the grocery store for fresh vegetables every other day which, even in Thailand, isn’t cheap.
Then factor in the rabbit toys you have to buy, the costly cages, the water bowls, and the visits to the vet. My two cost me around $80 a month and I live in Thailand. That also doesn’t include the $90 it cost me to get the male rabbit neutered. If it’s this expensive where I live, you can only imagine what keeping two indoor rabbits in the US would cost.
5. Rabbits Are Time-Consuming. I used to love coming home, making a cup of coffee and relaxing. Now, I’m home at least 30 minutes before I get to do that. When I walk through the door, there’s poop and pee to clean up, food bowls to clean, cages to scrub, food to prepare and rabbits to let out for exercise. I go through this two or three times a day.
Also, getting out of the door for work every morning now takes me at least an extra 20 minutes. So, if you don’t have much free time, then owning indoor rabbits is definitely not for you. They’re as time-consuming as dogs or cats, if not more so, as with most dogs and cats at least you don’t have follow them around picking up poop!
6. Rabbits Are Usually Scared Of Children. Funnily enough, rabbits aren’t really a great pet for most kids. They’re very skittish creatures and easily get scared. Being handled roughly or picked up too much can literally give them a heart attack. If scared enough, they can also twist and move and actually break their backs or legs. So, unless your child is unusually quiet and great with animals, guinea pigs or mice are probably a better bet than indoor rabbits
So, if you’re considering buying indoor rabbits follow what I say and not what I did. Unlike me, please check into all the ramifications of owning indoor rabbits. There are many disadvantages to rabbits and your normal, happy, easy life can quickly spiral into a round of cleaning, feeding, and playing with that leaves you no time of your own. Owning an indoor rabbit is a huge responsibility and one not to be taken lightly.
But, please do not despair. Even though my rabbits are driving me nuts and, just once, I’d love to come home and not have them there, you can guarantee I’ll still be keeping them. I was brought up by parents who instilled into me the idea that, when you buy an animal, you don’t get to give it back when it’s too much work.
Besides, I really do love the little critters even though, if I never see another mound of rabbit poop, it will be a fine thing.