In my last post I mentioned buying a cage for your bun.
Here’s the issue with that. If you’re going to keep your bun inside of the cage for most of the day, those cages are not large enough AND they are expensive.
So, here’s an alternative way to keep your bun happy and healthy.
This is what we will be building today. It is known as a bunny condo, or as their dad likes to call it, “Bun Estates.”
With the start of the blog, this seemed like the perfect time to build a bunny condo. So, I enlisted the help of the rabbits’ handy dandy dad, Michael and got to work.
First thing on our list, was to go to Target and buy two packs of the wire ClosetMaid cubes. Each pack costs ~$24.99 (this will be the most expensive purchase of the day.)
Next, to Home Depot to buy two packs of 100 zip ties (~$7.00), wood planks (~$3.00), carpet (~$15.00), bungee cords (~$4.00), a box cutter if you don’t already have one and a pair of scissors.
We bought two longer wooden planks and cut them to size with the hand saw in Home Depot.
These are the dimensions for the wooden planks we used: Three 31.5 in, two 27 in, and one 19 in plank.
Supplies you’ll need. *note we had to buy 100 more zip ties.
For the carpet, we went and found the cheapest kind that would be squishy enough to eliminate sore hocks.
We brought in a sample square and had the man cut two strips of carpet the width of the squares. (The length is a set length at Home Depot)
To start, you’re going to want to start zip tying the closetmaid grids together to make each wall.
I recommend zip tying at every juncture. Over zip tying is better than under zip tying!
You’re going to want to make two 2×3 walls, and two 3×3 walls. It is smarter to not attach the four walls together quite yet.
At this point, make sure you’ve zip tied every where you can on each wall. Where four corners come together (like the picture above) make sure you use four zip ties. When two grids meet, make sure they have a zip tie at the top and a zip tie at the bottom.
Next, you can begin to attach the two side walls to the back wall. (Leave the front wall off for now!)
Your rabbit may attempt to help you. Make sure you have your camera handy!
This next part gets a little tricky. I had michael work on making the levels and ramps, while I sorted out the carpet situation. You’re going to want to install the carpet on the levels before you attempt to attach it to the walls of the cage.
Michael needed to build two ramps. So he put two grids together and secured them, and then added one of the 27 in wood planks to the middle of the ramp.
Once the carpet is attached, it will become one of the two ramps in the condo. This is later referred to as a “2-square ramp.”
While he was working on ramps and levels, I was cutting the carpet to size and inserting zip ties in each corner so that the carpet could attach to the ramp or level.
Poke small holes in the four corners of the carpet square you’re making. Add a zip tie so that it can be attached to a ramp or a level.
Next, you can add the carpet to the ramp or level.
As far as how many ramps and levels you’ll need, this is how we broke it down.
Three 2-square levels, one 1-square level, and two 2-square ramps with wooden plank attached.
For carpet pieces, it is the same as above, plus two 3-square pieces for the bottom of the cage.
Attach carpet to ramp or level using the zip ties you poked in the carpet when you were cutting it to size!
Now that you have each separate piece carpeted and put together, it is time to attach the fourth wall to ONLY the left side wall. (you don’t want to complete the cage yet, or you won’t be able to install each level and ramp.)
The last wall should be a 3×3 grid of squares so attach it to the left side of the wall. You can then bend back two of the three columns for better access.
Add one of the longer 31.5 in planks so that the lowest level will have support.
Make sure you securely zip tie it into place on both sides!
Then, add one of your 2-square levels on top of the support and zip tie it to all surrounding walls and support beam. At this time, if the carpet was flimsy, so I poked a few more holes and zip tied it to the side support walls.
Make sure everything is nice and secure, especially if you have a larger bun!
When you believe it is nice and secure, go ahead and add the lowest ramp. Connect the top of the ramp to one of the squares of a 2-square level.
When that step is complete, you can move on to the level directly above the one you installed. Do the same steps: add the support bar, secure it to the side of the cage, install the 2-square level and secure.
Please excuse the messy room!
Finally, install the third top-right level (leaving the sole 1-square piece and last ramp out.) Do the same steps as before: add the support bar, secure it to the side of the cage, install the 2-square level and secure.
Finally add the one 1-square piece and diagonally connect the 19 in wooden plank to the bottom so it is zip tied to the surrounding squares.
This is a look underneath with the diagonal 19 in wooden plank off to the left, and the ramp’s support 27 in plank to the right. (The plank running horizontally is the longest 31.5 in support beam.)
Finish installing the last ramp and the 1-square piece to the top, and then close the cage up and go around and secure everything! Secure the ramps to the side of the cage with zip ties, and make sure any and all junctures are secured with a zip tie as well.
The last step is to make a door. Disconnect the lower middle square’s zip ties from all the surrounding squares on two of the three sides leaving one side connected like a door hinge.
