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What Does A Bunny Need in Its Cage? (The ULTIMATE LIST)

Before you get your first pet rabbit, you should ask, "What does a bunny need in its cage?"

It's easy to forget something essential when shopping for your pet, so I've listed everything you must get for the best rabbit cage set-up.

Just keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • A large enclosure ensures enough space for your bunnies and all the essential rabbit cage accessories they need to thrive.
  • Bunnies must have a litter box, a hiding area, fresh food, fresh water, and plenty of toys in their rabbit house.¬†
  • Bedding and hay racks are optional for your bunny's habitat, but they make it easy to keep the rabbit hutch clean.

Do You Have the Right Cage Size? 

Before I get to my list of essential rabbit cage accessories, I would like to discuss something crucial for a happy rabbit‚ÄĒthe cage size.

According to the Humane Society, enclosures should be at least 12 square feet. But it depends on your animal's breed and how many pets you plan on keeping. (1)

A good rule of thumb is that your bunny should make at least three to four full hops from one end of the enclosure to the other. It should also stand on its hind legs without its ears touching the ceiling.

Unfortunately, many pet-bought rabbit cages are far too small to provide enough space for your bunny to exercise, play, and stretch. And there's hardly any room left for the essentials.

That's why the best enclosure for an indoor rabbit is a pet playpen‚ÄĒit provides plenty of space for physical/mental stimulation and room for the must-haves.

As you'll see, a bunny needs more things than novice owners, except. So, always opt for a large enclosure size! 

11 Essential Rabbit Cage Supplies

Bunnies need more than a spacious enclosure to thrive. Fortunately, creating the right environment for your furry friend is easy. 

#1 Hiding Hut

Rabbits are prey animals, meaning they spook easily. Their first instinct is to hide when they're afraid, stressed, ill, or overwhelmed by their companions or owners.

So, your bunnies must have a secure hut or a hideout in their enclosure where they can retreat when something bothers them or nap without feeling threatened.

Pet parents should keep the following things in mind:

  • Each bunny needs a separate hiding spot to avoid fighting for territory.¬†
  • You should have one communal hut where your bunnies can cuddle together.¬†
  • Make sure the huts have more than one exit to prevent one bunny from bullying the others.¬†¬†
  • Watch this video to see how to make a simple hiding area by yourself.¬†

 

 

    #2 Water Bowl

    Your furry friends should have access to fresh water 24/7. Otherwise, they're at risk of dehydration and other serious medical conditions.

    I don't recommend a water bottle. Lapping is more natural for bunnies, and the water bottle can get clogged or freeze in winter, preventing your pet from drinking.

    When choosing water bowls, keep the following tips in mind:

    • I have two bunnies and keep three bowls in the enclosure to ensure they don't run out of water.¬†
    • Make sure the bowls are made from heavy material, or your rabbit will tip them over.¬†
    • Wash any water containers with detergent and hot water to kill bacteria.¬†
    • Provide clean water daily.¬†

    #3 Food Bowl

    Of course, your bunny also needs a food bowl. It's not a good idea to sprinkle the food pellets all over the cage because they'll go stale and attract parasites. 

    Since rabbits love chewing, don't buy plastic bowls from the pet store. Opt for lead-free bowls made from ceramic.  

    #4 Litter Box

    A dirty cage is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. Fortunately, bunnies like to do their business in one corner of the enclosure, making it easy to teach them to use a litter tray. 

    In general, a rectangular cat litter box works well. Just make sure that it's big enough for your fluffy friend, especially if you have a larger breed.

    Don't forget to put fresh litter in the tray every few days. And place additional litter boxes in the enclosure if you have more than one bunny! 

    #5 Litter

    Another must-have for your indoor rabbit cage is suitable litter for the litter tray. I prefer paper-based litter because it absorbs urine well, controls odors, and is harmless.

    You can also try wood pellets, but avoid non-kiln-dried pine and cedar shavings. They're toxic to bunnies and other small pets.

    Moreover, clay cat litter is not a suitable option. Eating this type of litter can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as bowel obstruction. 

    #6 Bedding

    In general, house rabbits don't need bedding in their cage. But using paper-based bedding or cage liners has its advantages: 

    • It creates a comfortable surface for your bunny to sleep, nap, or stretch.
    • It keeps it warm when the temperature falls.¬†
    • Soft bedding material is great for your pet's sensitive feet and prevents sore hocks.¬†
    • The comfortable bedding also provides hours of entertainment for your bunny.

