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Hoppily Ever After

Did you know that bunnies can be ideal house pets for families with older children (age 7 and up)? They’re quiet, intelligent, friendly, and can be litter trained. Use these tips for welcoming one into the family:

By Christine McLaughlin | null , null
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Cage-train your bunny first. As with dogs, it’s the best way to introduce him to your home because it gives him his own quiet retreat.

Set up a litter box in the corner of his cage that he usually uses as his toilet. Your bunny will occasionally chew the litter, so use a pelleted type made of pressed paper or wood shavings, and cover it with a layer of grass hay—timothy or alfalfa. Replace it daily; don’t scoop it like cat litter.

Praise your bunny every time you see him use the litter box. Reward him with a snack of alfalfa hay. It encourages him to go to the bathroom in the right spot.

Open his cage door and let him explore your home once he’s used to the litter box. Start slowly, and watch out for dangerous things he may chew on, like electrical cords (tuck them in protective sleeves).

Be prepared to clean up a few bathroom messes in the beginning, and realize that your bunny will never be perfect—a few “rabbit pellets” are easy to clean. Rabbits aren’t like cats—they use the box by learning that the box is the most comfortable place to “go.”

Find more information on raising and training a “house rabbit” at the House Rabbit Society’s website at rabbit.org. Do plenty of research to make sure a bunny is right for your family before you bring one home.

About the Author

Christine McLaughlin is a freelance writer, editor, and author from Philadelphia.

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