Top Tips for Keeping Rabbits Indoors
We all love to keep our furry little ones indoors with us, however there are certain considerations you need to keep in mind in order to ensure they are happy, healthy and comfortable inside your home.
Follow our top tips for keeping indoor rabbits:
1.) Living Arrangements
It is important that your rabbits have somewhere safe & secure where they can eat & sleep (or hide if they feel scared), ensuring these needs are met is one of the keys to having a happy rabbit companion.
Make sure their living space is large enough – ideally you want a base area that is at least 3m x 2m for them to live in and have enough room to move about and exercise. The bigger the better!
If you decide to give your rabbits the run of your house, you can choose to fence off a specific area within a large room for them, or use a large pen. Just make sure it’s safe and secure and they can’t come into contact with any dangerous household items etc.
Which leads us onto the next tip…..
2.) Safety first
Ensuring your rabbit doesn’t get near any electrical cables, wires and devices that may injure them is essential. All rabbits love to nibble and chew and so keeping power cables out of reach is important.
The same can be said for household plants – remember, some of them are poisonous to rabbits so be on the safe side and keep them all out of reach. The same goes for cleaning products, sprays and other chemicals.
Ensure that their living area is properly secure and don’t leave any gaps, Rabbits are very good at jumping and squeezing through narrow gaps so make sure their contained area is properly secure.
3.) Outdoor Access
It is important to give your rabbit regular access to exercise and play outdoors, even if they seem happy living inside with you. We all benefit from the sunshine and fresh air – rabbits are no different in that respect.
Put a secure run in your garden for them to safely play and exercise. Ideally you’d have a setup that allows them to go out and come back inside again at their leisure, but of course this is not always practical. However looking into a connecting tunnel (via a catflap or other door flap) to connect indoor and outdoor runs is a great idea and your rabbits will love it.
Regarding the outdoor area – it should be placed somewhere shady and away from the sun so rabbits can cool down in the summer. It is also important to shelter them from wind, rain and other harsh elements with changes in the weather. Obviously – in any extreme weather – keep your rabbits indoors.
Rabbits are actually very sociable animals and if kept alone, will miss out on the myriad of benefits that come with spending time with fellow furry ones.
Companionship is great for entertainment and happiness in general.
The same goes for you too! Spending quality time with your rabbit is important, not just for you two to bond but for their happiness overall. Even though it is tempting, try not to lift your rabbit up too much as usually they don’t like this. Instead, it’s much better to sit and let them come to you and nibble some food on your lap.
5.) House training rabbits?
Sure. It’s very possible and important if you want to litter train your rabbits (yes, you can do this).
Start by providing a litter box, which can be a large cat litter tray with low sides so that they can easily get in and out.
Make sure you use the correct litter – some will be harmful to rabbits and so is best to avoid any scented ones and avoid clay-based clumping litter, also avoid pine wood pellets too. Your safest bet is to use paper pellets and/or shredded paper/straw.
One good tip is to actually leave a few pellets of their ‘poo’ in the tray at first. This helps them understand that this is where they are to go to the toilet from now on and helps establish that habit. If they have an accident elsewhere – simply scoop up the poop and put it in the litter tray. They will soon get the idea!
6.) Feeding time
Needless to say, that food and nutrition is one of the most important things for all of us, rabbits included. Getting this wrong can have very bad consequences on health and life in general.
When keeping a rabbit indoors, their diet should consist mostly of high quality, feeding hay. In fact, rabbits needs to consume at least their own body size in hay every single day!
As well as this, supplementing this diet with a handful of fresh green vegetables each day will ensure they stay healthy and in tip top shape for years to come.