Bunnies need lots of room to run and play. The
best advice I can give is put yourself in their place. Would you
want to be caged 24/7? Then don't do it to them. Many
can be free range but all need lots of time outside the cage. Yes,
you'll have some chewing. Yes, they will track some poop outside
the litterbox but they don't smell and are very easy to sweep or vacuum
up. Bunny-proof a large room or set of rooms and if necessary
block it off with a baby gate (small holes because they'll bite through
the larger ones) or wire grid panels (see below).
For free range bunnies, keep your wiring safe
by tucking it behind things, taping it down or use cable
turtles to pick up the slack or poly loom to cover them.
Bunnies will go after electrical cables.
We've called in cable repair several times. Rabbits have almost a
magnetic attraction to wires. They will find them and it can be
Some people prefer not to let them roam free all the
time or they cage them during the night. A versatile and
reasonably cheap cage can be made from storage cubes. They go by
many names including, Creative Cubes, Neat Idea Cubes (by Fellowes), New
Age Cubes, Storage Cube Sets (by Rubbermaid), Start-a-Cube, Add-a-Cube,
and Great Idea Cubes. They are 14" x 14" wire grid
panels, available at Costco, Walmart and Home Depot. The
connectors are a real pain, but they can also be put together with cable
ties which allows you to easily build ramps and several platforms within
the cage. You can get the cable ties at hardware stores but you'll need a lot if you're making a very large condo.
carries the cable ties in packs of 1000 which is how I buy them. Make sure
your bunnies have a soft flooring in the cage
and on each ramp and level, because rabbits do not have padded paws like
dogs and cats. You can check the remnant section of a carpet or
hardware store which is how I carpeted one whole condo for $10.
Ikea also has low cost cotton rugs and fleece blankets or try discount
chains like Giant Tiger. Dollarama often has various types of
flooring including sample size carpets, throw rugs and vinyl floor
If using an xpen type set up, you
can protect your hardwood floors in the house in case your bunnies have
an "accident" in various ways. Use rubber mats
with the carpets overtop, or take a large piece of plywood, cover it
with laminate/vinyl floor tiles and even add an edge around it with
moulding from Home Hardware. If your bunnies are not chewers, you
could try those large interlocking foam squares people use in kid's
playrooms. For extra protection under any of these, lay down a
cheap shower curtain liner first.
You really don't even have to build a
condo if your rabbit spends most of their time out with you. Just
use the storage cube panels to build an xpen (just the walls, no floors,
levels/ramps or roof). Its easy to fold it flat when not in use
and it provides a quick way to pen in your rabbit if you don't let them
out at night. Proper xpens tend run about $100 or so. You
can build it this way for $20. With this option use the flooring
ideas just mentioned and your done!
You can add natural grass mats in their cages
which are available at Ikea and some rabbit supply stores (I've
seen them mostly online). The rabbits also enjoy chewing on those.
You can get plans online for a pen and visit
your local Rona or Home Depot. The hubby will love you and if you
have to go to Canadian Tire for more supplies or power tools he'll be
putty in your hands. Its not cheap though, even if you make it
Store bought cages are also pricey.
We have a couple of these large cages which are about 20" x 20"
x 40" and approximately $100. We also have several standard
single-rabbit cage for transporting bunnies. I have picked up
several pet carriers in various sizes for about $3 to $4 at
Goodwill. These are about $30-$40 brand new. You can also
check at vets in your area, they often have boards where people post
pet-related items for sale. Craigslist
and other similar want-ads whether online or in newsprint are another
option. Having easily portable
cages is necessary for taking your rabbit to the vet or away when you
visit family over holidays.
Rabbits are very clean animals and litter training is
not usually difficult. For litter you can use Yesterday's News
which is available at most pet stores or wood stove pellets which are
available seasonally at places like Rona so stock up in the winter.
If you run out before fall, try TSC stores for them or the horse stall
pellets. You can't beat the cost effectiveness of wood stove pellets at about $5
for a 40lb bag. For bedding you can use Aspen Shavings or
Carefresh, both of which are usually available at most pet stores.
Pine or cedar shavings are readily available and cheap but are not good for bunnies. These can cause liver damage or be irritating
for bunnies with allergies.
Bunnies are sensitive to extreme cold or heat.
In the summer heat with all that fur it can
be really unbearable for them if you don't have a good air conditioner.
One trick is to get some ceramic floor tiles from Home Depot or similar
places. They're only about a dollar each. Put them in the
fridge or freezer and then put the cold tiles down for the bunnies.
NIC Condo - here is a step by step to building a storage cube
Idea Cube Condo - more instructions for storage cube style
Cages has a detailed guide on where to find what you need to
make a condo of your own.
Everything you ever wanted to know about
rabbits but were afraid to ask ...