Originally Posted by brewer12345
Nords, is your bunny house trained?* How did you manage that?
He actually trained us (that "superior being" issue again). *Bunnies don't train very well and they're pretty stubborn about the habits they pick up. *So we try to accomodate his instincts instead of relying on his intellect. *After four years he responds pretty reliably to "Not for bunnies!" and "Banana..." but that's about all you get.
Our familyroom is the "worst" room in the house, filled with crappy furniture & teenagers. *We've covered all wall surfaces from floor to about two feet with thin tileboard (white plastic) to keep him from chewing on the drywall, and all electrical cords are wrapped in plastic cord keepers. *(Chewy on the outside, crunchy on the inside, with a shocking aftertaste.) *We've covered parts of the floor with plastic chair mats (the carpet protectors that go under desk chairs) and his litter box is surrounded by a ring of 3'x2' absorbent pads. *(We watched where he preferred to pee and set up the litterbox there.) *An old matchstick curtain on the lanai window is yummy. *He's finally decided that varnished wood & melamine is yucky. *The doors are screened with anti-pet screening (yucky). *The exits from the kitchen & diningroom are blocked off with heavy plastic baby gates that take forever to chew through. *The peripery of the room is lined with cardboard boxes for him to hide & play in. *He used to chew vinyl & leather but after four years he's finally decided to stick with cardboard & scrap drywall. *Palm branches & bougainvillea twigs are also yummy if I remember to rotate them weekly.
He's trained our daughter that just about anything left on the floor is yummy (including TV remotes & Playstation controllers). *He has a blast with boxes of tissues, pulling them out one at a time and prancing proudly around the room holding them in his mouth.
Bunny nesting/hiding instincts are surprisingly creative. *They chew to grind their teeth down, and Peter has chewed a number of bunny-sized holes in various parts of his cardboard boxes. *He also tugged them around the floor until they were in just the right places. *(It took him weeks.) *We didn't realize that he had a plan until one day he ran full speed behind the sofa, headed for a seemingly certain collision into the box warren, and blazed straight through the holes without ever touching the boxes. *A pursuing predator would have been tangled up in the first box.
Although we put up the doorway gates to keep him from roaming, he thinks they're for his protection. *If we forget to put one back up he'll run back & forth between one of us and the opening, or even go into the next room and paw at your leg to "remind" you.
I don't like the responsibility of caring for & entertaining pets. *However they're great for teaching kids the harder facts of responsibility & lifespans, so if I had to lose the pet debate all over again then I'd probably still pick a bunny. *Like cats, they're pretty independent and they show just enough affection to make a kid feel the rewards of their efforts. *They can be messy & noisy but they're generally not. *Another family advantage is that they're semidiurnal-- their active periods are mornings & afternoons, just when the family is bustling around. *They tend to be sleepy during noon and midnight, when many houses are empty & quiet or everyone's asleep. *They're relatively cheap to feed & care for. *They don't seem to have many health problems, but if they do it's usually quick & terminal.
And finally, they live for 8-12 years when domesticated... just about the length of time between a kid's first interest in pets and their (the kid's) high school graduation. *We hope.
Here's some links that we've found helpful: