Heather Stone, Chicago Tribune
April 5, 2007
Activity level: Sometimes leaves cage/tank; leaves cage/tank daily.
Parental involvement needed: Sometimes; always
Good for ages: 5 and up (though not so young as primary caretakers)
Kid's daily commitment: Food and water daily. Clean habitat and change bedding one to two times per week. One to two hours of play per day.
Initial cost: $25-$75 for the rabbit alone; $325 for other start-up costs (spay/neuter, cage, litter box)
Yearly upkeep cost: $200-$300 (food, annual vet check up)
They eat: Hay, parsley, spinach, kale. Special rabbit pellets, with apples and carrots in small quantities as treats.
Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years.
Pros: Quiet, clean, can be potty trained, good companions.
Cons: Are not a lap pet and do not like to be picked up and cuddled unless properly socialized (though owners can get on the floor and cuddle them). They chew a lot, so house should be rabbit-proofed. May bite.
(Sources: PetSmart.com; Petco.com; ASPCA.org; petplace.com; Holly Nash, staff veterinarian at Drs. Foster and Smith and Scott McKay, staff vet at Drs. Foster and Smith, Rhinelander, Wis.; Jay Hreiz, district officer at American Rabbit Breeders Association, Bloomington, Ill.; Lisa Vible, education director at the American Ferret Association, Annapolis, MD.; Mike Selig, staff vet at Barberton Veterinary Clinic in Norton, Ohio; Richard Nye, vet at Nye Veterinary Services in Batavia, Ill., and consultant at Ness Exotic Wellness Center in Lisle, Ill.)