Guess what? We just got a bunny. Tomorrow is Lily's 8th birthday and Toots was her gift (she was already named when we got her but we might change it to Tootsie, the jury is still out on that). The kids have been bugging to get a pet but I'm allergic to cats and Henri is too small to have a dog in the house even a small one, so I thought a bunny would be a good comprise. They can be litterbox trained and have a little more personality than a hamster or guinea pig.
When I started looking into bunny essentials I found myself disappointed with the selection of cages, even the expensive ones. They all seemed small, cramped and really pricey. I felt bad for a bunny that would be trapped in that limited space.
So I found this tutorial on building your own bunny cage out of storage cubes and thought I would give it a go. I made mine a bit differently (sans dowel rods) but you can look at both and see what you prefer). In all, this cage is 14 square feet and only cost me $47. The biggest retail cages are only 10 square feet. I found this cage on etsy which uses the same storage cube squares. Sells for $229! See breakdown and links below.
2 sets of Storage Cubes: $30 (with two $5 off per $15 item coupons)Psst.......Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons NEVER expire even though they have an expiration date printed on them. Collect them and use all at once. You can even use more than one per purchase (but you must use the mailers and not email printed coupons). I get them in the mail and store them for later. So handy around Christmas. BB&B has the best 'As Seen on TV' products.
Step 1: Decide how many storage box sets you'll need. If you make a 2.3'x2.3'x3.5' (2 wide, 2 deep, 3 high) cage, like I did, you'll need exactly two sets. If you have a little more space and want to go 3.5'x2.3'x3.5' (3 wide, 2 deep, 3 high) then you'll need 3 boxes. If you only do 2.3'x2.3'x2.3' (2 wide, 2 deep, 2 high) then you'll still need 2 boxes.
Step 2: Before you connect your entire cage, plan where you want the cage to open. I made openings at each level. So for every square that would lift open I connected the top corners with zip ties instead of the plastic connectors. I then used the mini clamps to keep the door shut. I also used zip ties to connect the corners that used the plastic connectors to make the cage more sturdy.
Step 3: Snap together cage. The kits come with connectors. Follow the instructions and make the shape you want. You could also just use zip ties to connect. It may be better to just use zip ties because the plastic connectors leave a space that don't align when you must use the zip ties for the cage doors. Plus, they are a pain in the butt to snap in.
Step 4: Add levels. This was the hardest part. If you're making a 3 high cage add 2 levels, one 1/3 of the way up and another 2/3rds of the way up. The top level can be three squares and the middle one can be 2 squares. Then add another square between the two levels so the bunny can climb up. You'll have to connect those with zip ties. Then if you're bunny is too small to jump add a ramp between the squares. I used other squares for the ramps but you can use thin wood or whatever you think is sturdy enough.
Step 5: Add the rubber mat to the levels. To make the cage floor comfortable but not absorbent I added the rubber matting. It was easily cuttable with plain scissors. Also use zip ties to hold them to the ramp and even the cage sides. The rubber matting was also helpful over the ramps because it had treads which makes it easier for the bunny to climb. Then I lay a towel on top of the matting. If you want to keep the towel in place but removable for washing try attaching velcro to the bottom.
Step 6. Secure the openings with the clamps.
Done! And one happy bunny. Now, anyone have any good advice for litter box training?