The Indoor / Outdoor Bunny
There are a lot of articles written on the Internet (including a fair few here) about how keeping a rabbit inside is the best way to keep them. This is true in many respects, but some people find that they just can't keep their rabbits inside. If we are to be completely honest, we have to admit that a house rabbit can make a stinky mess very quickly in its litter tray or cage, and you could end up spending a lot of time cleaning it out.
If you rent just a room, or if you're a kid and you want to keep your rabbit in your bedroom, things can get pretty icky pretty quickly. Rabbit urine is very strong smelling, and there is nothing less pleasant than sleeping in a small room which is filled with the odor of rabbit droppings. Even if you clean the rabbit out several times a day, things can get pretty gross pretty quick. Most litters are bad for rabbits, including paper based litters which can clog the rabbit's guts, as can clumping litters, and the special no odor litters they make for cats are not recommended for rabbits because they eat them. Quite often they'll even eat newspaper put in their cage, which is very bad for them indeed!
So then, after spending a few days in what seems to be a stinky sewer, and getting tired of cleaning up the hay which is invariably strewn all over the floor, a lot of people get thoroughly sick of the whole thing and put their bunnies back in the hutch outside.
I'm going to be realistic here. In some cases an indoor bunny is quite workable, in others, not so much. Instead of preaching to everyone and telling them to keep their rabbit indoors at all costs, I'm going to be practical and advise on how to keep the bunny outside, but let it have a run inside with you sometimes.
Firstly, a rabbit should spend sometime inside, getting used to its inside cage. This is what it will use as a bathroom when it is inside, so you should get it used to this space, otherwise you could have nasty accidents. I would recommend letting your rabbit live inside for at least a week to develop a sense of territory about its indoor cage. During this time things might get messy, but they will quickly improve.
The outdoor cage should be large and spacious. If you are going to keep a bunny outside, it needs to have enough height to be able to jump ( about three feet vertically), and enough length to run around a bit ( at least 6 feet, preferably more.) Outdoor cages of this size are not cheap, but if you want to humanely keep your rabbit outdoors then they must have room to move.
Once the rabbit is used to both enclosures, you can put it outside during the night and part of the day, and then bring it inside for a few hours a day. This will enable your rabbit to spend quality time with you, and enable you to enjoy your rabbit's company without the horrid stench that comes with having a part of your room constantly smelling of urine and droppings. The rabbit also gets the benefit of regular social interaction, regular handling, and also spending time outdoors in the sunlight.
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