Rabbits need to urinate, just like you and me and even our other pets. But unlike us, a rabbit’s urine can vary in color depending on various factors such as health, hydration, and even diet. This makes it difficult to know if your bunny needs immediate medical attention or has just eaten some greens with plant pigments that stained the urine.

Normal rabbit urine ranges in color from pale yellow to red. Pale yellow to amber orange is the norm for a healthy rabbit, however. If your rabbit's pee is dark brown, pink, white, streaked with red, or contains sand-like particles, it's best to consult a vet. If you see your rabbit straining to urinate with no or red urine, see a vet immediately; this is an emergency.

In this blog, I'll help you identify the different rabbit urine colors and help you decide if they warrant a vet visit or not.

Keep reading to learn more about rabbit urination.


A test container for urine

What Color Is Healthy Rabbit Urine?

Bunny pee can be anything from pale yellow to red and everything in between. This can come as a shock to many new rabbit owners and pet sitters. The main reason bunny urine has such a range of colors is diet.

If your rabbit's diet contains a lot of carrots, spinach, alfalfa hay, or other veggies high in beta-carotene plant pigments, you may notice dark orange or red urine. However, beta-carotene isn't the only thing that can change rabbit urine. The calcium in spinach and alfalfa hay can also change the color of bunny urine white.

It's important to keep in mind that bunny urine is naturally a bit cloudy. This is because rabbits get rid of excess dietary calcium through urination. It's important to note that a high-calcium diet can lead to health problems such as bladder sludge.

It's important to monitor your rabbit's urine over a period of time. Bunnies urinate around two to seven times daily, and each can yield a different color. It's also important to monitor your rabbit's water intake.

Bunnies often produce dark, concentrated urine that appears brown in color during the first cold snap as winter sets in. This color usually indicates dehydration due to the lack of drinking water. Like humans, bunnies don't feel like drinking much when cold.

However, if your bunny has dark brown urine for more than a day, a vet visit is on the cards. Here's a more in-depth explanation of rabbit urine colors.

Different Colors Of Rabbit Urine And Their Meaning

Rabbit pee can tell you a lot about the health of your pet. Keep reading for a short explanation of each urine color.

Yellow To Ambre Pee - The Normal (Healthy) Rabbit Urine 

Urine that ranges in color from light yellow to orange is an indication that your rabbit is healthy, at least as far as kidney function is concerned. This also means that your bunny is drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet.

Rabbits drink about 50 to 150 milliliters (1.6-5 oz) of water per kilogram (2.2 Ibs) of body weight every day. They also continue to eat a range of different food items every day, which means the color of their urine is always changing.

This does mean that they can have a few strange colors in their urine throughout the day, such as light brown, red, and even white.

White Pee

White urine in rabbits is normal within limits. If you recently fed your pet a meal high in calcium-rich foods such as spinach and alfalfa, you can expect to see cloudy white pee in the litter box due to the presence of calcium.

Keep a close eye on your bunny. If you notice your rabbit passes a thick white substance, is straining to urinate with no success, has sand-like grains in the urine, or has streaks of red in the urine, it could be a sign of bladder disease. If you see any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Red urine caused by beet greens (Beeturia)

By Jmarchn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Red Urine

Red pee can be normal depending on if it's caused by plant pigments (beeturia) or blood in the urine. Here are a few things to consider before you take your rabbit to the vet.


Your rabbit's diet plays a big part in urine color. If your rabbit eats foods rich in beta carotene, like raspberries, strawberries, and beet greens, you're more likely to see red urine.

Cold Weather Condition

Other times, a sudden temperature change from hot to cold during fall can cause red urine in rabbits. This happens due to your pet not drinking enough water and should clear up in a few days.

You can increase water intake by feeding wet, leafy greens, adding some flavor to your rabbit's water, or simply changing the water to lukewarm water.


If your rabbit is sick and on antibiotics, there is a chance that your pet is feeling too sick to drink. THis can cause the urine to turn red or even brown as dehydration sets in. Encourage more water intake by feeding wet, leafy greens and water-rich foods like cucumber.

Antibiotics also change the way your rabbit digests food. This change can also affect urine color.

Female Rabbit

If you have an unspayed female, it's always a good thing to check for any issues with the urinary system and reproductive tract. Blood in the urine can be a sign of various conditions such as urinary tract infections, uterine cysts, polyps, or abortion.

If you notice your rabbit urinating outside of the litter box, passing sludge, passing actual blood, or appearing to be in obvious pain, contact your vet for an appointment as soon as possible.

Your vet can determine if it's a urinary tract infection, sludge, or something more serious by taking a urine sample and doing X-rays.

Brown Urine

Brown pee in rabbits is usually a sign of dehydration. This color of urine doesn't warrant an immediate vet visit, but you should definitely keep an eye on your pet and try to increase water intake. Here are a few simple ways to do just that!

Feed Your Rabbit Fresh Green Leaves:

You can't force a bunny to drink, but you can increase water intake with a little twist. Feeding freshly washed greens (still wet) is the quickest and easiest way to get some water into your bunny. The leaves themselves also contain water and quite a few other nutrients your bunny needs to stay healthy.

Use a Bowl Instead of a Water Bottle: 

It's much easier for a rabbit to drink from a bowl than it is to drink from a bottle. Because it's less effort to drink from a bowl, your rabbit will drink more and, as a result, urinate more, which reduces heat stress and dehydration issues.

Refill with Fresh Water:

Generally, rabbits love fresh, cool water. If your bunny isn't drinking enough, try to remove the bowl and add a fresh bowl of water. The change in bowl and fresh water will draw your rabbit's attention and hopefully encourage drinking.

Add Flavor to Their Water:

You can add a little flavor to your rabbit's water as a last resort. Add a few drops of unsweetened, 100% apple or carrot juice to the water to encourage your bunny to try it. Make sure you don't add too much since your rabbits may develop diarrhea due to the sudden increase in sugar.

Also, make sure to change the water again to pure fresh water for the next day. Your rabbit might become dependent on having the juice in the water and refuse to drink normal water, so don't offer this treat unless absolutely necessary.

rabbit eating greens for hydration

Blood in Rabbit Pee - What Does This Mean?

Red urine doesn't always mean your rabbit has an infection or worse. In most cases, this color is caused by environmental factors and diet. If you suspect your bunny has actual blood in its urine, though, make sure to take your rabbit to see a vet immediately.

Blood in your bunny's urine is called Hematuria. Hematuria is a condition where an injury or infection allows red blood cells to enter the bladder or urinary tract. The blood is then passed in the urine when the rabbit uses the litter box.

If you're unsure if your bunny's red urine is blood or pigmentation, it's best to take a urine sample to the vet for examination. The vet can tell you if it's really blood and can find the source of the bleeding to determine treatment.

Hematuria could be present if your rabbit is suffering from the following conditions:

bladder stone in rabbits

By Joel Mills - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Urinary Health Problems in Rabbits

Bunnies are generally quite healthy, but that doesn't mean they can't get sick. Here are two of the most common urinary health issues in rabbits. 

Bladder Stones & Bladder Sludge

Bladder sludge, also called hypercalciuria or hypercalcinuria, is a result of too much calcium being filtered out of the bloodstream and into the kidneys and bladder of rabbits. This calcium forms a thick substance with the consistency of heavy cream or, in rare cases, toothpaste.

Sludge is similar to balder stones, but the excess calcium thickens into a paste without forming stones in the kidney. This painful condition prevents the rabbit from emptying the bladder properly, which can lead to more problems.

Bladder stones, on the other hand, can be life-threatening. Stones form when the calcium carbonate deposit in the bladder hardens into a chalky stone. These stones can get stuck in the kidney collecting ducts, ureters, and, in some cases, in the urethra, causing a complete blockage. This is more common in male rabbits and is a medical emergency.

