Lately, there has been a lot of commotion about bunny hutches and whether they’re good for rabbits. Some people claim they’re perfect, while others claim that they border on cruelty. As is often the case, both of those points of view are far too extreme to be true, and as always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Today, we’re going to try and find out what is the truth. We’re going to find out are hutches good or bad for your pet rabbit, are they sufficient, or do they need something more? If so, what more can you offer them? The answers to all those questions are coming right up. Let’s begin.
Are Hutches Cruel?
First of all, let’s get this question out of the way. As you can probably guess – the answer is neither here nor there. A bunny hutch can be both a lovely and horrible place for a rabbit, and it all depends on two factors – the hutch itself and the owner.
To just blatantly say that all hutches are cruel is just plain wrong. If you live in an apartment, you will need an indoor rabbit hutch, and as we all know, there are some perfectly happy bunnies in apartments all over the world, so that statement is as false as they come.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some of them that are outright disgusting. Yes, we’re talking about those small, almost cage-like excuses for a hutch that some folks use to keep their pets in. Those should be banned as far as we’re concerned, and no bunny should ever again be forced to spend their lives in one of those.
On that note, let’s discuss the requirements for a safe, rabbit-friendly hutch.
What Makes A Perfect Hutch?
At the bare minimum, a bunny house should be spacious enough for your pet to freely stand up on hind legs without its ears touching the ceiling. This is an absolute must requirement because if your bunny can’t stand up straight, it’ll develop severely painful spinal deformity.
In addition to that, a hutch should be wide enough for your pet rabbit to jump back and forth at least three times from one end to another. Anything less than that will just force your pet to lie down and become depressed.
Finally, there should be enough room inside of the enclosure for your pet rabbit to easily stretch out on the floor without touching any of the sides. Bunnies love to stretch, but more importantly – they need to stretch.
So, if you want the bare minimum – that’s what it is. Size-wise, at least.
In addition to a spacious living area, your pet will require the following:
- Bunny box
- Litter box (preferably more than one)
- Food dishes
- Water dishes or bottles
- Various toys
Now, as far as what would a perfect hutch be, well, that’s up for a debate. We like to picture something spacious, with at least two levels, with enough room for the bunny to hop around and have fun. But, we also like to picture something open so that they can see what’s going on around them because, in case you didn’t know, according to Aivituvin, these furry little guys are very social.
Is Hutch Enough For A Bunny?
One of the questions we’re often asked is whether an outdoor on an indoor rabbit hutch is enough for a rabbit to stay happy and healthy? Unfortunately, the answer is – no, it’s not. Bunnies like to move around, and being confined to several square feet is just not going to cut it, no matter how luxurious the space is.
You could very well have the best hutch this world has ever seen, and it still wouldn’t have been enough. You need to give your rabbits some space and freedom to run and jump around as often as possible. These little guys run miles each day while they’re out in the wild, and pet rabbits aren’t too different from them.
So, aside from providing them with the best, most spacious hutch money can buy, you will also have to find a way for them to run around at least once a day. Now, if you live in a house and you have a backyard, this shouldn’t be an issue. You can even create an enclosure around their bunny hutch so that they can hop out and go for a run as often as they want.
Is It Safe To Keep Rabbits Closed All Day?
Some rabbit owners, especially the ones that live in an apartment, want to know how long can a bunny stay closed in its hutch. Well, not too long.
Generally speaking, it would be unwise for you to let your long-eared friend stay confined for more than 12 hours. Let it out as often as you want. As we’ve said already, these little guys are social, and they love to move around a lot, so keeping them in a confined space for too long will have detrimental effects on both their minds and bodies.
Now, if you have two or more of these furry little guys, then you can probably get by with leaving them in a hutch for about a day. Two or more bunnies should get along nicely for about 24 hours. They’ll play and socialize with each other, and unless you leave them there for too long, there shouldn’t be any issues.
However, domestic bunnies also crave human interaction. They’re not the same as the wild ones, so if possible, keep your pet rabbits somewhere where they can easily interact with people during the day, and also, try and spend as much time with your pet each day. They will love you for it.
Final Verdict – Are Hutches Good For Rabbits?
As you can see, there is nothing wrong with a good hutch. It will provide your bunny with a safe space to relax, sleep, eat, or go potty. The only thing that matters is that it is spacious enough and that you acknowledge the rest of your furry little friend’s needs. If you do that – both you and your rabbit will be happy for a long time.