Can I keep a bunny in my closet?

4 Georgia Hens

Crowing
Jan 3, 2017
1,230
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Northern Georgia
Okay, okay I know that the title sounds cruel, but just hear me out. Recently, I have been looking into what it would require to have a pet rabbit. From my research, I concluded that keeping such a vulnerable and fragile animal outside is really cruel. So is housing a bunny in a cage. Free roam really isn’t an option right now....but it is a possibility for the future. I got to thinking, and I came up with this idea: I could transform my closet into a rabbit room! So, my closet is 2ft 6in wide and is 9ft 4in long. It has plenty of room for a rabbit to run, play, and binky. I would either remove the carpet and replace it with something easier to clean or line the floor with yoga mats, blankets, and etc. which could be washed frequently. I plan to take off the door and replace it with a curtain for ventilation purposes and a baby gate to ensure that the rabbit stays inside. I could put a fan in there as well to assist in air circulation. Of course, I would clean/vacuum the area and litter box often to reduce nasty scents. Also, I would let the bunny out as often as possible to get exercise and fresh air. I do plan to remove my clothes from the closet and store them in my dresser if the bun moves in. I really need some opinions. Is this cruel? What is a better alternative? How could I approve my plan? I have never had a rabbit before so I am open to receiving new information!
 

21hens-incharge

Addict
Premium member
Mar 9, 2014
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Northern Colorado
I would not ever recommend a bunny loose in a house.
Reasons....

droppings and urine
chewing (they MUST chew to wear teeth down)
They will chew walls, flooring, baseboards, power cords, cabinet doors, furniture etc, etc, etc.​


A question.......
Why do you feel outdoor rabbit hutches are cruel?

I kept several rabbits outside in large hutches for many years. Mine lived 11 years outside.

They had fresh air and sunshine that indoor bunnies would not have.
 

blackandtan

Crowing
Aug 30, 2016
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Thunder Bay Ontario canada
I’ve had a few, they had a cage (part time) and the rest of the time we’re loose in (most) of the house. You have to be incredibly diligent about removing electrical cords, and tight spaces won’t protect the cords cause that just makes it seem like bunny’s natural habitat.
They eat furniture corners.
They eat walls.
They can be litter trained, but will still have pee accidents, especially males (they spray, sometimes even if they’re fixed).
They love love LOVE trim around doors, baseboards, etc.
Loose or soft plastic or foam like yoga mats, tarps, is just fun stuff for bunny to destroy.
Cages seem mean, but they also protect the bun from trouble that he can get into. Wire sides are hard, not like chicken wire, so he can’t chew thru them. Hard plastic bottoms are easy to scrape clean and being HARD plastic, they don’t have fun floppy corners to chew. Did I use the word chew enough? Cause it’s all they do. Books chairs people shoes floors.....!
But they’re cute and fun :)
 

NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
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USA
... keeping such a vulnerable and fragile animal outside is really cruel. So is housing a bunny in a cage.
I've kept rabbits outside in Alaska, and they were fine. I haven't tried it in a hot climate, but I know plenty of people do it, so maybe someone will chime in with info about that.

You don't want to keep a rabbit in a cage, but you want to make your closet into a cage for a rabbit? Cages do come in different styles and sizes. They can be small or large, with wire floors (easy-clean) or solid floors (better for the rabbit when kept really clean but worse than wire if dirty), with solid sides vs. wire for seeing and ventilation, and so forth.

You could make a closet-sized or larger cage outside, where there's lots of fresh air and plenty of other animals for the rabbit to see, so it's less bored.

Or, if you really want it inside, I'd recommend a cage that fits in your closet space. That can protect both the rabbit and the closet. (Drywall and electrical wires are not the safest chew toys, and missing the litter box even a few times could be quite bad for the floor. Rabbits also dig, which is likewise bad for the floor.)

Another issue I see with the closet is isolation: even if a rabbit doesn't want another rabbit in its own personal space/cage, it doesn't really like to be completely alone either. Being able to see/interact with people or other animals would probably make it happier--so putting it in a cage near other animals, or in a room where people spend a lot of time, would be good choices.
 

4 Georgia Hens

Crowing
Jan 3, 2017
1,230
1,514
287
Northern Georgia
I've kept rabbits outside in Alaska, and they were fine. I haven't tried it in a hot climate, but I know plenty of people do it, so maybe someone will chime in with info about that.

You don't want to keep a rabbit in a cage, but you want to make your closet into a cage for a rabbit? Cages do come in different styles and sizes. They can be small or large, with wire floors (easy-clean) or solid floors (better for the rabbit when kept really clean but worse than wire if dirty), with solid sides vs. wire for seeing and ventilation, and so forth.

You could make a closet-sized or larger cage outside, where there's lots of fresh air and plenty of other animals for the rabbit to see, so it's less bored.

Or, if you really want it inside, I'd recommend a cage that fits in your closet space. That can protect both the rabbit and the closet. (Drywall and electrical wires are not the safest chew toys, and missing the litter box even a few times could be quite bad for the floor. Rabbits also dig, which is likewise bad for the floor.)

Another issue I see with the closet is isolation: even if a rabbit doesn't want another rabbit in its own personal space/cage, it doesn't really like to be completely alone either. Being able to see/interact with people or other animals would probably make it happier--so putting it in a cage near other animals, or in a room where people spend a lot of time, would be good choices.
Thank you for your suggestions! I will keep all of this in mind!
 

Peepsi

Songster
Apr 1, 2017
439
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222
Utah
You do NOT want a bunny in the house. Seriously. I've had bunnies in the past, in the house. It was a disaster! Rabbits chew EVERYTHING they can get their teeth on, even if you do supply then with plenty of wood chew toys. They will shun the wood chew toy, and go straight for the electrical cords in your house...and the molding....and the cabinets....and anything else they should not be chewing.

Additionally, there is the issue of rabbit excrement. Ok, the balls of poop are easy to clean up, I give you that. However, something you probably don't realize...rabbits PEE A TON. They are always drinking and peeing. The pee is high in ammonia. The bedding must be completely changed daily, or the ammonia builds up. While rabbits are usually litter-box trainable, they aren't always good about it, so you risk pee on your carpet (although my bunny was pretty good about using its box).

Anyway, long story short... I had a bunny in the house. It was way too much maintenance, and I vowed to never do it again.
 
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