These conditions can often be identified by looking at a rabbit's urine. The first sign is a sand-like deposit or a thick, creamy paste in your bunny's litter box, usually accompanied by straining or blood in the urine. To determine the extent of the damage caused by the stones, however, your vet will need to do x-rays and bloodwork.




If the rabbit only has sludge or extremely small stones, the bladder can be flushed to remove the depost. In some cases, however, the calculi have grown too large to flush. In this case, surgery will be required to remove them.

A bacterial culture should be done to determine if any underlying infection is present. Bladder stones tend to damage the bladder's lining, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections, called UTIs, happen when bacteria enter the bladder due to an injury, bladder sludge, or general poor health. These bacterial infections cause the bladder to swell due to inflammation, which can be extremely painful. Here are a few symptoms to look out for.




Is Rabbit Pee Harmful to Humans?

Rabbit urine isn't normally harmful to humans. Urine from healthy rabbits contains no bacteria or any other dangerous pathogens. If your rabbit shows signs of a UTI or any other bladder disorder, there is a chance that bacteria could grow.

When your bunny's immune system is compromised, there is always the risk of developing an Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E.Cuniculi) infection. This pathogen can be found in all rabbits but is usually suppressed by the immune system. It's important to note that E. Cuniculi is a common cause of renal disease in rabbits.

This pathogen could be potentially dangerous for immune-compromised humans. Children and elderly people are also more likely to be affected by E. Cuniculi. Therefore, avoiding contact with rabbit urine is best if you fall into any of these categories. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Rabbit urinating in a litter box

ByKeith Survell

Is rabbit pee supposed to be creamy?

No, creamy or thick urine is a sign of sludge. When rabbits consume a large amount of calcium in their diets, they excrete the excess in their urine. This could lead to a buildup in the bladder, which causes the urine to appear creamy, or, in severe cases, the urine may be the consistency of toothpaste.

Why is my rabbit urine cloudy?

Cloudy urine in rabbits is completely normal and caused by unused calcium being excreted in their urine. You'll also notice that rabbit urine dries white instead of clear, like a dog or cat. However, if you notice blood in the urine and sand-like grains, it's time for a vet visit.

Does rabbit pee dry white?

Yes, it does. Rabbits are efficient in absorbing calcium from their diet. As a result, lots of unwanted calcium will be excreted in the urine, causing it to turn milky. As the urine dries, the calcium deposit will stay behind, turning into a white powdery substance on your floor.

What does unhealthy rabbit urine look like?

Thick, white, dark brown, and blood-tinged urine are abnormal in rabbits. These colors can indicate problems like bladder sludge, dehydration, or a UTI. Normal rabbit urine ranges in color from pale yellow to red. Unfortunately, red urine caused by plant pigments could make it quite difficult to identify blood in a rabbit's urine correctly.

Keep a close eye on your bunny, as red urine may indicate a more serious problem. Call a vet if you notice straining or unusual behavior when urinating as soon as possible.

Final Words

In summary, normal rabbit urine is expected to range in color from yellow to orange. In some cases, red urine can also be considered normal as long as no blood is present. This color is usually caused by pigments in your rabbits' food.

Brown, white, creamy, and blood-tinged urine is abnormal in bunnies. These indicate more serious issues like dehydration and calculi in the urinary system. If you notice abnormal urine, make sure to look out for problems such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and sludge. These conditions are extremely painful and can also claim your rabbit's life.

If you're unsure if your rabbit is healthy, the best option is to call your vet. It's also important to keep an eye on your rabbit's poop. Painful health conditions can cause your rabbit to stop eating, which could lead to GI stasis (a condition where the gut stops moving).

If your bunny is prone to bladder problems, try to reduce the amount of calcium-rich foods you feed and opt for water-filled greens instead. You can read our article on what to feed your bunny.


As a rabbit owner, I know bunny care can be a fulfilling yet daunting experience. Unfortunately, many get a rabbit without understanding the responsibility of owning one.

To have a healthy pet rabbit, you must provide a safe environment, pay attention to your rabbit's diet, provide mental stimulation, and learn about their specific needs and behaviors. This includes selecting the right breed, creating a suitable living space, providing a balanced diet, and ensuring proper hygiene and grooming.

You can enjoy a long and happy relationship together by learning how to take care of a bunny. Read on to learn everything you need for your new pets.

how take care of a bunny

Understanding Pet Rabbits

In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do is understand the nature of rabbits. Rabbits are prey animals, which means they are naturally cautious and easily frightened. They have evolved to be alert and always on the lookout for potential danger.

As a result, they can be easily stressed by changes in their environment or routine or act frightened when you approach. It's important to provide them with a safe and secure living space where they can feel comfortable and relaxed.

There are many different breeds of domestic rabbits, each with their own unique characteristics. Some breeds are better suited to living indoors as house rabbits, while others are more suited to outdoor living.

It's important to research different breeds and choose one that fits your lifestyle and living situation. For example, some breeds are more active and require more space to run and play, while others are more docile and prefer a quieter, more relaxed environment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pet rabbits are social animals and thrive on companionship. They enjoy spending time with other rabbits and can also form close bonds with their human caregivers. If you're considering getting a pet rabbit, providing them with a companion is important. This can be another rabbit (preferably) or even a cat or dog that is gentle and well-behaved around rabbits.

bunny rabbit, rabbits on carpet

Selecting The Right Rabbit

When it comes to selecting the right rabbit, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want to choose a rabbit that is healthy, the right breed for your lifestyle, and that you will be able to take care of properly. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

Choosing The Right Rabbit Breed

Knowing what breed you want is important before you start looking for a rabbit. There are many different breeds of rabbits, and each has its own unique characteristics.

Some breeds are better suited for families with children, while others are better for single people or couples. Some breeds have long hair, while others have short hair. It's important to choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and personality.

I would suggest a large rabbit for families with children. This can be a flemish giant, continental giant, chinchilla giganta, or any other large rabbit breed you can find. My reasoning behind this is that kids can't easily pick up these large bunnies, which means they are less likely to get hurt.

They are also large enough to be easily spotted and won't accidentally be sat on or squished. Giant breeds also have very gentle and calm temperaments, making them perfect for a house full of chaotic kids.

On the other hand, small rabbits like Netherland dwarf rabbits, Polish rabbits, and Dwarf Hotots are perfect for single people living in an apartment. These rabbits don't need that much space due to their size, but do make sure you bunny-proof everything before letting them loose in your apartment.

If you have a lot of time to spend with your pets, then long-haired rabbits like Angoras or Jersey Wooly's might be perfect for you. These bunnies need a lot of grooming due to their long fur coats, making them perfect for someone who can spend hours looking after their fluffy friends.

bunnies for seniors

Adopting From Breeders

Adopting from a breeder is often the better option. Breeders know the breed and can help you choose the right rabbit for your lifestyle. They also take care to ensure that their rabbits are healthy and well-socialized.

It's important to do your research and find a reputable breeder. Look for a breeder who is a member of a rabbit breed club or association, shows with rabbits, and has a good reputation in the community.

One of the benefits of adopting from a breeder is that you can often choose the sex of your rabbit. Male rabbits are generally more laid-back and affectionate, while female rabbits are more independent and outgoing. However, it's important to spay or neuter your rabbit, regardless of its sex, to prevent health issues and unwanted litters.

Adopting From Rescues

Adopting a rabbit from a rescue can be a rewarding experience for both you and your new furry friend. Not only are you providing a loving home for a rabbit in need, but you are also helping to free up space at the rescue for more rabbits to be saved.

