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Our favorite rabbit cage is the Krolik 160 XXL Rabbit Cage with Wire Extension, which offers lots of space, easy access, and a bevy of included accessories (some more useful than others). We also love the Living World Deluxe Habitat, X-Large, which has an arched top that lifts off on hinges for ultra-easy access. Unfortunately, it's a little too small for all but small breed rabbits.
Your rabbit should have a main shelter where they can rest, go to the bathroom, eat, drink, and hide if needed. They should also have an exercise area where they can play for a minimum of 4 hours per day; ideally, it should be permanently always attached to their main enclosure and open to them.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is to provide a main enclosure that is at least four times the size of your rabbit. The larger, the better! Rabbits should be able to hop around, stand on their hind legs without touching the top, and lay down easily. There also should be enough room for a litter box, water bowl or bottle, hide box, and an area for pellets and hay.
For small to medium rabbits like a Dwarf or Dutch rabbit, the enclosure should be at least 24 inches wide by 24 inches high by 36 inches long. For larger breeds like the Flemish Giant, the enclosure should be at least 36 inches wide by 36 inches tall and up to 120 inches long. If you have multiple rabbits, double the cage size per rabbit.
Wire-sided cages are best for ventilation, cleaning, and preventing your rabbit from escaping. The floor should be solid like plastic to avoid pressure sores and allow easy cleanup. Wood cages are tough to disinfect and not ideal for your rabbit. The enclosure should not be in a drafty, damp area like a basement, not in direct sunlight, have adequate ventilation, and be in an area of the home where you spend a lot of time. Rabbits are social animals and require daily interaction with people or other rabbits.
Provide your rabbit with an exercise area of about 24 square feet. If needed, you can use baby gates or make a pen to contain that area. The height of the gates should be about 3-4 feet tall. If you do not have a thick carpet, provide thick yoga mats or carpet pieces in their exercise area to prevent foot sores. Rabbits should be able to run around this area for at least 4 hours each day, but if you can give your rabbit access to this area 24/7, that is ideal.
Indoor housing is recommended for all rabbits because of environmental and health concerns with outdoor hutches. In addition, the temperature should remain ideally around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit because rabbits do not have sweat glands and can overheat easily.
If you choose to house your rabbit outside, please provide them with a shelter protected from the heat and cold. It is ideal to place outdoor hutches on the side of the house in the shade, not facing the morning or afternoon sun.
Hutches should be several feet off the ground. Ensure the cage is protected from outdoor predators like coyotes and raccoons by putting a fence around the hutch. In the winter, provide a lot of straw bedding to keep them insulated and change the water daily. If the temperature falls below 40 F or reaches above 75 F, please bring your rabbit indoors.
Rabbit hutches should be one square foot for every pound of an adult rabbit weight. The hutch should be at least 20 inches high and higher for larger breed rabbits. Many hutches are made with 16-gauge wire for the sides and tops and 14-gauge wire for the floor. Cover the wire floor with 2-3 inches of paper bedding or hay.
The only part of the hutch that should be wood is the frame because rabbits will chew on wood. The wooden legs of the wood should be treated to prevent rot and termites. Please make sure the treatment you use is rabbit safe. The roof should be slanted, and the edge should extend 7 inches past the edge of the hutch for weatherproofing. It is not recommended to let your rabbit outdoors, but if you, please allow exercise for at least 4 hours. However, a rabbit should always be confined to a cage or hutch and should not be let outside.
In their exercise area, you can use baby gates or a pen about 3-4 feet high to prevent jumping over. If you do not have carpet, provide thick yoga mats and bits of carpet to prevent pressure sores on their feet. If you allow your rabbit free access to your home, please ensure that you are rabbit-proofing and keeping them safe from electrical wires, toxic plants, and chewing on the walls.
When your rabbit is not in the cage during the once-a-week cleaning, remove all bedding material, litter pan, food, and water containers. Throw away disposable bedding. Empty the litter pan and wipe down the cage as needed. You can use vinegar to clean up any hard-to-remove spots and then disinfect with a small animal habitat cleaner or 3% bleach solution. Leave the disinfectant for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly and dry completely before replacing the bedding.
