Ready to get your first Mr or Mrs. Fluffle? It’s not only about providing a loving home, and your rabbit will have specific needs that are non-negotiable. Luckily, we’ve got the complete list of what you need to get before you get a rabbit.
To ensure your rabbit’s needs are met, you will have to get a cage, litter box, pellet, and water bowls, a playpen, and toys, a rabbit run, grooming equipment, and the right food to meet your rabbit’s dietary requirements, and quite a bit of patience too.
Things You Need for Your Rabbit – Rabbit Supply List
A rabbit is a social animal, and they have specific needs that should be met to keep them healthy and stress-free. A comfortable place for your rabbit to stay is a great start, and if you add a balanced diet to the mix, you’re well on your way. Here’s how.
Meet your rabbit’s needs with a rabbit-friendly cage and housing accommodations.
Your rabbit cage should be at least four times as big as your rabbit. For smaller breed rabbits, a cage of 24 by 36 inches should suffice, while large rabbit breeds will need a cage as big as 30 by 36 inches.
Giant breed rabbits will require an even larger cage.
As a rule, when your rabbit sits upright in the cage, its ears shouldn’t touch the top of the cage. When there is more than one rabbit in the cage, you need to double the cage size per rabbit.
Wire cages are fine, but try to get one without a wire bottom as the wire can damage the rabbit’s sensitive paws. Rather opt for one with a board or plastic tray at the bottom.
- Litter box
Your rabbit will need their own toilet to keep things clean in the cage. The type of litter box is up to you (and your rabbit).
Generally, a small breed rabbit will need a box of 16 by 11 inches in size. Take care to fill the litter box with appropriate litter material and not hay (which your bun could eat).
- Pellet and leafy green veg bowl
Since you should only feed your rabbit a small amount of pellet food and leafy greens per day, it’s advisable to get a small one so you can avoid the temptation to feed them more. You can always get a separate hay dispenser to also include some rabbit-safe hay for your bun.
When choosing a pellet bowl, try to go for a bowl that won’t encourage your rabbit to chew it. Plastic bowls aren’t always a great idea as they may harbor harmful bacteria.
A stainless steel bowl is great as you can sterilize it between feedings.
- Water Bowl
Your rabbit will also need a water bowl. This need not always be a bowl as you can use any of the unique water dispensers that are rabbit-safe to ensure your Mrs. Fluffles remains hydrated.
Ensure the water bowl doesn’t get knocked over in the cage as your rabbit will hate being wet, and it could also lead to pneumonia if they have wet fur and get cold.
Rabbits need space to hop, bounce, and Binkie about, so you will also require a play area where your rabbit can safely romp about.
While most people who don’t like wild rabbits in their garden will install a rabbit-proof fence, you can do the same to keep your buns in your garden if you have an outdoor play area.
Using a section of chicken wire that extends 6 to 10 inches below your playpen fence will work well.
Dig a trench around your playpen, and install the chicken wire so it bends slightly away from your playpen perimeter in an L-shape. Bury the L-shape in the trench, cover it, and attach the rest of the chicken wire to your playpen barrier.
Now your bun won’t be able to tunnel quite so easily from the playpen when you’re not watching.
A rabbit playpen is a must to meet your rabbit’s daily exercise requirements. The ideal size for small rabbits is 2 by 3 feet, and you would scale up if you have larger size rabbits.
You can rather have a “too large” playpen than a too small one.
If you have more than one rabbit, double the size for each rabbit.
- Rabbit Harness
If you simply don’t have space for an outdoor playpen, you may need to invest in a rabbit harness and elasticated leash.
Rabbits need exercise, so if you train your house rabbit to accept and “walk” with you on the harness, they can accompany you on walks to the park or around the neighborhood to meet their exercise needs.
While your bun will self-groom, you can engage them in bonding and social interaction by grooming them carefully with the appropriate rabbit-friendly grooming equipment.
Don’t skimp and try to buy a cheap dog brush – your rabbit won’t be happy.
Choose a basic rabbit comb to help detangle your rabbit’s longer locks, or you can also use the comb to enact mutual grooming.
