Have you bought all the rabbit essentials to welcome your new bunny home?
It's easy to forget something when shopping for rabbit supplies, so I'm here to help you check all the essential items for your pet rabbits off your list.
Just keep reading.
- Rabbits are happier and healthier in pairs, so plan on getting enough supplies for a bonded pair.
- A suitable rabbit hutch, litter tray, and bedding are the most essential rabbit supplies for a novice pet owner.
- Don't forget to stock a medical emergency kit and find a trusted vet to care for your pet bunnies.
12 Rabbit Essential Supplies
Before you go on a shopping spree for rabbit supplies, let me give you a piece of advice. If you plan on adopting a rabbit, you should get a pair.
As specialists from the Toronto Humane Society explain, "Rabbits living in bonded pairs are generally healthier than singly kept rabbits." (1)
Moreover, bonded pairs are less likely to get stress and have a longer life expectancy than single bunnies. And they'll keep each other company when you're not at home.
Still, buying enough rabbit supplies for a pair can be expensive. And that's before you consider the adoption fee, vet checks, etc. But if you're confident that rabbits are the right pets for your house, here is the list of essential supplies to provide.
It's also important to note that part of this preparation involves understanding how often do you change rabbit bedding, as regular maintenance is key to ensuring a healthy environment for your pets.
#1 Rabbit Cage
Rabbits need a spacious habitat with a sheltered area and an outdoor space for exercise. Fortunately, cages come in a wide range of designs and styles, so you've got plenty of options.
When considering the interior of these habitats, "bunny cage bedding" is a vital component to ensure your rabbit's comfort and health.
Still, you should consider a few things when choosing the best cage for your bunnies:
- Number of rabbits. The more rabbits you have, the larger the enclosure should be.
- Breed. Bunnies come in various breeds and sizes, so you should consider how big your pet will grow when picking a cage.
- Hutch location. If you keep your bunny outside, the habitat should offer adequate protection against the elements.
- Solid surfaces are the best choice for rabbits because mesh/wire floors can hurt your pet's feet and cause health problems.
RSPCA recommends 3 x 1 x 1m hutches for 1-2 rabbits under 4.5 pounds, but the bigger the cage, the better it is for your pets. So, go for a roomy cage. (2)
Indoor rabbits don't need traditional bedding, but if you're planning on keeping your bunny outside, you need proper bedding material:
- Straw. It's the best choice for outdoor bunnies because it has excellent insulating properties and absorbs urine well.
- Paper-based bedding. It's soft, comfortable, and absorbent. Paper bedding is also made from all-natural ingredients and is safe to ingest.
- Aspen shavings. They're safe for rabbits and a cheap alternative to traditional bedding options.
LUFTPETS CAGE LINER is designed to keep your pet comfortable while making clean-up a breeze. Dive into comfort and convenience for your furry friend!
I also use a cardboard box with a soft blanket to provide a comfortable sleeping spot and a hiding area. But you can also use baskets, cat beds, or towels.
#3 Litter Box
Unlike other small animals that use the whole cage as a toilet, you can litter-train your pet bunny. And that's why you need to add a litter box and litter to the list of your rabbit essentials:
- A plastic cat litter pan. It should be large enough to fit your adult rabbit. Opt for smaller pans if you have a baby rabbit.
- Unscented paper-based pellets, aspen shavings, shredded paper, or straw animal litter.
- Litter scoop.
Since rabbits chew everything you put in the cage, ensure the litter you use is made from all-natural ingredients and is safe for rabbits to ingest.
Avoid clumping litter, cedar wood shavings, pine shavings, sawdust, and newspaper. They can cause digestive problems or damage your pet's liver.
#4 Water Bowls
Pet rabbits should have access to fresh water 24/7, so you need a suitable water dish for the hutch. Here are a couple of tips to consider when you go to the pet store:
- Water bottles aren't the best choice for rabbits because bunnies prefer lapping their water. And drinking from a bowl takes less effort.
- Look for a heavy bowl that your pet can't flip. I like ceramic bowls the best because they're easy to clean and don't accumulate odors or bacteria.
- Don't forget to change the water daily and check whether it has frozen during the winter months.
As for food bowls, you don't need them. It's best to scatter the food on the cage's floor to encourage natural forage behavior and maintain digestive health. But it's a bit messy.
#5 Rabbit Food Supplies
Bunnies have a sensitive digestive system, so it's vital to provide a balanced diet close to the diet of wild rabbits:
- Unlimited access to high-quality hay and grass, such as Timothy hay, orchard grass, meadow hay, Alfalfa, oat hay, etc.
- A small portion of leafy greens and vegetables, such as bell peppers, celery, romaine lettuce, dandelion green, watercress, etc.
