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Housing Your Rabbit

Providing a safe refuge for your bunny is an important aspect of keeping her healthy. Even though your rabbit spends most of her time investigating the house, sometimes she needs to be confined for her own good.

The minimum recommended cage space for a single rabbit is two feet by two feet by four feet. Although many cages are made from wire, it is important to provide an area that is made from a solid material like wood, Plexiglas or cardboard. This is to provide a “resting” area for the rabbit and to help prevent the formation of ulcers on the bottoms of her feet. These sores often occur when the rabbit is kept solely on a wire surface.
Since rabbits can be litter trained, a litter box or two should be placed in a corner and filled with substrates like Yesterday’s News, Cellu-Dri, Mountain Kitty Litter or Harvest Litter. These recycled paper and pelleted grass products are rabbit friendly, and will not cause any intestinal problems if they are ingested like the standard clay kitty litters. Other substrates to be avoided are wood shavings, corncob and walnut shells.

Since rabbits are designed for running and jumping it is important to provide a safe exercise area for them to play in. This can be an indoor or outdoor facility, although certain restrictions apply. If an indoor area is used it must be “rabbit-proofed.” Keep in mind that rabbits will chew upon furniture, rugs, drapes and electrical cords. Therefore, all these items need to be removed or placed out of harm reach. Cords can be easily run through PVC pipe to help insure the rabbit’s safety and prevent electrocution.

Whatever exercise area is chosen, it is recommended that indoor rabbits have several hours of exercise time each day to ensure both physical and mental well-being. Other suggestions to help enrich your rabbit’s life include offering raw untreated citrus branches or untreated scraps of wood unto which they can chew, a cardboard box or paper grocery bag filled with hay to provide a place to hide as well as an appropriate thing to chew and dig in. Other suitable toys are wire kitty balls with bells inside, Mason jar rings, and paper towel rolls. Please do not use toys made of Styrofoam or plastic since these can become ingested and present a life-threatening problem.