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house rabbits

House rabbits need proper housing too
. You will have to rabbit-safe the rooms where the house rabbits live. You can not stop them chewing cords, books, furniture, shoes, clothes, and more. Remove anything you do not want chewed and that you can not, learn to live with their chewing. That being said, not all bunnies chew furniture but most will chew a cord. Make sure they can not reach any electric cords. We built fencing of wood frames with fine mesh welded wire to prevent chewing of cords as well as had some of the electric sockets moved upwards where they can not get to them. Some will chew rugs or carpet so bear this in mind when choosing their room. 


We also moved any books up a shelf or two in the bookcase (depending on the rabbits in that room). Rabbits will chew carpet and pretty much remove it from the floor if they have it in their mind to do so. It is instinctive. They like to dig holes. What we have found is not all house buns do that, but the ones who do, we lay thin rugs on the floor and this seems to prevent that behaviour. (Personally I dislike wall to wall carpet so I was happy to take all of it up and have rugs) Rabbits need something under their feet other than slick floor surfaces like tile or wood so they have traction to run around. Cheap rugs from Ikea and Tesco with rubber backing work very well.

Some house rabbit owners have house cages where the buns live when the people are not at home or are asleep. This is fine if the house cage is big enough where the buns have a litter box, fresh food and water, and space to move around. The best arrangement is for the house cage to be multi-level so there is more space for the rabbit and the cage does not take up a lot of room on the floor.


 

We allow our house buns to run free in the rooms they live in. We use child safe gates (bought from a baby supply website) with welded wire we have put across them (some buns can fit their heads through and can get stuck) to keep them in the rooms they live in, or doors sawn in half. They are all litter trained and very tidy.

door sawn in half, extra hinge attached, and new fastener


I know of people who have indoor rabbit cages so when they go to bed or are away/at work, the buns have somewhere to go to keep out of trouble. I do not have a problem with this as long as the rabbits get to come out daily and stretch their legs for several hours, and the cages are roomy and have everything they need for entertainment, eating, drinking, sleeping, and litter needs. Otherwise, it is neglect.

Safety: Rabbits are very curious and can squeeze into/under small spaces. They can also jump. Do not underestimate this ability. Make sure they can not get into/out of places where there are harmful/off limits items. Burgess once squeezed into a small hole behind the toilet and managed to get under the bathtub; we had to remove part of the wall and floor to get her out. 





Litter box training is very easy - put the litter box in the corner and the rabbit will use it. Sometimes you need to have two, because the rabbit will show you an alternate location for a box. You must honour this - they are stubborn creatures. I have never had a bun not learn to use a litter box. In fact, Vuvu and Max, after being house rabbits and now living outside,  still use one in their outside house. Which is very handy for cleaning the house. If you are litter training and they seem to miss the box, pick up some poo and put it in the box. The smell will let them know that is where they should go.

We use wood cat litter in the bottom of the litter box and put hay on top. We change the boxes about every four days to a week depending on the size of the box. Cassie likes a big box of hay so hers is three and a half feet long and about two feet wide.  When emptying them, I hose them out with water and rinse with a small amount of white vinegar then rinse again with water. The vinegar kills any germs plus removes any odours or dried urine. Plus it's harmless and very cheap to buy. With the longer legged rabbit (not young rabbits or Netherland Dwarf), a taller sided litter box keeps things tidier and you can put more hay in it. I buy mine at Ikea or Homebase and they are plastic storage boxes. I do not recommend clay cat litter. If they eat it, it will make them sick.

Some house rabbits like cushions to lay on. I can sew so I can make/repair cushions; cat beds and dog beds work too. Some buns like to sleep on the bed or sofa and ours have never chewed them. Which is a relief. Do not use anything that is foam; Bibble will eat foam and then he gets sick. Not all the buns do this but better to be safe than sorry.
  
If you like these donut bunny beds, please see the shop The Hare Apparent on Etsy.







Does getting what your house rabbit needs sound expensive? What cost is protecting the life of an animal you love?  I do not know about you, but I prefer the animals I share my life with to be comfortable and happy. I protect my animals from danger. I feel that any one who has a "pet" is taking on the responsibility of another life and should honour that.


House rabbits are very easily litter trained, and rabbits are very clean animals. Their litter does not smell. However, they will sometimes make a mess in your house that you will have to clean up yourself - like spilling their water or food bowl, knocking a poo (which will be dry and odourless) out of the litter box onto the floor, pulling apart a woven rug, or in chewing up cardboard, leave small pieces all over the floor. When they moult, they shed fur, as does any animal.  Nothing a broom or the hoover can not handle. (I have found that rubber garden gloves work great on removing fur from rugs) If you expect to have a spotless, immaculate house, you should not take in any animals. Or for that matter, having children will also present a challenge in keeping a house in decorating magazine presentation. 

Our house stays pretty tidy - it can get messy, but then we will  clean it up. 


left: my husband came downstairs one morning to find Shale had created a mess...look at her guilty self skulking away