Last updated: September 3, 2021

Rabbits, traditionally farm animals, are now becoming popular pets. They are affectionate, clean and intelligent animals. A rabbit needs a space to feel safe and most commonly people will house these pets in a large cage, or hutch.

A rabbit hutch also protects your furniture from sharp teeth, while giving your pet its own space. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at this product, as well as learning more about why rabbits make great pets.




Key Facts

  • A rabbit hutch should have different areas for sleeping and playing so that your pet is more comfortable.
  • Even if you have a rabbit hutch in your home, you should let your pet run around the house or the garden for a few hours each day.
  • There are a wide variety of rabbit hutches available, in various materials and sizes.

Our selection: The best rabbit hutches

In this section, you'll find a wrap-up of the five most popular rabbit hutches currently on the market. In this way, we hope to help you make the best decision about which hutch to buy for your rabbit.

Shopping Guide: What you should know about rabbit hutches

As it becomes increasingly common to have rabbits as pets, the hutch you choose is an important element, since it keeps your pet safe. As you read on you'll learn more about what makes a good rabbit hutch, as well as getting the answers to common doubts and questions of rabbit owners.

Beautiful young woman holding cute rabbit in pet shop

Rabbits are sweet and loving animals who, thanks to their character, have become popular companion animals. (Source: belchonock: 97323585/ 123rf.com)

Should my rabbit leave its hutch?

A rabbit hutch gives your pet a private home where it feels protected. But every animal also needs fresh air and new stimuli. So, even if you have a nice big hutch, experts recommend that you let your rabbit run around the house or the garden for at least two hours every day. This will give them enough exercise and stop them from getting bored.

There are rabbits who like a quiet routine, and may not be keen to go out of their cage. On the other hand, you may have an adventurous pet who wants to explore new places and if this is the case, you should make sure it can spend time each day visiting different spots.

little rabbits. rabbit in farm cage or hutch. Breeding rabbits c

Remember that it is important that your pets spend time in the fresh air. (Source: Glushchenko: 83045343/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a rabbit as a pet?

The pet you choose will depend a lot on your character. Until recently, domestic rabbits were exclusively farm animals, but it increasingly common for people to keep them as pets. If you love rabbits and are thinking of adopting one, here are the key advantages and disadvantages of having one as a pet:

Advantages
  • Rabbits don't need very much attention. If you work all day, it won't be a problem.
  • They are calm and affectionate animals, so they're perfect for young children.
  • They are very clean and their droppings will be collected in the bottom section of their cage.
  • They adapt well to different environments
  • They are clever animals and you can teach them to do their business whereever is most convenient
Disadvantages
  • Your rabbit may gnaw at the bottom of your furniture or your electrical cables if you don't keep an eye on them.
  • They often have delicate health, so you may need to visit the vet regularly.
  • They don't get along with dogs or cats
  • Rabbits are nocturnal so they may be noisy while you're trying to sleep.
  • Once they reach sexual maturity, they become very unruly when in heat.

How do I keep my rabbit hutch clean?

To avoid unpleasant odours from urine or droppings, as well as to protect your rabbit from harmful bacteria, it is important to keep their space clean. It's advisable to have separate zones within your rabbit hutch, and having a tray in the area where you want your pet to do its business.

This tray and the surrounding area should be lightly cleaned pretty much every day and cleaned thoroughly once a week. Not only do rabbits enjoy a clean and hygienic home, but this is also important for you. Droppings and urine are the main cause of bad odour, so the box or tray should be cleaned regularly.

Funny baby white rabbit with a carrot in grass

Rabbits need a fair bit of space in order to run around as much as they'd like. 
(Source: Melnychuk: 41557977/ 123rf.com)

How can I disinfect my rabbit hutch?

As part of regularly cleaning the hutch, you must disinfect it every month. You can buy products designed for this purpose or you can use vinegar and boiling water. It is important to disinfect all parts of the hutch as well as all objects which are inside it.

It's important that you completely submerge the drinking bottle in boiling water, as well as all other objects which your rabbit uses. You should also remove all stains from the tray, which can be done with vinegar, in order to eliminate odours.

We recommend you clean the wires of the cage one by one with soapy water.

