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Shortly after I started volunteering at the local animal shelter, a dwarf bunny came in. <a href="http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=6952187" target="_blank">http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/...?petid=6952187</a> She's quite timid and isn't doing so well in her surroundings. She can be held for short periods of time, but half of the time, if you stick your hand anywhere near her in her cage, she'll try to bite you.<br><br><br><br>
I'm going away to university next year, and the university I am planning on attending allows caged animals. I got to thinking and asked my mom if the bunny wasn't adopted by December, if I could have it. We went out to look for cages... I had no luck convincing my dad to let me get her, but we're making progress. My mom doesn't mind and told him that it's my last year in the house and that I deserve it.<br><br><br><br>
I already saw a cage I liked (plastic bottomed), and realized I could get every thing I need for around $100. Money is no concern since I have a job. I've done a bit of research on keeping rabbits.<br><br><br><br>
Anyhow... one concern that came up between my mom and I is that how will it affect the bunny, coming here for 10 monthes, going off to school with me for 9 monthes, coming back home for two, wash, rinse, repeat for another year.<br><br><br><br>
Also, is timothy hay or alfalfa hay better for rabbits?<br><br><br><br>
I do believe ceder is bad for small animals... is there a specific kind or is the rest okay?<br><br><br><br>
What should I look for with pellet food?<br><br><br><br>
Anyways, to begin with, here's what I'm planning on getting her.<br><br><br><br>
- Plastic bottomed cage<br><br>
- Shavings<br><br>
- Plastic water bottle<br><br>
- Salt block<br><br>
- Pellets<br><br>
- Hay<br><br>
- A rabbit hut<br><br>
- Food dish<br><br><br><br>
Also I have a cat. How do I go about introducing the cat to the bunny?<br><br><br><br>
Thank you.
 

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Check out the House Rabbit Society (<a href="http://www.rabbit.org/)" target="_blank">http://www.rabbit.org/)</a>, they are really helpful.<br><br><br><br>
Also, please please remember that your bunny will need played with every day!
 

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Yeah, cedar is really bad for animals, I heard the same thing.<br><br>
My little sister keeps rabbits as pets and she uses some sort of bedding that is environmentally-safe, I'll find out what it is called.<br><br><br><br>
The bunny might get stressed moving from place to place so often, since they're pretty high strung from what I know.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I've never seen a pre-built cage that didn't seem really small, hopefully if this one is, she wouldn't be spending a lot of time in it? You should get a litterbox for the inside of the cage and another for outside. Litter-training rabbits doesn't involve much training. If you put the box in a corner and fill it with hay, that's where they'll pee (one of my rabbits pees in the other corners 1-2 times a week, but none of the 5 others I've had have been a problem). Good litters to use are Carefresh (wood pulp), Yesterday's News (pellets made from newspaper), Aspen Supreme (aspen wood pellets). I use a mix of Aspen Supreme, which helps with odors, and Carefresh, which is cheaper.<br><br><br><br>
You won't need a salt block with a decent pellet. Adult rabbits should have timothy (or oat hay). And rabbits need toys -- stuff to fling and chew. But you can read about all this in the HRS articles evilvegan mentioned!
 

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I adopted my bunny =) Shes in an outdoor cage though, outside..to me it seems weird to have bunnies inside =P<br><br><br><br>
With pellets Ive heard that you shouldnt use a rodent mix, since rabbits arent rodents. The pellets that only contain pellets, are probably the healthiest. I feed my rabbit timothy hay..Im no expert though.
 

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Okay, firstly I would litter train the bunny and then just use the cage as a litter/food place, and let it hop around one room (minimum) which has been sufficently bunny-proofed (ie: no wires, etc) I would spend time with her as much as possible and get her to trust you too, moving could be stressful but if you look after her hopefully she will be a happy bunny and will settle in - however it might unsettle litter training etc.<br><br><br><br>
Make sure to use a litter that doesn't harm rabbits - if it's a cat one, cat litters tend to reduce smell but can be harmful to le rabbit. I have a really good one, I will find out the name later maybe.<br><br><br><br>
House Rabbits are so rewarding, this bunny sounds like she might need some time but I'm sure she will come around.<br><br><br><br>
Diet wise it's up to you, personally I use both dried food and vegetables, & unlimited hay.<br><br>
Good luck<br><br><br><br>
EDIT: don't forget a big bardboard box for your rabbit to chew and hide in, my rabbit gets REALLY unhappy without one. lol
 

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I adopted a bunny two months ago and got an expedited rabbit education from some very helpful experts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
For hay, it depends on how old the bunny is. If they're less than six months, they should get alfalfa hay. Bunnies older than six months should always be fed timothy hay.<br><br><br><br>
Our vet says timothy hay should be a major part of the bunny's diet because it is absolutely necessary for good dental health. The grinding action is what keeps their teeth worn down... otherwise you may end up taking the bunny in to have her teeth filed once or twice a year.<br><br><br><br>
Tippy (our bunny) gets about 1/3-1/2 cup of Martin rabbit pellets each day, a two-cup salad of fresh greens and herbs, and the rest of her diet is hay. Oh, she also gets treats sometimes too... such as dried apple, carrots, and dried clover. This is what our vet recommended (she has lots of experience with rabbits.)<br><br><br><br>
Speaking of vets, most don't have very much experience at ALL with rabbits. Some of them think they can "wing it," that it is similar to caring for a cat. That is not true. Make sure you do adequate research to find your bunny a rabbit-savvy vet. We had Tippy spayed, as female bunnies have a very high risk of getting reproductive system cancers if they are not spayed... like, 80%. It also resolved some mild aggression issues she had, and she stopped peeing and pooping wherever she pleased. She used her litter box before, but not all the time. Many vets have never spayed a rabbit and figure it's similar to spaying a cat. IT'S NOT. One good way to figure out if the vet has a clue about spaying rabbits is to ask if she should be fasted before her surgery. The answer is NO. If the vet doesn't know that, don't let them go near your rabbit!<br><br><br><br>
Also, using a water bottle isn't such a great idea. It is a terribly uncomfortable position for the bunny to get a drink from. We use a heavy ceramic bowl, and she hasn't tried to knock it over or move it. Usually problems arise only when the bunny is insufficiently stimulated and is bored... unfortunately when someone has a bunny and keeps him or her in a cage 99% of the time that often occurs.<br><br><br><br>
Bedding- use something like Care Fresh. For Tippy's litterbox, we use Yesterday's News. We just buy the one marketed for cats because it's the exact same thing as the small animal one, but a lot cheaper.<br><br><br><br>
We ended up buying a dog crate as Tippy's cage that is 3 ft by 2 ft. Most cages marketed towards rabbits are horrifyingly small. We have attached a dog pen to her cage as well that gives her another 8 sq ft. She is allowed to run free for a couple hours in the morning, and all evening. Once she has earned our trust she may get extended hours. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Be wary of carpets... rabbits try to eat them. Look for floor coverings that are made from jute, hemp, cotton, seagrass etc.
 

