Lifestyle & Chronic Illness Blog

Crate, Cages, and Pens, Oh My! Guide to Rabbit Housing

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, 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.

Gus at just 5 months old, a small black and white Dutch rabbit eating lettuce, inside a rabbit cage, before I knew what the best rabbit housing options were for him.
Gus at just 5 months old in his cage, before I knew what the best rabbit housing options were.

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

Gus checking out the outside world from the safety of his paper bag hide in his exercise pen.

Free Roam

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!

Other Guides:

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!)

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Moira The Explorer

Lifestyle blogger

Hello and welcome to the blog! I’m Moira, it’s said like Dora, with an M. I’m on a journey to embrace the best and brightest aspects of life while navigating the challenges of chronic illness. 

Here, I’ll take you on a journey through my life, sharing a blend of personal experiences and valuable insights. Delving into topics like chronic illness, affordable travel, modern homemaking, working full-time from home, and more, I aim to provide you with advice and stories from my unique perspective. My goal is to inspire and connect with others who may be facing similar challenges. Join me as we explore and navigate life together!

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