Indoor Rabbit Cages
Indoor rabbit cages are widely available through pet shops; although many different manufacturers produce them they are all basically the same design - a plastic tray on the bottom and wire frame on top. Only the very biggest cages are suitable for a rabbit to spend any time confined in them. Other important points to consider are the cage door size, depth of the base and how easily it comes apart for cleaning.
An alternative to rabbit cages are dog crates, which can offer more space for less money.
Most manufacturers make the same style cage in a variety of sizes aimed at different pets (eg hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits). Some cages described by manufactures as suitable for rabbits are much too small, so look at the measurements for yourself don't rely on shop's descriptions or photos (which often feature baby rabbits to make cages look bigger). Only the very largest of commercial pet rabbit cages are actually suitable for rabbits.
Most cages are standard lengths, either 100cm (3'4") or 120cm (4'). There are a few 5' (150cm) cages available but these are harder to find. If you've already got one, the smaller (100cm) cages could be used as a base for a rabbit that is free range i.e. has free access in and out of the cage all day, but don't buy one as they are really much too small and there are better options available.
You should always get the biggest cage possible. There is a guide to rabbit housing size requirements here, which is a good place to start before making a purchase.
Buy a cage that will fit your rabbit as an adult - babies grow up quickly so a small cage will need replacing within 6-8 weeks.
The largest cages I have found are:
|Little Friends Rabbit 160||160cm||80cm||58cm||1.28 sq m|
|Ferplast Rabbit 160 Cage||156cm||77cm||62cm||1.20 sq m|
|Liberta Rabbit Retreat 150 Cage (R6A)||150cm||75cm||69cm||1.13 sq m|
|Trixie Rabbit 150 Indoor Cage||150cm||74cm||64cm||1.11 sq m|
|Liberta Rabbit 150||150cm||74cm||63cm||1.11 sq m|
|Ferplast Rabbit 140||140cm||71.5cm||48cm||1.00 sq m|
Note: Measurements are approximate.
However big your rabbit's cage is, your rabbit will still need daily exercise in a much larger area. Attaching a play pen to the cage is a good way to provide this extra space.
It's important that your rabbit's cage is tall enough for it to stand on its hind legs without having to crouch or knock its ears on the top. Some cages are aimed at guinea pigs and are not tall enough for a rabbit to stand up in. I have only included cages at least 18" tall in the rabbit cage list. This is a minimum height and anything other than the smallest rabbit breeds will need 2' (60cm) or higher cages.
Rabbit cages with wire floors are common in the US, but less so in the UK. If the cage you choose has a wire floor this will need removing or the wire covering; rabbits feet are not designed for these and they can cause sores on the bottom of the feet. They are particularly unsuitable for rex breeds as they only have very thin covering of fur on their feet which offers little padding to protect the skin.
The depth of the tray part of cages can vary considerably. Generally deeper is better as this contains things like hay, litter and shredded cardboard (rabbits love chewing boxes!), which will reduce mess. If the cage is perfect apart from the tray depth, you can get around this by using a deep litter tray inside to contain the litter/hay.
Some cages a let down by the size of the doors. To lift your rabbit out you'll need a door wide enough to fit your arms and the rabbit through. Large cage doors also make it easier to do tasks like change the litter tray without removing the top of the cage. Atleast one side door is essential, as they allow your rabbit to go in and out as it needs, and it's less threatening to lift your rabbit from the side than above. If the door doubles as a ramp, it should either be solid or you will need to cover it - to prevent your rabbit catching a leg in the bars as it hops about which can cause injuries.
It's a good idea to consider where you'll be positioning the cage in the room as this can effect where you need the door to be. It's no good having a big door if it's blocked by a piece of furniture.
Most cage bars are either galvanised, powder coated or plastic coated, which prevents the wire going rusty. Which is best is really down to your preference, some people prefer the look of white cage bars over the natural metal colouring. Do be aware that is you rabbit is a chewer the plastic coating will wear off - although it shouldn't cause any harm it will look unsightly.