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Jan. 28th, 2007 | 10:41 pm
posted by: thesara in rabbits101

To Cage or Not to Cage:

Have questions about your new bunny's habitat, or what kind and sizes of cages are best? Read below to get some great ideas for helping your Bunny to feel "right at home."

Yes, you will need a cage! - or a pen. The cage will be your rabbit's nest; rabbits usually prefer to have a safe area they can call their own. Set the cage (nest) on the floor, in an area where you spend a lot of time, such as the living room or family room. Do not put the cage near a heater or a loud TV or stereo. Always provide shade from a sunny window. When secluded in one room, such as a bedroom, your rabbit may be cut off from the family and unsure of the area outside. The more contact you have with your rabbit, the more you will enjoy each other.

Rabbits are crepuscular, which means that they generally sleep during the day and during the night, but are ready to play at dawn and twilight. So, if you're at work during the day, they won't mind so much being in a "roomy" cage. But they MUST be let out for at least several hours each day, both to exercise and to have social interaction with you.

Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable having your bunny in a more open "pen" environment, instead of a cage. This is one option that is especially good for rabbits who are a bit "cage protective," and for those rabbits not inclined to jump out of their space. With a pen, you need to protect your floor or carpet, and this can be done with the use of an inexpensive area rug, plastic office chair mat, seagrass mats, or other bunny-safe floor covering.

You will also want a means to cover the top if your rabbit is inclined to jump or climb out of their pen. This will prevent them from getting out and into trouble, or from injuring themselves by possibly catching a leg when trying to get out.

Some things to consider when planning your rabbit's habitat:
* Make sure you purchase a cage that is large enough to accommodate Bunny when he/she is full grown
* Make sure the cage is large enough for bunny to lay stretched out, when all the necessary supplies (litterbox, water & food bowls) are inside
* Take into consideration, the amount of daily run time your rabbit will receive, when determining cage size; in this case, bigger is better
* Make sure the cage door is large enough for a large cat litterbox to fit through
* Make sure the cage door opens from the side, and not down, so bunny's feet won't get caught when entering or exiting the cage
* Urine guards are helpful in keeping hay and urine in the cage
* Casters or wheels on the cage make it easy to move about when needing to clean bunny's area
* And, don't forget, bunny needs several hours "out of cage or pen" time, each day

Where to buy "house rabbit" cages: For average size breeds (5 - 10 lbs.) it's recommend that a cage no smaller than 36" wide x 24" deep x 18-24" high. You may have a cage manufacturer near you, or visit these web sites for some great examples of cages that meet Bunny's needs:
* KW Cages, telephone 800-447-CAGE (2243)
* Leith Petwerks, telephone 800-956-3576
* Bunny Hop Central
* Super Pet 3 Level Deluxe Rabbitrail Home
* Cozy Critter Cages
* Build your own with Neat Idea Cubes More links: 1, 2, 3!

Here's a picture of my, thesara's, NIC Cage:



Leave comments with your cage ideas, pictures of your cages, instructions on how you made your cage, etc.!

More resources for housing:
Rabbit.org Housing
Rabbit.org Housing Update
Ontariorabbits.org Housing PDF FILE
Rabitsinthehouse.org Housing PDF FILE
Kelly's Cage Page
Multi Maintenance

xoxo
thesara

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Comments {2}

Rabbits outdoors

from: anonymous
date: Sep. 7th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
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I rescued 2 rabbits. They stayed indoors last winter and were very unhappy. My husband and I mainly do greyhound rescue but I am a Realtor and came across a bunny left to strave so I brought him home. Then I thought he need a girlfriend so I went to the pound and rescued another. Male neutered and female spayed of course. But the question is: We have a 10x16 deck on the back of our home(we live on 5 acres in the country)with a 6 foot privacy fence for safety around a probably 20x35 area that is my little garden area with a small fish pond.I let the rabbits out there last winter when it was warm enough but always brought them in at night and then when it got warm out we started leaving them out(I do leavae a night light on). They get really ticked off when we bring them in the house now and are not happy at all.I have bought bales of hay and stacked them together with an open space in the middle like a den and covered it with plastic to keep dry. It is also partically under our deck and up against our home for extra protection. My female has even made a tunnel in the hay and dug about a feet into the ground in that hay area. The question is would they be okay there during the winter? Or at what tempature do I need to bring them in kicking and screaming?I love my rabbits and take care of them because that is my job a as fur baby mom.

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Rabbits outdoors

from: anonymous
date: Sep. 7th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Link

I rescued 2 rabbits. They stayed indoors last winter and were very unhappy. My husband and I mainly do greyhound rescue but I am a Realtor and came across a bunny left to strave so I brought him home. Then I thought he need a girlfriend so I went to the pound and rescued another. Male neutered and female spayed of course. But the question is: We have a 10x16 deck on the back of our home(we live on 5 acres in the country)with a 6 foot privacy fence for safety around a probably 20x35 area that is my little garden area with a small fish pond.I let the rabbits out there last winter when it was warm enough but always brought them in at night and then when it got warm out we started leaving them out(I do leavae a night light on). They get really ticked off when we bring them in the house now and are not happy at all.I have bought bales of hay and stacked them together with an open space in the middle like a den and covered it with plastic to keep dry. It is also partically under our deck and up against our home for extra protection. My female has even made a tunnel in the hay and dug about a feet into the ground in that hay area. The question is would they be okay there during the winter? Or at what tempature do I need to bring them in kicking and screaming?I love my rabbits and take care of them because that is my job a as fur baby mom. LuvThatHome@yahoo.com

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