What Age of Rabbit is Right for You?
How do you decide what age of rabbit to bring into your household? Sure, baby bunnies are adorable with their little wiggly noses and tiny fluff of a tail. But do you really want to go through the terrible teenage years? Although many people think it’s best to start out with a young rabbit in order to “bring it up” with the family. However, most people don’t realize that there is a lot that goes into raising a baby rabbit, including potty training, hormones, spaying/neutering, and re-potty training. Baby bunnies hit puberty a lot quicker than most people think (around 4 months of age), and once sexual maturity kicks in, things can get difficult!
What to expect from “teenage” rabbits
Teenage rabbits (3 mo. – 1 year) can be a handful! Since they have reached sexual maturity, many behaviors that you have not previously seen may arise. Male AND female rabbits may display mounting/humping behaviors (of you, of your other pets, of inanimate objects…anything!), urine spraying, increased territorial marking (with urine or feces), biting (it’s just a love nibble, they swear!), circling, and honking (a rabbit’s adorable, piggy-like mating call). Some of these behaviors can be seen as cute, but others are definitely not fun to deal with! And since you sometimes have to wait to get a rabbit altered, usually once the testicles have descended in males, and at around 6 months of age in females, these behaviors may be something you’ll have to grin and bear until it’s time for them to spayed or neutered.
Baby bunnies CAN be a good choice for you, if you have the time, energy, and patience to invest in them, and you adopt them from a reputable shelter or rescue. However, remember that baby bunnies grow up, and that having a house rabbit is truly a 10 -12 year commitment.
Grown buns need love too!
In a lot of situations, adult rabbits make a better fit, especially for first-time rabbit lovers! When you adopt an adult rabbit from a reputable shelter or rescue, they are already spayed or neutered. The shelter will have an idea of the adult rabbit’s personality, litter habits, and favorite things! They’ve already done most of the research for you, so you can find the perfect rabbit companion that will fit into your home and lifestyle. Sometimes older buns are more difficult to find homes for, but they can make wonderful family members!
Many times adult rabbits will be bonded to another rabbit, or even two (or three!). Bonds between spayed or neutered rabbits are very complex, but very enjoyable to observe – their friendships are deep and lasting, so these bonded bunnies need to be adopted together. So consider bringing a pair of bunnies into your home! Nothing is more precious than watching bunny cuddles or kisses between friends.
So if you think you would like a house rabbit but don’t want to deal with the ups and downs of baby bunnyhood, consider adopting an adult, altered rabbit (or two).
No matter if you decide to bring a baby bunny or adult rabbit into your home, please adopt from your local shelters and rescues, or find the perfect bun for you through resources like PetFinder. Your perfect bunny companion is out there waiting to be given a fabulous new home!