Mar 292011
 

In the wild, rabbits live in burrows – underground tunnels and “rooms.” Pet rabbits still have this desire to get away and hide in a close space. A cage allows a rabbit to do this safely. If you don’t allow your pet a space inside his cage to hide, he may decide that the best place to hide is under your furniture – clearly not a good idea!

Also, unlike with a cat or dog, rabbits shouldn’t be out of their cages all the time. They will need at least two hours out of their cage, and need to be supervised during these times. Providing a cage helps your peace of mind, knowing that your rabbit isn’t underfoot and you don’t have to watch him closely. It also provides your pet with some time to rest, and burrow, as mentioned above.

Type Of Cage

Cage come in a variety of setups. A fancy cage setup may include a stand with drawers underneath for supplies. A much more common design is a free standing cage with a wire mesh top and solid bottom. While some designs have a mesh floor over a solid tray, these can be hard on your rabbit’s feet. If you decide to purchase this design, you will need to provide some areas with a solid bottom. A section of washable carpet over part of the floor will provide a spot for your pet to get away from the wire.

Rabbits can be litter trained, so if you are going to litter train your pet, you won’t need to have a wire bottom to the cage. If you aren’t going to litter train, then a wire bottom allows waste to drop to the washable tray beneath. Whichever you decide, the bottom will need to be cleaned, so make sure you get one that you can clean easily.

Super Pet Pet-N-Playpen for Rabbit, Guinea Pig and Ferret

Another type of enclosure for your pet, while not strictly a cage, is to have a kind of playpen. Your floor will become the floor of the cage, and the walls are wire fence. Many are designed for puppies, but they work equally well for rabbits. Some designs come with tall fences that your rabbit won’t hop over. Others have a roof, or cover. These can be used alone as an enclosure, or combined with a cage to provide more room for your pet to move around. Another advantage to a playpen is that many can be taken outdoors to give your rabbit a change of surroundings. A design without a cover many need additional supervision so that rabbit doesn’t try to jump out. Designs may have one door, or multiple doors.

Avoid an aquarium, or other solid sided enclosure, as these don’t provide enough ventilation.

The wire for any enclosure should have squares no bigger than 2 inches – smaller if possible. This is will prevent your pet from getting his head caught if he comes over to check out what’s going on outside the cage. Fortunately, there are plenty of designs made especially for rabbits so you shouldn’t have problems finding a cage that fits this criteria.

You will want a way to get your rabbit out of it’s cage. A side door is best for this as it is easy to reach into. A side door also provides an opportunity for you to open the door and the rabbit to hop out on it’s own. This can be further assisted by having a ramp leading down from the opening of the cage, if the opening isn’t right at floor level.

Size Of Cage

Super Pet My First Home Complete Rabbit Kit, Purple
Cages, like this one included in a kit from Amazon.com,
are typical for an indoor rabbit.

You will want to get a large cage for your rabbit. What counts as large? One big enough for him or her to stand on his hind legs and not feel cramped. There should be clearance above his ears – at least an inch. A general rule of thumb is to have one four times bigger than your pet. However, bigger than that is certainly better. Of course, different breeds come in different sizes, and a smaller breed won’t need as big of a cage as a larger breed – although you pet won’t complain with a larger cage.

A cage will need to have room for a water bottle, small litter box, a nesting box or hide-away, and food bowl as well. So, a larger cage will have plenty of room for your pet to move around while also having plenty of room to put these essentials out of the way of your pet’s play area.

Choosing a cage for your indoor rabbit can be fun. From a simple box to a more elaborate design, as long as you provide your pet with what it needs and plenty of space, you and your pet will be happy.

References:

Rabbit Housing: Cage, Accessories, Location, and Maintenance

Rabbits in cage

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