Rabbit Care Sheet (pdf)
- A solid-bottom cage. Don’t get a wood cage, because rabbits chew wood.
- Small to medium rabbits need a cage that’s at least four feet wide, two feet deep and two feet tall. Double the size for a large rabbit.
- Ceramic or metal food bowl only. Bunnies chew plastic.
- A water bottle that attaches to the cage. These are cleaner than water bowls.
- Chew toys like wood blocks or lava rocks. Bunnies’ teeth never stop growing. They need to chew daily.
- Timothy hay only. Never use alfalfa or wood chips (especially cedar!). These cause serious health problems.
- A digging area filled with Timothy hay. Rabbits love to dig!
- A pet carrier
- Pelleted rabbit diet
- Soft grooming brush
- A litter box – if you want to train your bunny. It’s pretty easy to do!
Four Steps to Litter Box Training
- Place a litter box in one corner of the cage
- Fill the box with litter
- When your bunny pees or poops, move the soaked hay or poop to the litter box
- The smell will cause your pet to use the litter box
- Feed your bunny pelleted rabbit food, timothy hay, dark green and orange vegetables (see below for guide)
- Take your bunny out and play with him/her no more than 20 minutes a day
- Remove any uneaten vegetables or fruit
- Clean the cage and litter box using bleach. Mix one part bleach to ten parts water and rinse thoroughly.
- Brush your bunny twice a week. Brush daily during “shedding season” in the spring and summer.
- Take your bunny to the veterinarian for a check-up
- When your bunny turns six years old, he/she should go twice a year to the veterinarian
How Much to Feed Your Rabbit
- Rabbits under six months: can eat all the pellets and vegetables they want
- Rabbits six months and older: 1/8 to 1/4 cup of pellets per day per five pounds of body weight, and two cups of vegetables per six pounds of rabbit
- All rabbits: can eat unlimited timothy hay
Never let your pet eat:
- Salty food
- Alfalfa hay
- Cedar chips
- House plants
Holding a Rabbit
Rabbits get hurt easily. Pick your pet up carefully and support his/her hindquarters. Your parents should always be around when you hold or play with your bunny.
Always Watch Your Rabbit
When you take your rabbit out of his/her cage, always watch him/her. If left alone, rabbits will chew and destroy anything.
More Than One Rabbit?
Avoid adopting two males. Males usually fight. If you decide to adopt more than one bunny, get two females or a neutered male and a female.
Keep Your Rabbit Indoors
It’s best to keep your rabbit indoors. Your pet wants to be around you and your family. They could also be harmed by predators like coyotes if left outdoors.
The Right Temperature
Rabbits are very sensitive to heat. They should be kept in temperatures less than 80 degrees F. You may want to move them down to a cool basement in the summer if it’s too hot.
Neuter or Spay Your Bunny
To prevent health problems, females should be spayed and males should be neutered when they are at least four months old.
Finding the Right Veterinarian
- A veterinarian that treats “exotic pets” will be more comfortable with rabbits
- When you get your pet, have your parents or guardian take it to a veterinarian for a check-up
- Your pet should see a veterinarian once a year and when you think it might be sick
You know your rabbit best. If he/she seems to be acting strangely, call your veterinarian.
Information about taking care of your rabbit provided Monique Weldon, DVM of the Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital, Centennial, Colo.