Bermuda SPCA Please call 236-7333 or if it is an Emergency: 737-1108, 32 Valley Road, Paget PG 05

Pet Care and Behaviour

Rabbits

Size:  2 lbs to 20lbs depending on the breed

Lifespan: 8 - 12 years

Cost per year:  $600

Good with Kids? Rabbits are physically delicate and require specialized veterinary care. They are not appropriate for families with small children
Fun Fact: They can be trained to use a litter box and will come when called.

The SPCA will sometimes have rabbits for adoption. Check the website www.spca.bm

Food

  • The most important component if the rabbit’s diet is grass or hay. They needs this available all the time to keep their digestive track healthy
  • Rabbit pellets provide a balanced diet to supplement their hay.  The amount given to your rabbit depends on the brand and calories. Check the side of the bag to find feeding guidelines
  • Feed your pet fresh leafy greens. A suggestion of 2 cups per day is recommended
  • Clean fresh water dispensed in a bottle or sturdy bowl must be available at all times.

Cage and Environment

  • Rabbits can be kept indoors or outside. In either case the cage they are kept in must give them the opportunity to stretch out, hop around, and allow them to stand on their hind legs
  • Indoors they do best when they are in an area of the house where they have plenty of interaction with family members.
  • Outside they need shelter (hutch) as well as an area to hop around. The challenge with being outside is that they are exposed to dangers of stray cats and dogs.  They do not handle extreme temperatures well.
  • The floor should be a solid bottom.  Wire bottoms can irritate their feet.  If you do have a wire bottom cover the bottom with wood towels or carpet

Behavior and Handling

  • Rabbits are a prey species which means they are timid by nature. Hand feeding treats is a way to train your rabbit to be more sociable
  • Handle the rabbit with care. They can kick and jump when you pick them up and if not supported properly a fall can result in broken legs or back.
  • Never pick up a rabbit by its ears or scruff. This can lead to injury.
  • A rabbit should be picked up by supporting its front legs and the other hand supporting its hind quarters

Litter Training

  • Rabbits will tend to use one corner of their cage for elimination.  Once your rabbit chooses a corner you can place a newspaper lined litter box in that corner and cover the bottom with hay or pelleted litter.
  • Do not use pine or cedar shavings. The fumes can make your rabbit sick.  Clay litter can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems

Exercise and Toys

  • Rabbits are designed for running and jumping so they require time outside of their cage during the day in a supervised safe area.
  • If they are free in your house you will need to make sure there are no electrical cables exposed for them to chew on
  • If they are outside make sure that there are no plants in your yard that are dangerous to the rabbit
  • Safe chew toys for rabbits are cardboard boxes, telephone books, or rabbit chew sticks

Daily Care

  • The cage will need to be cleaned once or twice a week.  Wash it with a mild soap
  •  The litter box will need to be cleaned daily
  • Brush your pet daily

Signs of Illness

  • Rabbits are good at masking an illness. Bring your pet to the vet if you suspect anything wrong. 
  • The rabbit needs to go to the vet if it has not eaten within 6 hours, has runny stool, runny nose, loss of fur and lethargy just to name a few
  • Rabbits can be spayed or neutered.  This will prevent unwanted litters, keep males that are housed together from fighting and prevent uterine cancer in females.

Rabbit supply list

  • Solid Bottom cage or large crate or hutch
  • Carrier
  • Litter box with hay or pellet litter
  • Grass hay and hay rack
  • Rabbit pellets
  • Sturdy ceramic or metal food bowl
  • Water bottle that attaches to cage
  • Grooming brush
  • Safe chew toys

The above information was compiled by the Bermuda SPCA from the following sources ;
www.aspca.org
www.RSPCA.org.uk
www.rabbit.org
www.AAHA.org
www.avma.org

©2017 Bermuda SPCA