How to Keep a Rabbit in an Apartment

Опубликовал Admin
1-02-2017, 13:18
Rabbits make terrific pets, and they are often a first choice for people who live in apartment complexes with strict pet policies. They are small and do not require as much space or attention as a cat or dog, but they are not as easy to keep in an apartment as one might initially think. However, keeping a rabbit in an apartment can be a pleasant and rewarding experience for both parties if the proper accommodations are provided for your new pet.


  1. Understand that rabbits are not as low-maintenance as most people would like to think. The idea that rabbits can happily live out their days in a 2'x3' cage and eat nothing but pellets and carrots is a myth that hurts and even kills a large percentage of pet rabbits. Rabbits require unrestricted and unlimited access to timothy hay (or alfalfa hay, if the rabbit is under a year old), which can be expensive and messy.
    • Since rabbits eat a lot of food, they also go to the bathroom a lot, and while rabbit poop is not particularly gross (since they're herbivores), it does have a tendency to get everywhere and the rabbit's cage and litter box will need to be cleaned often.
    • Rabbits also need space to run around, so you will have to either provide a fenced-in pen with sufficient space or rabbit-proof your apartment and let your pet run around for at least a few hours every day, if your landlord will allow it.
  2. Make sure you really want a rabbit and are equipped to deal with one. A healthy rabbit can live for around 10 years; they are not a short-term commitment by any means. If you have children, take into account that rabbits are a lot more fragile and less cuddly than you may have been led to believe, and they are not appropriate "starter pets" for kids who don't know how to handle them.
    • You will also have to clean up their living space at least every other day or so, and they tend to chew on things like furniture and carpet, which is annoying anywhere but can be particularly costly if you live in an apartment.
    • That said, rabbits do make great pets, especially for people with limited space and time to deal with a larger animal like a cat or a dog. They are affectionate, entertaining, and some (but not all!) enjoy being cuddled. They also don't smell or make much noise, which makes them particularly great pets for apartment-dwellers.
  3. Double-check that your apartment complex allows pets. Let your landlord know that you're planning on getting one if you want to be absolutely sure that everything is okay. Also, start rabbit-proofing your apartment just to be on the safe side.
  4. Set up a cage for your rabbit. If you are not going to let your rabbit run around your whole apartment, purchase a dog exercise pen and some appropriate flooring (outdoor carpet works well; you don't need to install it in the apartment, but set it under the pen like a rug) so that your rabbit will have room to exercise.
  5. Purchase a rabbit. Rabbits come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments; take some time to research what kind of rabbit you want and how large a rabbit you can comfortably house. Also, consider obtaining your rabbit from a rescue organization instead of a pet store. Pet store rabbits may be cheaper, but they are often sold too young (resulting in them being timid, antisocial, and/or dangerous for most of their lives) and do not tend to live very long due to various breeding-related health issues. Additionally, a pet store will not usually give you time to get to know your potential pet, whereas rescue centers almost always do.
  6. Bring your rabbit home. You will want to bring a small towel-lined pet cage with you to pick up your rabbit. If at all possible, try to bring your new rabbit home in a car (as opposed to taking public transportation), as your rabbit will likely be scared and a bit stressed and loud, confusing places will not help. Don't make any unnecessary stops on the way home and make sure the car is not too hot; rabbits are very sensitive to heat and it will only exacerbate an uncomfortable situation. When you get back to your apartment, give your rabbit some hay and leave it alone to settle in.
  7. Get your rabbit neutered or spayed. Rabbits who are "fixed" tend to live longer, have fewer health problems, be less aggressive, and also won't spray urine to mark their territory as much, which is good news for your apartment's carpet and baseboards.
  8. Litter train your rabbit. This will make your life with your new rabbit considerably easier and cleaner. Rabbits like to go to the bathroom in corners, so this may be a good place to put your litterbox (and look out for messes there in the meantime). Give your rabbit a small treat when you see them using their litterbox, and eventually, they should start to go to the bathroom there every time.
  9. Provide your rabbit with safe toys to keep it entertained, especially while you're out of the apartment. If you don't want to buy anything, cardboard tubes (from toilet paper or paper towels) make great bunny enrichment toys.
  10. Take care of your rabbit. Provide it with an appropriate and well-balanced diet, clean its litterbox and cage at least every other day, and spend some time with your rabbit every day. Hopefully, your rabbit will be your closest companion for years to come, and will thrive in its new home in your apartment.


  • If you have the space, consider buying a second rabbit. Rabbits are social creatures and will benefit from having a friend to interact with. Your best bet is to purchase a second rabbit of the opposite gender (both should be neutered/spayed, though), but rabbits can also bond to same-gendered companions. Be sure not to put them in the same area right away; they will need to be supervised while they bond, and if they don't, they'll need to have at least a fence between them at all times. Also, keep in mind that double the rabbits means they'll take up double the floor space. If you don't have room for that, your best bet is to spend a lot of time with your one rabbit to keep it from being lonely.
  • Dust your apartment frequently. Between their cage bedding and their mostly-hay diet, rabbits, can add a lot of dust to an environment, which can aggravate both rabbits' and humans' allergies if too much is left to accumulate.
  • Clean your rabbit's toys and litterbox in the bathtub instead of the sink where you prepare your food. Anything that has spent time in a rabbit cage probably has rabbit feces or urine on it, and it is best to keep that out of your kitchen.


  • Be careful when handling your rabbit. Rabbits have strong back legs and delicate spines and can literally break their own backs if you hold them incorrectly or scare them.
  • Rabbits do not respond well to being left alone or placed in unfamiliar situations, so if you travel a lot, a rabbit may not be a good pet for you.
  • Make sure nobody in your apartment is allergic to hay before purchasing a rabbit; hay is an unavoidable part of rabbit ownership.
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