Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the beautiful island of Crete in Greece with my four dogs and three cats.
However, this article isn’t about dogs or cats; it’s about rabbits and how to make them comfortable in their hutches or cages.
I have had two rabbits in the past. The first was when I as eight and I got her for my birthday. She was pure white and I called her Snowdrop.
She grew into an enormous rabbit and was very cuddly. When I was in my twenties and living with my dad after university, we found a rabbit in the front garden.
We had no idea where he came from as we lived on a busy main road. We decided to take him in and we called him Thumper.
He wasn’t quite as cuddly as Snowdrop and could give you a nip if he was in the mood. However, he got on well with the cats.
Rabbit Hutch or Cage; Which Should be Used When?
The first thing to decide is where you are going to keep your rabbits. If you decide to keep your rabbits outside you should use a hutch.
They are usually made of wood so are much stronger than cages. The last thing you want is for your rabbits to be attacked by predators.
A raised wooden hutch will stop this from happening as well. Try and buy a hutch which is large so that your rabbits have plenty of space to hide.
A separate covered section is an excellent idea as they can sleep away from their play and eating area.
If you want you can put a hutch indoors, but a cage should only be used if you are keeping your rabbit indoors.
As they are not usually made of strong wire they are no good for outdoor living as it would be easy for predators to break in and kill your rabbits.
You don’t need to worry that the cage doesn’t give your rabbits enough room as there are cages out there that are large and come with an indoor run.
A two-story cage is a good idea if you have more than one rabbit as there will be enough places for them all to eat, sleep and play. A cage is also a good idea if you travel and want to take your rabbits with you.
Where is The Best Position For a Rabbit Hutch or Cage?
There are different considerations as to where you position an outdoor hutch and an indoor cage.
An outdoor hutch shouldn’t be put too near walls or fences otherwise it will be difficult for air to circulate.
You might even get mice or rats trying to get in the hutch as well. The stronger the wire you have the better it is for your rabbits.
Your rabbit hutch should also be put somewhere where it is sheltered. You don’t want it to catch direct sunlight especially at the hottest time of the day.
That would make your rabbits very uncomfortable and could even be fatal if you live somewhere really hot. In the hot weather check every day that your rabbits are getting enough ventilation.
If possible, prop the roof of the hutch up. If you are a little worried that there is too much sunlight getting to your rabbits, move the hutch. Your rabbits will appreciate it.
On the other end of the scale, you don’t want to put your hutch somewhere that it catches the wind as in the winter this could be bitterly cold.
Even though rabbits are really wild animals, they still need protection. If it gets too cold move the hutch into a shed or even better, into your home.
When it comes to an indoor rabbit cage, put it somewhere where there is plenty of ventilation and where it isn’t either too hot or too cold.
Natural light is good for your rabbits. Don’t put the cage somewhere which gets dusty, for example a basement as dust can affect the lungs of your rabbits.
A spare bedroom would be a good place to put the cage, but make sure that you spend some time with your rabbits. After all, there isn’t much point having them unless you interact.
There are a lot of other factors to be taken into consideration if you keep your rabbits indoors. They don’t like loud noises so don’t put their cage near washing machines or tumble driers.
Being near the TV is also not a good idea. Make sure that if you have dogs and cats that they don’t go near your rabbits.
Rabbits don’t like bigger animals and fear being chased so they will find this unsettling. It’s a good idea to put the cage up on a table as then your dogs won’t be able to sniff them as much.
Whether your rabbits live indoors or outdoors they should have some exercise. I had outdoor rabbits and we let them run about the garden, under supervision of course.
It is wise to make sure that your walls or fences are secure and they can’t burrow their way out.
If you have indoor rabbits you need to choose a room where you won’t mind if your rabbits hop around and explore.
Make sure that your cats and dogs are not around and also make sure that there are no loose wires or sharp objects that could harm your rabbits.
Type of Bedding for your Rabbits
Rabbits can be litter trained so they won’t need bedding throughout their hutch or cage otherwise they might become confused as to where they can go to the toilet.
One thing to remember is not to use cat litter because the chemicals can be toxic for your rabbits.
