For Your New Pet Rabbit
RABBIT PROOFING: Your home should be rabbit proofed before you bring the rabbit into her new environment. Cover cords with hard plastic covers, split flex tubing, PVC pipe, or computer cord covers.
HOUSING: A cage or pen can be used for the rabbit's living quarters. The cage should be large enough for your rabbit to move around freely at her adult body size. There should also be room enough to contain a litterbox and food bowls. A standup pen is easily rearranged to fit your rabbit's needs and it allows your rabbit more mobility than a cage.
LITTER BOX: Be prepared to start with several litter boxes until the rabbit is house broken. One can start with cookie sheets so the rabbit does not have to make much of an effort. When your rabbit uses the litter box successfully, change to a larger pan.
LITTER: The litter should be dust free and safe for the rabbit if ingested. The best litters are organic and are plant fiber, recycled paper, hardwood, or citrus based. Some brands to look for are Carefresh, Natural Harmony, Good Mews, Crown, Citrafresh, Critter Country, Aspen Fresh, and Feline Pine. Alternatively, you can use wood stove pellets or simply line the litter box with newspaper and top with hay or straw.
BOWLS: You will want three heavy bowls; one each for pellets, fresh vegetables and water. Heavy, flat-bottomed bowls work best so the rabbit cannot tip them. Do not get bowls that are too large as the rabbit may choose to sit in them and contaminate their contents.
HAY RACK: A hayrack can be placed on the side of the cage. This keeps the hay from becoming contaminated.
WATER CONTAINER: A water bottle is the best way to keep the water fresh and clean. Use a water bottle with the double ball system. This kind does not seem to stick or drip as often. Remember to check the bottle regularly to ensure it is not sticking. Supplying a water bowl is also recommended. This will increase your rabbit's water consumption and allow her to use what she prefers. If one is knocked over or sticks the other is available.
RESTING BOARD: This is a necessity if the rabbit is to spend time in a cage with a wire bottom. The board should be at least twice the size of the rabbit. Other ideas include: straw doormats (sea grass), floor tile (also used to give rabbit a cool place to lie in summer months) and carpet (if the bunny does not chew on fibers). Cardboard works well until the rabbit is litter box trained.
TOYS: Toys are important not only for stimulation but also to keep the rabbit out of trouble. Ideas include: wood bird toys, hard plastic baby toys (rattles, key rings), wire cat balls, a towel to push and bunch, empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes made into forts and tunnels... Use your imagination.
PELLETED FEED: Pellets should be high quality and contain at least 16% fiber. Store in an airtight container and the pellets will last approximately six months. Pellets can be stored in the freezer and thawed when needed. Do not feed "gourmet" brand food as the rabbit will soon learn to pull out the goodies and leave the pellets.