8 Things you didn’t know about rabbits

Rabbits are becoming increasingly popular as pets. They interact a lot within the family, are affectionate, clean, do not give off strong odours… And therefore, there are more and more patients with rabbits in the clinic. But be careful, because there are clear differences with other species that are more common as pets, such as dogs and cats.

Here are some things you probably didn’t know about them:

  1. They live 8-9 years, so their biological processes are somewhat different to what dogs and cats have become accustomed to.
  2. They reach sexual maturity at 25 weeks of age, so you have to take into account if they mix with other individuals of different sexes because they can start breeding very early.
  3. They are strict herbivores and therefore need to feed on large quantities of vegetable matter for proper nutrition.
  4. Their incisor teeth are specially designed to get the most out of the plant matter they eat. In addition, behind these very long teeth, which we recognise very visually, there is another smaller pair of teeth called Peck’s teeth. Rabbits’ primary incisors are growing throughout their lives by approximately 1mm per week. This means that they need to undergo wear and tear which should occur with feeding.
  5. Rabbits are obligatory nasal breathers, so they cannot breathe through their mouths. We should bear in mind that if they have any kind of process which obstructs the nasal passages, their respiratory capacity can be put at risk.
  6. Rabbits are not able to vomit, so if on any occasion you see something in the cage that looks like vomit, contact your vet immediately because it is probably diarrhoea and they are very sensitive to digestive processes.
  7. They are very sensitive to high temperatures. They do not have the body mechanisms to overcome temperatures of 28ºC for a prolonged period of time, so they are very prone to heat stroke.
  8. As they are prey and have crepuscular habits, they have a great capacity for night vision as well as being able to see 360º as they have lateral eyes. They are most active early in the morning, late in the afternoon and at night.