You will want to put some bedding in their sleep area and a fleece blanket or cotton play mat is a good idea.
However some people like to put bedding throughout the cage or hutch as they believe their rabbits will be more comfortable. In this section we will look at the types of bedding that there is out there.
1) Fleece bedding
The first type of bedding we will look at is fleece bedding. It is comfy and soft and is in effect like a mattress.
It can be used either indoors or out, but it is very warm so may suit outdoor rabbits best in the winter.
The only downside is that it does need a lot of washing so you are best buying two sets.
If your rabbits aren’t litter trained you will need an under layer, perhaps puppy pads.
These beddings are hypoallergenic, dust-free and ecofriendly. This fleece bedding we have found is perfect.
Guineadad Fleece Liner 2.0
It has a waterproof bottom made out of bamboo fiber so if your rabbits aren’t litter trained there won’t be any problem.
This is actually a pocket so your rabbits will enjoy burrowing and getting cozy.
It is anti-bacterial and dust-free and in addition they last a long time so will save on costs.
2) Aspen Bedding
The second type of bedding is aspen bedding. It is dust free and has no odor which might upset your bunnies.
It is a wood bedding, but unlike some wood beddings it doesn’t contain aromatic oils or phenols which can be harmful to rabbits.
The only negative is that it can be a bit more expensive than other types of bedding. I hope you will like my choice of aspen bedding.
Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding
The shavings are made out of hardwood and don’t contain any aromatic oils which can be harmful for your rabbits.
It is biodegradable and doesn’t contain artificial colors or chemicals so is totally eco-friendly.
It is absorbent and eliminates odors which is what you want.
3) Paper Pellets
Paper pellets are the third type of bedding. You won’t be disappointed if you buy this as the pellets are very good at absorbing odors as well as moisture.
The only negative with paper pellets is that they are quite expensive. The product we have found is actually made for cats, but it is perfect for rabbits too.
We have said that cat litter can be dangerous to rabbits, but this one is quite safe as it is just made of paper.
Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter
It absorbs both odors and moisture well and is 99.7% dust free which makes for happier rabbits.
It has a low tracking formula which stops your rabbits from leaving traces all over the house and is also odor free.
4) Crumble Paper Bedding
Crumble paper bedding is usually made from 100% recycled paper, but unlike the pellets comes in crumbles which are like large grains.
It absorbs moisture well, but because of this it does mean that you have to change the bedding quite often. In addition it is dust- free.
Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Small Animal Bedding
A great advantage of this product is that it has excellent odor control.
It is 99.7% dust, non toxic and unbleached.
It is made from 100% recycled paper so it’s good for the environment.
Another option for bedding is hemp. It absorbs liquids well and smells pleasant.
In fact it is one of the most absorbent animal beddings on the market.
A great advantage is that your rabbits can even eat the hemp. A disadvantage is that it isn’t quite as soft and comfortable as the other types of bedding.
Dr. Hemp All Natural Pet Bedding Bag
It absorbs odors well and produces minimal dust. This is good as dust can cause respiratory problems in your rabbits.
It doesn’t contain any chemicals so your rabbits won’t be getting chemical residues if they start to nibble at the hemp.
6) Pelleted straw
The final type of bedding that we are going to look at is pelleted straw.
Don’t use ordinary straw as it isn’t absorbent and isn’t comfortable for your rabbits.
Pelleted straw is another type of bedding which your bunnies can enjoy eating.
It is completely safe for them to eat as it doesn’t contain any chemicals or fragrances. In addition it is almost dust free and absorbs odors well.
Oxbow Pet Products Ecostraw Bedding for Pets
It is safe for your rabbits to eat this and it is high in fiber which will keep their digestive systems working well.
The pellets are very absorbent and can in fact absorb 300% of their weight in moisture. This straw can easily be cleaned as the pellets expand and clump together.
All you have to do is scoop out the clumps and leave the rest. This means that the litter lasts longer. It is eco-friendly, compostable and biodegradable.
All the different beddings can be used inside or out, but the hemp and straw pellets are a good bet for outside as your rabbits can snuggle up in the bedding and can get completely covered for warmth.