When adopting from a rescue, you can expect to receive valuable information about the rabbit's history, personality, and specific needs. This can help you choose the right rabbit for your lifestyle and ensure you are prepared to care for them.

Additionally, most rescue rabbits have already been spayed or neutered, which can save you time and money. The rescue may also provide initial veterinary care, such as vaccinations and deworming, and may offer advice on ongoing care.

It's important to note that adopting a rabbit from a rescue is a commitment, and you should be prepared to provide a loving and stable home for the duration of their life, which can be up to 10 years or more. However, the love and joy that a rescue rabbit can bring into your life is immeasurable.

Buying From Pet Stores

This should be your absolute last resort. While buying from a pet store may seem like the easier option, there are some problems associated with it.

Most pet stores get their rabbits from breeding mills, which are often overcrowded and unsanitary. This can lead to health issues in the rabbits, which can be expensive to treat.

Pet shops also often sell rabbits way too young. Bunnies should only be separated from their mothers at eight weeks old.

If you decide to buy from a pet store, ask the staff about the rabbit's health history, age, and where it came from. Look for a rabbit that is active, alert, and has a shiny coat. Avoid rabbits that have discharge from their eyes or nose, sneeze, or are lethargic.

How To Take Care Of A Bunny

Bunny safe environment

Creating A Safe Environment

As a responsible bunny owner, creating a safe and comfortable environment for your furry friend is important. Here are some tips on how to set up your rabbit's enclosure and bunny-proof your living space.

Setting Up Rabbit Cages

Choosing the right rabbit cage or enclosure is crucial for your rabbit's well-being. The enclosure should be large enough for your rabbit to hop around and stand up on its hind legs without its ears touching the roof. A good rule of thumb is that the bunny should be able to hop three times in one direction without hitting the other wall of the enclosure.

A wire cage with a solid bottom is a good option as it provides good ventilation and is easy to clean. Make sure to line the bottom of the cage with soft bedding material such as grass hay, or straw to keep your bunny comfortable.

For an outdoor playpen or large outdoor rabbits enclosure, make sure to cover the bottom with wire or place the cage on a cement floor. The wire will stop the bunny from digging out but it should have large enough holes for your bunny to graze through. Also make sure the wire is flat on the ground to prevent it from hurting your rabbit's feet and hocks.

For large indoor enclosures, you can cover the floor with linoleum flooring or rubber chair mats to protect the floor. Make sure the ground cover sticks out about 15 cm (6 inches) on the outside of the cage since bunnies like to wee in corners.

Also, make sure there's ample space for your bunny to hide. Bunnies with a comfortable escape tend to be more relaxed and outgoing.

Bunny Proofing Your Home

Rabbits love to chew on things, and it's important to make sure your living space is safe for your bunny. Bunny-proof your home by keeping electrical cords and wires out of reach and covering them with cord protectors. Move house plants out of reach, as some plants can be toxic to rabbits. Use cardboard boxes and wooden chew toys to provide mental stimulation and prevent your bunny from chewing on furniture or other household items.

It's also important to rabbit-proof your home by blocking off areas where your bunny could get stuck or injured. Use baby gates or other barriers to keep your bunny in a safe area away from electrical cords, stairs, unsupervised toddlers, or other unfriendly pets.

Overall, creating a safe and comfortable environment for your bunny is essential for its health and happiness. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can ensure that your bunny has a happy and healthy life.

Rabbit on a coach

Feeding Your Rabbit

As a responsible rabbit owner, I understand that feeding my rabbit a healthy diet is crucial for its overall health and well-being. In this section, I will discuss the key components of a healthy rabbit's diet, including the importance of grass hay, fresh greens and vegetables, and fresh water.

Understanding A Healthy Rabbit's Diet

Grass hay, fresh greens and vegetables, and fortified pellets in the right amounts are very important for a healthy bunny. As rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts, avoiding harmful foods, such as chocolate, avocado, and sugary treats, is important.

Monitoring your rabbit's body weight and adjusting its diet is also important. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, while underfeeding can result in malnutrition. Keep in mind that young rabbits and adult rabbits have different diets. Young rabbits need a lot of protein to grow, which means they thrive on alfalfa hay, while adult rabbits should only get a handful of this very calcium-rich hay once a week at most.

Young rabbits should not be introduced to green foods, such as broccoli, fruits, and other rich treats, until they are at least three to six months old to avoid digestive upsets.

Provide Unlimited Fresh Hay

Grass hay, such as timothy hay, erogrostis, and oat hay, should make up the majority of an adult rabbit's diet. Hay keeps a rabbit's teeth from becoming overgrown and provides essential fiber for a healthy digestive system.

Young rabbits can have a combination of grass hay and legume hay, such as alfalfa to keep them growing properly. Make sure to give your rabbit access to fresh hay daily, and remove any old or soiled hay from your rabbit's living area.

Rabbits eat almost consistently, so make sure they have enough hay to nibble on to keep their body weight up and teeth healthy.

Offer Fresh Water and Vegetables

Fresh water should always be available to your rabbit. Make sure to change your rabbit's water daily and provide it in a clean, spill-proof container.

In addition to eating hay, rabbits should be offered fresh green foods and vegetables daily. Some good options include carrot tops, kale, spinach, wheatgrass, and romaine lettuce.

Remember to introduce new foods slowly and monitor your rabbit's reaction. If your rabbit experiences diarrhea or other digestive issues, remove the new food from its diet.

A diet is essential for your rabbit's health and well-being. By providing fresh hay, fresh greens and vegetables, and fresh water, you can ensure your rabbit gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.

rabbit, rabbits healthy eating greens

Rabbit Health And Hygiene

One of the most important things you can do is monitor your rabbit's body weight and overall health. Here are a few things to check.

Monitoring Weight and Health

Regularly weighing your bunny and keeping track of any changes in weight can help detect health issues early on. If you notice any significant changes in your rabbit's weight, it is important to consult with a veterinarian.

In addition to weight monitoring, keeping an eye on your rabbit's overall health is important. Signs of a healthy rabbit include a shiny coat, bright eyes, and a clean nose. However, if you notice any changes in your rabbit's behavior, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it is important to seek veterinary care.

Caring For A Rabbit's Feet and Nails

Rabbits' feet and hocks are particularly sensitive, and keeping them clean and dry is important to prevent infections. Trimming a rabbit's nails prevents overgrowth, which can lead to injuries, discomfort, and even health problems. If you are unsure how to trim your bunny's nails, consult with a veterinarian or a professional groomer.

I recommend swaddling your rabbit in a towel or blanket when it's time for nail trimming. Have someone hold your pet while you trim your rabbit's nails by exposing one paw at a time. Make sure to give your bunny lots of treats and green foods after to show them nail clipping leads to good things.

Understanding A Rabbit's Digestive System

Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, and problems with their gut can lead to serious health problems and even death. A healthy rabbit diet should consist of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets to keep the gut going. It is important to avoid feeding rabbits foods that are high in sugar or fat, as this can lead to digestive issues.

If you feed your rabbit and notice a change in behavior, such as refusing the food, not eating at all, and not pooping, see a vet immediately!

Sterilization: Yes Or No?

Spaying and neutering for female and male rabbits can prevent unwanted litters and also provide health benefits. Female rabbits are at risk for developing uterine cancer, which can be prevented by spaying. Neutering male rabbits can reduce aggressive behavior, territorial marking, and prevent testicular cancer. It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of sterilization with a veterinarian before making a decision.

In addition to the above, it is also important to provide dental care and encourage proper chewing to prevent dental problems. Regular veterinary check-ups are also crucial to maintain your bunny's health.

you rabbits on the grass

Behavior And Boredom

Rabbits are not just cute and fluffy; they are intelligent and social creatures that thrive on interaction. Understanding their behavior and providing the right toys and activities are essential aspects of responsible rabbit ownership.

