Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rabbit Housing Series: The Rabbit House

The second installment in the housing series describes ideas for the rabbit's actual cage/pen set-up. 

Cages sold at pet stores for rabbits tend to be very small except for the tiniest of rabbits, therefore invest instead in a large dog crate, or better yet, a puppy exercise pen. The pens allow more freedom, are easier to clean, and easier to manipulate, move, and store. They are versatile in the spaces they can fit, too.
When setting up the rabbit’s living area, feel free to get creative. However, certain rules should be followed to ensure the safety and needs of the animal are met.
First, the floor of the living quarters should be solid, that is, not wire-bottomed. Rabbits can develop “sore hocks” (ulcerative pododermatitis) from standing on wire all day. The bottoms of rabbit feet are covered in fur only and can get traumatized from uneven surfaces. Some breeds are more predisposed to this than others (for instance, the Rex breeds). For messier rabbits, I like to line the bottom of the pen with a vinyl floor protector (like this one, available from Walmart).  Most rabbits appreciate having a soft carpet to lie on as well.

The cage or pen needs to be large enough so that the rabbit can comfortably hop around and stand up on her hind legs without hitting her head. The bigger, the better.

The rabbit’s house should include a large litterbox and bowls for food and water. I also recommend having an assortment of toys such as tunnels, cardboard boxes, cardboard rolls stuffed with hay, hay twists, stuffed animals, and a hidey box. 

A prime example of a rabbit house. The pen door is easily opened to allow the rabbits to run around and explore.


Mouse said...

This is a lot like my setup. I had to go with the extra tall pen though, my bun loves a challenge.

Anonymous said...

I have a young dwarf rabbit that i got a month ago, and we bought her a cage that fit her perfectly. Now she grew a lot and is to small for the cage. I don't have have enough money to buy a bigger cage and i don't think i will have enough money anytime soon. Should i let my bun run around freely, or should i close her up in a pen?