Pet bunnies are comfortable living in a cage. Of course, as a bunny owner you’ll need to figure out what to put inside your bunny’s cage. I recommend you learn all you can about what to include in your pet’s cage. In fact, I get asked all the time about bunny cage set up So, what do bunnies like and need in their cage?
First and foremost, your bunny will need a big enough cage to live in. It should be sturdy and have a solid floor. You can add some kind of bedding, a litter box, food bowl and water bottle to the cage. Consider adding some simple toys or wood for chewing so your bunny to keep your bunny happy and occupied. Don’t forget to add lots of hay for your rabbit’s digestive health plus to keep his teeth trimmed. If you want to add a sleeping area or cover the cage with a towel, you can with some special precautions, but these aren’t necessary for your pet bunny’s cage.
How Big Should My Bunny’s Cage Be?
The first thing to consider when setting up your pet bunny’s cage is be sure it’s big enough for him. A pet rabbit’s cage should be large enough for your bunny to stand up, stretch out and turn around. A good rule of thumb is that your pet bunny’s cage should be at least 12 square feet,usually 6 feet long by 2 feet wide. Even if your bunny is young, remember he’ll get bigger. And if your rabbit stays small even as an adult, it’s still better to have too much room rather than too little room.
How Should My Bunny’s Cage Be Made?
Your rabbit’s cage should have a solid floor and wire all around the top and sides. Older cages were made totally with wire, but wire flooring is uncomfortable and might cause sore hocks(sore feet) for your rabbit. If your cage has wire flooring, you can simply add a piece of wood that fits into the bottom, or better yet, add a sisal mat. Sisal mats are made out of grass so they’re safe for your rabbit. Check at pet stores or online pet sites for these mats. All edges should have plastic guards so your rabbit can’t cut himself on it. The door to the cage should be big enough for your rabbit to get in and out and for you to put in and take out the things inside the cage. You can add a ramp for your bunny to come and go as he pleases.
What Should I Put In The Bottom of My Pet Bunny’s Cage?
Your pet bunny needs clean, dry bedding in the bottom of his cage. Here’s a list of different kinds of bedding you could use for your pet bunny’s cage.
- Newspapers-Many people swear by cut up newspaper as bedding for a rabbit’s cage. It’s absorbent, but the downside of newspaper is that rabbits sometime chew on it causing the ink to get on them. This isn’t the best bedding, but it works at least temporarily.
- Wood pellets-These are new kind of litter box filler for cats. They can break down and cause a lot of dust. This wouldn’t be the best choice for bedding for a bunny cage.
- Paper pulp bedding-This bedding is relatively new and actually works well to absorb and smells nice. Since it’s paper, it’s also safe for your rabbit.
- Straw-This is the most traditional bedding and works great for rabbits. It’s safe and as long as you change the straw once a week. It’s not too absorant, but it will make your bunny’s cage smell sweet.
- Sawdust-Many pet owners put this in the bottom of their pet’s cage, but studies show it causes respiratory problems for rabbits and liver damage in small animals. Pet stores will try to sell you this for your bunny’s cage, but don’t purchase it.
- Hay-Hay is another great bedding option for your pet bunny. It is absorant and your bunny can safely chew on it. It’s good insulation too. Just be sure to add lots of hay, because your rabbit needs to eat it.
What Kind Of Food Dish Should I Get My Pet Rabbit?
Choose a heavy food bowl either made of plastic or ceramic. The down side of plastic is that your rabbit might chew it, but the downside of the ceramic choice is that your bunny might throw it around. Bunnies like to toss things, so it’s worth considering. There are also food bowls that hook onto the wire cage sides. This could be a good choice for your bunny. There are some innovative ways to feed your bunny, too. One simple idea is to fill small brown paper bag with hay and pellets and lay that into your bunny’s cage. One warning is that it could get stepped in or wet if your bunny drags it around. There are also food balls that makes eating more interesting for your bunny. Whatever you choose, be sure to keep it clean and check it weekly for cracks or splits.
What Kind Of Water Bottle Should I Get My Pet Rabbit?
It’s important to give your rabbit a large water bottle so he can freely drink whenever he wants. Water bottles usually have a metal spout with a ball that releases the water when your bunny drinks. Be sure to choose a water bottle that doesn’t leak or drip water. Some bunny owners prefer a water bowl for their pet. Choose a heavy ceramic bowl that can’t be turned over or thrown. Also place the water bowl in an area where the bedding can’t get inside of it. Some rabbits like a bowl rather than a water bottle so you might experiment to see what works best for your pet bunny.
