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Easter: How Not to Break a Rabbit’s Heart

We’ve all heard of a spouse following a spouse to the other side. How their life force finds a way to ‘follow their heart’ so to speak. A dog will mope for weeks upon losing it’s person. A cat? Well, it depends upon the cat. But a rabbit? A rabbit’s heart can break when their human goes on vacation for a month. When their heart breaks, death follows. This is something surprising and mysterious to many of us. How bonded a rabbit becomes to their human. Story after story confirms this from domestic rabbit owners I’ve come into contact with over the years. Rabbits are family oriented and extremely social. Given their prey disposition, once domesticated they are not likely to go out and find homage with another human or rabbit family. You’re pretty much IT for that rabbit for life. This is how they are with each other as well.

It’s Easter.

And its a time when many will fall in love with the little critters and take them home, only to release them in the woods or take them to the human society soon after.

Things to consider to avoid breaking a rabbit’s heart (and your own).

  1. Don’t adopt lightly. A domesticated rabbit can live up to 16 years (as opposed to 1 year in the wild). And this rabbit will BOND to you in a big way. And is just as much work as a cat or dog…and gives back just as much but in a very different way. Did you know rabbits pur? Often when they just see you coming towards them because they get so excited about having you around.

  • If you’re already a goner, in love, devoted, committed to having the rabbit for life: To make them happy they need your undivided attention for at least 15 minutes a day. My rabbits and I have all these silly games we play at the same time every day…and it looks really kooky but they do all these hops and kicks, and at times jump on your head or try to learn the art of kissing you on your head like you do theirs. They are super smart and copy you a lot. The more you put into them, the more humor you’ll get, believe me.
  1. Every night give them a little good night pet. They actually wait for this after awhile. They get lonely when you sleep so this is important.
  2. When you go on vacation make sure someone is with them doing all the things you do and talk to them from your phone through the bunny sitter. It works really well for depressed rabbits. Leave your Bunny Suicides book behind and think positively.
  3. Mostly just know they have they have these amazingly devoted hearts whether they look like it or not. I mean let’s be honest Rabbits really do look at you like you are scum but they can’t help the shape of their noses that imprint this judgmental look. They are actually just wanting to be safe, to not get eaten by a hawk and to have your undivided attention and devotion. And you’ll be surprised how they give back and how their little personalities change and grow over time in a loving home.

How Not to Break a Rabbit’s Heart? Just treat them with the respect and care you would any being you love…like you would a great meal, or your dog, or your child. And know rabbits are all about family. So if you treat them as such you’ll have an amazing addition(s) to your home.

—They love to sleep on soft cotton things too. Not sure why people put them in those really uncomfortable small metal cages.



  • Peter Russell on Mar 30, 2012 Reply

    Love it!!!!! I had no idea.

  • Barbara Castro on May 06, 2009 Reply

    Hey sweet Niya, this made me smile, laugh and otherwise emote – very well written but that is not surprising!! makes me want to be with you and Dakota and…who else now? Also makes me want to read everything you have written:)

  • Verna Wilder on Apr 15, 2009 Reply

    Niya, this is a beautiful post – and I hope lots of people read it and get their kids fake bunnies instead of real ones if they can’t follow your advice. Dakota is one lucky bunny! So is Niya.

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