Provide Toys And Entertainment

  1. Cardboard Boxes: Believe it or not, a simple cardboard box can be a source of endless entertainment for your bunny. Rabbits tend to love exploring confined spaces, and a cardboard box castle will lead to endless entertainment. Cut some holes in the box for entry and exit points, and your rabbit will enjoy hours of hopping in and out.

  2. Chew Toys: Rabbits have continuously growing teeth and need to chew to keep them healthy. Wooden chew toys are perfect for this purpose. Make sure the toys are made from rabbit-safe, untreated wood. Your indoor pets will happily gnaw on them while keeping their dental health in check.

  3. Toilet Paper Rolls: Don't throw away those empty toilet paper rolls! House rabbits enjoy rolling them around and chewing on them. You can also stuff some hay inside to create a foraging challenge, providing both mental and physical stimulation. Don't worry if your rabbit ingests the cardboard, it is completely safe.

Understanding Rabbit Behavior

Rabbits, as prey animals, have unique behavior patterns. Understanding these patterns is crucial for their well-being and your sanity.

  1. Social Interaction: Rabbits need social interaction and often form strong bonds with their human companions. Spend quality time with your bunny daily, but allow them to run away from you without chasing or dragging them out of their hides. Petting, grooming, and talking to them can strengthen your bond and keep them emotionally healthy, but acting like a predator will only frighten them away.

  2. Recognizing Aggressive Behavior: Aggression in rabbits can be a sign of stress or discomfort. If your rabbit displays behaviors like biting, growling, or thumping its hind legs, it's essential to investigate the underlying cause. It could be due to fear, illness, or territorial issues. Consult with a rabbit-savvy veterinarian or an animal behaviorist to address the problem and create a harmonious environment for your pet.

  3. Provide Boredom Busters: To prevent boredom and encourage mental agility, engage your rabbit with puzzle and treat-dispensing toys. These toys entertain and stimulate their minds as they figure out how to access the hidden treats. You can also hide treats in your rabbit's hay to encourage natural foraging behavior.

white rabbit in the snow

Training Your Rabbit

Rabbit training is not only possible but highly beneficial for both you and your furry friend. This training encompasses various aspects, including litter training and safe handling.

Litter Training

The Importance of a Litter Box:

Litter box training is a significant step in allowing your rabbit to live harmoniously indoors. Most rabbits can be litter box trained quite effectively. The House Rabbit Society recommends using a large, shallow litter box or a specialized litter pan designed for rabbits.

In my experience, a deep, extra-large cat litter box works best. Rabbits like to dig, and having high sides contains the mess somewhat. I've also found that the specialized litter boxes are often too small for large breeds.

Litter Box Training Tips:

- Placement: Place the litter box in a quiet, easily accessible location. Rabbits tend to choose corners for their business, so keep this in mind.

- Litter Material: Use a rabbit-safe litter material, such as paper-based or compressed sawdust pellets. Avoid clumping cat litters, which can be harmful if ingested.

- Consistency: Rabbits thrive on routine. Encourage them to use the litter box after meals and upon waking up, as they are more likely to go at these times.

- Positive Reinforcement: Praise and offer a small treat when your rabbit uses the litter box correctly. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce good behavior.

Keeping the Litter Box Clean:

Regularly clean the litter box to maintain a hygienic living environment for your rabbit. Most rabbits are meticulous about cleanliness, and a dirty litter box can discourage them from using it.

Remove soiled bedding daily and replace it entirely every few days. Wash the litter box with mild soap and water during bedding changes to eliminate odors.

Handling Your Rabbit Safely

1. Understanding Rabbit Behavior: Understanding rabbit behavior is crucial for safe handling. Many rabbits are naturally skittish and may become stressed if not handled gently. Approach your rabbit calmly and speak softly to avoid startling them. Let them come to you.

2. Proper Techniques: To pick up your rabbit safely, place one hand under its chest, supporting its front legs, and the other hand under its hindquarters. Lift gently, keeping their body close to your chest for security. NEVER pick a rabbit up by it's ears or the scruff of it's neck.

3. Respect Boundaries: Always respect your rabbit's boundaries. Give them space if they show signs of distress or discomfort, such as growling or thumping their hind legs. Rabbits are individuals, and their comfort levels with handling can vary.

proper rabbit handling

Common Misconceptions About Owning a Pet Rabbit

Owning a pet rabbit can be a rewarding experience, but it's essential to dispel some common misconceptions to ensure the health and happiness of your furry friend. Here are a few misunderstandings about rabbit care that need clarification:

1. Rabbits Are Like Guinea Pigs:

- The Misconception: Some people assume that rabbits and guinea pigs are similar in terms of care. While they share some dietary and environmental requirements, it's important to keep in mind that keeping a guinea pig is not the same as keeping a rabbit.

- The Reality: Rabbits and guinea pigs belong to different species with unique behaviors and dietary preferences. Guinea pigs are herbivores, like rabbits, but their nutritional requirements differ. It's crucial to research each species separately to provide proper care.

2. Rabbit Teeth Don't Require Attention:

- The Misconception: Many believe that a pet bunny's teeth will naturally stay healthy, so there's no need for dental care.

- The Reality: A bunny's teeth grow continuously, and dental problems are common. To prevent issues like overgrown teeth, provide a diet rich in hay, which promotes natural tooth wear. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for detecting and addressing dental problems.

3. Rabbits Thrive in Extreme Temperatures:

- The Misconception: Some think rabbits can withstand extreme cold or heat because they have fur.

- The Reality: Rabbits are sensitive to temperature extremes. They can suffer from heatstroke in hot weather and hypothermia in the cold. It is, however, true that rabbits do a lot better in the cold than in the heat of summer. If allowed to grow thick fur coats, they are okay in temperatures as low as minus six (21.2ºF) as long as they have a dry, draft-free shelter with lots of bedding to nest in.

4. Rabbits Prefer Collard Greens Over Hay:

- The Misconception: Some believe that collard greens or other leafy greens should be the primary diet for rabbits.

- The Reality: While leafy greens are a valuable part of a rabbit's diet, they should not replace hay. Hay is essential for proper digestion and maintaining healthy teeth. Leafy greens should be provided in moderation as a supplement.

5. Limited Access to Rabbit's Cage/Enclosure:

- The Misconception: People often restrict a rabbit's access to their cage or enclosure, thinking they need less space.

- The Reality: Rabbits are active animals that need ample space to hop and explore. The cage should be a safe resting place, but bunnies need regular access to a larger area for exercise.

Safe rabbit enclosure


In summary, caring for a pet bunny requires attention to its specific needs, from a well-balanced diet rich in hay to providing boredom relief through toys and activities. Recognizing and addressing aggressive behavior and ensuring proper handling are essential aspects of responsible rabbit ownership.

As prospective rabbit owners, it's crucial to do thorough research, consult experts, and be prepared for the commitment of caring for these delightful yet unique animals. Responsible rabbit ownership not only ensures the health and happiness of your furry friend but also enriches your life with the joys of companionship from these charming and sensitive creatures.

So, embark on this journey with care, dedication, and the knowledge that your pet bunny will reward you with boundless affection and warmth.

Key Takeaways

Frequently Asked Questions

Lop rabbit breed

What are some common rabbit breeds?

There are numerous rabbit breeds, each with its unique characteristics. Some common breeds include the Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Rex, Lionhead, Flemish Giant, and Dutch Rabbit. Researching different breeds can help you find one that suits your preferences and living situation.

How can I take care of a rabbit in an apartment?

