This list is for anyone preparing to bring their first bunny home as well as for bunny guardians who’ve asked what supplies we use and recommend. Our philosophy is “This is what you need and nothing that you don’t,” based on products and brands we know to be high quality, bunny tested and approved, and sturdy enough to withstand daily usage at SaveABunny.
Bunny living space should be at least 12 square feet. We recommend dog exercise pens at least 30″ high; these can be configured into different shapes to match your available space and can easily collapse and move to clean the area. A pen also allows bunny to enter and exit on their own, without you having to pick them up before and after playtime. See more: Housing Your Rabbit
- Any small pet cage sold in pet stores, they’re never big enough.
- Anything with a wire flooring, which can cause sore hocks on bunny feet.
- Line the exercise pen with a clean flat sheet, blanket, or beach towels to provide traction as well as easy cleanup.
Use a medium or large size rectangular litter box. In general the bigger the better since bunnies spend a lot of time in their box and some even like to nap in them.
- Triangle-shaped litter boxes — many bunnies won’t use them, probably because they’re never big enough.
- Place litter box in a corner of the pen — bunnies tend to do their business in corners.
- Position the hay rack right up against litter box since bunnies like to eat and poop at the same time. This reinforces and encourages good litter box habits.
Use litter made from paper or plants such as Care Fresh (paper), Yesterday’s News (paper), Critter Country (plant), and Cat Country Organic (plant). The last 3 are heavier and don’t get kicked out of the box as easily.
Less expensive alternatives:
- Wood stove pellets — available at many big box home improvement stores in 40 lb bags. These are compressed sawdust pellets for use in pellet stoves, not to be confused with the kind used in BBQ grills to help season food.
- Horse bedding pellets — available at feed stores in 40 lb bags.
- Newspaper, clean rags or towels — messier, but cheaper.
Do NOT use the following as they are potentially toxic:
- Any clumping cat litter.
- Clay, corn, silica, or wheat based litter.
- Any kind of wood shavings.
Use a heavy ceramic water bowl that bunny can’t tip over. Water bottles that hold at least 16 oz. make a good back-up.
After years of frustration trying to find a good hay rack we decided to design and build them ourselves. SaveABunny volunteers make the best hay racks — they hold a large quantity of hay, are easy to refill, and hay dust falls to the bottom where it can be emptied out instead of scattering all over your floor. Purchase through our Etsy store or during your visit to SaveABunny
- Wire hay racks sold in many pet stores — does not hold nearly enough hay to feed your bunny and hay will end up going everywhere.
Use timothy hay, orchard grass, or oat hay. If you tend to have allergies, we suggest using orchard grass or oat hay as more people seem to be affected by timothy hay.
Other hay sources:
- SaveABunny — fresh orchard grass is available onsite for $10 per flake (a bale slice roughly the size of a kitchen-size trash bag).
- Local feed store.
- Small Pet Select — many SaveABunny volunteers use their automatic monthly delivery. www.smallpetselect.com
- Alfalfa hay — only for baby bunnies, not adults.
- Hay purchased at most pet stores — expensive for the small amount you get and often crumbly and old due to lack of product turnover.
Pellets are given in limited quantities, no more than 1/4 cup per 6 lb bunny weight. Use a coffee scoop or measuring cup to make sure you’re not overfeeding! Use Timothy hay based pellets with no added dried fruit, seeds, other bits.
- Alfalfa hay based pellets — only for babies
- Pellets mixed with nuts, seeds, corn, cereal pieces, dried fruit, colorful bits — poor nutritional value and empty calories.
Rabbits need their fur groomed at least once a month (more often when when going through a heavy shed) with a fine comb or small brush to keep them from ingesting too much fur and getting a blockage. Nails should be trimmed every 6 weeks or so.
It’s very important to cover all electric cords within bunny reach. Bunnies especially love cell phone charger cords — one bite and your phone’s dead!
A bored bunny is a naughty bunny and a variety of toys and activities keep their curious minds occupied. Untreated willow balls and baskets, hard plastic bird toys, hard cat toys that can be rolled or tossed are some examples of good toys. We like to shop at
- Happy Rabbit Toys, www.happyrabbittoys.com
- Napoleon Bunnyparte, www.napoleonbunnyparte.com
- Homemade toys are great — things like cardboard boxes with entry/exit cut outs and empty toilet tissue rolls stuffed with hay. Google “DIY rabbit toys” for lots of ideas for toys to make at home.
- Willow, wicker or woven grass items from home decor stores — may be sprayed or treated with pesticides.
- Anything made of semi-hard or flexible plastic since bunnies can chew and ingest.
We recommend a hard sided carrier with either a large side and/or top opening so getting bunny in and out is easier. Easy to clean, too. Line the bottom with a towel to provide traction and a soft place to sit for the journey.
- Soft sided carriers made of mesh, canvas, cardboard — bunnies can easily chew through and difficult to clean if bunny pees during the ride.
A diluted mixture of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water in a spray bottle does wonders to clean and deodorize the bunny area. For litter box stains, soak a while with undiluted vinegar and a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent. For accidents on carpet, any Nature’s Miracle stain remover product.
ITEMS YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY
- Salt licks, mineral blocks, lava blocks, or vitamin supplements – rabbits don’t need them even though many places continue to sell.
- Yogurt drops, commercial rabbit treat foods, or chew toys with flavorings – They are bad for rabbit’s health.
- Bedding – You can use a towel, bath mat, sheet, or carpet squares for traction and comfort.
- Harness or leash – These are very dangerous and can cause your rabbit to break his/her back. Prey animals like rabbits should never be leashed.