Adorable bunny alert! Playful and affectionate, rabbits have an easy temperament and undeniable cute factor. But before you give in to those floppy ears, let’s look at the reasons for and against.

Related: how to choose the right pet for you

Pros

  • “By caring for an animal, children learn to consider the needs of others,” says Animal Behaviourist . “Children aged six and older are generally able to take responsibility and show empathy, making the experience much more valuable.”
  • They don’t need much room – unlike other pets, rabbits are happy in their cage during the day with a little roaming-around time at night.
  • “Rabbits can be very affectionate and they are generally clean, easy to toilet train and love to explore,” says Laura.
  • Some people who are allergic to cats and dogs find they’re fine (and sniffle-free) around bunnies.
  • They’re quieter than an elevator full of strangers; if you live in apartment where noise is a problem, a rabbit could be the answer.
  • Bunnies can live indoors and can even be taught to use a litter tray (although if you plan to keep them outside, a secure enclosure is essential to protect them from predators).
  • Their droppings are relatively smell- and mess-free. Bonus.

Cons

  • Some breeds grow quite large, so ask about how big the adult gets before you buy, or consider a smaller breed.
  • Male rabbits should be de-sexed to avoid territorial behaviour (ahem, peeing on you) and females must be spayed to prevent illnesses and breeding.
  • They don’t get on well with other animals, so if you have a dog you might find a serious feud ensues.
  • “Rabbits have a need to chew to keep their teeth healthy,” says Laura. They’ll chew on almost anything – watch those electrical cords!
  • They can bite and become aggressive if when they feel cornered.
  • They’re more fragile than cats or dogs – children can inadvertently hurt or strangle a rabbit with rough play.

 

Gallery: 9 snuggly bunny stars of Instagram