Caring for a rabbit in an apartment requires providing them with a clean and secure living space, such as a large indoor cage or pen. Ensure they have plenty of room to hop around, offer a litter box for easy waste management, and rabbit-proof your apartment by protecting wires and removing hazards. Regular interaction, a balanced diet, and toys are also essential for apartment-dwelling rabbits.

What are the daily care requirements for rabbits?

Daily rabbit care involves providing fresh hay and water, monitoring their health and behavior, cleaning their living area, and offering a variety of fresh vegetables. Social interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation are also crucial. Additionally, grooming may be needed, depending on the rabbit's coat type.

How can I care for a rabbit outdoors?

Outdoor rabbit care requires a secure hutch or enclosure to protect them from predators and extreme temperatures. Ensure they have a sheltered, draft-free area, fresh water, and access to shade during hot weather. Regularly clean their living space and provide social interaction and mental stimulation.

What do rabbits need in their cage?

In a rabbit's cage or enclosure, they need essentials like fresh hay, a clean water source, a litter box, and a comfortable place to rest. Chew toys and items that challenge their mental capacity are also essential to prevent boredom and dental problems. Ensure the cage is spacious enough for the rabbit to move around and stretch out comfortably.

Do rabbits like to be cuddled?

Not all rabbits enjoy being cuddled or held. Rabbits are prey animals, and their comfort with handling varies from one individual to another. Some rabbits may tolerate cuddling, while others prefer minimal handling. It's essential to respect your rabbit's preferences and build trust through gentle interactions, allowing them to come to you on their terms.


The Complete Guide To House Rabbits

House rabbits are adorable balls of fluff. You may be very tempted to get one after seeing them in a pet shop or running around a friend's house. Maybe you already brought your new rabbit home. Unfortunately, you might not have realized how much work rabbit care really is.

The amount of attention needed by a pet rabbit is similar to what a dog needs (without the walks of course). You also need to make sure the enclosure is rabbit safe, big enough, has lots of toys and social enrichment to ward off boredom, and has an area for litter training.

Then you also need to make sure your house is bunny proof and the most important part of rabbit care is providing the best nutrition possible for your new pet.

Bunnies are often mistaken as being 'easy to care for pets' just like hamsters or gerbils. In reality, rabbit care is far more complex and a lot more effort especially if you have an indoor bunny.

Don't panic! I'm here to help you. We'll take everything from the top and get you set up in no time. Rabbits are great companions if you know what you're doing.

animal, house rabbit

Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?

Bunnies are excellent pets if you're prepared to care for one or even better, two. They have surprisingly vibrant personalities and are very social animals. Pet rabbits also come in all sizes which makes them perfect pets for any household.

Rabbit Behavior And Temperament

Rabbits are generally quiet, intelligent animals that like the company of other rabbits and people. If you have cats, dogs, and other animals, you need to supervise initial interactions. Bunnies are prey animals and might get very scared if chased.

They can develop a very strong bond with their owners. This requires consistent interaction with your pet rabbit. Keep in mind that they are very different from any other kind of pet with very different needs.

With good handling, your timid rabbit may become the highlight of your day. Rabbits can be super entertaining and respond well to human commands.

Unfortunately, they aren't good pets for kids. Bunnies are very fragile which means they might get hurt during rough handling. If you have children, make sure to supervise any interactions and teach your child how to properly hold a bunny.

house rabbit

Size Information

Rabbits come in a variety of sizes ranging from miniature dwarfs to giants. There are breeds like the Netherland dwarf that weigh as little as 0.5 - 1.13 kilograms (1.1-2.5Ib). Then there are also breeds like the Flemish giant which can weigh 9.1 kilograms (20Ib) or more.

Are Rabbits High Or Low Maintenance?

How high or low maintenance your bunny is will depend on the breed you have. Some bunnies are surprisingly low maintenance (not maintenance free) while others need a bit more attention.

Generally, bunnies with short coats are lower maintenance than those with long coats like Angora rabbits. All bunnies still need a proper diet, clean enclosure, and exercise every day so don't expect to just forget about them.

Pros & Cons Of Keeping A Pet Rabbit

There are ups and downs when it comes to rabbit ownership. Here's a quick summary.


  • Rabbits are very quiet animals
  • Some pet rabbits like to cuddle
  • They are excellent support animals
  • They don't need as much space as a cat or dog
  • They can be litter box trained
  • If you put in the time, your pet rabbit will form a close bond with you
  • You can teach your pet rabbit tricks
  • There are many rabbit breeds to choose from
  • Your bunny buddy can live up to 10+ years


  • Keeping bunnies can be costly
  • Rabbit savvy veterinary care can be hard to find
  • When a rabbit gets sick it goes from mild to serious very quickly (get veterinary advice as soon as possible)
  • Rabbit care is a daily chore
  • You will need to bunny proof everything
  • They need lots of exercise daily
  • Expect to find poop everywhere

Lop rabbit

Where Can I Get A Rabbit?

Pet stores often sell bunnies for as little as $30, but they also give terrible advice. These bunnies often have health problems due to being kept in unsanitary conditions or bred poorly by backyard breeders.

It's better to adopt a bunny from your local animal shelter or get one from a reputable breeder. Adoptable rabbits may cost as little as $50 and come already sterilized. This saves you a lot of money. Consider going to the House rabbit society website to find a good rabbit rescue.

You can also buy from a reputable breeder. These bunnies cost a bit more, but they come with good advice and you know they'll be in good health, unlike the pet store rabbits. You can find a reputable breeder through the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) or the British Rabbit Council (BRC) depending on where you live.

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Rabbit?

Bunnies aren't expensive, but no one tells you how much it costs to set up an enclosure, visit a vet, get rabbit safe toys or provide the best food possible.

Now you still need a playpen, litter box, food, water bowls, toys, a hay feeder and hide. This can cost you $300 and upwards. If done properly, expect to pay around $1000 or more. You can get all of this from your local pet store or buy it online.

You also need to set aside a few dollars to cover spaying and neutering. It can cost anything between $25 to over $350 to get these operations done.

Maintenance Costs

Bunnies are quite costly compared to other animals like cats and dogs. Your primary expenses will be food (both dry and fresh) and litter. Depending on where you get these items, you can expect to pay anything between $50 to over $300 per month.

You will also need to replace worn chew toys regularly which will cost you another $10 to $20 per item.

Make sure to plan routine veterinary checkups and keep any vaccinations up to date. This will cost you around $150 or more depending on your vet.

Floppy eared bunny

Common Health Problems

Bunnies can have various medical problems like overgrown teeth, gastrointestinal (GI) stasis, and respiratory infections. Some of these problems are genetic so make sure you get a healthy bunny to keep vet costs down.


Some vets don't take rabbit patients. Make sure you have a veterinarian in your area before getting a rabbit.

Setting Expectations: Rabbit Lifespan

Pet rabbits are long-lived companions. Many bunnies, when properly cared for, live to be 10 years or more. This estimation may vary between breeds, however. Dwarves usually live longer than giants.

What Kind Of Home Does My Rabbit Need?

Bunnies, especially indoor ones need a large pen to keep them safe and comfortable. Here are a few things you should think about before getting a rabbit.

Housing Of Outdoor Bunnies

Rabbits are prey animals. If you keep them outside, you need to make sure predators can't get into the rabbit's cage. Indoor bunnies have different needs, however, we'll get to that soon.

An outdoor hutch should have a wire floor to prevent digging out of it. There should also be ample shelter in the rabbit enclosure.

Rabbit and predator

Photographed 10 January 2000 by Oosoom

How To Set Up An Indoor Enclosure?

