Rabbit Housing: An Easy Guide for New Owners

A basic guide to indoor rabbit housing.

If you’re preparing to get your first pet rabbits, you might be wondering what your options are for housing them. There are a lot of different options to choose from to work for your individual situation. Today, we’re going to be going over the pros and cons of these different types of housing for pet rabbits!

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Rabbit housing

The Basics of Rabbit Housing

Before we jump into talking about the specifics of the different types of housing you can choose from, let’s talk about some of the basics of keeping pet rabbits.

One of the most important things you want to consider when deciding on housing for your pet rabbits is that bunnies need a lot of space. Most pet store cages are way too small for bunnies to live a happy and healthy life. The general rule is that you want your rabbit’s cage or pen to be 4-6 times bigger than your rabbit to give them room to move around comfortably and fit in a litterbox, hide, and food and water dishes. The more space you can give your rabbits, the better.

Ideally, you want to keep your rabbits in a cage or pen inside your house. In most areas, the extreme temperatures in summer or winter are not the right conditions for keeping rabbits outside. Keeping them inside also keeps them safe from wildlife, insects, and outdoor predators.

You also want to try to keep your bunnies somewhere that you will interact with them often. Rabbits are very curious and social animals and will love to interact with you. Be aware that bunnies are most active at dusk and dawn (they are crepuscular, not nocturnal) and this can make housing them in a bedroom difficult as they might not let you sleep!

Finally, you want to make sure any area of your house where you bunny is allowed access outside of their cage is bunny-proofed. Rabbits love to chew and can make short work of cords, shoes, and even baseboards if they are given access. Make sure to block off any areas you don’t want your bunnies to have access to and protect outlets and cords.

What To Avoid In Housing For Pet Rabbits

There are some things you should avoid when looking into housing options for your rabbits.

You don’t want to house your rabbits in cages or hutches that have wire floors. This is extremely uncomfortable and unhealthy for bunnies’ feet and can cause sore hocks and other health problems as they do not have pads on their feet the way dogs and cats do. Plus, it’s just not a nice environment for your pet!

As I mentioned before, most pet store cages are also way too small for housing rabbits. You want to avoid these small cages and give your rabbits as much space as you possibly can.

You also want to consider what breed of rabbit you have when choosing a cage. Some cage options will be great for smaller breeds but might be hard to set up for larger ones. Remember, no matter what cage you choose it needs to have room for a litterbox, a hayrack, a hide, and food and water dishes.

Now, let’s go over some good cage options to house your pet rabbits!

Dog Crate

Dog crates or kennels are great options for rabbit cages. They can be purchased large enough for rabbits and they are pretty easy to keep clean. Since they have a top on them, you don’t have to worry about your bunnies jumping out either.

You want to have a crate that is at least 48 inches for a pair of rabbits. This will provide your rabbits with enough room to move around even with a litter box and bowls in their cage. Smaller crates can be great as a rabbit’s “home base” if they are allowed to free roam a lot of the day.

Since they are wire, it can also be pretty easy to add levels and ramps to your rabbit’s cage. This gives them some extra space and a little bit of enrichment.

C&C Cages For Rabbits

C&C stands for “cubes and coroplast,” which is what these cages are made out of. They are made using storage cube grids and corrugated plastic. These are great cages because you can make them any size or configuration that you want and they are pretty inexpensive to build.

You can connect the storage cube grids together to make a pen for your rabbits to any size you want. Just make sure to make it at least 2 grids tall or your rabbit might jump out. Rabbits can jump up to three feet (and some even higher!) so you may have to build a top on it to keep your rabbits in.

It is very easy to use the grids to make levels and ramps for your rabbits as well. Using zip ties to hold the grids together along with the connectors makes the cage extra sturdy and secure as well.

I personally do not recommend using coroplast/corrugated plastic with bunnies. Rabbits are big chewers and coroplast is not a safe material for them to be chewing up and ingesting. When I had a c&c cage when I first brought home my rabbits, I built a base out of melamine wood. It was easy to clean and looked really nice, you just have to put down something to give your rabbits some grip as it’s very slippery.

housing for rabbits

X-Pen Or Playpen

An x-pen or playpen meant for dogs can also be a great choice, especially for larger breeds. These are basically tall panels that create a pen for your rabbit to live in.

When purchasing an x-pen, you want to make sure it’s tall enough. Remember that rabbits can jump over anything less than 3 feet, so you want to get a pen that is at least that tall. You can find some that have tops and some that have doors built-in, which can be nice depending on your needs.

You can use rugs or fleece on the floor to give your rabbits a soft area – just be aware that some rabbits will chew this up. X-pens are nice because they are large enough to give your rabbits room to run around since they are made with dogs in mind. They also work well for groups of rabbits that need more space.

Free Roam Rabbits

This is my personal favorite option as this is what I do with my own rabbits! Free-roaming is when you bunny proof a certain part of your house that your rabbits are allowed free access to all the time.

Free-roaming your rabbits can be a great choice for rabbits that are litter box trained well and are settled into your home. It gives them space and time to explore whenever they want, which will keep your bunny from getting bored. My rabbits will run from one end of our house to the other in the evenings, which they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise!

Bunny-proofing is extremely important if you free roam your rabbits. They are extremely curious and will get into everything they aren’t supposed to. Make sure to cover cords in plastic tubing, block access to areas under and behind furniture, put away any dangerous house plants, and block off or remove anything else that could possibly be dangerous for your pets. And make sure to pick up anything they could chew – I’ve had a pair of shoes and a backpack chewed up by one of my buns!

Final Thoughts on Rabbit Housing

Will one of these housing options work best for your rabbits? Whatever you choose, remember bigger is better and the most important thing is to provide a safe and healthy living space for your rabbits.

Read more about rabbit care:

Rabbit Housing: An Easy Guide

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