I think it goes without saying, this will be the most anticipated part of the Q&A, probably my entire blog, so I didn’t want you to wait too long haha. This section is all about the kids…! I received a lot of similar questions, therefore, I did try and consolidate a lot of these. Anything I have missed or you would still like to know, please let me know and I will add these in.
About Scarlett and Sonny
Where did you get Sonny?
We got both Scarlett and Sonny from a breeder over in Guiseley. Which I found via the https://www.pets4homes.co.uk you can search via location, breed etc.
How old are your rabbits?
Scarlett is 6 nearly 7 and Sonny is 1.
Which is your favourite?
I love them both equally haha. They are both quite different with their little personalities though. Scarlett is more cuddly and chilled (but I think that is also as she is older) and well Sonny, he’s mental!! There is no area undiscovered in this house by him and we’ve only had him two months!
Personalities. Is one of the bunnies more cuddly/sociable?
Yes, Scarlett loves strokes and cuddles. Sonny is not that interested but he doesn’t mind being held and if you’re on the floor he will lick you and always come over, but he is a little more timid with visitors than Scarlett.
What do they eat?
They both have a handful of Burgess nuggets (not an ad, they’re just meant to be the best and our vets recommend these too). They have the nuggets in the morning and in the evening, but they graze on hay throughout the day.
Every day we make sure they have, hay, nuggets, water and fresh greens. Their favourites are spring greens, broccoli and snap peas, but these are a treat as they’re quite high in sugar. I use this list to check what they can and can’t eat https://www.saveafluff.co.uk/rabbit-info/safe-foods-for-rabbits
What food do you give them as a treat?
Our buns also love chew bars and the treat bags you can buy from pets at home. Their ultimate favourite being these Burgess Excel Apple Snacks; they live for those apple bits. Nibblots and ‘naturals herbs plus’. I usually get them everything from pets at home.
Where do you keep all their bits, as our house looks like a barnyard?
Hahahaha, at the moment I can’t help on this really. As we are still decorating the downstairs office and the upstairs spare room (which is the temporary office and where Scarlett sleeps) and at the moment everything is dumped in the spare room. Once it has been organised I will be arranging everything and can add pictures. One thing I do now though, I keep a lot of their stuff in a blanket box on the landing and their food in jars so it doesn’t look so messy with the bags.
I feel like I’m hovering 100 times a day because of wood shavings everywhere, am I doing something wrong?
I don’t have this issue as we don’t have wood shavings, for their little tray I get the rabbit friendly litter and bedding which is more like paper and it doesn’t seem to end up everywhere. This is what we buy and it is from Pets at Home this is it; http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/back-2-nature-small-animal-bedding-30l but I must admit, I do have to hoover a lot too!
How did you know rabbits could live indoors with you, like dogs?
I had once read that rabbits being kept in hutches originated in the Victorian time when rabbits were stored in hutches for a couple of days at a time before making it into the stew! Which is why I think people don’t associate rabbits with being as friendly as they are, as I had rabbits which lived in hutches as a child and they were always quite wild and would bite.
How is your home not covered in sawdust/hay and bunny debris?
They have a massive plastic container full of hay, where they jump in and eat their hay, which I have found to really help, but not completely the office still gets a lot of hay; I just hoover frequently.
Only Sonny has sawdust in his indoor cage, which he only goes in on a night, therefore, this doesn’t get anywhere.
Where do they sleep?
They sleep in their own bedroom together – yes they have their own room ha ha.
How do you bunny proof your home?
Don’t have bunnies’ haha. What we do is have no wires about, or try, the irony, as Sonny has just eaten my MacBook charger as I type this!! For the office, Mat has even gone to the extreme of getting all the sockets at desk height too, so no cables will be in easy reach!!
How do you stop your rabbits chewing?
The honest is truth is, you don’t. But if anyone does know, I’m all ears! They could chew nothing for ages and lure you into a false sense of security and then suddenly do. Their favourites appear to be, shoes, handbags, shirts, jeans, wicker baskets and wood. There is a lemon spray you can but to stop rabbits and someone once recommended vinegar, but it would be hard to put vinegar all over your house just in case hahaha!
What is the worst thing they have damaged?
Where to start, Scarlett has got herself quite a list of items she has ruined to her name; handbags, shoes, skirting boards, shirts, approx. 10,000 iphone cables, notepads, jeans, Mac book charger, coats….basically there isn’t much she won’t give a bash. Sonny is new to the game, he only has my Mac book charger to his name…!
Do your rabbits live inside?
Yes they both live inside 24/7
How do they go to the loo?
They have litter trays, Sonny is still having the odd rogue poo, but I just sweep these up, but they always wee in their litter trays. They usually have a ‘preferred spot’ where you will see them trying to go. To start we had puppy training pads and then once they ‘found’ their favourite spot that’s where the tray went. We have one upstairs (spare room) and one downstairs (living-room, hidden behind the arm chair) and they happily share them.
How long does it take to litter train rabbits?
I think this varies; Sonny is still kicking out the odd poo, but for a wee, he was quicker than Scarlett as he copied her. I would say it takes a good month. I have had quite a few people say they will sometimes wee on furniture. As long as they’re not stuck somewhere I have never had that problem. Usually, they arch their back and you can tell when they’re about to wee. If you see those signs I would say keep putting them in their litter tray.
How are your rabbits so tame?
Living indoors, they are used to spending alot of time with us; especially as we both have an office from home. We also spend alot of time on their level. I often get asked about how to help with nervous rabbits and by nature, they’re timid often, but when you lay on the floor with them, gaining their trust, we have found this really really beneficial.
How do you bond rabbits?
