We have a lot of enquiries about our minimum space recommendations for rabbits, so we thought it would be helpful to clear up any confusion.
Our minimum recommendations
Our recommended living area for 2 average sized rabbits (and they should be kept at least in pairs) is a single enclosed area of at least 3m x 2m by 1m high. This can include the sleeping quarters, and makes up a footprint (accessible area of the ground or floor) of 3m x 2m.
It’s important for the rabbits that this 3m x 2m footprint is in a single block of space because it allows them to display positive behaviours, for example, to run rather than just hop.
The upper floor of a two-storey hutch does NOT count towards the footprint. Similarly, whilst raised platforms, tunnels and other connected areas are great for enrichment and are actively encouraged, they do not count towards the footprint.
For those who prefer imperial measurements:
Please note that the 3m length is important as this allows the rabbits to run and not just take a few hops. We sometimes see 60sq ft of space being referred to as the minimum guideline, but this does not always meet the minimum guidelines, for example 8ft x 8ft would be 64ft, but there is not a 3m length in that set up.
The sleeping quarters
The sleeping quarters (hutch for example) should be a minimum of 1.8m x 0.6m x 0.6m high (or 6ft x 2ft x 2ft).
A HUTCH SHOULD NEVER BE THE SOLE OR MAIN ACCOMMODATION FOR RABBITS.
Get the height right
We also recommend a minimum height of 1m. This is to allow rabbits to display their happy behaviours of jumping and binkying!
Access all areas all of the time
This MINIMUM space, a footprint of 3m x 2m and a height of 1m must be available at all times, not just for limited periods.
Indoors and Outdoors
These recommendations apply both to indoor and outdoor accommodation.
Research based evidence
Our recommendations are based on research by the RSPCA and Bristol University.
How much room does one rabbit need?
Rabbits suffer if kept alone and should always be kept in at least friendly pairs. But even if a rabbit was to live alone it would still need the same minimum amount of space as two. So the argument of “I don’t have room for two, so I’ll just have one”, simply does not hold water.
If your rabbits free range then great, they would have space in addition to our minimum recommendations. Remember that free ranging should be supervised.
We do not at present recommend or endorse any hutches or boarding establishments so if you see this claim, please let us know.
Be creative – build on it
Take a look at the Housing section of our website for some ideas. Perhaps you could convert a garden shed, for example. As long as your rabbits have a base enclosure with a footprint of 3m x 2m x 1m (which can include the sleeping quarters), you can use connector systems to add extra elements to provide greater enrichment and even more space. We are big fans of Runaround who sell pipes to join different areas, for example, connecting a shed and a run.
Remember that any connecting pipes and tunnels do not count towards the footprint of 3m x 2m x 1m.
Remember – these are MINIMUM recommendations
It goes without saying that bigger is better in terms of space for rabbits, but we’re saying it anyway!