If you use the fleece bedding we mentioned that might be best indoors as it only covers part of the cage.
What Else Should You Put in Your Rabbits Hutch or Cage?
The most important things to put in the hutch or cage is a food bowl and a water sipper or bowl.
Make sure that the bowls are heavy so that it’s difficult to tip them over.
If you have more than one rabbit put in the equivalent number of food bowls and water sippers so that the rabbits all get their fair share of food and water.
It is a good idea to change the water every day so that it is fresh. You can put some toys in the hutch or cage. You could even make your own toys.
Perhaps take a cardboard box and fill it with shredded paper and hay.
They will enjoy nibbling at the hay. You can also buy toys and we have found this great tunnel for your rabbits to play in.
Ware Manufacturing Fun Tunnels Play Tube for Small Pets
It has an interesting accordion design and you can make it into all sorts of shapes, so alleviating boredom.
It is 30 inches long and is made out of strong plastic. Why not get two so your bunnies have more fun.
There are also balls made especially for rabbits and other small animals which they will enjoy nibbling at and playing with.
I found these and think that they are perfect for bunnies to play with.
Emours Small Animal Activity Play Chew Toys for Bunny Rabbits
These balls are great for chewing on and they are safe because they are made from rattan, water hyacinth and natural seagrass.
There are absolutely no chemicals used. Your bunnies will also love playing with them and pushing them around.
Each ball is hand-woven which is impressive. They are about 2.3 inches in diameter.
Your bunnies certainly won’t get bored with these especially if they have a tunnel as well.
These balls are good for dental health as well. Their teeth are continually growing and they need to chew to keep their teeth from getting too long.
Another thing to put in the hutch or cage are sturdy brunches from cherry, plum, pear or apple trees. Bunnies love to chew so will be delighted if you give them the opportunity.
You can buy commercially produced ones and I have found these which are very good value especially as the package comes with toys as well.
JanYoo Rat Chinchilla Toys Guinea Pig Accessories Bunny Chew Toys
In addition to the toys, which include a bell roller and squared molar block, there are pure and natural apple sticks.
Your bunnies will love the apple sticks as they are sweet and delicious.
In addition they have been grown without pesticides and are completely organic.
Top 5 Best Indoor Rabbit Cages
1) Petsfit Wood Rabbit Cage with Deeper Removable Tray
One is made from wood and is enclosed apart from the entrance. This would make a great place for your rabbits to sleep.
The other compartment is a wire cage where your rabbits can play and use their litter tray.
It is simple to clean. The roof on the wooden side lifts up and on the cage side the tray is removable.
2) Kaytee Rabbit Habitat
When they are done, they can rest on the comfort shelf or have a nibble from the food dish which is locked to the cage and can’t topple over. It is very easy to clean.
For a start it has a deep base which prevents messes from litter and bedding. The rounded corners also help the cleaning process.
It is easy to get to your bunnies as the cage has both a front door and a top door. It has spring-loaded locks which makes it all the more secure for your rabbits.
You don’t want them escaping when you’re not there after all. It is also easy to move so you can give your bunnies a change of scene or just move them into the room you’re in.
3) Midwest Wabbitat Rabbit Home
It doesn’t need any tools to construct so is an easy option. This cage is also easy to get to your bunnies as there is access from both the top and front slide doors.
It is simple to clean as all you have to do is slide out the floor.
4) Kennel-Aire A Frame Bunny House
They will be very secure, but you can easily get to them as it has doors both on the top and on the front.
It is very spacious and has an arched roof making it look just like a little house. It is very easy to clean as it has a plastic pan which slides out.
If you want to move your bunnies from room to room you won’t have any problem as this cage has 4 heavy-duty caster wheels.
5) Living World Deluxe Rabbit Habitat
The wire is both strong and secure so your bunnies won’t be able to chew their way out of the cage. It’s really easy to clean as it has a plastic bottom.
It comes with a drip-proof water bottle and a hay guard, both attached to the cage so your rabbits have more room inside.
There is a ramp leading up to a balcony where a food dish is secured. Your rabbits can nap underneath the balcony.
