Housing for rabbits
Rabbits make wonderful indoor companions, making them the perfect pet option for those living in an apartment or home with little or no yard space. We believe all pets should be part of the family. An indoor set-up will allow your rabbit to feel more confident, resulting in more positive interactions and a stronger bond with your family. An indoor lifestyle also protects your rabbits from extreme weather, predators and diseases.
Bunny-proof your rooms by covering up electrical cords, as your bunny is likely to find these desirable for chewing, which can be extremely dangerous.
We highly recommend play or puppy pen set-ups as they are portable, easy to set up and easy to clean. You can also create a larger, dynamic space for exercise and enrichment. Rabbits can jump surprisingly high, so ensure your play pen is at least 1m high.
If you have a spare bedroom, you could convert the whole space into a rabbit paradise! Remember to rabbit-proof the room by protecting all cords and chewable objects and blocking any ledges or shelves you don’t want them jumping onto
By allowing your rabbit to roam around the house they are free to express natural behaviours and have the space to develop their unique personality. Remember to rabbit-proof your home and supervise your rabbit at all times. Be sure to set up a secure enclosure for when the rabbit is not supervised, for example overnight,
Setting up an enclosure or hutch for your rabbit
Inappropriate enclosures and hutches
Many hutches advertised for rabbits are simply too small and restrictive when used on their own and can result in painful medical conditions. The following examples are NOT appropriate standalone enclosures, but they can be combined with puppy pens to create a larger space:
Rabbits love to explore and chew, so make sure you provide plenty of appropriate items. Rabbit-appropriate toys can be purchased at pet shops, but toys designed for cats are often a great hit! Just make sure you inspect them regularly for damage. Puzzle toys will encourage your rabbit to forage for their food, or get creative and try making your own out of cardboard. You can read more about rabbit enrichment here.
Tunnels and hiding
Burrowing is a natural behaviour for rabbits. You can invest in tunnels from pet shops or make your own out of cardboard. Create a quiet, cosy, enclosed space lined with a comfy blanket or hay for your rabbits to sleep.
Hiding places are exceptionally important for rabbits.
- Make sure they are in the right spot. Your rabbits’ hiding places should be high enough for your rabbits to quickly move underneath, but low enough to give them a feeling of safety. If your rabbits can jump onto them, they can function as platforms too!
- Never trap or remove your rabbits from hiding spots. Remember – this is your rabbits’ safe places, it’s where they will go to escape and feel calmer.
- Provide at least one hiding place per rabbit. You could also provide at least one bigger hiding place large enough for all rabbits to rest together.
- Ensure your rabbits’ hiding places have two entrances/exits. This will prevent your bossiest rabbit becoming territorial/aggressive and blocking others inside.
- If you have a big and small rabbit, have different sized hiding spots. This ensures smaller rabbits can escape from their larger companion if they ever feel bullied and need a break.
If rabbits use hiding places regularly or are hiding for lots of time, ask your veterinarian for advice – they may be unwell, stressed or frightened.
Food and water
You can also add some extra mental stimulation into your rabbits’ routine by using puzzle toys designed for cats, or make your own with cardboard, to feed your rabbit. These toys can be filled with pellets or chopped up treats and vegetables.
Rabbits can be toilet trained! Line the tray with hay and place some delicious hay close by. Initially, placing a few droppings or slightly soiled hay into a clean box can assist with toilet training, however more often than not rabbits will choose their own toilet area. Move the tray to this space instead.
Large, sturdy hutches or enclosed play pens are a great way to keep rabbits safe and secure whilst they enjoy a bit of outdoor time.
- Ensure to provide the minimum 4.5m2 space so they can happily expend their energy.
- All outdoor set ups must be insect-proofed to protect them from mosquito-borne diseases.
- Avoid enclosures with wire bases and always ensure your rabbits’ outdoor enclosure is shaded.
- Remember, rabbits are very susceptible to the elements so keep them indoors on hot or cold days. Between 10 to 25 degrees is an optimal temperature; any day outside this range your rabbit should be housed inside.