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Rabbits Rabbit Naive!


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 8, 2004
My kiddo received a rabbit as a present for Easter. I know, I know. But I've always wanted a rabbit, too, and now that we have her, I'd like it to be a good experience for all involved. Unfortunately, I no next to nothing about rabbits.

Is there a brand of food that's preferable to any others?

What is the best way to tame a rabbit? I'm afraid my kiddo has the rabbit terrified of people, and I'd like to change that.

If you keep a solitary rabbit, is spaying still necessary?

Are there any vegetables/fresh food that is absolutely taboo for rabbits?

I've read something about rabbits liking "dig boxes" - what exactly is this and how do I make one?

I've also read that rabbits like to shred phone books. Will the ink be a problem?

Thanks so much.
I don't know very much about rabbits either, but as far as the food goes I think Oxbow makes rabbit food and Oxbow is a very highly recommended brand. :)
There are a lot of great rabbit forums out there. Binkybunny is one I really like.

Food, Oxbow is good. I feed Kleenmama's and my bunnies have done quite well, but I also feed a ton of fresh veggies too. Pellets are a small portion of your rabbit's diet, just like with pigs.

Taming a rabbit, I definitely wouldn't leave a small child alone, unsupervised with her or even give him the kind of access that would allow her to become "terrified of people." Teach him to handle her gently and respect her space, of course. As I'm sure you know, this can cause not only mental trauma but physical damage, as well, especially if the bunny is smaller. Overall, they will come to understand your habits and routines as they get to know you. As she gets more comfortable with you, she will probably be more tolerant of you handling and petting her. Keep in mind that a lot of bunnies don't like to be held but many do enjoy petting and interaction.

Spaying is important so that she doesn't develop behavioral issues and to help with litter box habits. Rabbits that aren't altered can develop issues the same as dogs and cats can, it isn't like small animals who aren't likely to have noticeable behavior differences when spayed/neutered. Also, it really isn't ideal to keep a lone rabbit. They are like pigs in that they really do benefit (in most cases, anyway) from the companionship of a same-species friend. You just can't provide the same one-on-one, day-in, day-out companionship as another rabbit.

Veggies that are good for pigs are generally good for rabbits. You can find much more in-depth info on rabbit forums, too.

Rabbits like to dig. They will dig blankets, carpet, and generally anything else you might have in their enclosure. Cardboard boxes are good for this because it's typically okay for them to destroy and relatively easy to clean up. Some like to dig on those cardboard cat scratcher things you can get for cheap, but overall, be prepared for a pet who gets bored and might not have much respect for your things until you teach her what's off limits (they are generally smarter than you'd like them to be in many cases).

Doesn't have to be a phone book, though I've personally never had a problem giving them phone books, per se - they love those paper bags you get at grocery stores and boxes. Also, they tend to like toys that rattle and that they can pick up and throw. I have large bunnies so I use infant toys, but you might try cat rattle toys or small baby toys if you are so inclined - I find mine at thrift stores, etc.
Good to hear from you Paula.

As far as the dig boxes, do you put anything in the cardboard box? Or do they just dig at the cardboard itself? I'll look into the cardboard at scratchers - thanks for the suggestion.

(and I didn't think it was necessary to specify this, but since you mentioned it - my child is *never* alone with the bunny. He's 3, so he's *never* alone himself.)

I'll check out those sites you suggested.
A dig box could just be a card board box with shredded paper. Rip up news paper yourself or bring home paper from your work's shred box.

I agree with lots of toys that you switch out often. My rabbits loved toys that they could throw too. I had some that liked the cat toys that dangle with bells in them. I had some that would chase strings. Bunnies love tunnels too! Stuffed animals, dog toys and small balls. My bunnies really liked cat toys with bells in them. I bought a cat tree thing for cheap at Walmart. It was the kind that cats can hid in. My rabbits loved that. They destroyed it but they loved it. Boxes are good too. Anything a rabbit can rip up, throw or dig will be a hit.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the suggestions.

Also, when having floor time, Hoppy likes to eat the cat food. Any reason why she shouldn't?

Any specific vegetables I need to make sure she gets? I've been trying different things with her, but I don't want to miss anything. Anything she absolutely should not have?
Awesome! Thanks so much for the suggestions.

Also, when having floor time, Hoppy likes to eat the cat food. Any reason why she shouldn't?

Any specific vegetables I need to make sure she gets? I've been trying different things with her, but I don't want to miss anything. Anything she absolutely should not have?
Rabbits are herbivores. Cats are not and presumably their food contains animal proteins. This can cause severe stomach upset, including stasis. I wouldn't let it go on in a continuing basis because even if it hasn't made her sick previously, it definitely could.

Grass, if you have access to fresh, is great for bunnies. Hay is essential and other leafy greens like lettuce, parsley, cilantro, etc are good for them.
My bunnies love parsley! They also love to sit in the garden and eat grass and dandelions, but you need to be really careful that no pesticides have been sprayed near where they are eating.
Meant to say in my other post - Inle-Rabbit - I LOVE your user name. I really wanted to name our bunny Bigwig or Hazel, but my kiddo took great pride in naming the bunny himself.
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