So, two weeks ago I talked about how to acquire your very own rabbit.  But where is it going to live?

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Not under your bed.

Today, I’m talking about housing basics for your rabbit.  Unlike cats and dogs, bringing home a rabbit requires a little more equipment than just the animal itself. I know you’re super excited for your bunny to become a house rabbit, but it’s best at first for a rabbit to be in a safe, enclosed space before you transition it into a full-on house pet (there are some other things you’ll have to take care of first as well, and I’ll be covering them in the coming weeks).

First, you will need a cage.  Lucky for us, when we got Izzy, there were also cages and other rabbit effects available for purchase.  The cage we used was a drop-bottom cage, meaning that the rabbit sat on a metal grid and her droppings fell through the bottom into a tray of pine shavings.  It measured 18” wide, 24” tall and 14” high from the metal grate.  A rabbit Izzy’s size needs at least1 ½ square feet of space, so we could have easily gotten a larger cage.  However, we knew we wanted to house train her, so we decided a larger cage was unnecessary.  You can find area requirements for larger rabbits here.

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Izzy in her cage. This is after we started litter training her, a litter box is not necessary at first.

I liked the design of the drop bottom cage, as opposed to one where the animal sits directly in shavings, because it’s much more sanitary for the animal and it’s a lot easier to clean.  The only draw back is that because the rabbit sits on metal crossings, they can develop sore hocks (little sores on their back legs) so you will want to place a board or another hard surface in the cage so the rabbit can rest easily.

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Example of a drop bottom cage

Additional items you will need in the cage are a water dispenser or bowl and a food bowl.  Rabbits are perfectly capable of drinking water from a bowl, and we found that the water dispenser that came with the cage made so much noise that it had to be removed immediately.  I much enjoy the little slurping sounds and wet chin that result when Izzy drinks out of her water bowl.

As far as cleaning the cage goes, rabbits tend to pick a particular corner or two in which to do their business.  These “hot corners” should be cleaned out every 2-3 days and replaced with fresh pine shavings.  Water should be changed twice a week.

So now you have a place for your bunny to live!   Next week, I’ll be talking all about FOOD!!!  (for your bunny of course.)

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 Have a hoppy weekend!  (I just crack myself up.)

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