How big should a rabbit hutch be?

Experts say that you should have a rabbit hutch which is as large as possible for the space you have available. It should be large enough that your pet has sufficient space to stretch comfortably in its little home. It should also be tall enough that the rabbit doesn't need to bend over or crouch as it walks around.

It's advisable to divide the hutch into different spaces for eating, playing and resting. These areas do not need to be separated with walls, but should have distinct elements to differentiate them. For your rabbit's comfort, you can pad the sleeping area with hay, wood shavings or newspaper.

white and black rabbit in a cage

Rabbit hutches are ideal for keeping your pet safe.
(Source: Petrunina: 80958236/ 123rf.com)

Where should I put my rabbit hutch?

It's important to keep your rabbit hutch somewhere well ventilated, but also not too drafty. To keep your pet comfortable, it is better that it is not in direct sunlight, especially in hot climates. Additionally, the hutch should be close to the parts of the house where there is activity.

This is because rabbits like human contact, and will become bored and even depressed if they are left in an isolated area. At the same time, you should avoid placing it somewhere where there is a lot of traffic, or you may keep tripping over it.

Young man playing with pet rabbit at home

Rabbits can live together in the same space unless the female is pregnant. (Source: Elnur-Amikishiyev: 89132039/ 123rf.com)

Can I keep a rabbit hutch in my bedroom?

Keep in mind that rabbits are nocturnal animals, so having your pet in your bedroom could keep you awake at night. This will depend on how well trained, clean and healthy your pet is, though remember that the cage will always smell at least a little.

Rabbits are often very active between midnight and 2am. They also generally like to play in the hour before dawn, from around 5 to 6 in the morning.

Your cuddly pet will take the opportunity to sleep during the day while you are at work or busy with other activities.

What should I feed my pet rabbit?

As we all know, rabbits love carrots. In reality, these little animals are big fans of any kind of vegetable. To keep your pet well fed and happy, be sure to give them a range of vegetables including broccoli, lettuce, parsley, cabbage, coriander, spinach, tomato and celery.

Another important part of your rabbit's diet is hay, and it should be given in unlimited quantities. The long hay fibres are essential to keep its intestine healthy as well as stopping hairballs from forming in the stomach. Finally, make sure that your rabbit doesn't start eating vegetables until it is at least 3 months old.

A group young rabbits in the hutch

The lower part of the hutch is very important, as it is where your rabbit will spend the majority of their time. (Source: Evgenii-Vershinin: 106091969/ 123rf.com)

Is a rabbit hutch suitable for a hare?

People often get rabbits and hares confused. They are actually completely different animals. You can tell them apart because hare are generally larger and faster than rabbits, and also have longer ears. Hares have also not been domesticated.

In a nutshell, while a rabbit makes an excellent pet, a hare would be very unhappy inside the house and even more so inside a cage.

In fact, most species of hare are not even suitable as farm animals. While rabbits are happy to be around people, hares will always be cautious and reluctant to get close to humans.

What kind of floor should my rabbit hutch have?

If rabbits sit on hard or wet surfaces this will often lead to a condition called pododermatitis,  which means sores develop on the hind legs. This is why you need to make sure your hutch has a comfortable floor. If the base of the hutch has bars, be sure to cover them with something flat and solid.

It is also common to use woodchips to cover the floor, as they are great for absorbing urine odours while being comfortable for your rabbit. In your pet's sleeping area you can place something soft like newspaper or a soft, fluffy blanket.

little boy feeding two rabbits in farm on beautiful sunny day

Rabbits are very loving with people and are not dangerous for children. (Source: levranii: 17640180/ 123rf.com)

Can I put a pregnant rabbit in the same hutch as a male rabbit?

As long as the space is big enough, several rabbits can usually live together happily, unless one of the females falls pregnant. When this happens, you will need to separate them. Pregnant female rabbits become unruly and may attack others, as part of their instincts to protect their young. Therefore it's important to give them their own private space.

Giving birth is arduous and can even be harmful to a rabbit's health, so it's not advisable to let them give birth more than twice a year. Vets tell us that rabbits are ok to breed between the ages of eight months and four years. It's also advisable to wait for the rabbits to be in season.

