Helpful Information for Rabbit Adopters

Download Resource

Congratulations! We are excited that you have decided to adopt a bunny. We want this to be a positive experience so that you and your bunny can live happily together for a long time. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Housing

  • Bigger is better! A rabbit’s home should be at least four to six times the size of the bunny when they are entirely stretched out. A good guideline is 8 square feet of enclosed space with at least 24 square feet of exercise space. Rabbits are not designed to live on wire floors, it’s hard on their feet. Flat bottom cages are best.
  • Like all companion animals, rabbits should be kept inside with the family. Since rabbits are particularly susceptible to heat, cold and dampness, they need to live in a controlled climate.
  • Litter box

  • Rabbits are very clean animals, and they like their environments to be tidy too. Litter boxes should be changed daily.
  • A good paper based-litter is best. NEVER use clay cat litter or wood shavings (cedar or aspen) for litter. These products can result in respiratory or gastrointestinal problems.
  • Chewing

  • Provide rabbits with apple or willow wood chew toys to help with their innate need.
  • Make sure to keep electrical cords out of reach or covered with vinyl tubing to prevent electrocution. You’ll also want to keep ALL house plants out of your rabbit’s reach. Some can be poisonous!
  • Food

  • Make sure you provide fresh water in a bottle or bowl.
  • A rabbit’s diet should be 75% hay. Timothy, orchard grass or oat hay should always accessible in a hay container or hay net.
  • Rabbits require only one quarter cup of pellets daily. Choose a high quality pellet with no colored pieces or dried fruit.
  • Provide your bunny with fresh greens twice daily: green leaf lettuce, cilantro and parsley are good choices.
  • A bunny’s diet can be 1% treat based: bananas, apples, carrots, pineapple, cherries or raspberries.
  • Bunny handling

  • Bunnies prefer to have all four feet on the ground.
  • Rabbits can break their backs if not handled correctly. To pick up your rabbit, gently slide one hand underneath their body behind their front legs, and with your other hand, support their back end, scooping them up in one motion.
  • Quickly bring them close to your body for added support.
  • If you have children, be sure they sit on the floor and are supervised whenever they handle the rabbit.
  • Never pick up the rabbit by their ears or let their body hang.
  • When to seek veterinary care

  • No poop in the cage or litter box
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Labored breathing
  • Head tilt
  • Incontinence
  • Abscesses, lumps or swelling
  • Behavioral changes