Rabbits are adorable cute pets that can bring a lot of joy to a family household.
But before you bring a rabbit home, you need to ensure that you can offer everything this cute animal needs.
With the right accessories and enclosure setup, your rabbit can survive healthily and even have baby bunnies.
This article will teach you how to set up a rabbit cage to keep this animal healthy and happy. So, let’s dive in.
When you’re setting up a rabbit’s cage, there are some essential items that the animal won’t be able to survive healthily without. In addition, some extra accessories can make life more comfortable for this peaceful animal.
Setting up a comfortable home for your rabbit isn’t difficult, but determining the correct type of items to include in the enclosure can be a little challenging.
When you’re shopping for rabbit supplies, you might encounter tens of items. Some of them are essential, while others aren’t. They can be ignored altogether, or you might want to get them later.
These items are either offered as part of the enclosure’s package, or you can buy them separately for a low price. You can also make some of them at home using the materials near your home or in your garage if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
- A litter box should be big enough to accommodate your rabbit. If it’s too small and the corners hurt the rabbit’s fragile body, it will avoid using it.
- Rabbits usually nibble on litter, so make sure that you provide your bunny with paper-based litter, as clay-based litter can clog its intestine.
- Provide your rabbit with enough Timothy hay is essential for survival. You can put it in a special hay trough or put it directly in the litter box to act as a natural bedding material.
- Make sure your rabbit is feeding on plain brown dry pellets containing Timothy grass or hay listed as the first ingredient. Colored pellets can be attractive but lack essential nutrients that this animal needs to stay in perfect shape.
- Use a soft rug or mat to cover the enclosure and give your rabbit better traction.
- A rabbit feels safe when it has a den or a cardboard box where it can hide when it feels threatened.
- Make sure that your rabbit has access to safe ceramic or wood bowls for food and water. They won’t have any sharp edges and are heavy enough, so they won’t tip over.
- Keeping your rabbit entertained is essential for its health, so you need to make sure that there are enough safe toys that your rabbit can play with and chew on.
These items are usually found in pet stores as part of a rabbit’s enclosure, but your animal can live happily without them.
You might consider getting some of them later as you expand the enclosure. However, some of these items are completely unnecessary.
- Having special bedding material was believed to be necessary, but not anymore. As a matter of fact, having some soft flooring material like old towels or mats is more than enough.
- Treats are suitable for your pet rabbit, but treat bars aren’t. When they’re left in the enclosure, so your rabbit will eat too many of them, and this can make them gain weight in the long run.
- Rabbits that are given a healthy and balanced diet don’t need salt licks to sharpen their teeth. So, having them inside the enclosure can actually hurt these animals if your rabbits chew on them.
- If you have a litter box with high sides, you won’t need a urine guard.
Setting up the right enclosure for your pet rabbit starts by picking a suitable cage. Then, you should make sure that you also set it up at the right location and provide it with all the needed amenities.
If the enclosure isn’t suitable for your fluffy bunny, this animal can get too depressed. So here are the proper steps to follow.
The cage or hutch you pick for your bunny should be big enough to allow your rabbit to move freely. As a rule of thumb, the largest rabbit in the enclosure should be able to stand on its hind legs without the ears touching the enclosure’s ceiling.
Larger rabbit species like the Flemish Giants need at least 44 square feet of space to live comfortably. If the cage is too small, your animal will get depressed and might even die.
Since rabbits aren’t solitary animals, you should go for a bigger cage if you’re keeping two or more pets in the same cage. In general, rabbits should be able to hop and jump in the cage without feeling too restricted to stay happy.
A multi-level cage with separate rooms is better because this animal enjoys its privacy.
Rabbits prefer hutches with wired doors because they provide more privacy, but if you’re keeping your rabbit at home, you’ll definitely want to keep your pet in a cage where you can see it.
This is where having several hiding places will come in handy.
You should get a partitioned cage with separate rooms for every rabbit in the enclosure to keep each animal healthy and happy. Having too many rabbits in the same enclosure without enough hiding spaces will stress these animals.
Cages with wire bottoms should be avoided because the rabbit’s feet can get trapped in them, even if you’re using a soft flooring material. It’s always recommended to buy an enclosure with a sturdy plastic bottom that can be easily cleaned.
The wire on the cage itself shouldn’t allow the rabbit to escape. Moreover, it shouldn’t be big enough to tempt this little animal to squeeze itself.
The door of the enclosure should be big enough to allow you to fit all items easily, especially since you’ll have to clean them regularly. You should also make sure that the door is secure.
You can set up pieces of cardboard along the sides to protect your surroundings from the straw that rabbits spread. These should also guard your surroundings against urine, as these animals tend to spray when they urinate.
The litter box is the most important accessory to add to your rabbit’s enclosure.
It should have high sides to protect the flooring from extra urine, or you can set up cardboard pieces for extra protection. Cardboard is a safe choice for rabbits as they tend to chew on different materials.
In most cases, buying a triangular litter box works because it doesn’t occupy much space.
Nevertheless, your pet rabbit might take time before it can get used to using the litter box. So accidents can happen.