The bungee cord purchase is to keep your bun from opening the door.
Lastly, insert rabbit into new home and furnish with food, water, litter box and toys!
Harvey’s new home.
If you have any questions about parts of this process, or things I may have forgotten to cover, please feel free to comment!
How To Build an Indoor Bunny Cage A 3-level rabbit condo with open top and bottom
Mopsy's 9 simple steps to build a comfortable and roomy bunny condo
There are many different bunny cages on the market. Some are roomy with solid bottoms; others are tight with wire bottoms that can injure a rabbit's foot. Mopsy* prefers a high quality multi-level condo, like the ones made by Leith Petwerks, or a lovingly crafted home-built condo, which he'll show you how to make now.
- 2 boxes of wire storage cubes (a typical condo requires 30 panels)
- 2 packs of 100 Cable Ties
- Plywood to make the levels (not shown in picture)
- Width: 28" wide each to extend the entire width of the side wall
- Length: Mopsy chose the lower level to be 13" long and the upper 24" long, but you can choose differently
- 4 wooden dowels (only two shown in picture)
- Diameter: 11/8"
- Length: Depends on the layout; Mopsy's required two 46" and two 32" dowels
- 3 small spring clamps
- a bun
* Sadly, Mopsy is no longer with us, but his spirit, enthusiasm, and sound building advice live on.
Step 1: Make two large walls
Lay out the wall on the floor, making sure that the grid portions of all of them are the same side up. Secure with cable ties. Don't pull the cable ties fully tight just yet; leave a slight give to them (see photo below). You will tighten them later. Repeat to make the second wall.
Although Mopsy has no difficulty consuming a good novel—or lamp cord for that matter—like most rabbits, he has no interest in cable ties. To be safe, you can put a cable tie onto your rabbit's current dwelling place as a test. If it turns out to be scrumptious, try switching colors (try black) or use another kind of fastener.
Step 2: Make two side walls
Secure the grids together with cable ties as in step #1. Repeat to make the second side wall.
Step 3: Connect the four walls together
After you use the cable ties to connect the four walls together at each square grid, you will find that you can manipulate the cage to be various shapes, e.g. triangle, pentagon, etc. Decide on the shape that you want at this time. Mopsy chose a rectangle.
Step 4: Add dowels
Slip two dowels through the grids along the length of the cage. The dowels will prevent the bun's shelves from falling through. Where you put them depends on the shelf layout and door location. Mopsy contemplated a larger lower level and high door, but ended up settling on the layout shown in step 9.
Step 5: Add plywood for shelf
Place the plywood on top of the dowels. Bunny is optional at this stage.
Mopsy likes to hop between levels in the condo but doesn't care to go up, over a wall, and then back down all in one jump. Since your rabbit is likely similar, your condo won't need a top if you plan your floor and wall heights with surrounding furniture in mind.
Step 6: Tighten and clip cable tie strands
Step 7: Secure dowels to cage with cable ties
You're almost done. If you want, take a moment to relax with a snack. Mopsy recommends the handle of a wicker basket.
Step 8: Clip off cable ties around the door opening
Use the small spring to clasp the door shut. It's okay. Mopsy and Julius get along.
Step 9: Furnish the condo
For better traction, Mopsy likes cushioned-surface solid non-adhesive shelf liner. His paws like the softness, and the room-service crew likes the water resistance. Carpet works, too, but only on levels that tend to stay clean.
Congratulations! You will have a happy rabbit in a spacious, homemade condo for under $60! Remember to give your bunny plenty of exercise outside his cage in a rabbit-proof room. Mopsy says he loves to do binkies (happy jumps) in the living room.
Optional luxury addition: Hay tray
If your rabbit's appetite is on the messy side like Mopsy's, you may want to consider a hay tray designed to keep your rabbit (and his droppings) in the rabbit zone and the hay in the hay zone. Place a small litter pan inside a high-walled plastic container. In the remaining space, place inch-thick boards with protruding bolts (about 6 inches long and ¼ inch or more in diameter, spaced every 3 to 4 inches). The bolts won't hurt a rabbit, but they aren't comfortable, either, so the hay can go on the boards while the rabbit stays in the litter pan.
Fill the litter pan about an inch deep with an absorbent material such as hardwood fuel pellets. Mopsy sits right on the pellets while he eats. When the litter pan gets soiled, empty it into a compost bin and refill with new hardwood fuel pellets. You'll have a tidy condo and a tidy bun.
Another condo luxury: Floor and casters
Mopsy's residence was first located in a room with a wood floor, which meant that the condo didn't need its own floor, just a covering like one suggested in step 9. Relocation to a carpeted room, however, quickly led to hay-cleaning realities that called for a more self-contained solution.
