The right Cage for a Rabbit

The best home for a house rabbit is a wire cage with a plastic slide-out litter pan beneath it. Avois metal litter pans as they corrode. Your bunny will not sit in the litter at all. Instead, she will enjoy a clean mesh floor and her urine and feces will fall through the mesh bottom of the cage on to the litter pan. For her comfort and the health of her legs, you should cover at least half of the mesh flooring with cardboard. Most people place bedding or litter in the pan, but I recommend lining it with several layers of newspaper and changing that once or twice a day. This prevents the problem of scattering messy bedding products, and it almost guarantees that your bunny’s hay will not be contaminated by her waste. Yes, she NEEDS hay, preferably a grass hay like timothy hay. Don’t believe anyone who says she just needs pellets and carrots.

We like to let our house bunnies munch on fresh green grass once in awhile. We accomplish this by taking a cage like the one above and removing the mesh floor so that you have a floorless cage. Set it in the grass and let your rabbit braze for twenty minutes or as lond as you are willing to supervise. Yes, supervise. Don’t leave your rabbit alone this way, as the system is not secure against predators. Also, your yard must be free of chemicals. We removed the bottom of our cages using wire cutters. If you’d like to take your bunny out but you don’t have an extra cage, try a harness from the pet store, one designed for rabbits. Caution: Only try the harness method if your bunny loves to be handled. You don’t want a rabbit to freak out and struggle in your arms, as this could result in a broken spine.

Outdoor rabbits are typically housed in hutches with wire floors. Most of the hutches available in pet supply stores are so small that you should only keep small breeds such as the Netherland Dwarf in them. If you want a larger breed like the New Zealand, you should wait until you find a larger hutch or build one yourself. When our rabbits are in outdoor hutches, I like to place a litter pan from an indoor bunny cage on the ground beneath the hutch. This makes clean-up a lot easier. Daily emptying of a pan is a lot easier than shoveling out a pile of manure and straw because you’ve been letting it build up on the ground beneath the hutch for a month.