Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rabbit Care: The Rabbitat - housing your rabbit

So now that you know how to feed your rabbit, let's talk rabbit cages/hutches.

Indoors or outdoors?

Indoors is always a better option. Your rabbit will be safer, there will be no predators to worry about, and in a lot of places it is unsuitable to keep a rabbit outside in winter or summer. Rabbits do not do well in extreme heat and extreme cold. I would recommend keeping your rabbit inside where it can be part of the family, and letting them outside in a pen for some exercise as long as it is safe, the weather is good, and you can be there to keep an eye on your rabbit.

What should I use for my rabbit's home?

Here are some options:

A store-bought cage:
These are a good option as long as it is large enough. The minimum cage size is at least four times the size of your rabbit and would ideally be much bigger than that. Look for a cage that provides ample room for objects that will go in the cage, and room for your bunny to move around and be comfortable. Store-bought cages are not too expensive and are easy to clean.

A wooden hutch:
First off, these are very, very expensive. Secondly, they are difficult to keep clean and can easily be chewed. The pros are you can buy fairly large ones with multiple levels that provide plenty of room for a small-to medium-sized bunny.

An exercise pen:
An exercise pen meant for dogs and puppies make excellent rabbit homes. You can buy ones meant for rabbits as well. They provide plenty of room, are not too expensive, are easy to keep clean, and are infinitely expandable. Just make sure they have a height of about thirty inches so your rabbit cannot jump out.

A homemade cage:
Some rabbit owners make their own cage. They use wire storage cubes that can be found at Target, coroplast (corrugated plastic), and zip ties to hold it together. This is great as you can make the cage however you want and it is not too expensive, but it does take time and effort to put together.

Running free:
Some rabbit owners let their rabbits have free reign over a room or the house. To do this your rabbit would have to be very good about not chewing anything, you would have to rabbit-proof the house, your rabbit would have to be litter-trained, and you would have to be careful with other pets.

What I use:
For Munchkin I use a combination of a dog kennel and a playpen. That way he gets plenty of room. A dog kennel makes a great home for large rabbits like Munchkin.

Remember your rabbit should be let out of the cage for at least one to two hours each day for some exercise and some attention.

Next time: Cage accessories


  1. I guess the bottom line here is plenty of room and lots of out-of-cage fun! Do rabbits like changes in their housing? Say you moved the litter box - would it take long to adapt or would a bunny 'complain' somehow?
    - Old But Curious
    p.s. - will your mom be able to spin Munchin's fur - does he have a downy undercoat?

  2. Well, duh, why didn't we think about trying to spin his fur? We've been pulling all of this lovely soft fur out that he's been shedding recently. It is pretty short stuff, though.
    Love and hugs to Old But Curious and to the blogger!