Top 5 Best Outdoor Rabbit Hutches
1) Trixie Pet Products Rabbit Hutch with Peaked Roof
The one on the top is closed in apart from a small caged window. The bottom is a cage and is connected to the top by a ramp.
Your bunnies will have a great time playing downstairs and then they can go upstairs for a snooze. It has a peaked roof which can be opened.
It has two locking arms, one on each side and they will allow the top to stay open if you want your bunnies to get a bit of fresh air. It’s really easy to clean as well as there is a pull-out plastic tray.
2) Petsfit Wooden Rabbit Hutch
The hutch has an enclosed area where your bunnies can have a rest and then there’s the wire enclosure where they can play and eat.
It has a front door and the roof also opens. It has a pneumatic stay bar so that you can keep the roof open if you want.
The hutch is very easy to clean. In the wire enclosure there is a pull-out tray and removable floor and the enclosed area can be cleaned when you open the roof.
It is easy to assemble as it has pre-drilled holes. It’s great for both inside and no-rain outdoor use.
Perhaps keep your bunnies indoors during the winter and then put them outside in the summer.
3) Merry Products Tudor Decorative Rabbit Hutch
It has a beautifully decorated door, half-timbering, strong wire and woodwork. Half of the upstairs is enclosed so your rabbits can get some privacy if they want.
There is a ramp leading down to the ground floor where your bunnies can play.
It’s simple to clean as there is a removable tray and the 2 bottom doors open wide. This hutch can house up to 4 rabbits and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
4) Advantek The White Picket Fence Rabbit Hutch with Connected Run
This is another rabbit hutch which I really love. It can house 2 or 3 rabbits easily. The indoor space has been made to look like a house.
It has a white picket fence and a front yard where your rabbits can play to their hearts content.
A ramp leads from the house to the front courtyard. The house is made out of rot-resistant and insect resistant fir wood.
It is painted auburn and white and looks very attractive. There is a hinged roof on the house and the top of the wire cage lifts for easy cleaning. There is also a pull out tray in the front yard.
5) Aivituvin Rabbit Hutch Indoor and Outdoor Bunny Cage
The hutch is made of 100% natural fir wood which is very durable. It also has waterproof paint and an asphalt roof.
The play area is surrounded by heavy-duty wire which will keep the predators out. Your bunnies will have plenty of fresh air and light while they are playing.
It is easy to clean as it has a slide-out bottom tray and there are also 4 doors which you can open to clean out the hutch.
This hutch comes with a couple of free gifts which is a lovely touch. There is a chew toy for your rabbits to play with and there is also a metal feeder. It is a great hutch for multiple rabbits.
If you are thinking of getting rabbits I hope that I have helped you choose whether to get a cage or a hutch.
Personally I think that a simple cage should only be used indoors otherwise predators may get to your bunnies.
Rabbit hutches with enclosures are usually made with stronger wire so are fine for outdoors.
Mind you, there’s nothing stopping you from putting a hutch indoors if you have the room. All the hutches you have read about have play areas so your bunnies will have space for exercise.
Still, it is a good idea to let your rabbits run loose at some time during the day.
I had outdoor rabbits and kept them in a hutch, but I always gave them a run around the garden, under supervision of course.
If you have indoor rabbits you should also let them out for a run. Nobody likes being cooped up all the time. It also gives you a chance to bond with your rabbits.
One of the most important things when buying a hutch or a cage is to position it correctly.
Outside hutches should be kept away from direct sunlight and from cold winds. You may need to reposition the hutch at different times of the year.
Indoor cages should be kept away from curious dogs and cats and also noisy children. You may need to place the cage higher than ground level.
I personally prefer hutches as they are usually have more room than a cage and they also have a closed in area where your rabbits can go and rest in private.
My favorite is Merry Products Tudor Decorative Rabbit Hutch as it’s so pretty. It would look great indoors and would blend in with your furniture.
Of course it’s totally up to you as to whether you buy a hutch or a cage.
I hope that the ones I have written about have given you food for thought. I’ve almost persuaded myself to go and get a couple of rabbits myself!