Is your furry little pet hopping mad over their current living arrangements? Is your rabbit cage older than your rabbit? Well it could be time for a new rabbit cage or hutch.
What Size Cage Does My Rabbit Need?
One of the first practical things you need to consider before purchasing a new rabbit cages is the size of your rabbit’s new housing. While there are tons of small cages available on the market, including on this site, they should not be used as long-term quarters for a pet rabbit. Rabbits should only be kept in small cages for brief periods of time. Rabbits should be housed in a large, clean, secure, and durable cage or hutch. While there are many rules of thumb when determining the size of cage your rabbit needs, the easiest method is simple common sense. Seriously think about how big you are in comparison to the size of your house or even a room within your house.
Some cages and hutches have grid floors covering at least part of the bottom. This allows dirt and waste to fall through, which allows the rabbit to remain on a clean surface. This is usually the most practical way to keep the rabbit’s housing sanitary. However, various breeds of rabbits require some type of padding on the floor of their housing because the soles of their feet do not have enough cushioning fur pad. Straw or hay often works great for this purpose. You should ask your veterinarian if any type of padding needs to be added to the floor of your rabbit’s house.
An Indoor Rabbit Cage or Outdoor Rabbit Hutch?
A common question for new owners is whether to get an indoor cage or outdoor hutch. Nowadays there are also indoor rabbit hutches. They are often still referred to as rabbit cages in an attempt to keep with traditional terminology.
Some pet lovers feel that having any type of enclosure for their bunnies is wrong and that the animals should be allowed to roam freely from throughout the house. Not only is this dangerous for both you and the rabbit, it is not how they live in their natural habitat. Rabbits in the wild typically have a den. They should never be allowed to roam the house unsupervised. They will chew on electrical cords, not because they are irrationally destructive animals but because chewing on things is just what rabbits do. Obviously this can cause a fire and/or the death of your pet. They will also climb and hop on things that are not appropriate for them to be on, fall and get hurt. If left unsupervised, they will eat things other than their food and can become very ill. And by allowing the furry little bugger to run freely all the time, there is a good chance you will either trip over them and hurt yourself, or step on them and hurt the bunny.
Your bunny needs a “den” so he can have a place to sleep where he feels safe and sound. In the wild, rabbits tunnel out a hole in the ground where they can be free from their predators. They need a place where they can burrow in the straw or other bedding no matter where the hutch is located.
An indoor hutch is typically smaller and more mobile than an outdoor rabbit hutch. You will have the ability to change it from one room to another if you need to relocate the rabbit. They are not intended to keep the rabbit caged in for hours upon end. They are mainly for the bunny to have a safe hideaway and an area for him to relieve himself. Rabbits can be trained to use the litter box pretty much the same as a cat. Male rabbits are sometimes harder to train than female rabbits.
Most hutches that are built for the outside are not as portable. They tend to be heavier and it takes a lot more sweat to move them. Most of them are built with tall wooden legs to keep the hutch well off the ground and thus out of reach of predators. Hutches that go outside are typically wider and taller than the indoor type and some come with a run attached or you can purchase a run separately.
Many pet owners settle the indoor versus outdoor debate by getting one of each. They keep a small cage inside the home for when they want to keep the bunny inside and have a large hutch outside so the rabbit is able to bask in the warm sunshine and get some exercise.
Today’s animal friendly traps are nothing like the old claw traps you may have seen in the movies. They are basically a standard rabbit cage with a door that automatically closes once the rabbit enters. If a rabbit has made its way into your residential neighborhood, it may not be a bad idea to capture it and turn it into a domestic pet. Wild rabbits do not typically last very long roaming free in a residential area. Between the traffic, dogs, and other circumstances that they will run into around the human environment, their chances are slim if left running freely in the open.
Another thing to consider is that the wild rabbit you have noticed the last few mornings in your backyard may not be wild at all. Often new pet owners think their fenced in backyard is a good place to let their bunny play and exercise. They soon discover that fence was no obstacle for the fuzzy little rascal.
Give Your Pet More Space With A Rabbit Run
Most responsible pet owners will tell you that your bunny needs a rabbit run for their hutch. If you take home a starter kit when you buy your rabbit, it will consist of a small cage and some supplies intended for you to be able to care for your rabbit right away. But those should only be considered a temporary measure.
A rabbit needs to have regular exercise to preserve its good health. Bunnies that lead a caged, inactive lifestyle tend to fall into poor health. Rabbits that do not have the freedom they need to hop and move about can develop a lack of interest toward doing anything at all. Yes, they can become the equivalent of a “couch potato”. Like people, rabbits that lie around most of the day tend to get fat. And not just a small spare tire, rabbits that do not have the room to move about can get quite obese. This will lead to a decline in their mental and physical health. This can also lead to problems like heart failure, brittle bones, skin infections and feet malformations. Their quality of life is greatly diminished and they do not typically live as long as rabbits that are cared for in the proper manner.
New rabbit owners often think that the cute little wire cages they see bunnies in at the pet store are suitable environments for long term housing. They simple are not big enough to “live” in. Rabbits that get daily exercise are happier and not as likely to be aggressive. Bunnies are not by nature aggressive but can develop the trait due to the frustration they feel by having to remain so long in such cramped quarters. Very similar to people forced to live in an 8 x 10 jail cell.
Not only does the ability to run and hop help give your pet a good disposition and a healthier life, but the opportunity to be outside and eat grass can also improve digestion and keep his bowel movements on a regular schedule. When you set up a run, do not place it on an area of the yard that has been treated with any chemicals or you can make the bunny sick. A rabbit hutch and run gives your pet a nice home where he can enjoy his days safe from the weather as well as predators.