Rabbits are not just pets; they are charming, intelligent companions that bring joy and warmth to our homes and should be respected as much as cats and dogs. As responsible rabbit guardians, it is our duty to provide them with an environment that promotes both physical and mental well-being. We at HRS Chicago believe rabbits in North America are safest and happiest as indoor companions.

Understanding the Basics:
Indoor rabbit housing involves creating a space that mimics a rabbit’s natural habitat, allowing them to exhibit their natural behaviors. Pen living is an excellent option for providing rabbits with ample space and opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation. This method involves creating a designated area for your rabbit using modular pens or enclosures, allowing them to move freely and express their natural instincts.

Space Requirements:
The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund emphasizes the importance of providing sufficient space for rabbits to live comfortably. Their guidelines suggest a minimum of 10ft x 6ft of space for a pair of average-sized rabbits. Larger breeds or more active rabbits may require even more space. This ensures that they have enough room to hop, run, stand on their hind legs, and stretch out – vital activities for their physical health and mental stimulation. Generally 30 inches is plenty of height to contain most rabbits in an indoor enclosure, but occasionally you’ll need to invest in much taller pens for adventurous jumpers or climbers. Never ever lock a rabbit in a cage or a hutch for any length of time. Cages can be used as litter boxes if left open at all times. A hutch that’s left open 24/7 can be used as a hiding spot but keep in mind they can be very difficult to clean.

Creating a Stimulating Environment:
Rabbits are intelligent and curious creatures, and a well-designed indoor space can provide endless opportunities for mental stimulation. Incorporating tunnels, hides, dig boxes and a variety of toys can keep your rabbit engaged and prevent boredom. We suggest the use of cardboard boxes with entrances and exits as a way to mimic the burrows that rabbits would create in the wild. Rabbits also love to zoom through cat tunnels.

Additionally, providing platforms or ramps can add vertical space to the enclosure, allowing rabbits to explore and exercise their natural instinct to survey their surroundings. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of hiding places within the enclosure, as rabbits are prey animals and often feel safer when they have a secure space to retreat to.

Dig boxes can include shredded/crumpled paper or plastic balls. We do not recommend using sand in dig boxes as it can cause digestive upset if too much is ingested.

Baby stacking cups, plastic baby keys, wooden chews and puzzle toys are all great for providing mental stimulation and can prevent your rabbits from getting bored.

Location Matters:
Selecting an appropriate location for your rabbit’s indoor haven is crucial. We recommend choosing a quiet area away from excessive noise, any predatory pets, direct sunlight, and drafts. Rabbits are sensitive to their environment, and a peaceful location will help them feel secure and at ease.

Maintenance and Cleaning:
Maintaining a clean and hygienic living space is essential for the health of your rabbit. Regular spot cleaning and a thorough cleaning routine, including changing bedding and washing litter boxes, are vital aspects of rabbit care. Plain vinegar is a safe and effective cleaner for your rabbit’s space. If you’re not using litter box liners, it easily dissolves the calcium buildup in litter boxes as well.
Creating the perfect indoor housing for your rabbit involves thoughtful planning, incorporating elements to encourage their natural behaviors, and providing ample space for them to thrive. By following these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your rabbit not only survives but thrives in their indoor haven. A happy and healthy rabbit is a joyous companion, and the effort you invest in their living space will be rewarded with years of happy and healthy bunnies.

The Belden Buns

Agi Zeman’s trio

RWAF’s Space Recommendation