Best "Cage" for Boarding Rabbits?

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samoth

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I'm planning to visit family for a week during Christmas. My vet has a whiteboard in the back room where people can sign up to house sit -- I got my name on it and am hoping someone's interested, but if not, I might need to board the buns there.

Any suggestions/recommendations as to the best cage to do this? My guys are a bonded pair, 3.5 & 5.5 lbs, and have their own bedroom along with free range of most of the upstairs of the house when I'm not at work. They're used to space, stairs, water from bowels, and large litter boxes... they won't like being caged up for a week.

The biggest cage I can find is this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0133LNLJY/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20. Thoughts?

The vet specializes in exotics and, if boarded there, the rabbits will have their own larger room away from any dogs/cats/etc. Downside is they must be caged and won't get out to romp during their stay. I'm skeptical, but it's my first year with rabbits... I'm probably over-thinking this and they'd be fine or they'd be miserable and hate me forever. :cry2
 
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Aki

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Doesn't look bad to me, and it's for a short time anyway. I've got the same problem, but I'm pretty sure the rabbits will come with me to my parents (much to my mother's dismay) because I doubt I'll find someone (petsitters are hard to come by where I live and vets don't do boarding). Anyway, between the stress of taking the train and car with them or leaving them to someone you don't know... rabbits are great, but when you have to travel, it always feels like a lose / lose situation and I stress about it everytime (and I've had my rabbits for more than 7 years... ^^'). On the plus side, my rabbits have been moved / looked after by different people (not all rabbit nobel worthy) during all these years and there was never any big problem. Honestly, being moved seems to bother my rabbits much more than the fact that I'm not there (I came back yesterday after a 5 day trip and they came to sniff my legs and feet like 'oh, it's you...'), and even then, they just give me the stink eye and avoid me for 2 or 3 days when I come back before getting over it.

In any case, I always leave a very detailed care sheet. I also prepare the first bowl of pellets to make sure the petsitter doesn't give too much in spite of the instructions (yes it's very little pellets, yes it's normal), all or most of the vegetables (cut, washed and kept in small plastic boxes in the fridge - one for each day), and I insist several times about the need to give tons of hay even if there is a lot of left over from the last meal. Of course, I also ask to be called if there is anything wrong and I send a message regularly to check everything is OK.
I'm pretty sure most people think I'm a complete control freak about this, but experience taught me that you can't trust anyone to follow instructions properly if you don't really hammer them. It also helps me being more relaxed about the whole process. ^^
 

Blue eyes

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Will the vet allow the use of an exercise pen as their cage? Many people use these as cages. As long as the sides are tall enough, I can't imagine any objections.

With a pen, your rabbits won't feel so confined as they might in an enclosed cage.

Like Aki, I also leave detailed instructions (but keep it simple or the instructions will be ignored). I do it by time. First section titled "morning," then under that, "add hay" etc. Then next section titled "early evening" (or whatever your rabbits' usual routine is).

I also usually prohibit any sweet treats while they are being boarded. They will already be stressed from the move. Adding sugar just increases the chances for GI problems.

Don't worry if they don't have all the space they are used to. Because they are in a new place with new sights, sounds, smells, they will be somewhat stressed anyway. Being in a smaller space would probably be more comforting for them and less overwhelming than being in a large space.
 

Akzholedent

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I use an xpen with a cage attached for my buns when I left for a few days. They had the cage for their hay and litter box, and the rest of the pen to play in. I also use clothes pins to attach a sheet to the top so if they had the idea to try and climb out, the sheet would block them. I only have one escape artist, though. The other two don't seem interested in escaping.
 

samoth

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My first question to the vet was whether I could bring an xpen... the answer was "no." I do think that's understandable, as they want to limit any potential problems at the clinic with things getting in or out of an open area containing a prey species.

I considered brining the rabbits with me, but it's a ~5 hour drive (through Chicago), and I think the drive and environmental changes might be more stressful than a controlled environment... not to mention not knowing any vets in other areas.

I appreciate the advice and encouragement... it makes me feel a bit better for abandoning them :)
 

Aki

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Really, I can understand why the vets don't want x-pens considering that some rabbits are real escape artists (I tried to keep Tybalt in one before he was neutered and he was a nightmare - he jumps super high without any run-up and when I elevated the 'walls' more, he took to CLIMBING).
I think you have to do the thing that will be the less inconvenient for you. It's true rabbits don't like changes much and that the ideal solution is having someone come twice a day while leaving them in their normal environment, but it's not always possible. Mine have been to several places and have always come on holiday with me (an hour of underground, a busy train station, 3h30 of train, 45mn of car). Car can be dangerous in summer, because of the heat, but there is not much of a risk around Christmas time. I think the fact that they are living as a pair really helps as it gives them an element of stability - my oldest rabbit is really skittish and hates to be moved, but she stands it a lot better with a bunnyfriend... You've got 2 rabbits too, so I think they should be fine as long as the environment is not super stressful.
I know it's hard, but try not to sweat it too much. It'll be fine ^^.
 
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