A suitable environment for rabbits
Ensure your rabbit has a suitable place to live
- A secure living environment large enough for all to exercise and stand up fully on their back legs without ears touching the roof.
- Rabbits are active, needing opportunities to hop/run/jump/dig/stand fully upright on their back legs/stretch out fully when lying down.
- See: behavioural needs, Rabbit Housing Advice (PDF 280KB) and Keeping rabbits indoors (PDF 140KB)
- A large living area and a secure shelter where they can rest, feel safe and are protected from predators, extremes of weather and temperature. Ensure all areas are well ventilated, dry and draught-free.
- Living in draughty/damp/hot/poorly ventilated/dirty environments can cause suffering and illness
- They’re a prey species, so need to hide in secure places, away from sights and smells of predators (e.g. foxes/cats/dogs/ferrets/birds of prey).
Constant access to safe hiding places to escape if feeling afraid. Rabbits need to hide from things that scare them.
- Daily exercise opportunities to stay fit and healthy. Rabbits are intelligent and inquisitive. If they’re bored, they may suffer.
- Enough bedding to keep warm. Bedding should be safe to eat, e.g. dust-free straw/hay.
- Regular (ideally constant) access to suitable toileting places. If providing litter trays use newspaper, hay/straw, shredded paper and/or natural wood or paper-based non-clumping, non-expanding cat litter. Toilet areas should be separate to sleeping areas. Try placing a hay rack over the litter tray to encourage them to eat hay.
- Regularly cleaned housing and toilet areas.
- Familiarity. If you’re away, try finding someone to care for rabbits to meet all their welfare needs within their familiar home. If boarding, keep grouped rabbits together and take familiar items (e.g. toys).
- Transporting in a comfortable and safe manner. Put familiar smelling items in carriers/new environments to help feel at ease.
- See: Transporting rabbits (PDF 458KB).
- The size/temperature of anywhere they’re left (including vehicles) to be appropriate.
- To live in safe, secure, hazard-free environments. Any hazards within their environment may injure them.