If your condo needs its own floor, one option is to buy a large tray, such as the Petco 800 Series Dog Crate Replacement Tray. If you want wheels or an exact size, another option is to make your own floor: Cut a piece of plywood to the shape of your condo and nail baseboard molding around the edges. This forms a large tray for the storage cubes to rest within. To ease cleaning behind the condo, screw caster wheels to the bottom of the plywood—also good for bunny rides.
Making a Cube Rabbit Cage
Cubes cages first become popular as housing for guinea pigs but their flexibility can be used to great effect for rabbit housing too. The original product (available in the US) is Neat Idea Cubes (NIC) made by Fellowes are square wire frames which, when joined together, are designed to build cheap shelving. Similar products are also available from various other companies.
These grids can also be used to build excellent rabbit cages. They are very flexible and by combining multiple packs you can build very large cages.
The cubes come with plastic clips to fasten the individual grids together. If you find these aren't doing the job or are difficult to clip together then use cable ties (electrical ties) instead. You can buy ties in various colours so you can match them to your cage. If you expect to take your rabbit cage apart regularly then buy reusable cable ties, they are a little extra but make taking the cubes apart and putting them together again much easier!
To make a cage door use cable ties on one side as hinges (don't fix them too tight or the door won't open) and use a bull dog clip to latch the door closed.
There are several options for flooring depending on how messy your rabbits are. If your rabbits have impeccable litter training habits and don't chew your carpet then you could stand the cube cage directly on the floor.
For those with less well behaved rabbits, you can place a piece of lino under the cage, cut it larger that the base of the cage to leave several inches overhang outside the cage - this prevents your rabbit accessing the edge making it hard to chew. This is particularly good for cages that are an irregular shape or very large.
You can also build a tray for the cage using corrugated plastic. Cut the tray to the size of the cage plus the height of the sides you want. Then score along the folds and bend up the sides. A piece of tape on each corner will keep it in place. For extra protection you can add a line of marine sealant along the joints at each corner. If your rabbit chews then stand the cube cage inside the tray.
You could also build a wooden tray and line it with lino or tiles to make it easy to clean.
A second (or third) floor is a great way to give your rabbit more space without covering your whole room in cubes. Small shelves can be made by attaching grids horizontally with cable ties. Larger shelves may need extra support (particularly for heavier rabbits). To add support thread a length of wood through one of the grid squares from one side of the cage to the other and rest the shelf on this. You may need to replace the wood supports now and then if your rabbit chews on it. You can make wooden shelves to rest on the supports if you prefer these to using the grids.
Shelves MUST be solid so if you use grids cover them with wood, lino, carpet etc. A good option is hardboard covered with lino/tiles to create an easy to clean surface. You can add rubber or straw matting for extra grip.
Young fit rabbits should be able to jump on/off a low shelf, but if you have high shelves or an less agile rabbit a step or ramp is a good idea. Ramps can be made very easily from a plank of wood. Drill a hole or screw in a eyelet to thread cable ties through to fix the ramp in place at the top. Grips on the ramp can be made with wooden batons, cube squares or, if your rabbit doesn't chew, by fixing a piece of carpet on.
Where to Find Mesh Storage Cubes in the UK
Various brands of 'cubes' are sold and prices vary a lot. Here are some sources. The are also sometimes available from Wickes, Screwfix, B&Q or Argos.
Safco Wire Cubes Storage System (20 x 14" panels)
Amazon £35 inc. delivery
Wayfair £37 inc. delivery
Wire Mini Grid Panel System from robertmay.co.uk
£35 inc. delivery (17 x 14" panels)
Modular Wire Cube Displays from displaysense.co.uk
Various size sets available plus individual panels (£2.30 each)
A similar product with plastic panel instead of mesh is available. A completely plastic cage would have poor ventilation but you could mix 'n' match eg use plastic panels for the back and shelves.
Where to Find in the US
Whitmor Storage Cubes from Amazon $19 + shipping or 6 cube set for $29 or from Staples at the same price. These sets are available in black or white.
Safco Wire Cube Storage from Amazon $29.
Variations are also sometimes available in Target, Wallmart, Office Max and Sam's Club.
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I emerged from sleep abruptly and as if I had not slept at all. Immediately jumped out of bed and began to dress. It has already become a habit, an almost invariable ritual - to get up half an hour before the alarm. Clock and run away from the bedroom.
Cubes rabbit cage
I am terribly lucky in life that such a beauty as you, generally agreed to help me in this from time to. Time. Thank you, my joy.How to build a rabbit cage!
But I did not betray this value, I thought that she was like a mother's love. Everything was fine with us and I would not say that something like this could happen in our family, if not for this nonsense. But everything is in order. One day, after training, my friends and I were returning home, when we reached the garages, a friend of mine called us to the garages.
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