Like dogs and cats, domestic rabbits live happier, healthier and longer lives indoors. They are safe from predators, parasites, poisonous plants, and weather related dangers inside. Rabbits are also quite social and enjoy being part of family life rather than isolated in a hutch outside.
Lulu lives in a small room off our bedroom. The room is too small for a human bedroom, but perfect size for indoor rabbit habitat. During the day when we are not at home, we keep a baby gate in the doorway so she can look out and see the other animals. When we are home and can supervise, Lulu likes to come out and explore our bedroom and occasionally the living room. This video is a few years old, but gives a sense of just how social and energetic rabbits can be.
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Where Should My Rabbit Live: General Guidelines for Indoor Rabbit Habitat
- Habitats should be 4-6 times the size of your bunny leaving ample space for stretching.
- Habitats should have smooth or carpeted floors to prevent hock sores or broken nails. Similar to dog and cat crates, wire bottoms are problematic and can cause serious injury and discomfort.
- Bunnies don’t do well in extreme cold, humidity or in heat in excess of 80 degrees.
- Rabbits need access to Timothy hay and fresh water in a non-skid bowl, at all times.
- Cardboard boxes, bunny safe baskets, tunnels, and blankets are always a nice addition.
- Most traditional cleaning products are toxic to rabbits. Surfaces should be cleaned with white vinegar and water.
Specific Rabbit Housing/Habitat Options
Ideally, giving rabbits a room of their own is always a great option. Before the bunny moves in (and takes over), you will need to remove plants, books, papers or anything they might eat or chew on. You will also need to cover wires, cables, and outlets (again, they like to chew). Blocking access to baseboards or woodwork that might contain chemicals or lead paint is also recommended. Most bunny proofing supplies (plastic covers, plexiglass, etc.) can be purchased at your local hardware or craft store.
Exercise pens are inexpensive and easy to clean. Some bunnies are especially talented jumpers so go with a pen that is at least 36 inches high and be prepared to cover the top with netting if necessary.
Bunny condos are another great option. They are also durable and easy to clean and often have several floors and ramps covered in carpet for traction and comfort. Leithpetworks.com has great selection of bunny condos and other products.
Rabbit cages should be at least 36 inches long by 24 inches wide with smooth bottoms. Doors on the side are also preferable so you can easily let your bunny out for exercise. Adding a pen around the cage allows your bunny to come and go as they please, which is fun for them and you.
Regardless of which option you choose, keep in mind that rabbits do best with 3-4 hours of exercise in a bunny proof space each day. Watching them run and hop around is super adorable and fun!
Be sure to check out Bunny Basics One and Two. Tune in Friday, March 24 for information on proper rabbit safety and handling guidelines. If you have specific bunny related questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.