I spent a lot of time researching, how to bond rabbits and do’s and don’ts. If you are looking to introduce another bunny this is great to read – https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rabbits/company/bonding
For Scarlett and Sonny, the first time they were introduced she tried to hump him, which I think was territorial. Scarlett is the softest nature rabbit has helped. She has never gone for him, which can often happen. We just spent time introducing them in a neutral room and put them together for mealtimes. Getting Sonny castrated has really helped though and they are now getting on really well and he isn’t trying to constantly hump her.
How long did it take for them to bond?
Around 4 months, we did this over feeding times and supervised time together. For a while, we had Sonny in his hutch and Scarlett in the room (a room they both hadn’t been in so it was neutral territory) this allowed them to get used to each other; seeing one another and getting used to each others scents. It also helped after we got Sonny neutered. This is also recommended to prevent cancer.
What made you want rabbits?
I have always had rabbits as a child and I love them. I think people don’t realise the little personalities they have. Also with our jobs and everything else in our lives at the moment means we couldn’t commit to a dog.
How many rabbits would you have if you could have as many as you like?
As much as I would love loads haha, I think two is perfect as they’re company for each other, but also anymore and I couldn’t give them as much attention; which they like a lot of!!
How do you get them to cooperate in pics?
I often get asked this haha…treats…sometimes I do have to call in reinforcement and Mats been known to hold them in places! I take most of my pictures in daylight and they’re pretty sleepy and chilled during the day. On an evening they love a runaround, but still have rests, those are my moments to get snap happy. Failing that maybe a little bribery with treats haha.
How different is it having rabbits as indoor pets as opposed to a cat or dog? They’re sooo cute and look so soft.
I think people would be surprised how similar they are to cats and dogs. We babysat kittens and by the end of the week Scarlett was copying them and sleeping on the windowsill, cleaning them the lot. Like a cat and dog, they have personalities and routines. If they haven’t been fed by 8 am on a morning (Scarlett in particular) will thump! I think when they live indoors they just become super tame, as naturally, bunnies can be quite jumpy.
Do you go for a specific type of breed?
I love lops and lion heads! Our bunnies are meant to be ‘mini lops’ but there isn’t anything mini about Scarlett. When we registered her at the vets they put her down as a Dwarf Lop, but then last time we took her they changed her to a lop haha…so the answer really is; who knows?
What about if you go on holiday?
It is usually my dad who babysits as he lives down the road. They stayed at his once when he had just Scarlett, but he didn’t shut her cage and when we came to collect her we found her drenched in the garden! Mat said she is now banned fra om sleepover at Grandad’s haha! We often get someone to come to stay at our house now.
Do you need rabbit insurance?
We haven’t bothered, but there has only been once we have taken Scarlett and she wasn’t eating and that didn’t cost much. We just take the risk and accept any problems and we will just pay. Since my original blog, we did actually have to take Sonny to the vets (out of hours) for gut stasis, which was just short of a thousand pounds, therefore I would recommend insurance!
How much does it cost to keep a rabbit?
It is hard to say, I guess it varies. Ours have a bag of timothy hay between them every 1-2 weeks (which is around £4), plus a bag of food which lasts a month or so (£20), fresh veg weekly (£10) can you put a price on the damage….haha. There are also a lot of unexpected costs; twice a year they have vaccinations for diseases such as, myxomatosis (£80) and living indoors they need their nails cut every few months (£10) you can do that yourself, but we never risk it as it can cause pain if you cut them too short. That and I don’t want them to hate me for doing it, nor does Mat haha.
Would you always recommend getting your rabbit neutered/spayed?
I always wanted to get Scarlett spayed asap, I read females are prone to uterine cancer by two years of age, and the risk greatly increases beyond that age. For Sonny, we knew we would need to get him done, as it is not recommended for un-neutered rabbits to live together. Since having him done he will now lay and lick Scarlett, opposed to trying to hump her 24/7. I have also been asked about the risks and there are risk associated with the operation, but I think if they have a weak heart that will eventually decrease their life-span, whereas getting them done seems to give them a better life. Scarlett seemed to get really annoyed before being done, nesting all the time. She even plucked her fur so bad making beds. Females can’t be done as soon as males though, as it is a more complex operation.
How do you keep them so clean?
They clean themselves, who knows how many times a day. I think they look so clean purely because they live indoors. As a child when I had rabbits in hutches their feet naturally will get a little yellow.
Are you supposed to expose them to the outside every now and then?
Yes, it is hard during the week but we let them out on a weekend. Sonny loves it, Scarlett only likes outside when it is dry. I remember when we lived in a flat and the vet said it would be good to take Scarlett for a walk. We bought this lead and took her for a stroll. Never again! We had so many people asking “Are you walking a lop?” hahaha. Then she broke free and we were running around trying to catch her frantically…!
What’s the best breed?
I don’t think there is a best; I guess they all have different traits like dogs. I love lops, but I think that is just because that was what I have always had as a child. One of my rabbits, cuddles, ran away and I was heartbroken, therefore, I always wanted another like cuddles; which Scarlett is.
Do you have an indoor hutch?
Sonny does whilst he is still so little and being bonded with Scarlett. I think next month we will move his case into the spare room she sleeps and see how they get on and if we can then let him roam free like Scarlett.
Do your rabbits chew? I am so in love with the idea of a house rabbit but I don’t want things completely chewed to bits!
Yes they do chew and what they chew varies I just try and keep things out of reach and just accept it when they chew something haha. Again I think it varies on breed, maybe something worth researching, but mini-lops do chew I can confirm that if these two are anything to go by.
Do they take much looking after?
Yes! People often see rabbits as low maintenance, but they’re not and they love attention. As soon as I stop stroking them I get nudged. Scarlett prefers Mat and lays by his feet all day. Aside from the obvious water and food daily, I also have to clean their litter trays every other day! Oh and not to forget the amount of hoovering required if they live indoors.