Providing the Perfect Rabbit House for Your New Pet Rabbit

Published:
11:35 a.m. 27 June 2022



Updated:
4:57 PM June 27, 2022

Many think rabbits are “easy” pets to keep, but just like dogs and cats, they have specific housing, food, and handling needs.

With decades of experience caring for and caring for rabbits, Woodgreen Pets Charity knows a thing or two about keeping them happy and healthy. The charity is part of the team of experts behind Rabbit Awareness Week, the annual wellness campaign, which runs from June 27 to July 1.

We talk to Samantha Ryan, Small Pet Behavior and Training Specialist, about this year’s campaign theme – how to create the perfect home for rabbits. Below, she answers some of your most frequently asked questions.

Q: What housing does a rabbit need?


Rabbits are social animals, which is why Woodgreen Pets Charity recommends having at least a pair.
– Credit: Woodgreen Pets Charity

A: When creating a home for rabbits, it’s important to make sure they have enough space to run, jump, stretch, forage for food, and explore their surroundings. In other words, it’s best to give them as much space as possible. Generally, rabbits don’t like to be picked up and handled, so having a spacious enclosure where you can sit on the floor will allow them to come to you whenever they want.

Rabbits that are kept outdoors should have a secure enclosure that predators cannot access. Ideally, it should be at least three meters by two meters and one meter tall so they can stretch. A garden shed, an old Wendy House or a hutch that has an attached exercise track works well. Be sure to provide access to the entire enclosure at all times, as rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are most active at night and early in the morning. Large groups of rabbits or large breeds will require larger enclosures.

Indoor rabbits need just as much room to roam. A converted room or a large rabbit-proof enclosure is ideal. The space should have plenty of natural light, be at a comfortable temperature, and away from loud appliances or drafty areas of the house. Laying down old rugs and carpets can make the floor less slippery and protect it from droppings and stains.

Q: What should I put in my rabbit enclosure?

A: Natural rabbit behaviors include digging, jumping, grazing, foraging, hiding and chewing. To allow them to express these behaviors, fill the enclosure with plenty of hay or grass, boxes of sand or soil to dig in and litter boxes.

Old furniture covered with blankets for grip is great for rabbits to jump on. They also like to hide, so add cardboard boxes with holes for them to climb into. Safe wood like willow branches can also be used for rabbits to chew on to keep their teeth in good condition. You can also add puzzle toys and feeders for enrichment.


Samantha Ryan, Small Pet Behavior and Training Specialist at Woodgreen Pets Charity

Samantha Ryan is a Small Pet Behavior and Training Specialist at Woodgreen Pets Charity

– Credit: Woodgreen Pets Charity

Q: How many rabbits should I have?

A: Rabbits are social animals that live in groups in nature. That’s why we recommend always keeping at least two together as companions. The best combination is a neutered male and a neutered female of the same age. Same-sex siblings can also live well together if castrated when young to help them bond and prevent them from fighting. The ideal age for sterilization is between three and six months.

Introducing one rabbit to another can often be difficult, especially if they are mature. At Woodgreen we can help you find a perfect match for your rabbit with our blending service, or we can advise you on how to successfully bond them at home.

For expert advice and support on all aspects of pet care, visit woodgreen.org.uk/pet-advice. To find out more about Rabbit Awareness Week, visit rabbitawarenessactiongroup.co.uk and download your free information pack.


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Raymond I. Langston