INDOOR RABBIT ACCOMODATION
Remember that house rabbits need at least as much space as outdoor rabbits. Wherever you decide is most suitable, there are various options to housing indoor rabbits.
This is where the rabbits are given the run of most, if not all of, the house. Obviously this is a big commitment and so the points listed below should be considered even more carefully.
If you choose to go down the free range route, we strongly recommend you start with a limited area where they will have their toilet and carry out their litter-training, especially with young rabbits. Make sure they feel secure and comfortable there (and are toilet trained in the smaller area) before opening up other areas of the house.
A particular room
This tends to be a utility room, kitchen or conservatory, often with solid flooring that is easy to clean, unlike carpet.
Be aware that conservatories can get very hot in summer so unless you can manage the temperature adequately, choose another room.
Part of a room
This is an area in a room given over to the rabbits with a large run or enclosure. Some people use dog crates and/or adaptable puppy pens for an indoor enclosure. Here at Small Paws Playtime, we supply a variety of appropriately sized indoor enclosures. You could also utilise one of our outdoor runs which would be perfect for additional exercise space, especially whilst your out shopping or at work.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER
Enrichment… is what rabbits need to be able to act like rabbits. If your rabbits are outdoors or indoors then they will need also need hidey holes, tunnels and will benefit from a hay rack which allows them to stretch as well as preventing hay from being soiled on the ground. Check out our enrichment section for some great ideas to keep your rabbits occupied and content.
Electric wires… Have a look around your home: how many cables are exposed?
Cables attract rabbits like magnets! In the wild, while burrowing, rabbits chew through roots and they will treat wires in the same way. You need to protect those wires and keep them away from rabbits both for your own convenience and for the rabbits’ safety. You can do this by covering the cables with ‘cable protector’ and you can get this easily online or from a DIY store. You can also use hosepipe if you are not so fussy or in a hurry! Rabbits can squeeze in to the smallest of spaces so you will need to check the area carefully.
Chewing… Rabbits will chew furniture, door-frames, carpets, clothes and more. Pretty much anything is at risk, especially when your rabbits are young. Make sure you supervise your rabbits at all times whilst they are running free in your house.
Give your rabbits lots of toys and things that you don’t mind them getting their teeth into. Protect anything you don’t want chewed. But please be realistic, they will chew where they shouldn’t, so you’ll either need to accept this or set up your living arrangements so that your rabbits can’t access forbidden items unsupervised (just like most people do with pet dogs) or think again about having house rabbits!
Door frames and skirting boards, and the wooden legs of dining chairs and tables are all rabbit favourites. There are some deterrents on the market but make sure that they are safe for rabbits if you want to use them (contact the manufacturer) but the best way is to either prevent access or provide lots of rabbit suitable alternatives for them to occupy themselves with instead.
Flooring… Because rabbits have furry feet and no pads, they will slip on smooth surfaces. As long as your rabbits aren’t carpet chewers, you can give them mats. If they use your bathroom or kitchen where you will have tiles or some other slippery surface, get some non-slip, washable mats or carpet tiles that can be put down here and there so your rabbits can move safely from one ‘island’ to another.