Many pet shops will offer you a cage that is suitable for a guinea pig. These cages are often too small. Unfortunately, there are lots of rabbit owners that don't know any better and start off with these tiny rabbit enclosures.

Bunnies don't do well when kept in small cages. They need to be able to run and exercise every day. When buying a rabbit's enclosure, make sure you take measurements beforehand. Let's take a look.

1. Enclosure size

The best way to measure out cage space is to watch your bunny hop. The rabbit's enclosure should be long enough to accommodate at least three hops. When standing on the hind legs, the ears should not touch the roof of the cage. This means that rabbit enclosure sizes can vary widely depending on the size of the breed.

2. Specific substrate needs

No matter if it's an indoor or outdoor cage, you need to make sure the floor is non-slip. Many owners of house bunnies opt to place washable carpets on the bottom of the cage. Underneath that is something waterproof like linoleum flooring.

Waterproof flooring is essential for any accidents that missed the litter box

For outdoor enclosures, you can use hay or straw on the bottom of the cage or simply place the rabbits' enclosure on your lawn.

3. Exercise space

Bunnies can be extremely active, especially when they are young. If your indoor bunny will be in a cage while you work, you need to make sure there's enough space to run, or you will need to set up a separate exercise pen.

Many owners use a baby gate to close off a room for the bunnies to exercise in. The best time to let them out is at dusk and dawn. Bunnies are crepuscular which means this is their most active time. Make sure you have a litter box for any toilet emergencies.

4. Temperature

Bunnies have thick fur coats. This means they are much more tolerant of the cold than we are. It's best to keep your bunny in the coolest part of your home. Bunnies are comfortable in temperatures ranging from 12 to 21°C (55-70°F), but they can tolerate temperatures up to 30°C (85°F).

5. Free-roaming bunnies

Most people opt to keep rabbits inside their homes rather than keeping them confined to a cage outside. This is a great option for rabbits, but not always possible for the owners. Many bunnies are very destructive which means you'll need to do extensive bunny proofing.

Bunny rabbit

How To Bunny Proof Your Home?

Owners of free-roaming buns can tell you how destructive they can be. A rabbit naturally wants to chew and dig. It's what their instincts tell them to do. As a result, nothing in your home is safe.

Letting your little troublemakers roam free means you need to do a lot of work to protect them and everything in your home. Bunnies are known to chew through electric cables, dig up carpets and destroy baseboards (skirting boards) in no time.

Here's what you need to do.

Keep Dangerous Objects Out Of Reach

Bunnies are just like children. If there's a way to get in trouble, they'll find it. You'll find these little mammals to be extremely inquisitive and curious about everything in their surroundings.

If something changes, they'll be the first to investigate the disturbance. For this reason, it's very important to protect your pet rabbit against everything they really shouldn't be messing with.

For you, this means placing house plants out of reach, covering electric cables with hard chew-proof plastic covers, and moving valuable wooden furniture out of the bunny area.


If you have a pet rabbit, you'll find that wires aren't safe no matter what. Bunnies just love chewing on spicy hay (aka electric cables).

Unfortunately, this can be really dangerous. A rabbit can be electrocuted by any live wires. You'll also lose a few electric appliances.

Place any wires behind fences, wrap them in chew-proof plastic casing or lift them high enough above the ground so that the rabbit can't get to them.

Carpets And Baseboards

Protecting your rugs and baseboards is no easy task if you have a free-roaming rabbit. One way to overcome this problem is to confine your bunny to one room when you can't supervise. Make sure there are no carpets and the baseboards (skirting) are protected by fencing going all around the room.

If all your rooms have carpets, simply place plastic mats over them. The ones used under desk chairs work pretty well, or you can try the foam pads used for children. Beware of the foam pads, however, rabbits tend to dig into them.

Stop baseboard chewing by placing furniture in front of them. You can also limit access with fences made from storage cubes tied together with a zip tie. Some bunny owners have reported success with cardboard as well as gluing cat scratch pads to the wall. You can also try to stick masking tape on the board. some bunnies don't like the feel of it.

Enrichment Toys For Your Rabbits

Rabbits can be very destructive if starved of entertainment. One way you can make sure to ward off boredom is with wooden chew toys. Chew toys are also essential to keep your rabbit's teeth short.

If you don't have the funds to buy new chew toys every month, you can make your own. Fill some toilet paper rolls with green foods or rabbit's hay like oat hay or even alfalfa hay. A hay feeder can also offer some entertainment.

You can also use a cardboard box mansion to keep your bunny busy. As you can see, you don't need the most expensive rabbit supplies to own a house rabbit. Having more than one rabbit also helps in the boredom department since they'll keep each other entertained. Just make sure to bond them properly.

Mischiveous bunny

What Should I Feed My Rabbits?

A rabbit is a herbivorous animal. This means they eat plant matter. The largest part of a rabbit's diet should consist of grass hay. On top of that, you also need to feed healthy rabbit pellets and fresh foods.

A rabbit's diet is especially important if you're planning on breeding your male and female rabbits. Male rabbits need a healthy diet for sperm production and stamina while female rabbits need a healthy diet to nurture young.

Baby rabbits will also need to be fed differently from adult rabbits. Baby rabbits need a lot of protein in their diets which makes alfalfa hay perfect for a healthy rabbit diet.

Once your babies are filly grown and reach adult body weight, You'll need to adjust your rabbits' diet. Adult rabbits eat a variety of fresh produce, hays, and other plant products. Keep it interesting for them, but remember to do your research. There are foods that may kill your bunny.

rabbit eat food


Bunnies don't need a lot of pellets to stay healthy. Pellets are great for supplying the vitamins and minerals they need, however. If you're feeding pellets, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.


80% of rabbit food is grass hay. Timothy hay is best because of its high fiber content. Lots of fiber helps to keep rabbit teeth short and the guts moving.

Generally, pet shops will carry boxes of timothy hay. You can mix this with other grassy hay like orchard, meadow, and oat hay for variety in texture and flavor.

Leafy greens

Fresh leafy green vegetables give your rabbit a variety of nutrients that are important for its health. Try to provide at least three kinds of fresh greens every day.

How much leafy greens to feed your rabbits?

Most leafy greens available at your local supermarket are safe to give to your rabbit. But there are some varieties they can only have in smaller amounts. If you're not sure, avoid it and do your research first. A general rule is one cup of leafy greens per day. You should add three different kinds of greens like Brussel sprouts, wheatgrass, and cilantro.

How To Litter Train Your Rabbit?

Rabbits are remarkably clean creatures. For you as an owner, that means less cleaning! Most rabbits train themselves to use litter boxes.

Litter Training

It's incredibly easy to train most rabbits to use a litter box. Bunnies are naturally clean animals which means they instinctively keep themselves and their environment clean.

To litter box train your bunny, limit the space they have to run around outside the cage. Place a cat litter box or something similar in the area you notice your bunny having accidets. Just make sure to clean the area with vinegar first to remove the smell before you put down the litter box.

If your bunny has an accident while being litter trained, simply clean up the mess and placed the soiled tissue inside the litter box. Rabbits use smell to determine where they weed last time and will return to the same spot time and time again.

If you have a free-roaming rabbit, make sure to place a litter box in every room the bunny has access to. To avoid cleaning the rabbit litter box every few hours, place recycled newspaper pellet litter in the bottom of the box to absorb the smell. You can get pelleted litter such as recycled newspaper pellet litter at most pet stores.


Bunnies are remarkably good at cleaning themselves, but sometimes they do need a bit of help. Rabbit grooming should be an essential part of your care routine. During grooming make sure to check the high legs and rabbits' feet. These areas are prone to injuries.

