California, United States
Posted Jan 15, 2012
I've owned a few rabbits in my time, and known others who have kept pet rabbits as well. At least two of those were American White Rabbits. On a personal note, I prefer the aesthetic appearance of floppy eared rabbits. But, hey, any bunny is cuteness on four legs, so...
I've never had a rabbit bite me, certainly not one of this species. So, nip training isn't a big concern. They DO have very strong back legs however. If they become excited or frightened, they have a tendency to use those back legs in their attempt to hop away. If you happen to be holding them at the time, this can lead to bruising, and perhaps scratching, where they kick you. Just something to keep in mind, especially if you're considering a rabbit for a younger child, or if you think there's absolutely no danger of possible injury from a soft, furry, friendly bunny.
They aren't aggressive; they're quite friendly and require little to no training of any kind. I don't recommend having more than one in the same cage however. Ever heard the phrase, "breeding like rabbits"? Well, those hormones lead same-sex rabbits (especially males) to become aggressive with one another, and opposite-sex rabbits to, well, breed like rabbits.
One of the American Rabbits I owned was so smart, she kept figuring out how to open her hutch. Luckily, I was able to catch her before one of the cats did, or she hopped into oblivion. But she managed to escape from her properly latched hutch at least three times.
They do require some attention, but not constant attention. They're pretty happy with their food, water, and maybe a salt-lick or a piece of wood to gnaw on. They do like rabbit-safe toys, which will help keep them calm and appreciative.
The biggest thing you will likely have to worry about with this pet is the pottying. Like most rodents, they will require that their cage be cleaned on a regular basis -- otherwise it will stink to high heaven and it won't be healthy for the rabbit. Like ferrets though, rabbits can be trained to use a cage-friendly litter box. However, not ALL of their "business" will make it/stay within said litter box. One of the reasons I preferred an off-the-ground hutch, as opposed to a cage that sits on the floor, was specifically because the poop and pee would fall through the bottom, into a separate tray underneath. That way, I only had to bother with cleaning the tray regularly, not having to worry too much about the cage itself, which only needed a thorough cleaning once in a while. And I think bunny was happier too -- who wants to have to walk around on top of their own poo?
They aren't terribly expensive animals. Not as cheap as a reptile to keep, but not as expensive as a dog.