RSPCA Woodchurch Animal Centre in Birchington

Rabbits make excellent pets and bring so many joys to their owners – but they also require proper care and attention so they can live happy lives.


In fact, rabbits have very complex needs and although they are thought of as easy so-called starter pets, this is not the case as they are not easy to look after well. Rabbits, typically, can live for eight to 12 years, and some may even live longer, so potential owners need to realise that it is a long-term commitment they are making. They are active animals who will need regular opportunities to exercise every day to stay fit and healthy, as well as an appropriate place to toilet.


So if you are planning on taking on rabbits you must be able to offer them enough living space to thrive in. A well-matched pair of medium-sized rabbits will require a living area where they can exercise and rest with dimensions of at least three metres by two metres, and one metre high. If you have groups of three or more rabbits or larger breeds, then they will require larger accommodation.


Rabbits are social creatures, so it is best to have two rabbits who are friendly to each other together in an enclosure. A good combination is a neutered male and a neutered female.


In 2022 there was a 48 per cent increase in the numbers of rabbits arriving at RSPCA animal centres compared to the previous year. In all 1,090 rabbits were taken into the care of centres, while it is estimated that the charity’s branches will have dealt with around two-and-a-half times that number alone during 2022.


Many of these rabbits were rescued from poor welfare conditions and need to find new homes and lives. But last year the average stay for a rabbit at an RSPCA centre was 132 days as adoption rates have dropped.


There has been a 42 per cent drop in the numbers finding new homes last year from centres compared to before the pandemic in 2019, so the RSPCA has been left tackling a real rabbit crisis at the moment.


While there’s so much to think about, rabbits can be such rewarding pets. Perhaps you have the time and commitment to offer a nice home for either of these bonded couples who are currently in the care of RSPCA Kent-Isle of Thanet Branch at the Woodchurch Animal Centre in Birchington?

Florence and Slinky (above) are two young rabbits looking for the perfect forever home together. They are sweet and playful and will need a home full of love, with access to an outdoor area, as well as enrichment and plenty of space.


Eva and Wally (above) are a wonderful duo, who although initially wary, really do enjoy some attention. But they are very independent and will benefit from having lots of enrichment, space, and of course, love.


For further details, contact RSPCA Kent-Isle of Thanet Branch’s Woodchurch Animal Centre in Birchington on 01843 826180.


Originally published on Page 46 of Birchington Parish Council Magazine, March 2023 – Issue 52

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