A cage is a dedicated space for your rabbit. It will allow him to have his own territory and also provide you a spot to contain him to. Cages closely relate to the dens that a female rabbit would reside within a burrow system. A cage should be large enough for your rabbit to move around and stretch comfortably. A cage should always be paired with turn-out or play time. Rabbits contained to only a small cage often develop behavioral problems such as aggression and destructive tendencies.
WARNING FOR SMALL PET CAGES: Wire small pet cages have some dangerous elements that need to be addressed before allowing your rabbit to reside in our near it. Rabbits should NOT be allowed to jump on wire cages. A slip on one foot through the open bars can result in devastating injuries. These cages should either be blocked or a mat should be put on the top. Small flip-down wire doors and ramps should also be covered or removed.
Bunny’s exercise pen not only holds his litter box, water and food dishes, but it can also hold a house, toys, and most anything he desires. What really makes them great is:
1) You’re getting more space for your money (x-pens cost the same or less than most rabbit cages).
2) Bunny has more room to roam and feels “freer” while still in a safe place.
3) Pens are flexible and can be configured in any shape to suit your available space.
4) They are easy to clean and portable, too.
Try to choose a large or x-large size for plenty of floor space for bunny. You can add a shelf to the back portion of the crate so bunny can climb on top or hide underneath. The very large door makes it easy to clean these homes, provides easier access to you rabbit, and bunny can hop in and out during playtime.
Build your Own Cage
Use the 14-15” square grids sold as shelving cubes at stores like Kmart, Target, Wal-Mart, or office supply stores (brands like Neat Idea Cubes, Organize It). A good basic grid condo is a 3-grid wide by 2-grid deep by 2-grid tall arrangement with a 2-grid shelf on one end, but these condos can be made in all kinds of sizes and heights. Included fasteners can be strengthened by using cable ties on the grids. Put a vinyl remnant under the condo and have a “door” by allowing one bottom front grid to swing on cable tie hinges on one side and clip shut on the other side. A simple condo costs about $20-30 for supplies.
Rabbit-Proofing Your Home
Some owners decide that a cage is just not for their bunny and choose a free-roam lifestyle. Rabbits love to interact with their owners and are bound to follow you around begging for treats. Although you won’t have to worry about a cage or pen, you do still have to worry about your rabbit’s housing.
Rabbits are adventurous and curious and are natural chewers and diggers. Rabbit-proofing, much like baby-proofing, is a must in a home with a free-range rabbit. It is important to remove dangerous objects from a rabbits reach including wires, house plants, and some furniture.
Anything you don’t want your bunny to chew or dig in should be out of his reach or protected. Protected these items can include setting up a barrier so he can’t reach them, covering them with something that is chew-proof, or completely removing it from his area.
You will need to closely monitor your rabbit to make sure you didn’t miss any dangerous items. One single wire on the ground could be devastating to both your rabbit and your electronics. It is a guarantee that your rabbit will find all the weaknesses in your bunny-proofing.
Rabbits love to chew and they are mighty quick to chew through cords and on furniture legs. Don’t rely on your reaction speed to keep your rabbit away from your computer cord. It won’t be a matter of if but when. Instead, protect your cords by lifting them off the ground and using “cord protectors” to slip over exposed cords.
When a rabbit isn’t chewing, it is very possible that he is in a corner somewhere digging. Rabbits love to dig and your carpet just happens to look a lot like grass and they are determined to find the roots. Instead of leaving the fate of your carpet in your rabbit’s paws, consider purchasing a number of cheap carpets to lay in areas of high traffic. Putting a small carpet square in bunny’s favorite corner can save you a lot of money in carpet repairs. Use short fibered carpets to help prevent your rabbit from ingesting the carpet material. Plastic chair mats have also been used for bunnies who are persistent carpet chewers.