While rabbits are very cute and fluffy and make great pets, they are not a beginner's pet! They need just as much attention and care as cats and dogs, their life spans are also similar living between 8-12 years (the oldest rabbit in the world was 18 years 10 months!)

Pets are great for teaching children responsibility, empathy and care – but let's be honest, you are also going to be heavily involved in the process too! You need the whole family on board!


Rabbits are a prey species, creating a safe, comfortable and healthy environment where they can behave naturally is vital. Here are a few pointers:

Rabbits need a good-sized, well ventilated hutch, with two compartments - one side should ideally have solid walls providing a safe place to sleep and hide (or provide a burrow box). The floor should be solid, with a deep layer of bedding (hay, straw, shredded paper). Dirty bedding should be removed regularly and the entire hutch should be cleaned at least once a week.

Rabbits should be allowed space to run around and explore. It is possible to house train rabbits to use litter trays – but you must "rabbit-proof" your home as they love to chew – special care with electrical cords.

Rabbits are herbivores (in the wild living on grasses and leaves), also their teeth grow continuously, so to keep their gut healthy and prevent dental problems, they need 24-hour access to good quality, high fibre hay (ideally Timothy Hay) as well as a limited supply of commercial rabbit pellets. Fresh veggies (a mix of carrot, choy sum, pak choi, celery, spinach, Romaine and Chinese lettuce) are an important source of vitamins and 1-2 rice bowls should be given daily. Chinese 'Choi' and spinach can be given once a week.

Access to fresh water is essential – ideally offer water in a bowl and dripper bottle so the rabbit can choose.

Not every rabbit likes being picked up, some may even hurt themselves when they try to escape. Handling should be gentle and respectful, always support the body with your arms, and never pick a rabbit up by the ears!

Rabbits need regular grooming (especially longhaired breeds) and nail clipping.

Some rabbits enjoy having a buddy around, but of course different sexes should be neutered. It may take time for rabbits to get familiar with each other prior to being playmates! Neutering also prevents uterine cancer in females, reduces aggression in males and is essential for house training.

Rabbits are good at hiding discomfort so you need to be very observant to detect health issues – changes in urination, droppings, hiding or sleeping more, salivation or nasal discharge are all signs something could be wrong - so if in doubt please ask your vet. And be prepared for expensive medical bills if they fall sick as they often require specialist care.

Please think carefully before taking on this commitment – remember it is life-long. Sadly from October-December 2021 the SPCA received 37 rabbits – many reasons for surrendering were given including leaving Hong Kong, not enough space at home and no time to take care. Some poor bunnies were even found wandering the streets!

And last but not least if you do decide to welcome a rabbit into your home please ADOPT DON’T SHOP! REMEMBER ADOPTION SAVES LIVES, EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE!