- Indoors is the best place to keep a rabbit.
- Being kept outdoors can be rough on a domestic rabbit. There are many downfalls such as:
- Bugs – ear mites, fur mites, and fleas are the most common, but mosquitoes and other insects carry deadly diseases.
- Predators – hawks, owls, and foxes often aren’t seen unless there is
prey around, such as a rabbit. Dogs and cats can also frighten a rabbit,
literally to death. Heart attacks and shock are the top causes of death
in pet rabbits.
- Weather – maintaining a comfortable, stable, or
even acceptable temperature outdoors can be very difficult, especially
in summer. Winter rains, wind, and cold can produce respiratory problems
quickly, and heat exhaustion can be quickly fatal when unnoticed while
at work or school.
- Socialization – a pet rabbit that is not
near its family is not as tame or sociable as one who sees its humans
and interacts daily with them. A rabbit is a social animal that lives in
groups in the wild.
- Rabbits do great in average household
temperatures. However, be sure not to place the cage in direct
sunlight. Temperature extremes should be avoided.
- A cage can be
made of many materials, including plastic and metal. Wood is not a good
choice, as it absorbs urine and odors and is difficult to sanitize. If you are really set on wood, make sure you line the bottom and partially up the sides with a non-absorbent material, such as linoleum. Ensure there are no cracks between
the floor and wall portions, otherwise matter may collect there.
- One good idea is to modify a large dog crate to use as your rabbit's home. Include a "second-story" which the rabbits can hop up to by securing a board with holes drilled through it with zip ties.
- Wire-bottom cages are not a good choice for rabbits. Wire bottom that
is far apart results in stubbed toes and sore joints. Wire that is thin
hurts to sit, stand, or lay on. If this type of cage is used for
medical or sanitary purposes, be sure to provide a solid area for relief
(plexi- glass works well). Also, cecotrophs (stools that are eaten and necessary to the rabbit's health)
cannot be consumed if they have fallen through the wire into a tray
- Some new cages have plastic grated bottoms. These are
much better than wire bottoms, but toes can still be injured when
hopping around. Bottom line: solid bottoms are best.
- Lastly and importantly, the cage should be
large enough so that, at a minimum, the rabbit can stand up, lie down and
stretch, and take at least 3 strides from one side of the cage to the