Housing Your Rabbit
Submitted by webmaster on August 13, 2007 - 11:21am
Cages & Pens
- Rabbits should never be on wire, because their feet can become sore and infected. Cages should have a solid floor. Leith Petwerks (http://www.leithpetwerks.com) is a great online source for 1, 2 and 3 story condos.
- The bigger the enclosure the better. Make sure that the cage is at least 6 times the size of your rabbit stretched out in addition to room for hopping around, lounging, a litterbox and some toys.
- Wire puppy pens (also called X-Pens for Excercise Pens) at least 30" high can easily be configured into different shapes to match your available space. They are also easy to clean around. Most pet supply stores sell these pens. You may need to protect your floor or carpet, and this can be done with the use of an inexpensive area rug, plastic office chair mat, linoleum remnant, seagrass mats, or other bunny-safe floor covering.
- You can also build a condo out of Neat Idea Cubes (NIC). These wire grid cubes can be found at some office supply stores and membership warehouses. Go to this link for a web page that lists several web sites about building these condos: http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/NIC.shtml
- Rabbits don't need "bedding". For comfort and traction try sea grass mats (available at Cost Plus), rags, and carpet - just make sure they do not eat and carpet. The sea grass can be chewed up and eaten.
Unless and until you know your rabbit can be left unsupervised, she should be kept in her cage or pen while you're not home and at night when you sleep. Rabbits are crepuscular, which means that generally they sleep during the day and during the night but are ready to play at dawn and at twilight. Be sure to let them out during the evening when you are home, and if possible, in the morning while you get ready for work.
- A cage should be seen as the rabbit's "nest." A special place where he can feel safe and secure. Make the nest enjoyable and she will enjoy being there, even when the cage door is open! Keep it stocked with baby toys, a synthetic sheepskin rug, and when you put him to bed at night, a nice veggie or fruit snack.
Rabbits in the House
- When your house (or the part that your rabbit will have access to) has been sufficiently bunny-proofed, your rabbit can be allowed free run of the home (or part of it) even when you are not home. The more room your rabbit has to run around in, the more delightful you will find her as a companion.
- Even when a rabbit has a lot of room to run around, he may still get bored. A bored rabbit is often a naughty rabbit. If you don't make every attempt to provide your rabbit with lots of entertainment, in the form of boxes, baskets, brooms, sticks, magazines, phone books, grass mats, etc., then he will make his own entertainment in your carpet, behind your couch or under your recliner.
- Under no circumstances should rabbits be left outside unsupervised. It takes just a few seconds for the neighbor's dog to jump the fence and attack or frighten your rabbit to death.
- Rabbits are natural escape artists, and can dig under, chew through, or jump over a fence or gate.
- Make sure that the grass has not been sprayed with pesticides or fertilizers. Check the yard for holes in the fence and poisonous plants.