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.
Should Rabbits Cages Be Outside or Inside?
Rabbits are kept both inside and outside, but which is best? Where are rabbits happier? The answer 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 for Rabbit Cages?
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. Their 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.
Dwarf Bunny Cages
A dwarf rabbit, despite their smaller size, requires as large as possible a cage that you can provide so he has ample room to roam about. The minimum size for a dwarf rabbit cage should be 18 x 24 x 14 without a litter box. If you decide you want a litter box, then the size of the box must be added to the minimum size dimensions to find an appropriate cage.
Best Type of Bedding/Litter for Your Rabbit Cage
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 is also a good choice 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
Most cages for indoor rabbits will be either a combination of wire and plastic or some will be made with wood. Important factors to consider for an indoor cage is how easy the cage is to clean and allow access for you to interact with your rabbit:
- AmazonBasics Pet Habitat is 47.2 x 23.6 x 20.5 and is constructed with plastic and wire. The habitat comes with a non-drip water bottle, hay guard and tip-proof food dish. The cage has an elevated area for feeding with a ramp and a hiding area underneath. It's easy to put together and requires no tools. It may not be big enough for more than one rabbit or a single rabbit of a larger size breed but would be good for a dwarf rabbit or other smaller-sized bunnies. The cage sells for $75.
- Petsfit Rabbit Hutch is 35 x 21 x 21 and has a loft and a hideout area for your rabbit. The side has a slide-up door and ramp that makes it easy for your rabbit to exit the hutch and visit with you. The hutch is also easy to clean with a pull-out tray. The grey and white paint also make this a very attractive hutch. It sells for about $140.
- All Living Things Rabbit Comfy Getaway Small Pet Habitat is 40 x 18 x 19.75 and has a simple design that anyone can assemble without any tools. The cage has a door on the roof and the side. The kit comes with a wire hay feeder, food dish, and water bottle and there is a small ramp and shelf in the cage. It's made primarily of wire and plastic. It sells for $90 and is a good economical choice.
- Living World Deluxe Habitat is 46.89 x 22.8 x 24 and is made of wire and plastic. The cage has a balcony with a ramp and a rounded, hinged roof for easy access. There's a tip-proof food dish, drip-proof water bottle and hay guard included and the bottle and guard are both located on the outside of the cage which makes cleaning and filling them much easier. The cage also has a modern, attractive look to it with red and white colors on the wire roof. The cage sells for about $104.
- MidWest Homes for Pets Wabbitat Deluxe Rabbit Home Kit is 39.5 x 23.62 x 19.75 and can be made larger with either a wire frame or hutch extension kit sold separately. The cage includes a hay feeder, water bottle, and feeding bowl. The feeding area for the rabbit is elevated with a fixed feeding bowl to keep it from tipping over. There's a hiding spot for the bunny underneath the feeding platform. The cage is made from wire and plastic and is easy to clean with a pull-out plastic plan and large top and side doors. The kit sells for about $52.
Outdoor Hutches for Rabbits
When choosing a hutch for the outdoors, consider the weather extremes in your area and how waterproof you will need your hutch to be. You may also want to plan to attach the hutch to an outdoor area for the bunny to roam in during favorable weather conditions.
- Petsfit Outdoor Rabbit Hutch with Run is 42.5 x 30 x 46 and has two stories. The roof is made from asphalt and the wood is cedar with water-based, pet-safe paint. There are hinges on the roof and side doors which makes accessing your rabbit easy no matter where in the hutch he is.
- Trixie Rabbit Hutch with Peaked Roof 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. The roof is hinged and can be locked in place for easy cleaning and handling of your rabbit. The hutch is very attractive but may not be the best for handling the outdoors due to the light wood used in the construction. The hutch retails for about $195.
- Ware Premium Plus Rabbit Hutch is 36 x 24 x 34.5 inches with an enclosed area for your pet with a solid floor and a door that converts into a ramp. The hutch is easy to clean with a slide out pan. This hutch can be used indoors and outdoors and can be combined with a rabbit run for your bunny to have extra room to roam in. The hutch is available from Amazon for around $145.
Comfort and Safety Come First for Your Pet Rabbit
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.