If you have long-haired rabbits, you may want to invest in a specialized rabbit comb.
- Nail Clippers
Another grooming essential is a rabbit-appropriate nail clipper. Ensure you train how to clip your rabbit’s nails before you do it alone.
Many vets are happy to teach you the basics when you take your bun for a nail clipping with them.
Rabbits are burrowing animals, and since they dig, their nails grow fast. When they don’t have hardened soil to dig into, their nails will grow sharp and they can hurt you and themselves when they jump or scratch.
- Alcohol-Free Wipes
You shouldn’t wash your rabbit or bathe them as this isn’t a great idea since their fur takes a long time to dry and they can develop a respiratory infection as a result. However, no rabbit owner should be without alcohol-free wipes.
When you need to spot clean your bun, simply grab a wipe and clean it up quickly.
Rabbits are very clean animals, but they do sometimes get sprayed by other rabbits or they may sleep in their litter box and be soiled as a result.
Wiping down spots is a great way to keep your rabbit squeaky clean and fresh smelling.
Feeding your rabbit correctly from day one is essential to ensure they remain healthy and avoid potentially fatal conditions like GI stasis—where their intestines stop working.
Ensure you purchase vet-approved rabbit pellets from a reputable stockist. Rabbit pellets must always be fresh and more than 70% should be roughage or fiber.
Too much of any particular vitamin can cause serious harm to a rabbit, so don’t get sold on “vitamin enriched” marketing.
Your rabbit will eat two to three tablespoons of pellets per day, depending on its body weight. Never overfeed your rabbit on pellets as it should only contribute 10% of their daily feed.
Rather feed fresh hay to satisfy their fiber requirement.
Rabbits should have good quality hay grass as part of their daily diet. Hay can be fed in abundance, and you should remove any soiled or wet hay to prevent the ingestion of bacteria as the hay may decompose quickly.
Young rabbits and lactating doe can be fed a small amount of rich alfalfa hay as a protein boost to help them with growth, but don’t overdo this.
Ensure your rabbit has access 24/7 to fresh water. If your rabbit is particularly sensitive to chemicals, you may have to buy bottled still water to supply their needs.
Clean out the water bowl daily, and if you have more than one rabbit, you may need to clean it out twice a day.
If you travel with your rabbit, ensure you take a water bottle with you so you can provide them with fresh water whenever they need it.
- Fresh Greens and Fresh Produce
Another major part of your rabbit’s diet will be fresh leafy greens. Stock up on fresh lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, bananas, carrots, and spinach.
Ensure you check the recommended serving size for treats and leafy greens. As a rule, rabbits can eat more leafy greens than sugar-rich fruits or vegetables.
Tips on How to Care for Your Rabbit
Caring for your rabbit may be somewhat overwhelming at the start. Ensure your rabbit has all its basic needs met. Each day, your rabbit should be fed twice per day, and any uneaten food should be removed, except for hay, which they can nibble on all day and night.
Good feeding times are dawn and dusk as rabbits are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at these times of the day.
When you clean out the cage at dawn, ensure you clean out any regular round and brown or dark green droppings.
However, there may also be some “berry-shaped” droppings, known as cecotropes, which is a special rabbit poop that they are supposed to eat for a nutrition boost.
What you can do if you see these droppings often is to consult with your vet as your rabbit may have an underlying illness.
A short checklist of what your rabbit needs daily includes:
- Fresh hay
- Pellets twice per day according to body weight (split serving in two for the two meals)
- Fresh leafy greens according to body weight (usually half a lettuce leaf is enough, or the green top of one carrot)
- Stimulation with toys and physical activity
- Bonding with their human bestie
- Mutual grooming activities (you’ll have to step in if you only have one rabbit)
My Last Bunny Thoughts
A bunny is a wonderful pet and fluffy friend. However, they are completely reliant on you for all of their needs.
Ensure your rabbit follows the right and nutritious diet, has access to fresh water, a safe place to stay, and a snug space to sleep, and helps them explore their world and get enough exercise.