How to Buy or Build a Rabbit Cage
No matter what sort of home you live in, your rabbit will need their own enclosure to stay safe and sound. This doesn’t mean you need to keep your bunny caged up all the time, but rather that you should choose a design geared toward comfort, protection, visibility and accessibility so that when your pet is in the hutch, it will be happy.
Rabbits have specific needs based on their physical characteristics and their behavior, which means they require specific elements in their shelter. Learn what materials and design will suit rabbits best so you’ll be ready to choose a rabbit cage or build the perfect rabbit hutch.
What to Look for in a Rabbit Cage
One of the first elements of rabbit care to consider is the size of the cage. No matter what breed or size of bunny you have, bigger is always better, especially if you plan on keeping it in the cage for most of the time. The cage should be at least four times the size of the rabbit, but aim for more if your space will allow: a two foot by three foot cage would do for small rabbits, but your pet will likely appreciate a cage that’s a bit roomier, perhaps with two levels connected by a ramp.
You’ll come across many rabbit cages with wire floors, but most experts agree that it’s better to opt for a cage with a solid floor to prevent irritation to the haunches. A wood floor will do, but grass or sisal mats provide nice texture for bunnies to get their footing; for extra cushioning, use hay or straw instead of an artificial or processed fiber that could make your rabbit sick if they chew or eat it up.
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If you plan to keep your rabbit outside, you’ll probably be able to accommodate a larger rabbit cage. Size is important, but there are other aspects to consider when buying or building a rabbit hutch for the outdoors, such as predator protection, weather and pesticides or other toxins in the yard. Be sure the hutch is well-built and secure, and placing the cage in an enclosed structure like a shed or garage will protect your rabbit through the night.
How to Build a Rabbit Hutch
If you’re a particularly crafty pet owner, you may want to try your hand at building a hutch. The best rabbit hutches will offer protection from the elements as well as from predators; you’ll need plywood, heavy gauge wire and a clever design to achieve those ends.
Generally, one part of the rabbit hutch is constructed out of wood (plywood does the job well), and one part should be covered with wire to allow for fresh air and a nice view. Using two by fours, you’ll need to make a sturdy rectangular frame, and you should add legs to keep the floor of the hutch off the ground and your rabbit clean and dry. To ensure that you build a high quality home for your pet bunny, consult the breeder, pet store or online experts for thorough plans and helpful advice. After all, just like any other animal, your rabbit’s health and happiness depend so much on a good home.