Welcome to The Rabbit Care Guides! This is a series of informative blog posts, each covering different topics in rabbit care and keeping. This includes things like proper nutrition, spaying and neutering, cage sizes, and more, and will feature information from veterinarians and rabbit care experts. This post is going to be covering different rabbit housing options including crates, Cages, and Pens.
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Indoor vs Outdoor
This guide primarily promotes keeping rabbits indoors. Rabbits kept indoors are safer from disease, bad weather, and predators, they’re easier to keep an eye on their health, and they like to be a part of your family! There are safe outdoor pen options for rabbits, but they won’t be covered in this post.
Indoor Rabbit Housing Needs
For 1-2 rabbits, their space should have at least 24 square feet of exercise space. You want to fit all your bunnies needs (litter box, water, hay, food, hides) into this space and they should still have room to completely stand up, stretch out, or run. Make sure the flooring is soft enough for their feet. Wire, hardwood, or fully plastic floors can be uncomfortable for bunnies, and at worst cause sores hocks on the feet.
Check out this guide from TheRabbitHouse.com, it’s a great rule of thumb for pen size
Indoor Rabbit Housing Options
The most commonly known types of rabbit housing options include Cages, Dog Crates, Hutches, Exercise Pens (aka XPens), and Free Roam.
This is the one that most people know. Rabbit cages alone are not an appropriate housing situation. When combined with free roaming or Xpens, cages are fine. But keeping your bunny in a cage 24/7 would be like keeping a dog in the bathroom 24/7, not enough space!
Most cages you see at places like Petsmart, Chewy, or Facebook Marketplace are often too small for rabbits, despite being advertised for them.
Dog Crates & Rabbit Hutches
Dog crates and rabbit hutches are also not large enough on their own for most rabbits. If you have a very large set up and small rabbits, it might work, but it is likely too small. Attaching one of these options to an XPen can provide your rabbit with a great safe place to hide and keep their litter box while making sure they have plenty of space to run and play.
Crates can be easier to clean, as the plastic and metal can be easily sprayed down with a safe cleaner whereas a wooden hutch can be damaged by urine. Crates are also more chew-proof, which is a common past-time for bunnies!
Exercise Pens or XPens
An exercise pen or XPen as its commonly referred to are a great option for your rabbit’s enclosure. You can easily move the panels, add to the cage, and it’s very easy to clean. These XPens can be a cheaper option as well. My rabbit, Gus, is currently housed in a space made of two Xpens. We use the 36-inch high panels, but don’t forget these little guys can jump when they want to, so if you have larger rabbits, you may need taller panels.
Check out the exercise pen I use here
Free roaming is often known as the best way to keep a pet rabbit, but it’s not the easiest way. This could be free roam in a space bedroom, a single floor, or your entire home. For giant breeds like Continental or Flemish Giant rabbits, free roaming is the only appropriate and ethical way to have them in your home. Free roaming requires your home to be kept bunny-proofed, making sure all dangerous or delicate things are up and out of reach, your bunny is litter trained and fixed, and you’ve provided them a safe, quiet home base.
More Rabbit Guides
If you want to write for the Rabbit Care Guides, contact me here.
If you have a topic you want to see covered in the guides, comment below and let me know!
Diet for Bunnies: What Rabbits Can and Should Eat (coming soon!)
GI Stasis, Medications, and Recovery (coming soon!)
Emergency Preparedness for Rabbits (coming soon!)
Litter Training and Litter Boxes for Rabbits (coming soon!)
X Myths about Spaying and Neutering Rabbits (coming soon!)
Keeping Your Rabbit Outdoors (coming soon!)
Five Steps to Free Roaming Your Rabbit (coming soon!)