What is the best housing for my rabbit?
In most circumstances, it is best that rabbits be given more space for exercise than what can be provided by just a simple starter cage or hutch design. NJ House Rabbit Society encourages rabbit parents to allow their rabbits free roam, at least of a room or two. This enhances their life tremendously.
Rabbits need this additional space so that they can do what rabbits love to do naturally -- run, jump, play, and dig. The extra space also allows bonded rabbits more room to interact with each other and gives you greater opportunity to interact with your rabbits as well.
With proper training, rabbits can use a litterbox and with proper rabbit proofing of your home (or room the rabbits will be in) rabbits can, and should, be allowed to be free roaming with no cage confinement.
If there must be some confinement, when free roaming is unmanageable or impractical, we recommend pens. They are larger areas than most cages. We still recommend that rabbits be allowed out for a number of hours each day, so they have the benefit of extra exercise.
For those who are concerned about protecting floor space shared by rabbits, a small piece of scrap linoleum (found at Home Depot or Lowes) can go under the pen with a cotton rug on top for comfort and traction. If your rabbit does chew on things, be sure s/he is not eating any rug pieces. If this is the case, then some other, non-chewable material will have to be put in its place.
Hopper Home shows some housing arrangements as well as cardboard houses and tunnels for rabbits
San Diego HRS has good examples of possible rabbit enclosures, using x-pens, and other similar material.
The Rabbit Haven includes helpful tips about rabbit housing and examples of pen style living.
The design for these enclosures does not have to be complicated or expensive. The set-ups work especially well for rabbits who are litter box trained.
I have included information below on how to find and purchase x-pens that work well for rabbits.
Here are links to a few exercise pens on the market. NJHRS recommends the kind where the whole panel opens up for the rabbit to come out, not the kind where just a small "doorway" opens up (like this).
Doorways could create a potential hazard for some rabbits, since it is possible they could get their feet caught in the wires when attempting to jump through them.
You also want to be sure an x-pen is high enough so your rabbit won't jump over it. 24" is usually too low. A good height is usually about 30" - although we've known a few rabbits that needed it to be higher.
Exercise pens can be found at many retailers. Just do on online search for "exercise pen rabbit." Here are a few to get you started:
Updated: February 17, 2015