Should I Put A Litter Box In My Pet Bunny’s Cage?
Litter boxes are a great way to keep your bunny’s cage clean. Choose paper, wood or straw based litter. These are safest litters for your pet bunny.Here are some practical tips on how to train your bunny to use a litter box:
- First put a little bit of litter into the litter box
- Scatter hay on top, choose a good tasting one your rabbit eats, like timothy hay
- Place some of your rabbit’s poop and a bit of urine soaked hay into the box, too.
- Put the litter box in an area where your bunny hangs out a lot, often in one corner of the cage.
- If he poops in the wrong place, put the poop and your rabbit into the new litter box so he’ll get the idea that this is his new place to poop.
- Don’t worry about cleaning the litter box at first since your bunny needs to know this is the place that she’s supposed to go. If it’s empty of poop, she won’t understand this.
- Be patient. It might take your bunny some time to figure out the litter box. Pet him when he’s in the box or if he happens to poop in it. This will reinforce his actions.
Where Should I Put My Bunny’s Hay?
Hay is a major staple of your bunny’s diet. Your bunny should be eating his weight in hay every day! That’s a lot of hay. Hay not only provides fiber for your rabbit’s digestive system, but it keeps your bunny’s teeth well trimmed. Their teeth grow their entire lives, so eating hay is crucial for their good health since having too long of teeth makes them unable to eat or close their mouths correctly. There are various ways to give your rabbit enough hay.
- Hay rack-Some rabbit owners like a hay rack to hang over their rabbit’s litter box just high enough for the bunny to sit and eat. Often while chewing the hay rabbits will poop so this makes it convenient and keeps their cage clean.
- Hay box-You can also put a box filled with hay n the opposite corner of the litter box for your rabbit.
- Hay in the litter box-Some owners suggest actually putting hay into the litter box. They argue that their rabbits know not to poop on it and do fine.
- Hay on the floor-Another option is to have hay on the floor as part of the bedding. This way your rabbit easily chew his weight in hay.
Does My Bunny Need A Salt Lick?
There are differing views on bunny’s needing salt licks in their cage. Many rabbit owners don’t offer them to their rabbit especially if their pet gets ample leafy greens, fruits and vegetables. They feel like the extra salt might be detrimental. Other rabbit owners at least put them inside their pet’s cage so they can lick them if they want. If you’re unsure, you should ask your vet for her opinion about whether or not your rabbit needs one.
Should I Cover My Rabbits Cage At Night
Covering your rabbit at night isn’t really necessary, but still many bunny owners do it. Your rabbit does fine in a chilly room with his nice heavy fur so there’s no need to worry about that. Be aware that your rabbit might chew whatever you cover his cage with so don’t choose something that’s not safe for him to chew. Also, don’t choose a heavy blanket that would stop the airflow or cause your rabbit to get too hot. Rabbits don’t tolerate heat well.
Can Rabbits Have Towels in Their Cage?
Putting a towel in the bottom of your bunny’s cage isn’t a great idea. Your bunny might chew on it, ingesting the towel threads and fibers which could cause a blockage in your rabbit’s digestive system.Towels also get dirty and are hard to keep clean.Straw mats make nice flooring with straw or hay on top. Bunnies love them and they’re nice and soft for rabbits to stand on.
What Else Should I Put In My Bunny’s Cage?
Give your pet bunny an assortment of toys and things to chew on in this cage to keep him happy. Bored bunnies get into trouble. Here’s a list of some other things you need to add to your bunny’s cage.
- Branches-Bunnies love to chew on wooden branches like apple, pear, plum or cherry woods. You can purchase these at a pet store or online rabbit sites.
- Toys-Bunnies love to play. Put simple, cheap toys like cardboard tubes, paper towel tubes filled with hay or shredded paper into your bunny’s cage.
- Sleeping area-Some owners like to put a little box for sleeping in their bunny’s cage. This has some pros and cons. It might be nice and cozy for your rabbit to feel safe and secure. The negative side is that it can cause your rabbit to be territorial and protective of his spot. Some people add a grass mat or a comfy little fabric bed to the cage for their rabbit to sleep on.
Your bunny will live in his cage a long time. Setting it up so he’s comfortable and healthy is important. Choose wisely as you set up the cage and you’ll have a happy, healthy bunny for years to come.