What Does a Rabbit Need in Its Hutch?

Categorized as Bunny Care Tagged

Last Updated on April 19, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Rabbits need to have a watering device (bottle or bowl), a feeding bowl, bedding, a litter box, and some toys to keep them busy.

Your rabbits should still have enough space to stand and walk around in their cage after all the items I listed are placed.

Your rabbit should also have a separate sleeping area where it would be able to mimic the dark hole that rabbits in the wild used to sleep in.

This separate area can be a simple cardboard box with a hole in it.

What matters is that the sleeping area is dark and would give your rabbit the privacy it needs.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail what rabbits need in its hutch:

What items do rabbits need in their hutches?

The majority of your rabbit’s time would be spent on their hutch.

It’s important that you give them the proper equipment they need.

Otherwise, it could make your rabbit experience depression and stress.

Depressed or stressed rabbits are prone to all kinds of health conditions that can lead to dangerous consequences.

Here are the different items you need to provide your rabbit inside their hutch:

Watering device

A rabbit drinking in a watering device attached to its cage.
Adamantios, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

The watering device can be either a bowl or a bottle.

Make sure that your rabbit has unlimited amounts of water at all times.

It’s very important that your rabbit has access to clean, drinkable water that you yourself would drink.

Rabbits dislike the smell of dirty water and will often refuse to drink it if the water is dirty.

This could lead to dehydration, especially in the summertime.

According to the veterinary nursing journal, rabbits prefer to drink from water bowls compared to bottles.

Feeding bowl

A rabbit inside its cage with a blue feeding bowl beside it.
“gus looks up expectantly” by Keithius is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Feeding bowls are also necessary for vegetables and pellets.

Hay can be used for bedding or in a separate hay dispenser.

If you can, try to attach the bowl to something like their cage.

Sometimes, rabbits will play with their bowls, tilting them over and scattering the food everywhere.

Bedding

A young white and brown rabbit sitting in its wood-shaving bedding.
“Gretel” by Tjflex2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Rabbits also require some kind of bedding to protect their feet if their hutch is made with a wire floor.

Unlike dogs and cats, whose feet are protected, rabbits’ feet are unprotected, and standing on wire floors could lead to open sores or “sore hocks”.

Here is the best bedding for rabbits:

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  • Hay: Hay is great as bedding for rabbits. It can be eaten, and it’s soft enough that your rabbit would be comfortable.
  • Wood pelletsWood pellets are great for being used as bedding for rabbits because they are highly absorbent, easier to clean, and cheap.
  • Towel: Towels could also be used as temporary bedding for your rabbits. Just make sure that your rabbit doesn’t eat the towel and chokes on it.
  • Cellulose: Another great option that is readily available because almost all small animals use this bedding. It’s low-cost, highly absorbent, dust-free, and can be chewed on by rabbits.
  • Aspen: Aspen is also a great wood-based bedding. It’s dust-free, non-toxic, and scent-free.

Litter box

A brown rabbit sitting in its litter box.
“poopsmith 2” by leighannemcc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

litter box is also required because rabbits are meticulous cleaners and would get depressed if their home was dirty.

Having a litter box makes it so that your rabbit has a place to do its business.

It would also make your life easier by making it easier to clean and reducing the smell.

Avoid using cat litter on your rabbits. 

Cat litters are made of clay and could lead to intestinal blockage if eaten by rabbits.

The best litter for rabbits is wood-based litter.

Toys

A bunny sitting inside its hutch full of toys and other essential items for rabbits.
“Protecting his home” by Lottie’s pets & stuff is marked with CC0 1.0

Rabbits also require a lot of stimuli in order to be healthy and happy.

In the wild, rabbits would spend the day exploring, eating, and playing.

They are not made to be kept in cages all day doing nothing.

They are animals that are full of energy, and they need to expend it somehow.

Rabbits that are frustrated due to a lack of stimuli will often display aggressive behaviors towards their surroundings and their owner.

The best toys for rabbits are those they can chew.

This has the added benefit of filing down their teeth, saving them from dental issues.

Here are the best toys you can get for your rabbits:

  • Willow balls
  • Willow bridge
  • Willow sticks
  • Wooden dumbbells
  • Twig Tunnels
  • Ka-Bob Chew Dispenser Toy
  • Toilet paper rolls

Summary

Rabbits need a watering device like a bowl or bottle, a feeding bowl, a litter box, bedding, a separate sleeping area, and toys to keep them occupied.

Your rabbit should have unlimited access to clean, drinkable water that you yourself would drink.

Rabbits would likely not drink dirty water, which could lead to dehydration, especially in the summer.

Your rabbit’s feeding bowl is used for pellets and vegetables, while hay can be used as bedding or in a separate hay dispenser.

Try to attach their feeding bowl to their cage because rabbits will often play with it and knock it over, scattering food everywhere.

Your rabbit also requires bedding to protect its feet, especially if their hut’s flooring is a wire floor.

The best bedding for rabbits is hay, wood pellets, towels, cellulose, and aspen.

To make your life easier, you should also provide your rabbit with a litter box.

It makes it easier to clean their poop and urine and reduces their odor.

The best litter for rabbits is wood-based.

Do not use cat litter because rabbits could eat it and it could lead to intestinal blockage.

And finally, toys should also be provided to prevent frustration, especially if your rabbit will be spending a lot of time in its cage.

The best toys for rabbits are those made of wood that they can chew on, like willow balls, willow bridges, willow sticks, wooden dumbbells, etc.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (May 3, 2022) What Does a Rabbit Need in Its Hutch?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/what-does-a-rabbit-need-in-its-hutch/.
"What Does a Rabbit Need in Its Hutch?." Bunny Horde - May 3, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/what-does-a-rabbit-need-in-its-hutch/

Sources and further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • The nutritional needs of rabbits

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.