Basic Requirements for Your Rabbit
We would love for everyone to consider making their rabbit’s housing more of a habitat, especially if your bun is spending a lot of time there while you are gone during the day. Try to make it a pleasant and interesting environment that they can enjoy. Most rabbits need to be kept in their habitats at night and while you are away to keep them safe. However, they do need to be out to play and exercise 2-3 hours minimum each day . We think the following options will help you to design your very own rabbitat.
One of our favorite things to recommend for housing your bunny is a 30″ tall exercise pen. They come with eight 24″ panels, so you end up with a 4’x4′ space, or you can attach the sides to a wall to get a larger space. If your bunny likes to jump, try a taller pen. It gives them lots of room for a litter box, toys, a box to jump and chew on, a twig tent, or concrete tube to run through. You will need to protect your floor underneath, and can do that easily with some indoor/outdoor carpet, or pre-cut linoleum with a rug thrown on it for traction. This is an excellent way to create a bunny habitat.
If you are a bit creative and want to make a custom bunny condo, try the “Organiz-its” cubes from Target. They are sold in 14″ grids. You will need two of these boxes to make a proper size condo and shelf. They can be put together with the attachments that come along with them and then zip-tied together for stability. Multiple shelves can be added by connecting the grids to each other and to the sides of the pen and supporting them with dowels placed through the squares. Be sure to place heavy cardboard and some carpet securely on the shelf. You will find that most bunnies love to sit up on the top level. It makes for a great perch for them to lounge on and gives them the opportunity jump and get a little excerise. It is important to note that you will need to secure some grids as a top over the shelf area so bunny doesn’t jump out.
Different ideas for configurations can be found on the internet if you do a search under “NIC Condos”. Going to three levels is fine, just remember that your bunny will like to have as much floor space as possible to stretch out, or run around. The levels should also be tall enough for them to stand up on their back feet and stretch up. If you have a smaller rabbit, lower the shelf, or make steps or a ramp so they don’t get injured jumping down. Be sure to put carpet on the steps or ramp for traction.
Very large dog crates are also acceptable housing for small to medium sized rabbits. A shelf can be added at the back by putting dowels through the side openings and fastening a piece of wood to them, with carpet attached securely for stability and traction. This not only adds to the overall space your rabbit has available, it gives them the opportunity for a little jumping, exercise and play. This setup is pictured below. The crate in our photograph is 28″ by 42″ and it is the smallest size we would recommend.
Wire crates are not our favorite choice because they are just too small. However, they can be used if you have a smaller bunny who is out more than he is in. Be sure to cover the wire on the floor with a piece of carpet or rug or grass mat to protect bunny’s feet from the wires. 36″x 36″ is the minimum size we would recommend.
Never house your rabbit in the pet store cages that have a molded plastic bottom and wire top. They are absolutely too small! If you already have one, you can put it in your bunny’s space and leave the door open. It can be used by the bun for a litter box, or filled with hay or shredded newspaper for digging. You may need to cover the door if it opens like a ramp to protect your bun’s feet as he hops in and out.
Bunnies are sometimes the most interested in the simplest toys.
Try a toilet paper roll stuffed with hay.
A box to jump on and chew up.
Telephone books to shred. (Please remove the shiny covers)
Wooden rings or hard baby key rings to toss and chew.
Several layers of newspaper to shred.
Wooden bird toys that hang on the side of a cage.
Natural pine cones with no pesticides.
Natural grass mats to chew. (Keep strings cut off)
A concrete form tube left whole or cut in half to run through like a tunnel.
A large water bottle or heavy crock that cannot be tipped over.
A food bowl that cannot be tipped over.
A large litter box. (Please see our page on recommended litter.)
If you have questions about any of these options for your rabbitat, please contact us and we will be glad to help you with your plans.