    I use a combination of LuftPets' cage liners and recycled paper. The material absorbs accidental spills, keeps the enclosure from smelling, and is quick to clean.

    Fleece is another rabbit-safe bedding with excellent absorbent properties. You can also consider soft straw bedding, wood-based bedding material, or newspapers.

    But what about blankets? Can you put a blanket in a rabbit cage? Well, you can use blankets to create a cozy sleeping area in the cage, but they're not the best bedding option.  

    #7 Rabbit Toys

    Rabbits are active animals and need plenty of physical exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They also need mental stimulation to avoid boredom, depression, and stress. 

    More importantly, bored bunnies are prone to destructive behaviors and can even become aggressive. That's why you must provide plenty of toys in the cage: 

    • Wooden toys keep your bunny entertained when you're not around to interact with it.¬†
    • They're great for redirecting your bunny's destructive chewing.
    • Bunnies need to have chewing toys because their teeth don't stop growing!¬†

    Suitable toys for rabbits include solid plastic baby toys (key rings), grass mats, wooden sticks, chewable balls, stacking cups, etc. Watching this video can also help you make toys by yourself.

     

     

    #8 Fresh Food

    What does a bunny need in his cage? Food, of course! Your furry friends must have constant access to food to keep their digestive system working. 

    As experts from the Rabbit Welfare Organization say, "Rabbits need a diet based on 85% grass or feeding hay, 10% greens, and 5% good quality nuggets." (2)

    Here's what you must provide: 

    • Fresh, high-quality hay. It's vital for a healthy rabbit because it ensures the digestive system functions properly.¬†
    • High-quality dry pellets with a minimum of 18% crude fiber. Experts recommend 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight for adult rabbits, depending on the size and breed. (3)
    • Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
    • If your pet grazes in the garden, remove poisonous plants such as daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, ivy, and nightshade.

    #9 Hay Rack

    Most people consider the hay rack an optional rabbit cage accessory. But I prefer a rack because it keeps the hay fresh and clean. 

    Moreover, a hay rack makes it easy to maintain good hygiene and sweep debris away. And if you're wondering how often I should clean my rabbit cage, the answer is daily. 

    #10 Tunnels 

    Wild rabbits spend a lot of their time burrowing to create underground warrents. Domestic bunnies also like digging, so adding tunnels to your rabbit cage is a smart decision.

    Tunnels are also an excellent way for your fur babies to burn off excess energy and provide a great hiding spot. 

    When choosing a tunnel, make sure it's made from sturdy material and won't break apart when your adult rabbits play. And avoid materials that your bunny can swallow! 

    #11 Companion

    Rabbits are social animals, and they enjoy living with other bunnies to keep them company and provide additional exercise and entertainment. 

    Solitude can result in serious medical problems, such as stress, depression, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, overgrooming, etc. 

    So, it's better to have at least a pair of bunnies to keep each other happy! Or make sure you spend enough time with your bunny to make up for the lack of a companion. 

    FAQs

    1. What do you put in the bottom of a rabbit cage?

    To cover the bottom of the hutch, you can put hay, cardboard, recycled paper, fleece, wood shavings, or cage liners. 

    2. What are the basic needs of a rabbit?

    Bunnies need a suitable environment to thrive - a spacious cage, enough exercise, a specific diet, and quality play time to be happy and healthy. 

    3. What do bunnies like to sleep on?

    Bunnies like sleeping on soft surfaces, such as blankets, fleece liners, paper bedding, etc. But they don't need a special rabbit bed. 

    Conclusion

    Bunnies don't need many things in their enclosure, but they must have a safe hiding spot, litter box, toys, constant access to water, and suitable food. 

    Bedding and hay racks are optional for your indoor bunnies. However, they make it easy to maintain a clean cage and prevent hay from getting all over the house. 

    Just don't forget that rabbits are social and active animals, so they must have enough mental and physical stimulation in the enclosure. 

    What do you think about this topic? Which is the most essential rabbit cage accessory for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

    Resources:

    1. Rabbit Care. Animal Humane Society. [Cited 2024 May 4] Available from: ]https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/resource/rabbit-care
    2. Rabbit Care That’s Second to None. Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.  [Cited 2024 May 4] Available from: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-care/
    3. Rabbit Nutrition. Oshkosh Area Humane Society. [Cited 2024 May 4] Available from: https://www.oahs.org/pdf/RabbitDiet.pdf 
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