In addition, you should provide lots of toys for mental stimulation and to prevent your rabbit from chewing on inappropriate items like furniture, walls, plants, and electric cords. Toy options include:
If you let your rabbit free roam your house, supervise them and rabbit-proof the electrical wires, toxic plants, and walls with baby gates or other barriers. Please also provide them with additional litter boxes and hide boxes as needed.
Rabbits prefer to urinate and defecate in just a few places (typically corners) so it is ideal for putting a litter box in the corner of the cage to make for easy daily cleanup. You can put bedding inside the litter pan as well as a handful of hay since rabbits like to eat inside their litter box.
The best kind of cage for rabbits is a pet playpen. This type of enclosure gives your rabbit more space, is cheaper, and securely keeps your rabbit out of trouble. In the end, the cage you get should be 3 times the length of your rabbit and twice the width.
Rabbits are active animals that are healthiest when they have space to hop around and play. They are much more likely to become bored and aggressive if they are kept in a small cage all day long while only being let out periodically to exercise. A large enclosure also gives your rabbit space to sprawl out and relax, helping them feel more comfortable and at home.
Sometimes you need to fit a rabbit enclosure into an awkwardly shaped space. You may not be able to find a traditional rabbit cage fits your needs without completely rearranging the room. Since a pet playpen is made up of eight individual panels, it can easily be shifted around into different shapes that can fit into just about any space in your home. You can even arrange for the pen entrance to be on whatever location is most convenient for you.
For rabbits you are not yet litter trained, I recommend getting one of these reusable puppy pee pads. The size fits a playpen perfectly if you have it shaped in a square, and it will prevent your rabbit from damaging the floors while they are still being litter trained.
A correctly sized enclosure will give your rabbit room for three to four hops along the length of their enclosure. The width should be at least one hop length, and the rabbit should be able to stand all the way up on their hind legs without bumping their head against the top.
How do you estimate the hop length of your rabbit? Measure the full length of your rabbit when they are sprawled out on the floor. For an average sized, five pound rabbit, this will probably be somewhere around one and a half feet. For an average sized rabbit you want to have an enclosure that is at least 4ft long by 2ft wide by 2 ft tall.
If you have three or more rabbits, I would start to increase the space a little. If you have four rabbits I would double the space. At this point, you could also consider rabbit-proofing an entire room for your rabbits to live in together.
There are a lot of different types of enclosures to choose from for your rabbit. While the pet playpen is the one that I use and recommend, these options could be the right choice for your situation. Consider each of these options to decide what is best for you and your bun.
You do want to get a crate with flat flooring, rather than wires. This is better for your rabbit since wires can end up causing sores of rabbit feet. These crates are also easily collapsible to make it convenient for transporting and not a nightmare to clean.
Some wooden hutches are too small, but there are many sold that are a good size for rabbits. Some of them are even two or three stories tall. Many of these hutches were made for the outdoors, but they can easily be used for indoor living as well (learn why I recommend keeping pet rabbits as house pets).
You also want to be careful about the type of wood used for the hutch. Cedar is a common material used for these hutches, but cedar is poisonous to rabbits when they ingest it. Since rabbits have the instinct to chew on wooden objects, a cedar hutch can be a real danger to your rabbits.
While there are always exceptions, I generally recommend avoiding products that are marketed as rabbit or small animal cages. These are almost always too small for rabbits, and would do better as enclosures for smaller animals, such as guinea pigs or rats. The two more traditional options for rabbits that I would usually avoid include metal cages and plastic cages.
Almost all metal cages on the market are too small for rabbits. There are some tiered metal cages that may work if you have extremely limited floorspace, but these cages are better suited for climbing animals, such as chinchillas.
Instead of keeping your rabbit in an enclosure, you can choose to allow them free access to your home, similar to the way we keep cats and dogs. I still recommend keeping an enclosure as a home base for your rabbit, but you can keep the door open and let your rabbit roam around at will. Many rabbits are well behaved and can really benefit from living a free roam life. 041b061a72