Eventually, the rabbit will learn to use the litter box.
You should also install a water bowl or bottle and a food bowl for your rabbit. These should be heavy enough to stay stable as your bunny jumps and hops because lightweight bowls can tip over and cause a mess.
Water bottles are easier to install and will stay clean, but some bunnies don’t accept them.
The bowls should be flat, more like trays, because these animals don’t like to stretch their heads up.
You should also make sure that these bowls are made of safe materials with no sharp edges, as they might hurt this delicate animal.
Setting up a smooth and soft flooring material will protect your rabbit from pododermatitis, which happens when the rabbit walks on hard surfaces.
However, if you already have a wire-bottomed cage, you can fix it by adding a piece of wood or cardboard to the bottom.
Different bedding options are available for your pet rabbit, but hay is the best.
It’s safe, edible, and can keep your pet rabbit safe.
Pregnant rabbits should be given alfalfa hay, while Timothy hay works for all other rabbits.
Avoid using cedar shavings because they are toxic to bunnies.
You can also use another safe bedding material from recycled wood or paper that won’t kill your bunny if it chews on it.
You can add a layer of puppy pads under the bedding material for easier cleanup.
You don’t have to provide a separate bed, but adding one might appeal to your pet rabbit.
You can find warm beds made of velvet mats or tiny plush hammocks to keep your pet rabbit comfortable.
After installing all the necessary accessories, you need to pick the right spot for the rabbit’s cage.
It should be kept in a well-ventilated area that doesn’t feel too hot or too cold.
Rabbits are sensitive to dust, so you shouldn’t keep their enclosure in a dusty spot like the attic.
At the same time, they need some natural light, so keeping them in a garage or a dark basement isn’t recommended.
Yet, rabbits are sensitive animals, and keeping them in a loud family room can be too stressful for them.
Instead, you need to ensure that these animals stay in a comfortable, cool room with enough diffused light. The room should also be relatively quiet to avoid startling these cute animals.
An extra bedroom or study room will work best.
Rabbits shouldn’t stay trapped in their enclosures all the time, and they need to get out of their cages and jump freely to stay healthy.
If you choose to let your rabbit outside its enclosure to roam freely, you need to rabbit-proof the room where you keep this animal.
This means that you should make sure that it’s safe from other pets that can hunt and even kill this animal.
Even if you keep the rabbit in an enclosure, you need to raise it off the floor if there’s a dog in the house. The presence of a dog sniffing around your pet rabbit can scare it to death.
Moreover, the room should be safe to prevent your bunny from escaping. There should be no sharp objects that can easily injure this animal.
A water drip bottle is better than a water bowl because it provides your bunny with fresh and clean water all day.
A 20-oz bottle is enough for a single rabbit and will keep it hydrated for two days. If you’re keeping multiple rabbits in the enclosure, make sure that each one of them has its own water bottle to avoid excessive contact that spreads infections and diseases.
Water bottles come with metal hooks that secure them to the sides of the enclosure. But you need to make sure that the nozzle is set up at the right height so the rabbit feels comfortable.
Droppings and food might contaminate a water bowl, but some bunnies prefer bowls over bottles.
The food bowl should be placed away from the water bowl or bottle to avoid getting the food wet and soggy.
You should make sure that the food bowl is made of safe material. Yet, if you scatter pellets on the bottom of the enclosure, you might not have to use a food bowl at all.
Foraging for pellets is actually good for your rabbit’s mental stimulation.
You can also provide your rabbit with dry food, which contains a high concentration of nutrients. However, this food should be offered as a treat because it can make your rabbit gain too much weight.
When you use dry pellets, your rabbit will have all the salt and minerals it needs. However, if you offer organic food like carrots and celery, you’ll have to offer salt licks.
Since there’s no clear information regarding how much salt this organic food contains, you’ll have to figure out the amount of salt your rabbit needs. So, it’s best to offer leafy greens and other veggies as a supplementary addition to dry pellets.
Toys keep your rabbit healthy by staying physically stimulated.
Rabbits have sharp teeth, so everything you add to their enclosure should be made of tough plastic because they can easily chew on soft plastic items.
You can find some cool toys at the pet store, and they will keep your pet rabbit entertained.
These include wood blocks, PVC toys, and toys made of durable fabric. These are tough enough to withstand the sharp teeth of the rabbit.
Cardboard pieces are also suitable for chewing, and they’re not toxic. However, you should avoid using soft wood toys because the small pieces can choke your bunny.
Chewable toys are also healthy for the rabbit’s teeth because they sharpen them to maintain their length.
Rabbits are delicate animals and can be easy to take care of once you’ve set up the right enclosure.
The cage should be big enough to accommodate every rabbit you have, allowing each animal to hop and jump comfortably.
Choosing the right cage material is essential to keep your rabbit healthy, and you should make sure that there are enough hiding spaces and private rooms inside the enclosure to provide this animal with some privacy.
You should set up the right bedding material and accessories. Some materials can be too dangerous for your pet rabbit and should be avoided.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.