A little friend came to visit recently and we (Caroline and I) got talking to her mummy about how we organise our indoor space for our fluffy loved ones. We wanted to share their experiences on here, so she (mummy, not bunny) agreed to write this piece for us.
I am a pretty anxious bunny owner and completely and utterly love Alfie and Lola (formerly known as Cherish) - I would be devastated if anything happened to them but I think you can be too cautious (and not cautious enough). I was so cautious with Alfie I initially kept him like this:
I used to let him out for as long as I could each day, when I could supervise, thinking this was enough exercise for him.
I think the key thing for me was when I changed my thinking after speaking to Caroline, and realised that you don't need to cage a bunny to ensure that it is a safe bunny and that bunnies do not actually need to be stuck in cages at all. At first I was very nervous about the damage they would do to my flat and any dangers to them. I didn’t think my flat was unsupervised-bunny friendly at all. After some thought I realised I could reorganise a room for them, which was safe for them to be unsupervised.
Over time I have discovered that the less I bar them from, the less destructive they are and the more I get to know all their habits and behaviours. You just have to have the confidence. The first time I left Alfie alone in his room (before Lola joined him) I was worried about him all night. He was fine. Now, aside from chewing of furniture (I bought cheap Ikea furniture on purpose) and the odd patch of bunny wee, they are very well behaved in their room and corridor (and everywhere else, although I keep an eye on them in other rooms). I really think it's about ones attitude to rabbits and how they should be housed.
Now that they are never caged, I realise that they are in fact most active when I am asleep. When I leave my bedroom door open all night I really understand how busy they are. Last night Alfie spent most of the night using my bed as part of his assault course and Lola practiced her sprint turns on my bed for a large part of the night. Whilst I don’t recommend this (I do wake up a lot!), it would be awful for them to be caged when they really want to be very active.
Below are pictures of their room:
They don't necessarily need a whole room, which might not be possible anyway with 2 unbonded buns, for example, or if there isn’t a spare room going, but an extra fenced off area. Now that my attitude has changed, I would be very unhappy for Alfie and Lola to be caged at all. I'd also love for them to have some outside space but unfortunately this isn't possible at the moment.Relaxing under their favourite table
All pictures by Anouska