Building Housing for Pet Rabbits
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/28/2007 | Pets and Animals
Ask most people about pets and you will probably hear a response that
talks about dogs or cats. In more rare circumstances a pet owner will
be a fancier of guinea pigs or gerbils, or even more exotic animals
such as snakes and spiders. But there is a growing trend toward smaller
mammals, including ferrets, rats, and especially rabbits.
Rabbits are unusual in our society as they are one of the few
animals that are viewed as food by some people and as pets as others.
The number of homes that have indoor rabbits has been increasing at
such a pace that there now exists a House Rabbit Society organization
to distribute useful information about how rabbits may be kept safely
and in a healthy manner within a home situation.
One feature about rabbits that interferes with them enjoying free
run within a home is their propensity for chewing. Although rabbits can
be successfully trained to use a litter box, it is more difficult for
them to be convinced not to chew such things as furniture legs and
electrical wires. This is why many owners of house rabbits seek an
indoor hutch or rabbit cage in which their long-eared pets may be kept
when they cannot be supervised.
According to the House Rabbit Society, a rabbit's housing should
provide several things. They need to be able to fully stretch out in
all directions. They require at least two levels, so they may jump up
and down for exercise. They need a supply of food, especially hay, as
well as water. And, of course, a litter box is needed.
A recent trend in building indoor rabbit hutches is to make a
"bunny condo" out of modular storage cube squares. Many hardware and
home furnishing stores sell 14-inch square wire cube components for
making modular storage units. These squares can be used to construct a
multi-level rabbit house that provides sufficient space for all the
requirements as specified by the House Rabbit Society.
Building a rabbit condo that is three squares wide, three squares
high and two squares deep will create a space measuring more than 28
cubic feet in capacity. This is far more spacious than the average dog
carrier that many people use for housing their indoor rabbits.
When building a rabbit condo, several other considerations should
be kept in mind. The bare wire floor should never be used by itself,
but should be covered with a material such as plywood. For ease in
cleaning, covering the flooring and shelving with vinyl tiles or
linoleum is recommended. However, it should not be too slippery a
surface, as rabbit feet were designed for hopping on natural earth and
grass, not on smooth artificial surfaces.
Numerous plans for rabbit condos are now available across the
Internet, and most of them would provide all the safety, security and
living space a house rabbit needs. Still, they cannot be locked away
all the time. Even a rabbit in a fancy condo needs to get out into the
house for some good exercise including running and jumping for several
hours at a time.