Also, check your rabbit's nails regularly and trim them when needed. A rabbit's nails that are too long might get stuck in carpets. If you have long-haired rabbits, you will need to groom them regularly to avoid mats and skin problems. Make sure to remove loose fur regularly.

Make sure to check the hind legs for sores. Bunnies that run on hard surfaces often get sore hocks.

Similar Exotic Pets to the Rabbit

If you don't have the space for a rabbit, you can consider getting a guinea pig instead. A guinea pig and rabbit are very similar, except a guinea pig is smaller and doesn't hop around. Some people keep their rabbit with their guinea pig, but care should be taken since there's a chance your rabbit could get sick.

rabbits, guinea


Are rabbits high or low maintenance?

How high or low maintenance your rabbit is will depend on the breed you have. Some breeds need less care. rabbit owners should do thorough research before getting another bunny.

Are rabbits easy to take care of?

Yes, rabbits are wonderful pets as long as you did your research. They need to be cleaned every day and fed a proper diet.

Do rabbits like to be cuddled?

It depends. some rabbits like a good cuddle while others are more independent. Generally, males are more cuddly than females.

What do you need for a pet bunny?

Take a look at our rabbit supply list. To sum it up, get a pen, litter box (with litter), water and food bowls, lots of hay and rabbit pellets.

How long can a rabbit be left alone?

Two days. If you provide enough food and water, you can leave your domestic rabbits alone for two days and a night (36 hours).

Are rabbits good indoor pets?

Yes. If you rabbit-proof, you don't have to worry about your rabbit. Rabbits are very sanitary and affectionate which makes them great companions.

What are the basic needs of a rabbit?

Like all animals, your rabbit will need food, shelter, and water. Exercise and entertainment are also essential. Rabbits are prey animals which means giving your rabbit access to the outside might be risky.

What daily care does a rabbit need?

You will need to clean your rabbit cage daily, change the water in the water bottle, clean the litter box and give your rabbit time to run. Watch your rabbit's behavior to pick up on any problems early.

Congratulations, you’re about to become a bunny owner! Preparing for your new rabbit can be very exciting, but also stressful. It is always best to make sure you have all the essentials ready before your new long-eared friend comes home

It's also a good idea to do a bit of research. Pet rabbits need special care and a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to stay healthy. If new pet will not be a house rabbit, you'll also need to research what your pet rabbit needs to live happily outdoors in all weather conditions. 

If you were told that bunnies are easy pets, you've been misled. Pet rabbits are a lot of work, especially free-roaming house rabbits. Why? Everything in your home will need to be bunny-proofed. They love to chew on everything from electrical cords to baseboards!

They are wonderful pets, however, if you prepared properly, did your research and know what to expect. THey aren't for everyone, but once this pet loves you, you'll never want anything but more bunnies. 

Need a bit of help? Let's take a closer look at pet rabbit needs and what rabbit ownership entails. 

New rabbit

Preparing For Your New Rabbit

Before you get a pet rabbit, make sure to do research! Bunnies can live for 10 years or more so you need to be ready for the commitment. You will also need to think about getting your new rabbit spayed or neutered as soon as possible unless you're a breeder of course. 

If you want to breed, make sure you have a goal in mind and a place for the babies to go. Rabbits produce large litters, they also breed very quickly with a gestation period of only 32 days! If you don't control breeding, you'll end up with a lot of bunnies very quickly.

You will also need to register yourself with an association or club to become a reputable registered breeder. 

For the pet rabbit owner, spayed or neutered bunnies are the way to go. They are much happier this way since their hormones won't wreak havoc on their systems. You won't experience false pregnancies, mood swings, health issues related to the reproductive tract, potty training issues related to territorial displays, and spraying urine everywhere. Spraying is more common in male bunnies, but females do it too sometimes. 

Where will your bunny live?

The next thing you need to consider is where your new rabbit will live. Bunnies need a lot of space to run and jump. It keeps them entertained and out of trouble most of the time. If you want a house rabbit, it's a good idea to dedicate a whole room to your pet rabbit. 

A lot of people use the living room, family room, or a bedroom for their bunnies to roam. Others might allow their new pet to go where ever they like. Either way, you'll need bunny proof. 

This means covering all cords, protecting the baseboards and any furniture you don't want to be destroyed. Not all pet rabbits are destructive, but a lot of them do like to chew. You can stop some destructive behavior by providing lots of bunny safe toys.

Consider the costs!

The last thing you need to think about is the cost of rabbit care. These fluffy critters need special bunny-savvy exotic vets when they get sick. They can go from completely fine to critical in a matter of hours. Your vet needs to know how to handle these situations. 

This means keeping a bunny can be very expensive! They also need enclosures with enough space to run and lots of toys. Lastly, rabbit ownership means buying LOTS of rabbit-safe foods. They really like to eat a lot. 

Now that you know the bunny basics, let's take a look at what you'll need to prepare for your new rabbit. 

rabbit and girl

Bunny Basics - What You Need for Your New pet rabbit

Ready to get your new bunny area set up? There are a few things your new fluffy pet rabbit can’t go without. Make sure you get the following:

1. A Rabbit Hutch 

A rabbit hunch is an enclosure that both keeps your rabbit out of trouble and offers your pet a safe place to sleep and hide. You will need to make sure the home you choose is big enough for the breed of rabbit you will be getting. Also, remember that rabbits prefer to live in pairs, so there needs to be enough space for both of them to move around comfortably. 

Your rabbit hutch can either be a special rabbit cage, a wooden hutch, or an enclosed area inside or outside your home. Whatever you choose, this is a big step in preparing for your new pet.

If you like to go cage-free, you can combine your hutch with a puppy pen. Simply link the pen to the hutch to dramatically expand the area. You can also close off a room with a baby gate and have the hutch open at all times for your new pet to come and go as it pleases.       

2. Food Bowls

Just like other pets, your new long-eared friends will need rabbit-safe containers to hold their food. It is best to keep to stainless steel or ceramic bowls to prevent chewing. You will also need to make sure that the bowl is tip-proof, impossible to pick up, and unbreakable. 

I learned the hard way that if they can pick up the food dish, you will have food all over the place in no time, it can also be dangerous if you use a breakable bowl. You'll be surprised how hard a bunny can throw a food dish. 

You can buy these at any pet store. A feed store might sell them as well. 

3. Water Bowl Or Bottle

Your fluffy friends will also need a water bowl or bottle. Rabbits drink a lot of water so make sure to have more than one bowl or bottle available at all times. If you use bowls, you will need to make sure that they are tip-proof and resistant to being picked up by a curious pet rabbit.

Bowls are usually better than bottles for large breeds. Bottles can be tiring to drink from, especially for large pet rabbits. Just keep in mind that bowls are more work since bunnies tend to use them as a toilet. They also need to be cleaned daily. 

Anything you put in your bunny's cage also needs to be chew-proof, unless it’s a chew toy of course! Water bottles are better in the sense that the water stays fresh and clean for longer. You will need to make sure that they are big enough and easy for your bunnies to use. 

rabbit water bottle

4. Hay Feeder

You will soon realize that it’s nearly impossible to stop the hay from getting into everything. Hay feeders will, however, prevent your long-eared friends from using the hay as a toilet. Bunnies just love to do their business on their hay so you can place some in their litter box to encourage them to use it. 

If the hay is laying around, you will also notice your bunny pushing it all over the place while nesting or even out of boredom. If you want your rabbits to eat their hay instead of playing with it, get a hay feeder. 

The best place to put a hay feeder is above the litterbox. Bunnies like to eat and poop at the same time. This will also encourage them to use the litterbox while the hay stays clean. 

5. Rabbit Litter Box

If your pet rabbit will free roam in your house, you might want to consider litter box training. Bunnies usually pick a dedicated spot to do their business in. All you need to do is place a rabbit litter box in that spot, fill it with some rabbit-safe cat litter and hay, and make sure your rabbit knows about it, your war is now half won. 