- Herbs, such as thyme, parsley, mint, basil, coriander, and dill.
- High-quality rabbit pellets. They should be a small part of your bunny's diet because rabbits that eat more pellets than hay are at risk of teeth and gut problems.
Specialists from the PDSA recommend that you don't give muesli-style mixes to your bunny because they can be high in sugar. (3)
#6 Grooming Tools
Rabbits do a decent job of cleaning their fur, but grooming your pet to keep their coat clean and catch any health problems early is necessary.
Essential grooming supplies include a comb to untangle mats, a soft-bristled brush to sleek the coat, a Furminator (for long-hair rabbits), and nail clippers.
Bunnies don't need regular baths, but you should still get a pet-friendly shampoo if you have to give your bunny an emergency bath.
#7 Vet Contacts
Indoor and outdoor rabbits are prone to various health problems, such as dental issues, parasites, gastrointestinal upset, upper respiratory infections, and sore feet.
Part of preventing these issues is understanding their comfort needs, including what do bunnies like to sleep on, to ensure they have a suitable and comfortable resting area.
And to keep your pets in optimum health, you need to have a vet examine them at least once a year. So, you must find a good vet to take care of your bunnies when sick.
Rabbits have teeth that don't stop growing. That's why they spend so much time chewing everything in sight and need proper chew toys to maintain healthy teeth.
Toys are also an excellent way to provide mental stimulation and keep your bunnies entertained when you're not around to play.
You can get your bunny grass mats, willow balls, sticks, twig tunnels, and more. Or you can make some toys using cardboard and other crafting materials. Check the video below!
#9 Cleaning Supplies
Pet owners must clean their rabbit habitat at least once a week to maintain hygiene and prevent foul odors in the house. And that's why you need the right supplies for the job:
- Prepare a simple cleaning solution from water and white vinegar. It's perfect for combating stubborn urine stains.
- Get pet-safe cleaning sprays or enzyme cleaners if you're having problems with strong odors.
- Don't forget to get sponges, towels, and pet-friendly wet wipes.
#10 Proofing Supplies
Are you planning to allow your bunny to hop around the room as part of its daily exercise routine? Then you need to bunny-proof the area to ensure your pet doesn't eat something dangerous:
- Get wire covers or flex tubing. Rabbits love to chew, so you must cover cords and keep them out of reach.
- Bunny gates. Use them to block off any room area you don't want your bunny to access. Choose tall ones because some bunnies can jump as high as 36 inches.
- Furniture protection.
#11 Pet Carrier
A rabbit carrier is the next essential item on our list. You'll need one when you take your pet to the vet for a routine exam or when traveling with your pet.
Choose a carrier made from material that rabbits can't chew through, and ensure it's big enough for your bunny. And check that it has adequate ventilation.
#12 Medical Supplies
A first-aid kit can save your rabbit's life until you reach the vet. Here's what I keep in my rabbit medical kit:
- Recovery food, such as Critical Care Herbivore
- Simethicone, which is safe for rabbits and helpful in alleviating stomach pain caused by gas
- Syringes for hand-feeding sick or baby rabbits
- Styptic powder for bleeding nails
- Thermometer, gauze, and pet-safe antibacterial sprays
1. What veggies can rabbits eat daily?
You can give your rabbit Romaine lettuce, carrot tops, watercress, mustard greens, brocollie, and other leafy greens.
2. What keeps rabbits happy?
Rabbits are happy when their environment provides enough mental and physical stimulation and encourages natural behaviors, such as digging, burrowing, and foraging.
3. Do rabbits need vaccines?
It's not obligatory to vaccinate your rabbit. However, you may wish to vaccinate your pet if you live in an area where viral hemorrhagic disease or myxomatosis virus infections are common.
Bunnies make great pets, but the list of rabbit essentials is quite long, so you must be prepared to spend around $300-$400 for initial supplies. And at least $85 monthly for food, litter, and bedding.
Moreover, rabbits are high-maintenance pets and need plenty of care, love, and commitment to thrive and be happy. So, think carefully if a pair of bunnies is suitable for you and your budget.
What do you think about this rabbit essentials guide? Would you add anything to the list? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
1. Harwood J. Better Together – Why You Should Adopt a Pair of Bonded Bunnies [Internet]. Toronto Humane Society. 2022 [cited 2023 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.torontohumanesociety.com/better-together-adopt-bonded-rabbits/
2. Rabbit Accommodation [Internet]. RSPCA Bedfordshire South Branch. [cited 2023 Sep 26]. Available from: https://rspca-bedfordshiresouth.org.uk/faqs/rabbits/rabbit-accommodation
3. Feeding your rabbits [Internet]. www.pdsa.org.uk. Available from: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/rabbits/feeding-your-rabbits