There are many alternatives for rabbit cage. Typical rabbit cages have ceiling and wire mesh walls as well as wire floors. However, we could also find rabbit cages with solid plastic base and slatted wood floors. There’s no consensus on the best rabbit cages in the market. Different rabbit owners have preferences on specific designs and materials. For the sake of convenience, we could choose standard all-wire models, because they are the most popular. With this cage model, we could place a catch tray under the cage, so any waste will fall through directly and we could remove the tray regularly. Cleaning tasks will be easy because we could just wash the tray with running water in the garden and wipe the wire floor with vinegar solution.
However, wire cage can be somewhat uncomfortable for rabbits, because they need to stand more often. Some rabbits that live inside wire cages may eventually develop a condition called “sore hocks”, which is indicated by skin abrasion and loss of fur around the ankles of the hind legs. Rabbit keepers are often commercial breeders, so keeping rabbits inside wire cages may not be an issue. However, for true pet owners, they are likely try to keep their rabbits comfortable. Solid surface can prevent sore hocks and other conditions. As a solution, it is a good idea to put a small plank of wood on one corner of the cage, so the rabbit could have a solid surface to rest. Because wire cages are made from metal, we should regularly check whether some of the wire strands begin to rust and get separated from the welds.
If we don’t mind cleaning the cage more often, it is a good idea to choose solid plastic base. Plastic cage is lightweight and unlike wood, microorganism and fungus are less likely to thrive. However, plastic cage should be reasonable durable and won’t easily chip.
Among other types of cages, models with wood construction are the most comfortable for rabbits. Rabbits find it easier to walk on wood flooring and we could agree that wood cages are aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, wood is less durable and rabbit can ingest it. Risks of poisoning could increase if the wood has been treated with various chemicals, such as varnish. Wood is also absorbent and a good habitat for microorganism and fungi to develop. If we choose wood cages, we should be doubly vigilant in maintenance and cleaning. Feces-stained and urine-soaked wood surface can be a dangerous health risk. To avoid chewing issue, we could put some safe toys for the rabbit. It is also important to avoid choosing cages made from aromatic woods and cedar, because they can release substance that cause kidney and liver damages in rabbit.
Regardless of the cage model, we should still be particularly conscientious to the needs of our rabbits. We should be aware of inappropriate behaviours and adverse health symptoms. Depending on the type of cage, we may need to clean the cage more often to prevent specific health risks.