Need an emergency vet? Go here: pets911.com

Need a rabbit rescue? Find contacts here or contact us

This website is devoted to the care and well-being of all rabbits, and focuses on pet rabbits kept as indoor members of the family.

Last site update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015

Basic Facts

Avoid Overexposure

NIC setups

Oliver's NIC

NIC setups

Exercise Pens

Critical Care/Disabled Rabbits

Articles on shavings

General

Bunny Chill Box

Successful outdoor housing

Articles About Shavings

http://www.rabbit.org/care/shavings.html

http://www.trifl.org/cedar.shtml

http://www.afrma.org/rminfo2a.htm

http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html

http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/anphys/1999/Cook/Text.htm

http://www.rabbit.org/journal/1/liver-disease.html

Neat Idea Cubes (NIC) setups

Oliver's New Home

Cavy Cages

NIC example 2

NIC example 3

NIC example & plans

Another NIC example

Cages that are Easy to Build and Inexpensive

Neat Ideas Cubes Condo Website

A Project Idea: Bunny Condo from Neat Idea Cubes

Websites about NIC Condos

Exercise Pens

X-Pens

Pen Living

Beyond Cages: The Possibilities of Pen Living

The Advantages of Exercise Pens

Setting Up The X-Pen

X-Pens (good prices)

Rabbit Real Estate

Housing For Critically Ill Rabbits
Please see also the disabled rabbits email group

Doggon' Wheels Carts

General housing ideas
See also Litterbox Training

Cage/Housing FAQ

Gated Community

Litter

Housing

To Cage or Not to Cage (and some examples of housing setups)

Housing Update

Kelly's Cage Page

Multi-Maintenance

House Rabbit Hutch

Rabbit Houses.net Pet Products & Supplies

Check out my book on pet rabbit care and socialization, and I'm always updating it. The book is copyright-protected but available for free, though I request a $1 donation for the bunnies and for my efforts. C'mon, what's a buck?

Housing Your Bunny

Bunnies belong indoors, with the rest of the family!!

On this page I advocate strictly indoor housing!! (However, this page on successful outdoor housing should help those who have no choice)

This is my x-pen. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I gave it to Cocoa and Brownie for a home-within-a-home with Tamari and Noffy. It turned out to be a better use of my dining room, since my table was always cluttered with stuff that I didn't feel like sorting through.

It is very important that your bunnies consider their homes to be safe territory, which means they should be confident that no one will bother them if they're just relaxing. There will be times when you need to get to your bunny (such as to put him in a carrier to go somewhere, or to do something important - don't bother your bunny just because you want to brush them or snuggle with them, as there are other ways to entice him out to be sociable). Your bunnies are much more likely to behave well and use their litterboxes and not be too destructive when they have a feeling of safety in their own homes.

  • A rabbit kept in an outdoor hutch is often forgotten (out of sight, out of mind) and becomes a prisoner, not a pet - if you house your bunnies outside, PLEASE bring them in for a few hours each day to enjoy the family, and PLEASE look out for them during weather extremes!!
  • Setting your rabbit loose in the wild doesn't make her free, it makes her food!!
  • Do NOT use cedar or pine shavings in any way with small mammals!! - it causes respiratory problems and liver failure. It is only safe for larger dogs.

Articles on shavings

Tamari and Noffy hanging out in their cage (the door is locked in the open position, so it is a safe place for them to call their own, and since I don't lock them in, they like to relax in it.


Some basic facts everyone should know about housing for pet rabbits:

  • Bunnies need a LOT of exercise!!! They are prey animals and are built to run!! They need several hours a day of exercise, and those that are kept in cages all day long will suffer muscular atrophy and a host of skeletal and health issues.
  • Rabbits belong indoors with you as pets, not in outdoor hutches where they are often forgotten and live out their lives as prisoners. It is crucial that people who do keep their rabbits outside should bring them inside for several hours each day for exercise and to enjoy the family, and also to protect from weather extremes, and please look in on them frequently when they are outside!!
  • Keeping a rabbit in an outdoor hutch can substantially shorten its life due to exposure to the elements, proximity of predators who get near the hutch and try to get at the rabbit, and also because families often times forget about their outdoor rabbits, resulting in the rabbits living their lives without care or love, or suffer fatalities from exposure to climatic extremes
  • Stories abound about rabbits left in outdoor hutches who are forgotten about and as a result, denied proper food, water, or medical attention, and who ultimately die a slow, agonizing death as a result - there are numerous stories of a starving rabbit being removed from a hutch after spending two weeks with its dead mate, who had succumbed to starvation already
  • Rabbits need toys and playtime stimulation to fend off boredom and give them intellectual and emotional fulfillment
  • You can never know how wonderful a pet a rabbit can be until you share your home with one - then you can see their natural behavior
  • Rabbits will display many antics inside in front of their family members that they wouldn't if left alone in an outdoor hutch
  • Rabbits are easily litterbox trained and usually fastidious about their habits
  • The lifespan of an outdoor rabbit is typically on 1 or 2 years (and it is usually an unhappy and lonely life), the lifespan of an indoor house rabbit is 8-10 years or more (and it is a happy life)
  • Fear can cause a rabbit to have a heart attack (see prey animals), and rabbits kept in outdoor hutches suffer from fear of predators that try to get at them
  • Rabbits who live strictly in cages on wire floors develop often sore hocks, a very painful condition that can even damage the bones. They must be given a foot rest or more to get their feet off the wire bottom.
  • The reality is, any pet is likely to do some damage to something - dogs, cats, rabbits all chew on something or other - it's easier to rabbit-proof an area than to cat-proof or dog-proof. Please see these pages for tips on bunny-proofing your home (and remember, aluminum foil is your friend):
    Bunny proofing your home
    Rabbit Proofing
  • Rabbits need plenty of exercise to move in ways instinct tells them to - this is both physically and emotionally healthy for the rabbits.
  • Rabbits kept outside are subject to the elements and to predators or bad-intentioned humans; in some cases rabbits have been killed inside their hutch by predators chewing through part of the cage and getting to the rabbit - we have seen some rabbits with serious injuries simply because there was no place for them to hide in their hutch.
  • Please consider your rabbit a part of your family and not just a living burden to be kept alive - the rewards are immense and the suffering and sadness is avoided
  • Setting your unwanted pet rabbit loose in the wild (or worse, killing it) is legally defined as cruelty to animals and you will be prosecuted - please be kind to your furry friends, even if you cannot keep them. Setting your rabbit loose in the wild doesn't make her free, it makes her food!!

