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14 Frequently Asked Questions about the dwarf rabbit

Adopting a dwarf rabbit is one of the most wonderful experiences ever. However, it’s needless to deny that we’ve all had some questions about this cute adventure companion.


Whether you’re here looking for answers to your curiosities about your four-legged friend or simply to learn more about dwarf rabbits, let’s get started with this series of questions and answers right away.

Is a rabbit more like a cat or a dog?

Some “parents” of dwarf rabbits get annoyed when this question is asked. But to be honest, I find it natural that before adopting a dwarf rabbit, one wants to understand how it compares to the two most popular pets: dogs and cats.

The answer is that a dwarf rabbit is like both and like neither. Like cats, rabbits are insatiably curious and impeccably clean. Like dogs, rabbits are often (but not always) affectionate and charming.

However, an important difference is that while dogs and cats are both predators, rabbits are by nature prey to many other species. This fundamental difference also affects their behavior in the home. Dwarf rabbits, in fact, cannot be trained or treated like dogs or cats. But don’t worry! We’ll discover together bit by bit how to discover the behaviors of a dwarf rabbit, what it should eat through proper nutrition, and how it likes to play.

Aren't rabbits a kind of rodent?

No. Although they were once included in the order Rodentia, rabbits were reclassified in the mid-1900s and placed in the order Lagomorpha, which includes rabbits, hares, and pikas (a small mammal similar to a rabbit found in the Americas).


Some researchers, using sophisticated protein sequence analysis, have even suggested that rabbits are actually more closely related to primates than to rodents! However, not all researchers agree with this view.

Are rabbits easy to care for?

Yes and no. Rabbits are usually more active in the morning and evening, so they can adapt to being kept in a fenced area or a room of their own during the day.


However, rabbits are also social animals and require a lot of attention to live happily. They need to be groomed occasionally and must be fed carefully, as they have a delicate digestive system. While they are naturally clean animals, they rely on their owner to remove dirty waste and keep their food and water fresh. Rabbits also have fragile skeletons and require attention to avoid injury.

Can you train a dwarf rabbit to be litter boxed?

The answer is absolutely yes, and we will discover together in an article how to train your dwarf rabbit to use the litter box. Rabbits, especially larger ones, can be trained to pee and do their business in the litter box.


However, don’t be surprised if your bunny still leaves some poop pellets here and there, especially when they’re very excited or particularly happy. These droppings are dry and odorless and can be easily cleaned up with a hand vacuum.

I've heard that rabbits chew on everything - is that true?

Absolutely yes! Rabbit’s teeth grow continuously throughout their life, and they need to chew on things to keep their teeth worn down. Providing chew toys and sticks can help reduce chewing on books, furniture, and other objects, but rabbit parents should resign themselves to a certain amount of destruction of their belongings.


But for those like me who are in love with these little four-legged friends, losing a pair of shoes or maybe a table leg seems like a small price to pay for the pleasure of their company.

Can rabbits get along with cats and dogs?

Most rabbits can learn to get along with other pets, although some may be uncomfortable with ferrets. Cats, in particular, can form strong bonds with rabbits.


However, a rabbit should never be left unsupervised with a cat, dog, or other predatory pet, no matter how long and how well they have gotten along with the rabbit. Too many rabbits end up severely injured or killed if left unattended even for a short time with the family cat or dog.


Cats and dogs also carry some organisms that can be dangerous to rabbits, and some precautions need to be taken in this regard.

Are rabbits good pets for children?

For very young children, no. Rabbits are often frightened by excited screams and sudden movements from young children. Rabbits can suffer spinal fractures if held and handled by a child who is too young.


However, they can be great pets for children aged 8 and up.

Do rabbits bite?

Yes. Even good-natured rabbits sometimes communicate with small bites. Rabbits scratch and bite on very particular occasions. For example, if they are held against their will or frightened.

Some rabbits (usually as a result of humans trying to train the rabbit as they would a cat or dog) become aggressive and attack fiercely.

How long do rabbits live?

It depends on the size of the rabbit. Very small rabbits tend to have shorter lives of 5 to 6 years. Medium-sized rabbits (around 3-5 kg) can live for 8 to 12 years or more. Very large rabbits (over 6 kg) may have shorter lives, around 6 to 10 years. These lifespans assume good health and proper care of the rabbit, of course.

What is the difference between hares and rabbits?

Rabbits and hares belong to the same family of mammals but different genera and do not crossbreed. Hares differ from rabbits in having larger heads, ears, and longer legs. Both have split lips, but the rabbit has a membrane near the top of the fissure that covers the gums.


Rabbit kits are born naked with their eyes closed, while hare young are born with fur and open eyes. In general, hares are more adaptable and live above ground. Many rabbits, on the other hand, dig burrows. The differences, therefore, despite appearing similar to an untrained eye, are significant.

Why do rabbits have such huge ears?

The giant ears of rabbits serve at least two purposes. First, they function as air conditioners, helping the rabbit to maintain its normal body temperature.

Rabbits easily overheat because they cannot sweat. The ears contain large blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. When the rabbit’s temperature rises, excess body heat dissipates from those veins, cooling the rabbit.

Secondly, those big ears act as parabolic antennas, rotating in every direction to intercept all the sounds around the rabbit. It is right that an animal like the rabbit that is prey in nature is not left completely defenseless against predators. While a rabbit has few means of protecting itself, its acute hearing gives it a great advantage.

How many teeth does a rabbit have?

Rabbits are born with 16 milk teeth, which fall out within a few days of birth. These are replaced by 28 permanent teeth, some of which almost immediately and the rest around 4 weeks of age. The permanent teeth include the front incisors, the peg teeth (two small peg-shaped teeth located directly behind the front incisors that keep the tips of the lower incisors sharp as wedges), and the cheek teeth in the back of the jaw.

All 28 teeth grow continuously throughout the rabbit’s life at a rate of 1-5 mm per week. Constant chewing and grinding of fibrous plant material and gnawing on branches or wood serve to keep all these teeth trouble-free and smooth their length.

Why do some rabbits have large rolls of fat under their necks?

An overweight female rabbit or even a male rabbit may occasionally have some fat under their neck, but usually the rolls you see are fur and not fat. It is a feminine characteristic. They are folds of skin just under the chin that provide extra fur for the female rabbit to use to line her nest and keep her babies warm. These cute rolls are more pronounced in some breeds and even nonexistent in others.

Can a rabbit change color?

If you’ve noticed that your bunny or a friend’s bunny has changed color slightly over time, don’t worry! The rabbit is probably molting. You’re seeing the difference between the rabbit’s old coat, which has faded, and the vibrant new fur that’s growing in. As this process completes, the rabbit may look bicolor, with a demarcation line slowly moving down the back and sides.


Another reason for a changing coat color is that the sun quickly fades a rabbit’s coat. Even a fresh new coat can fade in the sunlight long before the rabbit is ready to molt. It could be that your rabbit’s coat is fading, but it will eventually transform into a new coat. Rabbits with darker pigments tend to fade more noticeably. Some black animals can magically turn almost red because of this effect.

I hope I have answered at least some of the curiosities you have about these fantastic pets that are so easily loved. And if you still have doubts, curiosity or questions for which you are looking for an answer, take a look at the homepage or menu of the website.