We are not going to pull any punches regarding this subject. If, by the time you read this Article, you are not planning on having your rabbit live indoors, then you might as well not even bother to finish reading this . All the information in it is only in regard to house rabbits and does not apply to “backyard”bunnies. If you are stubbornly clinging to some notion that an outdoor rabbit can live as happily, healthily, and safely as one who lives inside, then this Talk is not for you. The whole purpose of this book is to explain to you how to successfully adopt, live with, and care for a house rabbit—in other words, a rabbit who is kept inside the house (not in the garage, not in the basement, and not in some other building; strictly in your home with you).
One of the things that I feel very strongly about is that pet bunnies are indoor rabbits and livestock rabbits (rabbits raised for meat) live outdoors. If you are going to be companions with your pet rabbit, then he needs to be near you, interacting and enjoying life’s day-to-day moments. It is not enough to “go visit”your rabbit outside every day, because rabbits are social creatures. They crave company and social interaction. It is a big part of their natural life; wild rabbits commonly live in warrens of 100-150 bunnies.
A backyard bunny is a terribly lonely bunny, even if he is let out to run loose all day in the yard (which is another no-no). The thing your rabbit needs the most is attention and love. If you have ever watched two bonded rabbits together, they are constantly cuddling and grooming with each other. The natural way rabbits express happiness and love is by being close and giving and receiving attention. This is crucial to having a happy bunny.
When you relegate a rabbit to a lonely, solo existence, you become out of touch with his feelings, needs, and important moments. This is not what having a companion is all about. As a good bunny caregiver, you’ll want to be constantly in contact with your bunny in order to ensure your rabbit has everything he needs as well as to immediately be able to see if he is not feeling well or is sick. While healthy, well-cared-for bunnies rarely get sick, it can happen, and it is imperative that you notice this right away to improve your pet’s chances of surviving the illness. Rabbits can become extremely sick and even die in as few as 24 hours from some relatively common situations.
By living near and paying close attention to your pet rabbit, you will be quick to notice that he did not want his salad or has not used his litter box that day, which are often the first signs your bun is not feeling well. If a rabbit is living alone outside in a cage, you will not see it when he huddles up in the corner in obvious pain and may discover his discomfort too late to save his life.