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Rabbits can make great apartment pets! They’re small, quiet (kinda), and they don’t smell!
Many people still consider rabbits as being strictly outside pets, but I would consider them strictly inside pets. I occasionally let them run (supervised) in the garden, but they can absolutely live indoors 100% of the time. Mine don’t even leave the living room (their choice).
That being said, whilst rabbits don’t bark or need walking, they have other, er, quirks that need to be accomodated.
You need to rabbit proof your apartment
You can’t simply train not your rabbit not to chew your stuff. It would be like training your dog not to sniff when you’re out on a walk – yes, you could do it but it’s going against your dog’s natural behaviour ,which isn’t really fair.
So, you need to give your rabbit something to chew and cover up anything that you don’t want to be chewed. Rabbits will chew ANYTHING. ANYTHING.
You can train rabbits not to chew things like your sofa, but you can’t ever 100% trust them not to do it whilst you’re not there. Cover. It. Up.
Your rabbit needs enough room to run around
Ignore all those old-fashioned measurements that say you need a space that’s three times longer than the rabbit or whatever. Your rabbit needs enough space to be able to run around. Not hop about, but properly ZOOM. Rabbits seem to like running in circles (mine do, anyway), so I arranged my living room so that when the pen is open, they can run laps (you could recreate it with a large x-pen with two doors).
Ideally, you’d free roam your rabbit, but I know that isn’t always an option for rented places. Bunnies do so love to eat baseboards. An x-pen in the living room is usually fine, or you could put it in your bedroom if you fear for your TV wires. I prefer having them in the living room because that’s where I spend most of my time.
Rabbits don’t need outside exercise
When it’s cold and snowy or raining, you don’t need to worry about letting your rabbit outside, or taking them for a walk.
Many people do put their rabbit’s on harnesses and walk them, but you absolutely don’t have to. I wouldn’t, firstly because I’d be terrified they got attacked by a dog and secondly, because the one time I tried to get my rabbit into a harness she seemingly turned into gas and wriggled free in two seconds.
Rabbits are a great pet for people that want to spend time with their pet, but don’t have the time to walk for miles with them. I can spend time with my rabbits whilst, for example, reading my book or watching TV.
Rabbit don’t make *that* much noise
I know, I know. They have that same thing cats do where they like to tear around at 3am.
But they don’t bark or whine or anything. They do growl, but it’s short, sharp, and infrequent (terrifying though).
Different rabbits make noise in different ways. Common things are chewing on x-pen bars (I find this so annoying – Holly does it all the time, and yes, she does it when the pen is open), boxes, and just throwing stuff about.
Don’t give them toys with bells in, unless you like being woken up by a jangly ball at some ungodly hour.
But most of these noises can be quieted by rugs and switching out toys at night.
In general, rabbits are asleep at night. They’re most active in the morning and the evening. I used to live in a house with the living room above the bedroom. We had two free roam rabbits and they rarely woke us up.
You can leave rabbits for several hours without them caring
Rabbits, even single ones, don’t tend to get very bad separation anxiety – at least to the extent dogs do. If you have two rabbits, they probably prefer to be left alone.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving a dog in an apartment whilst I did a full shift at work (obviously some dogs are 100% fine with being left, but many aren’t), but the rabbits are fine. I keep them in an x-pen (they’re small breeds, so they have a lot of space) whilst we’re out and then they’re out when we’re home.
I have, on occasion, left my rabbits overnight. If I’m going for longer I have my parents look in on them, but they’re fine being left overnight. I don’t actually think they realise I’m gone
. As long as they have plenty of space, food, and water, they’re really not bothered. I don’t like leaving them, and would prefer not to, but on the occasions I have been gone for the night, they’re 100% unmoved by my departure.
Rabbits make great pets for small spaces. X-pens are super flexible so you can adapt them to fit your space if you don’t fancy having free roam rabbits. Whilst rabbits do need a lot of exercise, they can get that exercise in a relatively small space – a hutch is, of course, far too small, but they don’t need a whole field to run around in. Zooming round the living room will keep them healthy and trim.