Shopping Criteria

Size

If you get your pet rabbit as a baby, you'll need to know how big it is going to be before you buy its hutch. Rabbits need to have adequate space to stretch and move around so you want to ensure they have adequate space. The size will also depend on the space you have available in your house or your garden, though of course, it is best to have the biggest cage possible.

Even if your pet is let out of his hutch for a few hours a day, it also needs space to move around in its little house. It needs to be able to run around and play in order to be happy.

Materials

If you are concerned about keeping your rabbit hutch clean, skip ones which are entirely made of wood, as this material will absorb and retain urine and makes it very difficult to get the smell out. Plastic and metal materials are easiest to keep clean. On the other hand, wood is comfortable for the sleeping areas and also helps to keep the hutch warm.

If you are planning to keep your pet's home outside, it must be waterproof, especially the roof. You'll also need to make sure that the materials and paint are not toxic, especially considering rabbits like to gnaw at parts of their hutch.

Keep weather and climate in mind when choosing your rabbit hutch's materials. Rabbits cannot tolerate extreme temperatures.

Design

As already mentioned, a rabbit hutch should have different spaces to suit your pet's different activities. You can buy a hutch which already has separate areas, or alternatively, you can buy a more simple cage and make partitions to divide it up. Here are the most common designs for rabbit hutches:

  • Wire cage: This design gives you many possibilities to come up with your own design and create the perfect space for your rabbit, using different wire cages and connectors. You can also buy cages which are pre-assembled, and join more than one cage together.
  • Stable style: This is usually the most spacious and deluxe style of rabbit hutch. They are divided into separate areas and usually some open areas for the rabbit to play in, and other sheltered zones for sleeping. Many models have multiple levels, connected by steps or a ramp.
  • Simple style: Many rabbit hutches are a simple wide rectangle with an opening on the top or the side. These are most often made of plastic and metal and can be divided up by placing partitions inside.

Accessories

A good rabbit hutch should have various accessories to make it pleasant and comfortable for your pet. It must have different areas for your pet to eat, play and sleep. It should also have the elements your rabbit needs on a daily basis. The key ones are:

  • Water bottle. Rather than a bowl for water, you should give your pet rabbit a drinking bottle which keeps the water fresh and clean. An open bowl risks pieces of hay or even droppings falling into it. The bottle should be fixes surely to the bars or side of the hutch.
  • Hay rack. Rabbits always need plenty of hay on hand. It is a critical part of their diet and you can buy hay racks to neatly put the hay all in the same spot.
  • Feed bowl. This is where you can put the food pellets or vegetables you will be giving to your rabbit daily.
  • Litter tray. This hygienic tray is designed for your rabbit to do your business so that it can be easily cleaned up.
  • Toys. To keep your rabbit happy in its hutch be sure to give it toy to chew him, as well as provide ramps or stairs for exercise.
  • Brush. You need to brush your rabbit from time to time to remove dead hair.
  • Blanket. The perfect way to create a comfy spot for your pet to sleep is by putting down a fluffy blanket.
  • Hut or box. Your pet will appreciate a quiet and safe place to rest, so having a little hut or enclosed box as part of your rabbit hutch is ideal.

Base

The bottom of your rabbit hutch is very important as it is where your pet sits for most of the day. As we've already covered, these animals' hind legs are very sensitive. Often, the hutch's own floor will be perfectly adequate, but in other cases, you'll need to put something down to ensure your pet's comfort.

A hutch with a metal or smooth plastic base will be easiest to clean, but less comfortable for your pet. This is where newspaper or woodchips come in handy. These materials will absorb urine and will need to be regularly changed for hygienic purposes, but are also much better for your pet.

Summary

Rabbits are sweet and affectionate animals that because of this have become very popular pets. A rabbit hutch is essential for anyone wanting to have a rabbit as a pet. It's therefore important to make a well-informed choice when buying one.

Before deciding on a rabbit hutch, consider the size of your pet, its needs, and where in your house, garden or patio you are planning to put it. These are the three main concerns which will help you make the right choice. Once you buy one, fill it with the little accessories which will give your pet a happy life.

(Source of the featured image: Hamdi Zainal: 100291176/ 123rf.com)

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