Having a litter box-trained rabbit will also make cage cleaning much easier and keep your rabbit hutch smelling fresh for much longer. Rabbits are very clean animals, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate it too. 

6. Bunny Safe Litter

This goes without saying, rabbits just love to chew on everything, and unfortunately, that includes the litter you use. You can use cat litter for your bun buns, but do make sure that it’s safe for being ingested. Some cat litter consists of crystals, clay, and softwood that expand and clump quite a lot, those aren’t safe for use in rabbit litter boxes. 

Ideally, you want litter made from recycled paper or any other rabbit-safe litter. Wood pellets made from pine also work well. Just make sure your rabbit can't eat them. 

7. Rabbit Safe Toys

My partner didn’t believe me when I told him this, but rabbits do play. A bored bun is a destructive ball of energy and nobody wants that, especially if your bunny has free range of the house. Make sure to get several kinds of chew-safe rabbit toys to entertain your new fluffy friend. 

Chew toys will keep your bunny’s teeth worn down, satisfy their chewing needs and take away boredom. Do make sure to only use toys under supervision since there is a potential choking risk in some cases. Avoid any toys made from plastic since they might cause problems when ingested. 

8. Rabbit Playpen

Every rabbit needs some time outside of its hutch. A good, safe way to allow your fluffy friend some freedom is with a puppy pen. You will need to make sure that the pen is high enough so your bunny can’t jump out. 

Buns are excellent jumpers, so make sure to supervise free time. Your bunny will also appreciate your company. 

If you want your bun bun to have lots of space without having access to your furniture, use a puppy pen attached to your hutch. This is a great setup for the living room. You can also create a rabbit run outside to allow your fluffy friend to graze on the lawn. Just makes sure there are no predatory birds around!

Rabbit Fest | Rabbit Fest, 2019. Vancouver BC. | Tjflex2 | Flickr

By Tjflex2

9. Baby Gate

A baby gate is a very handy tool to keep free-roaming house rabbits out of certain rooms or areas. You will need to make sure the baby gate you buy is made of metal or chew-proof wood with small enough spaces between the bars to prevent your long-eared friend from escaping. Rabbits are escape artists so make sure to check the dimensions thoroughly before you buy. 

10. Rabbit Proofing Supplies

If your bun will be free-roaming, you will need to make sure the house is bunny-proof. You will need to cover all exposed wires with hard split plastic tubing to prevent chewing. If you have wooden furniture, it is also a great idea to cover them to prevent curious rabbits from chewing on your prised furniture. 

Let your rabbit explore its new surroundings, but keep an eye out for the first few days. If there's something you missed, your new pet will let you know very quickly. They have a talent for finding things they shouldn't. 

11. Floor Protectors

If you have an indoor cage, you might want to consider floor protectors. There are multiple products that are very handy for protecting your floor against fluffy hoppers.

They can get a bit messy and have accidents every now and again, especially when you just started potty training. Just make sure that the matt is chew-proof.

Spend some time observing your new bun's habits. You'll figure out very quickly which areas of their new home need a bit of extra protection. 

12. Puppy pads

Puppy pads are handy for potty training and keeping your rabbit’s hutch and play area clean. Just make sure that your bunny can’t eat it!

13. Safe Cleaning Supplies

Unfortunately, all pets need their living areas cleaned now and then, this includes your hoppers. You will need to make sure that the cleaning supplies you use are bunny safe.

Vinegar is a great natural cleaner. It disinfects and removes nasty smells quite effectively. Rabbits have a lot of calcium in their urine which will harden and stick to the floor, vinegar is very useful for dissolving the calcium in dried rabbit urine stains. You can also buy pet odor-removing solutions to help with the smell.

Keep some paper towels and a spray bottle with vinegar handy for cleaning up any accidents. A paper towel works great for soaking up wee and trasfering it to the litter box. This helps your rabbit learn where the wee should go.  

If your rabbit is spayed or neutered, it will also help a lot with reducing urine smells. 

14. Preparing For Your First Rabbit - Care Guide

It is always good to have a rabbit care guide handy. If you run into a problem or wonder about a certain aspect of bunny care, you can always refer to a book or other blog posts on our website for detailed bunny care information. 

15. Rabbit Carrier

You will need a rabbit carrier when you’re bringing your new pet home. You will also need this carrier whenever you go for vet visits or travel. Make sure to train your pet to feel safe in the carrier. This will help to make any traveling less stressful. 

If you need to travel, make sure you read our article on rabbit transport for all the safety tips. 


By Chachacha369 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

16. Bunny Bedding

Your rabbit will need some kind of bedding to stay warm and feel comfortable in its hutch. Bunny bedding can consist of hay (my rabbits have hay bedding) or any kind of blanket or special rabbit beds. Hay is the safest option since your bunny can also snack on it, but if you do use blankets or rabbit beds, just inspect them regularly for vandalism. 

If you notice any damage, remove them immediately and replace them with something more rabbit safe. You can also try to add some cardboard boxes. They really love exploring a cardboard box maze. 

17. Rabbit First Aid Kits

Rabbits have this tendency to get themselves in trouble quite often. It is a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand with basic supplies like a digital thermometer with a flexible tip, disinfectant, wound sprays, deworming, parasite control, tweezers, feeding syringes, jars of vegetable-based baby food, baby gas drops, and bandages.

If you can't find pet supplies specifically for rabbits, try looking in the cat or chicken section since most cat and chicken medicine is safe for rabbits. Consult your exotic vet if you're unsure. 

18. Bunny Grooming Supplies 

Some hoppers like the Angora needs more grooming than others, but all rabbits need a brush now and then, especially in the molting (shedding) season. Rabbits, unlike cats, can’t regurgitate hairballs. Hairballs can cause serious intestinal blockages.

To avoid any grooming-related health problems, make sure you have a brush, nail clippers, cotton swabs, and ear cleaner handy. Depending on your breed, you will need to groom your buns quite regularly. 

NEVER bathe a rabbit! It's extremely stressful for them and can cause death due to stress. 

19. Rabbit Food

Part of preparing for your first house rabbit is getting healthy food. Rabbits are grazers like horses which means they need to eat almost constantly. Your new house rabbit will need a balanced diet with unlimited hay. Make sure to buy good grass-based hay like Timothy hay or oat hay as well as good quality rabbit pellets to start with. You can introduce fresh foods once your bun bun has settled.

Refer to our Nutrition section for which foods are rabbit safe as well as specially balanced rabbit diet weekly menus. 

Just A Recap 

You should have a good idea of what your new bunny needs by now, let’s just fill in this checklist to make sure you are well on your way to preparing for your first rabbit:

[checklist-box title="New Rabbit Preparation Checklist:" extraTitle="" extraUrl=""]

  1. Rabbit housing
  2. Food bowls
  3. Water bottle or bowl
  4. Hay feeder
  5. Rabbit litter box
  6. Bunny safe litter
  7. Rabbit safe toys
  8. Puppy playpen
  9. Baby gate (Only if new bunnies are freeroam or have their own room)
  10. Bunny proofing supplies
  11. Floor protection
  12. Puppy pads
  13. Safe cleaning supplies
  14. Bunny care guide
  15. Rabbit carrier
  16. Bunny bedding
  17. Rabbit first aid supplies
  18. Bunny grooming suppies
  19. Rabbit food


[/checklist-box]Remember to enjoy preparing for your new pet rabbit and look through the rest of our website for more expert rabbit care tips and advice. If you want to know more about rabbit habits, check out our article 'Are rabbits nocturnal'.

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