Where To Put Your Rabbit's 'Home'
Domesticated rabbits should live inside where there is A/C and heat. They are very sensitive to extreme temperatures and should be protected from the elements. Also, they are part of your family now, and should be around you and your family every day so that they don't get lonely. It is best to find a quieter space in your home that your bunny can have for his or her own. A small room or corner in the house where they will feel secure from curious small children or other animals is a great set up for your bun.
Cage, Pen, Condo, Free-Roaming?
There are a few options when choosing what kind of space your bunny will live in. Part of that decision depends on how much space you have. Some rabbits are part-time free roamers; this means that they get to run around the house when their owner is home. A rabbit owner's home should be bunny-proofed in order to protect the rabbit as well as the house. When the owner is away or sleeping, rabbits should stay in their pen or designated living area. A good combination is to provide a condo that your rabbit can 'hide' in (it's important for your rabbit to have a 'safe' place that she can retreat to whenever she wants). To give your bunny more space, you can attach a pen to the condo with carabiners. Some bunnies can jump over a pen if it's too short, so you may want to opt for a taller pen. To protect your floor from bunny messes, you can use a piece of linoleum. Tip: the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store sells linoleum remnants you can buy. Also in your rabbit's living space:
- Water bottles (one on the second floor of the condo, one on the first floor if applicable)
- Blankets (most bunnies like to have one to cuddle with or burrow in)
- Large litter box (more on that on the Litter Training page), possibly two boxes if you have more than one rabbit
If you choose to keep your rabbit in a cage, make sure it is plenty large enough for him or her to hop several times in each direction; most importantly, do not use a cage with wire bottoms! These are painful for rabbit feet and can lead to permanent damage and twisted nail growth.
On nice days that aren't too hot, you can put your rabbits outside in a pen so that they can get some fresh air. Make sure the pen is staked down so that they cannot lift it up to get out, and if the pen is not completely enclosed, put a cover over the top to protect your bunnies from the sun and hawks. You never want to leave your bunnies trapped in a pen and exposed. If you have a fenced-in backyard, then your bunny may enjoy frolicking and binkying around the backyard with your supervision. Also make sure that you provide your rabbit with water while they are outside.
Most cleaning chemicals are dangerous for rabbits - even the fumes alone can harm your bunny. Clean your rabbit's space each week with a mixture of vinegar, water and a little bit of dye-free dish soap. Also launder their blankets each week and wipe out their litter box with the cleaning mixture.
Bunny condo with attached pen