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Currently I have no rabbits, but I'm doing some research on rabbit care, and the most important factor for my small apartment is how much space a rabbit should have. I don't want it to live in factory-farm like conditions.

Generally, how much space does a rabbit need?

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The American Rabbit Breeders Association has laid out some minimum standards of care.

They recommend based on weight the following minimum size:

  • Under 4.4 lbs - 1.5 ft²
  • 4.4 to 8.8 lbs - 3.0 ft²
  • 8.8 to 11.9 lbs - 4.0 ft²
  • Over 11.9 lbs: 5.0 ft²

Or in metric:

  • Under 2 kg - 0.5 m²
  • 2 to 4 kg - 0.9 m²
  • 4 to 5.5 kg - 1.2 m²
  • Over 5.5 kg - 1.5 m²

These are the minimums. I think of these as jail house conditions Sure you can live in a 4x6 feet (1.2x1.8 m) cell but it's miserable. Now if your rabbit will have free run of a larger area most of the time and just having their nest area in the cage then this size is probably fine. But to your rabbit its cage or hutch is its safe place. If you can give it a large safe place that is always going to be prefered.

For me the mimimums are at least double the length of the rabbit wide by four times the rabbits length in length and at least tall enough to let the rabbit sit up on its back legs. That means that except for dwarf rabbits they need 18-24 inch (45-60 cm) high cages.

Your rabbit needs a place that is can safely relieve itself. I find the best option for this is a plastic tray under the cage, and if the rabbit will be running freely then a litterbox in the rabbits preferred corner. If you clean the litterbox daily and the tray every few days this chore is much easier. The longer the litter is allowed to sit soiled and the longer the tray goes with out being cleaned you will find the smell becomes more pungent and the more effort is involved in cleaning. If the tray becomes to ripe the fumes from the rabbits urine can actually damage and even kill the rabbit.

Even if your rabbit is in its cage most of the time it still needs time to exercise. You should get your rabbit out at least daily and allow it to run and socialize.

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  • I have observed: If the litterbox is cleaned more often, my rabbits acts safer in "not to left their excrement on the floor" – Allerleirauh May 2 '19 at 9:04
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Chad (user9) has a fantastic answer. My answer on minimum space comes from a different perspective, and is just different not better.

For the pet house rabbit there are two common housing scenarios.

  1. The rabbit has full access to some bunny proofed area all of the time. The bunnies "safeplace" for napping and such is a cardboard (or something) box that cannot be locked.

  2. The bunny has a "cage" that they are locked in during nap times and they are let out to exercise in a large area of the house a couple of times a day.

In either scenario a couple things to keep in mind

  • Your rabbit is going to live 8 to 12 years, with spans of 16 and 17 possible.
  • Your rabbit can run 30 miles per hour and would like to have room to do it.
  • Insufficient exercise can be harmful

Scenario 1; If the bunny is going to be restricted to a designed area for all or the majority of their life. The smallest space is about 8 feet by 8 feet (2.4 x 2.4 m), this is two standard exercise pens connected together, or one placed in a corner. This provides room to make short dashes, and running "binkies" (happy bunny hope). Supplementing this with supervised access to a larger part of the house a couple of time a week, can make for long happy & healthy life. See Can house rabbits have free access to the whole house all the time? for more detail on expansion.

Scenario 2; In this scenario for reasons of safety the bunny is restricted to a smaller area during much of the day and night. Rabbits are crepuscular - they are most active in the morning and evening. This is one of the things that makes them excellent companion pets for people with small spaces, who work (or go to school) during the day and sleep at night.

In this scenario the bunny is locked in their "safe place" while you are away and they are sleeping. The space should at a minimum be one bunny wide by two bunnies long. If space is an issue, a smaller space can be used, with the addition of a second floor (but bigger is better). The bunny must have room to stretch out, and you need space for litter box, hay and water.

When you wake up in the morning, the bunnies get out, they get to run and roam in a large part of the house that is bunny proofed. They have lots of room to exercise and when it is time for you to head out for the day, you get their food pellets, call them to their room and they come running, the bunnies and the food go in the "cage" it is locked and secure until you return home. When you get home in the evening, they get out, run play and watch TV with you. When it is bed time you prepare their lettuce call them to their room, they come running, the bunnies and their food go in the "cage" it is locked and secure until morning.

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Rabbits need a proper space to eat, sleep, hide, jump, dig, and play. If you don’t have factory- farm no worry, you can provide to your rabbit a cage or a huge with minimum recommended size of 6’x2’ i.e 1.8m x 0.6m with additional large area of 32 sq ft for exercising which is important for your rabbit. This size recommendation is based on The Rabbit Code of Practice for the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which states:

Space you provide should be big enough for your rabbit to lie down and stretch out comfortably in all way. it should be high enough for it to stand up on its back legs without ears touching the top. it should be long enough so that it can move around, can feed & drink.

References from http://gov.wales/ (Welsh Government) They may load slowly.

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