Rabbits make wonderful pets, they are gentle creatures who like to cuddle and explore and actually seem to like the company of people. If you are thinking of adopting a rabbit as a pet, there are a lot of things you will need to consider before bringing your new pet home.
One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding on where and what type of home your new pet will have. There are two basic options available: a hutch or a cage. Taking a closer look at these two options will help you make the right choice for your new pet rabbit.
Rabbit hutches are designed for rabbits who will live out -doors. They usually, though not always consist of three wooden sides and a wire front and bottom. There is usually a door in the back of the cage to get your rabbit out and many rabbit hutches have a removal top to make cleaning the hutch easier.
A hutch is generally sturdily built and sits on long sturdy legs to keep the rabbit off the ground where rabbits would be subjected to chills and more accessible to predators. Hutches were originally designed for people who kept meat rabbits. They are extremely efficient for that purpose as a large hutch can house several rabbits in individual units. More recently some pet rabbit owners have taken to housing their rabbits in outside hutches.
Pros and Cons of Housing a Pet in a Hutch
There are a few pros about using a rabbit hutch over an inside cage. The most obvious one is that rabbit's waste smells. If you don't intend on cleaning your rabbit cage daily then perhaps considering housing your rabbit in a hutch might be a good idea.
Rabbit hutches make daily cage cleaning unnecessary. However, keep in mind that a rabbit hutch does need cleaned on a weekly or biweekly basis and that you also need to clean under the pen where droppings will pile up.
Another positive of a rabbit hutch is that for people wishing to own a rabbit but lack adequate space inside for a reasonably sized cage a hutch makes having a rabbit a possibility.
However, when considering whether or not to house your pet rabbit in an outside hutch you should consider the following negatives.
An outside rabbit is at the mercy of a variety of predators. While hutches are built to help discourage some predators they cannot protect your rabbit from all predators. An outside rabbit will be at the mercy of neighborhood cats, dogs, coyotes, and other predators. Even if these animals cannot gain access to the inside of the hutch they can and often do harass a rabbit to death.
For added protection of any rabbit living in a hutch you will need to have some type of completely enclosed housing that will allow the rabbit to escape and hide from these predators.
Weather is another consideration when deciding on whether or not to house your rabbit in a hutch rather than inside in a cage. While large rabbits can take extremely cold temperatures as long as they remain dry, smaller rabbits simply have a difficult time surviving the cold. There is also the danger of English lops having their long ears freeze fast to wires resulting in serve damage and even death to this type of rabbit.
Most experts agree that pet rabbits are best kept in the house or at least a rabbit cage in a garage or other warm buildings where they will be protected from the weather and from predators.
A comfortable rabbit cage is really the ideal housing for a pet rabbit. There are many types and models available. One type that is especially well suited to pet rabbits are condo rabbit cages with a ramp leading from the bottom level to the upper level.
A condo rabbit cage gives your pet more room in a limited amount of space and makes for a happier, more active pet.
Pros and Cons of an Indoor Cage
An indoor rabbit cage makes bonding with your pet easier and simpler than does a rabbit hutch. Having your rabbit inside means they are constantly hearing your voice and they are readily available to play with and hold at any time of the day or night.
An indoor rabbit cage also protects your pet rabbit from harsh weather and predators, keeping them safe and comfortable summer and winter no matter what the weather is like outside.
Rabbits are fairly easy to litter train and if you have rabbit proofed your room or home, your rabbit can enjoy the freedom of your house and interaction with all family members while still having their cage to return to when they are tired or simply need to have a little private time. This will make your pet truly a member of your family.
On the downside, cages or at least litter pans inside the cage do need cleaned daily. Luckily, with the newer cages this is really simple and easy to do hardly taking any time at all. If you choose the more roomy condo rabbit cage, daily cleaning is usually only necessary on the cage bottom, with a quick brushing of the rest of the cage once or twice a week.
For the person who really wants their pet to be a pet and a part of the family, an indoor rabbit cage is really the best choice. It allows more interaction between you and your beloved rabbit and it keeps your pet safe prolonging the years the two of you will spend together.
Choosing between a hutch and an indoor cage is a personal choice. Knowing the pros and cons of each will help you to make an informed choice that is right for both your pet to live the happiest, longest, and safest life possible making the bond between you fulfilling.
Stacy Adams loves to write about rabbits. This is her passion. To learn more about how to care for your furry friends, visit her company website at http://www.RabbitHutchOnline.com/ or visit her blog at http://www.RabbitHutchOnline.com/blog
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