Every bunny deserves a fantastic home – your rabbit’s house is definitely her castle! Follow our “ 5 Step Guide to Setting Up Rabbit Houses” and you will have a healthy, happy bunny home for years to come.
Pick the right cage/hutch
- It needs to be large enough for your rabbit to stretch and turn around easily after you have added a nesting spot (bed), litter pan and food and water dishes.
- The bottom of the cage needs to be easily cleaned. Wire is ok but needs to be covered with cardboard or a piece of untreated pine wood so that it does not damage the soft pads of your rabbit. General purpose plastic is also a no-no as your rabbit will most likely chew right through.
- Most commercial rabbit cages are fairly utilitarian looking so think outside the box when looking for a cage – a cat pen or guinea pig cage may be just as suitable.
- Where you place the cage is very important. Place it where the rabbit can see what is going on with the family but is not in direct traffic. Ensure it is away from direct heat (fire, heaters etc) cold drafts and noise, such as the stereo or TV.
Where’s the Bathroom? – Add a litter box/pan
- We have found the high sided, corner variety is the best to use as rabbits urinate horizontally rather than downwards!
- Rabbits naturally seem to like to go to the toilet in corners and tend to prefer one particular corner. If she seems to prefer a certain corner, move her litter box to that one.
- Good choices for litter material are those made from aspen bark, newspapers (but these don’t control odors very well) or hay.
- Always avoid the following: pine and cedar shavings as they release aromatic phenols which could harm your rabbit’s respiratory system and cat litter as some brands can be toxic to your rabbit.
Bedtime – Add a nesting box
- Although there are many nesting/bedding boxes available commercially this can be as simple as a cardboard box with a hole cut in each end and filled with fresh hay. Rabbits love to burrow and snuggle in dark corners and this will keep her feeling safe. It is important that there are two exits. As a prey species, your bunny likes to have an escape route!
- Hay keeps your precious rabbit warm as well as being great to munch on. And who doesn’t like breakfast in bed?!
Dinner time – Food & water bowls
- The best food bowls are heavy crockery or metal with a wider base as they stop your rabbit tipping them over. And we all know how much rabbits LOVE to try to tip their bowls over!
- You’ll also need either another bowl for water or a bottle attached to the side of the cage. Bottles are a lot cleaner (your bun can’t bathe in it for one)! However some rabbits take a while to adjust to a bottle if they haven’t used one before. ALWAYS have an alternative supply of water in a bowl until she gets used to using the bottle.
Work Hard, Play Hard – Add some toys
- Bunnies love to play so add some rabbit-safe toys to her house. They don’t need to be store bought – old phone directories are a favourite (remove the shiny cover) or even a tissue box stuffed with hay can be entertaining for your bun. This one is only limited by your imagination!
- If you do want to buy some toys, certain cat toys like those little balls with a bell inside can also be suitable. Ensure you first remove anything that could be chewed off like eyes, buttons etc.
So, there you are. The perfect rabbit home in 5 easy steps.