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to everything meatless said: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><br><br><br><br>
you might also want to consider building your bunny a 'condo'....<a href="http://www.guineapigcages.com/cubes.htm" target="_blank">this link</a> is for guinea pigs, but it's the same idea. if you put a top on it, it would likely fill your school's cage requirements, while still giving the bunny room to exercise.<br><br><br><br>
if the bunny is not overly skittish, & if she bonds to you, the change in location shouldn't be too hard on her. not sure how far you'd be travelling or by what means...but a few hours in a carrier with plenty of hay, some wet greens for moisture, and something that smells like you should keep her relatively content. you'd definitely want to keep an eye on her to make sure she's eating & pooping after the stress of travel, but i'm sure you'd be doing that anyways. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
keep in mind that your bunny will need plenty of privacy in a dorm environment. if there are going to be people in and out of your room, make sure you set ground rules right away. if it were my bunny, i wouldn't want anyone handling her when i wasn't there, unless i was confident they knew the proper way to pick up a rabbit, etc. i'd also want to put up some sort of visual barrier so that the bunny wasn't constantly spooked by new predators (b/c that's what humans are to a bun, of course) coming into her home. of course she'd still hear them, smell them, etc., but the more hidden she can be, the safer she'll feel. you'll definitely want one or more hidey boxes, tubes, etc. for the same reason.<br><br><br><br>
the etherbun yahoogroup is a great resource for people wanting to learn more about the care of companion rabbits. (hope it's alright if i mention that here?)<br><br><br><br>
good luck! it's great that you're taking the time to research this properly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> sounds like she'll be a lucky bun if you do adopt her!
 

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There are some good rabbit parents here! Great advice, Meatless!<br><br><br><br>
We use Yesterday's news litter too. Our bunny is completely litter trained. It takes a little time and effort, but WELL worth it.<br><br><br><br>
We also built a condo out of neat ideas cubes like Lady Senora mentioned. It is put together mainly with plastic cable ties. It is 2 tall, 3 wide and 2 deep, it is carpeted and it has 2 levels. Nice digs!<br><br><br><br>
We use a timothy hay based pellet and feed him lots of greens and he gets unlimited timothy hay.
 

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Not much useful to add to above advice re:keeping rabbits. We adopted the one from my old school, who travelled to and from school to peoples homes (journeys of upto an hour) about 6 times a year, and she pretty much got used to it (was better travelling in cat box than inside her hutch though so she didnt slip around too much).<br><br>
Only obvious concern that came to me about your situation was whether the college you are going to consider rabbits to be caged animals. To me caged animals means hamsters or gerbils, it wouldnt extend to rabbits even if they were being kept in cages, so you might want to check with the college for their definition before you go ahead.
 

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Lots of great advice here. Another great website for companion rabbit info is <a href="http://morfz.com/rabrefs.html" target="_blank">http://morfz.com/rabrefs.html</a><br><br><br><br>
Tons of articles there on everything from medical stuff to building a cage to behavior issues to fixing the house after bunny eats it!
 

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Like you said, cedar shavings are bad. You can use hay as bedding which is what I do.<br><br><br><br>
As for the change..I can't really say how the bunny will react to it. All animals are different, however pretty much all small animals I've had (e.g rabbits,hamsters, mice,etc) do not do well with change, with the exception of one. You should probally think through it some more and make sure your not doing this because you feel bad for the bunny or because you think you can "change" the bunny..I've had those thoughts, and the thing is, some animals just really don't change. They've been abused to the point there is no coming back. I have a cat, I've had her for 11 years, her name is Vicky..we feed her, give her shelter, etc. Yet she still will not come near us. Scared of her own shadow. It's odd really.<br><br><br><br>
Anyways, Good luck in college and with the bunny!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you very much for the replies!<br><br><br><br>
Well, I have some good news and bad news.<br><br><br><br>
I'll start with the bad.. it's not that bad, but my friend informed me that the college I want to attend does not allow rabbits anymore. Nothing bigger than a guina pig and no rabbits.<br><br><br><br>
I'm going to try a pair of gerbils instead. The gerbils that our local pet store takes in are local (meaning, people who weren't intending on having gerbil babies take their babies there)<br><br><br><br>
And the good news...<br><br><br><br>
The bunny was adopted a week later!<br><br><br><br>
I'm still researching gerbils... I have a lot of time to think about it... I'm limited to a 2'x2'x2' cage/aquarium... I'll probably be back with plenty of questions. The lady at the LPS recommended an aquarium 'cause gerbils love to make a mess.
 
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