Baby rabbits are called kittens, or kits, and are definitely adorable, but who can really say that mum isn’t cute too? One of the early decisions when you choose to bring rabbits into your home is if you want baby rabbits or to rehome or buy an adult rabbit.
Kittens can be a handful! Just like most baby animals they are curious, sometimes cautious and generally a huge bundle of fun. As rabbits are naturally prey species, unlike cats and dogs, their natural wariness of new people and situations is high – no surprise as they are programmed to be alert for threats! This means that socialising a baby bunny to handling and interaction can take time and patience, and can be frustrating, especially for young children who may struggle to understand why they can’t cuddle their new rabbit immediately.
Adult rabbits are often already socialised, although like any pets in a new environment, they will take a little time to settle in. This can speed up integrating into a new family, and for house rabbits may also mean you don’t have to worry about things like toilet training.
It is also important to think about the commitment you can give your new family member. Rabbits can live on average 7-10 years, and The Guinness Book of World Records has the oldest rabbit ever as living to over 18 years old! The approximate lifetime cost of owning a rabbit is £9000, before any extra veterinary costs if they become unwell or injured, and part of committing to ownership of a pet is feeling able to provide everything they will need, throughout their life.
While choosing between baby rabbits and adults will very much depend on you and your family’s preference and circumstances, it is always worth considering adopting older rabbits. They are generally calmer, may be already used to handling, and you get the joy of knowing you have given older bunnies a second chance at a loving home.
If you are considering adult rabbits there are some points to remember: