A high-quality cage is just one of the essential supplies you'll need to take care of a pet rabbit. By feeding your rabbit the best diet possible and providing it with the ideal habitat and a few other items, your beloved pet can enjoy a longer and healthier life.
Choosing the Ideal Rabbit Cage
Rabbit cages come in a wide variety of styles and shapes. They also come in an assortment of materials that include wood, plastic and mesh screening, or a combination of all three. Choosing the ideal cage or hutch for your pet rabbit is determined by a number of factors which include the size of the rabbit species, the number of rabbits you're going to be raising and whether or not the cage is going to be kept indoors or outside the home.
Sizing the Cage
If your pet rabbit is going to spend the majority of his time indoors but out of his cage, a smaller cage will suffice since he will only be using the cage for sleeping, eating and going to the bathroom. For a single indoor rabbit, a cage that measures 24 x 15 inches should be the minimum size. That said, a cage that measures 30 x 15 inches will provide the rabbit with a little more leg room and more of a separation between its food dish and the spot where it picks to use as the bathroom.
If the rabbit is going to live in the cage for the majority of his time and will only be taken out to play with occasionally, like a rabbit that's kept outside, you'll need a larger cage. A 24 x 24 inch cage with a house attached to it will suit smaller breed rabbits. If the rabbit is a larger breed, like the Flemish Giant, a cage sized 4 x 3 feet will be a better solution. In order for outside rabbits to have a healthy lifestyle, the cage or hutch has to be large enough for them to stretch their legs and exercise.
Another rule of thumb to follow is that the cage's top should be high enough so that the rabbit's ears do not touch it, and the cage should be wide enough for the rabbit to lay down in any direction. If the cage has a wire bottom, you should add a solid surface for the bunny to sit on.
Essential Rabbit Supplies
Besides a properly-sized cage, there are other rabbit supplies that can make a difference in the quality of your pet's everyday life. Before you go out shopping for rabbit supplies and a cage, make sure you add these items to your list.
Litter box and scoop - Believe it or not, a rabbit can be litter trained just like a cat, and placing a litter box in the spot where the rabbit tends to go will help keep his cage or hutch cleaner, healthier and ultimately safer for him.
Brush - Another way rabbits are like cats is that they can also get hairballs if their fur isn't groomed. This is more common in long-haired breeds of rabbit, but all rabbits should be brushed regularly to prevent hairballs from developing.
Rabbit toys - A bored rabbit will quickly become a stressed and sick rabbit, so always have toys on hand to spark the bunny's interest. Toys will help him exercise his body as well as his mind. Another benefit of having toys available for the bunny to play with is that he will usually choose to play with the toys over chewing your furniture or wires out of boredom.
Wood chews - A rabbit's teeth grow continuously. If that growth is left unchecked, it can lead to a host of health problems. Wood chews provide a dual benefit; they keep the rabbit occupied and also keep the teeth strong and worn down to a healthy level.
Carrier - The last thing you want to deal with is trying to take a sick rabbit to the veterinary clinic without having a carrier to take him in. While this may not be the first item on your list, it is essential to have a carrier so you can transport your pet safely.
Hay rack - Timothy hay is an important staple of a rabbit's diet in addition to pellets, and a hay rack or hay ball will hold the hay away from your pet's bedding yet still allow him to snack on it whenever he wants.
Food dish and water bottle - You should have a food dish for the rabbit inside his cage along with either a water dish or a water bottle. Most of the time, water bottles work best since rabbits have a tendency to spill their water dishes. However, not all rabbits will take to the bottle so you may find it necessary to use a dish in those cases.
Hiding spot - Whether you provide your rabbit with an indoor rabbit cage or an outside hutch, one of the most important things you can have inside the habitat is a hiding spot for the rabbit where he can escape to when he feels like it. Pet supply stores sell a wide variety of hiding spot solutions, or you can make your own out of a large cardboard box if necessary.
Where to Buy Rabbit Supplies and Cages
Rabbit supplies and cages can be purchased at your local pet supply store like Petco or PetSmart, or online through a wide variety of pet specialty stores. Checking prices online and reading the weekly shopping ads will help you find the best deal on your everyday rabbit essentials. Here are a few trusted websites to help you get started:
Care for Your Rabbit and Reap the Rewards
Rabbits are relatively easy to care for. All they need is a proper diet, a great cage and accessories, and a good dose of love. Give your little bunny these main essentials, and he will reciprocate with many years of cuddly fun.