This is an example of a NIC setup one of our adopters used for their bunny Oliver - one image shows it in its open state, where he can come and go as he pleases, and the other shows it closed to confine him for safety when necessary.


It is very strongly recommended that you do not house your rabbit outdoors.

You should avoid overexposure to:

  • Direct sunlight
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Wind or drafts
  • Precipitation
  • Insects
  • Pesticides and other chemicals
  • Noise
  • Wildlife

Indoors/Outdoors? Indoors!!!. Such animals become prisoners, not pets, and they suffer from weather extremes, stress, fear from predators trying to get at them, and death from predators who do get at them. They are also often forgotten about or ignored, and in some cases this has led to them starving to death, or at the very least developing health problems that go undetected because they have almost no contact with their caregivers. This also leads them to have almost no trust in their caregivers, since the only contact they do have is when food is brought, or some cleaning is done. This is no life for a pet. A companion rabbit's place is in the home with you, as part of your family, just like the family dog or cat. Otherwise you will never know what a wonderful companion a rabbit can be, and how well if can get along with your other pets.

Cage/Housing FAQ

Although a house rabbit should be allowed to run around as much as possible, housing is still necessary for those times when the bun must be confined as well as for the bunny to have a place of his/her own. Proper housing is very important for rabbits to avoid injury (such as sore hocks from wire floors with no covering), stay healthy and happy. There must be enough room for the rabbit(s) to move around comfortably and also for the food and water bowls and litter box to fit in as well.

Rabbits need plenty of exercise, and if they are kept caged then they must be lot out every day for as much time as you can allow for them to exercise. A bunny who is denied exercise will develop all sorts of health problems as a result. If you have a rabbit that you keep caged, and you try letting him out and he won't come out - it is most likely because he doesn't know what to make of his new-found freedom. Rabbits NEED exercise, and you should not assume that because the rabbit doesn't come out of his cage that he doesn't want exercise. You may need to coax him out with a treat or something. Many times we hears stories like "I tried to give my rabbit exercise time, but he just stayed in his cage" - this is most likely because he is afraid to come out. You must help your bunny to be comfortable with this freedom.


If you are going to keep your rabbit(s) in a cage, you should follow these guidelines for minimum space requirements (L x W x H, in inches):

  • Small rabbit: 24 x 24 x 18
  • Medium rabbit: 36 x 24 x 20
  • Large rabbit: 42x24x20

Do NOT confine your rabbit outdoors in any situation where it cannot escape the elements, even if you think it will only be for a short while. If you forget about the rabbit outside for any length of time in harsh conditions, you may very well discover it dead. We've heard plenty of stories where the rabbit was put outside, in his cage, just for the afternoon while the family cleaned the house, only to find the rabbit had died of sunstroke; hutch bunnies that froze to death because they had no way of keeping warm in their hutches; hutch bunnies who died of illness after getting soaked in a rainstorm it couldn't escape...

NOTE: Please do not use those ultrasonic pest repellents (the kind that plug into the wall outlet and emit a high-pitched thumping to drive off insects and rodents). Rabbits' hearing is sensitive enough to be bothered by this.


Recommended Reading:

Articles About Shavings

Neat Idea Cubes (NIC) setups

This is his new NIC home.

Some examples of using NIC cubes to create habitats for cavies (guinea pigs).

The House Rabbit Network's article on using NIC Cubes to create rabbit habitats.

Examples of using NIC cubes to create rabbit condos.

Ideas and plans on putting together a NIC cube condo.

Ideas and plans on putting together a NIC cube condo.

Examples and instructions for setting up NIC cube condos.

Example of a NIC cube setup for a rabbit.

The Wisconsin House Rabbit Society's on using NIC cubes to house bunnies

Morfz's index page on NIC setups for bunnies

Exercise Pens

How to set up X-Pens for your rabbits.

The House Rabbit Society's article on giving your rabbits something more than just a cage to live in.

The House Rabbit Society's article on using pens to house rabbits

The Buckeye House Rabbit Society's article on housing rabbits in pens

Zooh Corner's article on setting up an exercise pen for your rabbits

PetEdge.com

The House Rabbit Network's article on Housing Options for Your Pet Rabbit

Housing For Critically Ill Rabbits
Please see also the disabled rabbits email group

Great place for carts for disabled animals of all types

General housing ideas
See also Litterbox Training

The House Rabbit Society's FAQ on Housing

Sertting up a gated community for your rabbits.

Some solutions for litterboxes for your rabbits.

Articles on all types of rabbit care.

The House Rabbit Society's examples of housing setups for rabbits.

The House Rabbit Society's article on proper housing for bunnies

A good index page for finding or making your own bunny cages

The House Rabbit Society's page on managing multiple housing setups for multiple rabbits

A very nice custom setup for house rabbits

Very nice rabbit homes that blend in well with other furniture


Copyright ©2014
3 Bunnies Rabbit Resources
All Rights Reserved
About Us
Contact Us
Site Map


This site is supported strictly by donations from our readers


Last update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015