How Much Space Does a Rabbit Need?
Rabbits are cute and cuddly creatures and make great pets. If you want to have small creatures in your household, then rabbits are the most ideal pets to keep. They do not take up as much space as a dog or a cat, and can be quite friendly, especially with kids.
But for most people, bringing home a rabbit is based on a whim. The innocent-looking creatures often lead people to believe that they are low maintenance. But the reality is they require as much responsibility as having a dog or a cat as a pet warrant.
Before bringing a pet rabbit home, you need to consider its living arrangements and how much space a rabbit needs. And there are various factors to keep in mind as rabbit hutch or a cage is not one-size-fits-all.
The breed of the rabbit and the number of rabbits you want to pet are important factors. The size of a rabbit varies depending on its breed. Some are comparatively bigger in size but are lazy while others are relatively smaller but run around a lot.
What Dimensions Should Your Rabbit Cage Have?
To ensure that your pet is happy and healthy, you must give him enough space to grow and move around in. Keep in mind how much space you have available. Then choose the breed of rabbit you want to take home.
First, you need to understand why you need a cage for your pet. By nature, rabbits are energetic. They require space to move around.
They don’t react well to closed spaces. Hence, you need to let him move around.
Keeping your rabbit supervised all the time is not practical, nor can you give them free rein. So, the cage you invest in should be big enough. Moreover, if there is water and burrow, there is less chance of your rabbit straying far.
The minimum requirement of space for your pet rabbit is 12 square feet (or 1.1 square meters). Rabbits need space to run around, hop, dig besides space for food and water. Having said that, these dimensions are the basic requirements. You may have to increase the size of the case based on your rabbits’ size or the number of rabbits you want to pet.
On an average, a rabbit cage or hutch should at least be 4 times larger than the rabbit’s size. As a rule of thumb, you can get 30 inches x 36 inches for a bigger rabbit and 24 inches x 36 inches for a smaller one.
The two-story condo-style hutches are much loved by rabbits as well. It is ideal if you have two rabbits together.
It must be noted that your rabbit hut should be –
- Big enough that the rabbit is able to stretch in all directions comfortably.
- High enough that your pet can stand up on its hind legs without its ear touching the top of the cage.
- Long enough that there is adequate space for your rabbit to feed, drink and move around.
Should You Keep Your Pet on a Wire Floor?
A wire mesh is not good for your pet’s delicate feet. The soft feet of your pet will not take a wire flooring well. If the wire flooring is uncomfortable for your pet, he will not stay in its cage and will try to escape its cage. Also, the wire flooring will not be able to absorb if your rabbit pees inside the cage.
Hence, you should attach a resting board for your pet. A resting board will ensure that your rabbit is comfortable and not hurting from the wire mesh.
Is it Okay to Let Your Pet Run Loose?
It is completely up to you how much independence you want to provide your pet. If your rabbit is a new addition to your family, it is best to let him get used to his pen first. The reason is, if your rabbit is given free rein, he may end up doing a lot of damage and can litter everywhere.
Your pet is not acquainted with his new space that is why it is best you keep him inside the cage for the first few days as he gets acclimated. You can get x-pens for the new rabbit, which are slightly bigger homes for the furry creatures. Make sure the x-pen or cage is big enough for the rabbit to move around comfortably, so that you can train him while he is inside.
Once he is properly trained and knows where to feed and drink and where to litter, it is safe to let him loose. This is because a rabbit does not move far from its burrow where he has food and water.
Moreover, letting your rabbit let loose can attract the attention of other predatory pets like cats and dogs. If they do not get along or the predators have a high prey drive, your bunny will be in danger.
Before you let your rabbit loose, it is important to rabbit-proof your apartment.
- Certain house plants such as tulips, holly, tomato leaves, etc. can be toxic to rabbits. If they chew on the leaves and flowers, they will fall sick and your plant will also be damaged. It is best to keep the plants away from the reach of rabbits.
- Protect your baseboards with plastic covering as these are some of the favorite spots for your bunnies to chew on.
- Block off areas you do not want your rabbit in with puppy pens or baby gates.
- You do not want your rabbit to be electrocuted and the electricity supply of your house interrupted. Protect the wires closer to the floor with plastic cases or flex tubes. Otherwise your rabbit is highly likely to chew on the wires and cut through them, endangering their lives and your facilities.
Things to Consider before Choosing A Rabbit Cage
There are various points to keep in mind about your rabbit hutch and its setup.
Consider the Hut Location
Rabbits, being furry animals, don’t do well in hot places. So, you need to choose the hut location carefully. Keep it away from places that get direct sunlight. Moreover, keep an eye during summers whether your hut is too heated up.
Give Space to Run Around
Rabbits are active animals. They are always up to some antics. Space crunch is not good for the health of a rabbit. Rabbits prefer running around and digging burrows. If there are more than one rabbits, there has to be a sufficient amount of space for them.
Provide Enough Bedding
Don’t shy away from providing enough bedding. They are really useful when the temperature dips. Rabbits use the bedding to stay warm when the temperature is cool. The bedding also absorbs excess moisture which makes it easier to clean up.
Keep Your Cage from Touching the Ground
Rabbit cages are vulnerable to moisture and prolonged contact with moisture can damage the wood. Furthermore, your rabbit may get exposed to fungal infections. Also, a cage that is on the ground may attract predators.
To prevent all that, keep your hut elevated from the ground for safety.
At the end of the day, it is your choice. It has been observed that many people bring home a pet on an impulse without realizing their responsibilities.
But a rabbit needs as much attention as a cat or a dog needs. He requires love and care as well and it is up to you to make him feel that. So whichever product you choose, make sure you do your research and pick the best one. Do not compromise with the quality and standard, because your rabbit deserves the best.