Creating the right home for your rabbit
Rabbits are active animals, and keeping them healthy and happy starts with making sure they have a comfortable home. On this page, we'll look at the things you should do to make sure your rabbit's home environment meets their needs.
Here's what your rabbit needs for a comfortable home:
- A secure living space with enough room - rabbits are active and need to be able to hop, run, jump, dig and stretch out fully when lying down. They'll need enough room to exercise and stand up fully on their back legs without their ears touching the roof.
- Somewhere safe - provide a large living area and a secure shelter where they can rest, feel safe and are protected from predators, extremes of weather and temperature. Make sure their living space is safe and secure.
- All areas well ventilated, dry and draught-free - living in a draughty, damp, hot, poorly ventilated or dirty environment can cause suffering and illness.
- Hiding places - rabbits are a prey species, so need to hide in secure places, away from the sights and smells of predators (such as foxes, cats, dogs, ferrets and birds of prey). Give them constant access to safe hiding places to escape if they're feeling afraid.
- Daily exercise - rabbits are intelligent and inquisitive. If they're bored, they may suffer, so they'll need daily exercise to stay fit and healthy.
- Provide enough bedding to keep them warm - bedding should be safe to eat, such as dust-free straw or hay.
- Suitable toilet area - rabbits need regular (ideally constant) access to a suitable toilet area. If you provide litter trays, use newspaper, hay or straw, shredded paper and/or paper-based non-clumping, non-expanding cat litter. Their toilet areas should be separate from sleeping areas. Try placing a hay rack over the litter tray to encourage them to eat hay.
- Cleaning - regularly clean their housing and toilet areas.
When you go away
If you're going away, try finding someone who can look after your rabbits in their own home for familiarity. If boarding, keep grouped rabbits together and take familiar items such as their toys.
If you need to transport your rabbits, make sure they're comfortable and safe. Put familiar smelling items in carriers or new environments to help them feel at ease, and make sure the size and temperature of anywhere they're left (including vehicles) is comfortable. Find out more in our guide to transporting rabbits.