What do rabbits need in their cage? A complete checklist for a comfortable home

What do rabbits need in their cage? Brown rabbit sitting in a cage
(Image credit: Getty Images/Sebastian Condrea)

What do rabbits need in their cage? If you're bringing home a bunny for the first time, it's important that you have everything ready for their arrival to help them settle in.

Before you welcome your new fur friend home, you'll want to invest in one of the best indoor rabbit hutches. This should be big enough for your bunny to stand up on its hindlegs without touching the roof, allow them to lie down flat in every direction and take a few hops. You'll also want to provide them with a living area where they can run around and get some much-needed exercise.

When it comes to rabbit care, there are so many things to think about. To make your life easier, we've put together a complete checklist of everything your rabbit needs in their cage. We've also recommended some high-quality products to save you time:

What do rabbits need in their cage?

Toys

Bunnies are intelligent and need to be mentally stimulated - whether that's through solo play or interactive play with you. To ensure your rabbit doesn't get bored, make sure you provide them with the best rabbit toys in their cage.

Stuck for ideas? You could fill up a puzzle feeder (like this one on Amazon) with their favorite food to activate their natural foraging instincts or give them a chew toy to gnaw their teeth into. You could also provide them with a digging toy (like this one on Chewy) and a tossing toy (such as these baby stacking cups that you can hide food in too).

Frisco Trio Balls Small Pet Chew Toys

Frisco Trio Balls Small Pet Chew Toys

These affordable toys are perfect for keeping your bunny busy, encouraging them to chew and play. The set comes with three balls in wood, wicker and reed grass which are safe for your rabbit.

Hiding places

Since rabbits are prey animals, they need to have some hiding places to help them feel secure. Even if their hutch looks safe to you, they'll appreciate somewhere to go if they ever feel frightened, sick or anxious.

Position them in a safe, quiet place where your rabbit can't see or smell any predators. Like the rest of the cage, this place should be comfortable and out of any direct sunlight or draughts. If you have more than one bunny, give them their own hiding space each.

This could simply be a cardboard box or a tunnel, but if you want something that will last long-term, there are lots of affordable houses that you can buy.

Note: If your bunny is hiding on a regular basis, it's worth paying a visit to the vet.

Kaytee Natural Tree Trunk Small Animal Hideout

Kaytee Natural Tree Trunk Small Animal Hideout

This tree trunk is the perfect hideout spot for your fur friend, providing them with a safe place to rest and retreat. It's made from recycled plastic and wood and is pet-safe.

Water bowl or bottle

Your bunny needs 24/7 access to clean, fresh water to ensure they stay hydrated. They should be drinking 50 to 150ml of water per kg of bodyweight.

Drinking water has lots of health benefits, such as helping with digestion, and keeping their heart and kidney healthy. It's also a way to prevent overheating in the summer (this feature has other ways on how to keep a rabbit cool in the summer).

You can choose from a water bowl or bottle (or both), depending on what your preferences are. Whilst water bowls are more comfortable for your bunny to drink from, they do run the risk of contamination and can be messy. To avoid unwanted spills, choose one with a wide base.

Lixit Wide-Mouth Small Animal Water Bottle

Lixit Wide-Mouth Small Animal Water Bottle

This water bottle is easily mounted onto your rabbit's cage and holds 64 ounces of water. You'll be pleased to hear that it's made from BPA-free plastic, making it safe for your bunny to drink from.

Litter box

No one wants to toilet near their living area — and rabbits are no exception! Make sure you provide your rabbit with a separate place to do their business, like the best rabbit litter box. Bigger litter boxes are usually better, so it’s worth looking at kitten litter boxes (like this one on Amazon) if you’ve got a medium-large rabbit.

Fill this up with one of the best litters for rabbits and remember to change it regularly. Want to learn how to clean a rabbit cage? This guide can help you.

Oxbow Enriched Life Corner Small Animal Litter Pan with Removable Shield

Oxbow Enriched Life Corner Small Animal Litter Pan with Removable Shield

This litter pan is made from pet-safe materials that are long-lasting and easy to clean. It comes with a removable shield and fits perfectly in the corner of the cage. There's also a dipped entry, making it easier for your rabbit to get in and out.

Bedding

To help absorb any moisture, line your rabbit's cage with one of the best beddings for rabbits, which might be wood pellets, pulped paper, paper pellets, shredded paper or newspaper. You then want to cover it with high-quality, dust-free straw to keep them warm and comfortable.

If you choose to line the cage with newspaper (or any inked paper), make sure you use a generous amount of straw to prevent them eating it.

Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding

Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding

This dust-free straw is the perfect bedding for your furry friend to nestle down in. We love the fact that it's grown without pesticides.

Hay feeder

Wondering what to feed a rabbit? According to vet Dr. Rebecca MacMillan, their diet should be made up of fresh grass or hay primarily. You can put this in a hay feeder to keep it separate from their bedding and to ensure it stays clean. These can be attached to the walls of your bunny's cage, and encourages them to eat slowly. Most bunnies prefer to eat while they use their litter box, so attaching it next to the box is a great choice.

You should also provide them with additional hay in a clean area (like a tunnel or a box) for foraging. You can sprinkle leafy greens and vegetables (which is 10% of their diet) and pellets (5% of their diet) in this hay. This will keep them mentally stimulated and help to prevent boredom.

Kaytee Hay-N-Food Bin with Quick Locks Small Animal Feeder

Kaytee Hay-N-Food Bin with Quick Locks Small Animal Feeder

This feeder is easy to attach to your rabbit's cage and saves on space. It's available in a variety of colors and can be hand-washed after use.

Living space

Rabbits need plenty of exercise, so ensure their cage has access to a living space where they can run around, jump and stretch their legs. This could be a secured area in your garden, a particular room or area in your home, or all of your home.

If you decide to let them roam free inside, be sure to bunny-proof your home and make sure electrical leads and wires are out of reach. You might prefer to put them in a place with hard flooring to make clean-ups easier.

For more rabbit care advice, read our guide on the best rabbit brushes.

Megan Milstead
Staff Writer

Megan is a Staff Writer on PetsRader, covering news, features and buying guides. She has a wealth of experience looking after animals, having grown up with dogs, cats and horses all of her life. She’s particularly interested in pet happiness and behavior, which she loves to research in her spare time. You’ll often find her watching webinars on reactivity in dogs or researching cat body language. She loves going the extra mile for her cats Chilli and Nala (who also help out with testing the best products for our buying guides). 

Megan studied BA Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was editor of Smoke Radio’s online magazine. She also graduated from West Herts College with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Journalism. Before joining the PetsRadar family last year, she worked on the editorial team at Harrods and has spent most of her career writing for specialized titles, like RunningShoesGuru, Licklist and Mr. After Party. 

Megan works alongside qualified vets and accredited trainers to ensure you get the best advice possible. She is passionate about finding accurate and helpful answers to your pet-related questions.