Once the decision has been made to get a pet rabbit, the next decision is to figure out the best way to house her. There's a lot to consider between the type and size of the cage, as well as whether she will live indoors or outside. The following info will help you choose the right cage for your new pet.
Outside or Inside?
Rabbits are kept both inside and outside, but which is best? Where are rabbits happier? The answers seems to be that the best of both worlds will make your rabbit the happiest. While rabbits can be outdoor animals, Living in extreme elements can be too much for their health. A great option would be to have the rabbit live primarily inside with her owners, but be let outside for sun and fun in a safe enclosure whenever the opportunity arises.
Wire Floor or Solid Floor?
There are two types of cage floors that are primarily used for rabbits - wire floor and solid floor. Both types have good and bad points.
The major advantage of wire-floor cages is an easier, quicker cleanup. They typically have pull-out pans underneath that can be pulled out to remove waste and wiped down and filled with new litter. It's very convenient. The major drawback to wire-floor cages is that rabbits aren't comfortable. They're feet aren't meant to be on a wire grate all the time, and it's even more uncomfortable for a heavy breed such as a Flemish Giant. If you choose wire flooring, make sure there is still an area with solid flooring so the rabbit can get off the wires whenever she chooses.
Solid-floor cages are considerably more comfortable for rabbits, yet they can be more difficult to clean since the rabbit must be transferred somewhere else during cleanup. The cages then have to be dumped or scooped out, and wiped down and refilled with bedding. To keep the cage more sanitary between cleanings, some owners prefer to litter-train their rabbit to keep the dropping mainly in a tray that is easily emptied and sanitized. That option works best if the cage is large enough to accommodate a litter box, or if the rabbit can get in and out of the cage through an open door.
Best Size for a Rabbit Cage
Since the cage will be the rabbit's main living space, it needs to be as comfortable as possible. One way to make your pet as comfortable as possible is to provide a cage that is as large as possible. The general rule to follow is to make sure the cage is at least four times the size of the rabbit, which works out to be approximately 24 x 36 inches for rabbits under 8 pounds and 30 x 36 inches for larger rabbits. Additionally, rabbits usually enjoy the two-story cages or ones with shelves. This gives them away to get off the ground or cage flooring whenever they want.
Best Type of Bedding/Litter
It's important to choose safe bedding. While using clay kitty litter might seem convenient, this product can harm rabbits because the dust will irritate their delicate lungs. Hay or straw are also a good choices since they make great bedding and provide roughage for your pet. If a wire-cage is used, the flooring can be partially covered with a grass or sisal mat that will protect her feet.
A Sampling of the Better Cages Available
Primarily Indoor Cages
- My Deluxe Home, Giant is 46.5 x 24 x 24 inches, and it has both top and front doors to make it easier for the rabbit to come and go.. It's on small castors and has a comfort shelf and ramp.
- Super Pet My Habitat Defined Home for Rabbits is 18. 41.2 x 31.5 inches, and it features a deep base to ensure help contain the bedding in the cage. It has large doors at the front and top, and antimicrobial technology built into the plastic surfaces. It includes a comfort shelf, ramp and locking food dish.
- Super Pet My First Home Extra Large Cage is 40-1/2 x 18 x 20-1/2 inches and snaps together quickly with no tools. It has a front door and a deep plastic base.
- Super Pet My First Home Deluxe for Rabbits with Stand is 18 x 40.5 x 20 inches, and it's constructed of chew-proof coated wire and stain-resistant plastic parts. It also includes two shelves, two ramps, a hay feeder, food bowl, and a stand.
- Expandable Hoppity Habitat Rabbit Cage is 37.5 x 19 x 20 inches with side doors and a lift top. One of the best features of this cage is that it's expandable. A second cage can be easily attached to double the space.
- Ware Premium Plus Hutch is 36 x 24 x 34.5 inches and has a wire floor with pull out pan. The roof opens fully for easy accessibility.
- Super Pet Rabbit Hutch is 48 x 50.5 x 24.25 inches and has two stories connect by a ramp. The wire grate floor has a pull out tray for easy cleaning.
- Trixie Rabbit Hutch with Enclosure is 48.25 x 37.75 x 29.75 inches, has two stories and opens from the roof as well as the front of the hutch.
Comfort and Safety Come First
Although having a cage that's easy to clean likely means you'll clean it more often, you should still make your pet's comfort and safety your prime concern. Choose the very best cage you can afford, and make it as large as you have room for. If you do that, your rabbit will have a home that makes her feel safe and secure for years to come.