Sun 2 Mar 2014
We’re back with another edition of Randi’s Rabbit Tips, and we have a feeling this one will be very popular - we get so many questions from people all over the world about what kind of housing/habitat is best for buns, and we love Randi’s approach to figuring out how to make her lovebuns as comfy and happy and safe as possible. :)
It can be a real challenge to find the perfect cage for your rabbit(s). There are plenty of options out there, but most may not meet your bun’s expectations. If rabbits could tell you their reactions to cages, they would probably say things like “too small, I can barely move, or I’m claustrophobic.”
I know we all want to make our buns happy, and a tiny cage isn’t the way to do it. I’m sure most of us have been through the dreaded “age of cages” (or at least that’s what I’m calling it, LOL), which is the long period of time that you cannot find the right cage, and you start to get really irritated. When I was first looking for a cage I personally wanted to give my buns lots of room to run and play, but there aren’t many cages that you will come across having these qualities. And if you will only settle for these requirements then I’d suggest an ex pen or letting your bunny(s) go free range (in a safe environment of course), because it’s important that your bun gets the right amount of space and exercise.
I’m sure some of you have been curious about my rabbit cage experience, ever since I said that Romeo and Juliet were little masterminds who would try anything to get out of their cage at night. Well I personally think that the story is kind of amusing. The first rabbit cage that I tried was an IRIS plastic pet pen that was made for dogs, so it was obviously large enough for my rabbits to live in. I was happy with the cage itself, but Romeo and Juliet are REALLY smart so they were able to hop over the side at night and when I was at school. I knew that this was NOT going to work, so we got a mesh roof to velcro over the top of the cage. I was so excited when it came in the mail because it was SUPPOSED TO make my life easier. But Romeo and Juliet somehow un-velcroed the mesh roof and still got out. I ended up improvising and layered a bazillion sheets over the mesh roof, plus the side of a large wooden baby crib to hold the sheets down. By now you have might have guessed that even this couldn’t keep my rabbits from getting out of the cage. Well… You guessed right!
As annoying as this cage was, I had to live with it for a while and get woken up every night. Also it was a pain to clean. But luckily one day my mom went out and bought a new cage that would keep the buns in once and for all. (It was the Living World Deluxe Habitat from Petsmart, and it works amazing for one rabbit, but is also really good for two. Don’t worry, this time it actually did:-)
The cage that I have now might be smaller than the other one, but the bunnies are free ranging my room most of the time anyway. Also this cage provides a sense of security for the buns so that they know that they have to control themselves. The buns seem happy with it too, which is the most important thing out of this process.
I do have some rabbit housing ideas for people if you don’t want to pay for an expensive cage, or even if you just want to get crafty.
* you could use baby gates or an ex-pen of some kind to close off an area for your rabbit(s) to run and play. This idea also allows you to have room to put in a litter box, toys, cardboard boxes, etc
*you can use NIC grids and zip ties to make your own cage of the right size, so that you bun(s) have some room at all times
* build a rabbit condo with ramps and a level or two, which will get your bunny(s) plenty of exercise (you can find these on YouTube)
* if you have the space, give your rabbit(s) free range of a room and just put a small cage in the corner with a litter box
* build your own cage or area out of wood, which allows you to add your own personal touches
* please remember to bunny proof their space for their safety as well as your stuff’s stafety :-)
It’s really important to find a good rabbit cage that not only makes you happy, but most importantly makes your bunny(s) happy. It can often be a long process, but the hard work really pays off when you see how happy your buns are:-)
Let us know in the comments if you have any housing/habitat ideas and stories of your own to share!