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View Full Version : New Rabbit(s) - Is a NIC Cage a good option?



BunyBun
12-11-06, 02:04 pm
We are looking to adopt a rabbit, or two, from a local rescue organization. Our research into bunny care introduced us to the NIC (Neat Idea Cube)cages made out of the grid material available through office supply stores.

My question is this: We like the idea of this cage because of it's size and design options. However, is a NIC cage a good fit for a rabbit? I mentioned it to the rescue organization we are working with and they were concerned about the lack of a slide out tray (their cages have wire floors and a tray beneath) and the potential toxicity of the cage material.

Since we will probably be adopting bunnies that they don't definitively know are litterbox users, should we go with the standard wire cages from the rabbit rescue?

Personally - I like the look of the NIC cages so much better. They look like rabbit homes vs. the wire cages. However, I don't want to endanger our future bunnies in any way.

Advice? Thanks!

VoodooJoint
12-11-06, 03:58 pm
NIC or C&C cages are great for rabbits! I'm rather surprised to hear that a rabbit rescue would be housing rabbits on wire as it is very bad for their feet (sore hocks) and rather uncomfortable.

Rabbits normaly take quickly and naturally to littertraining so it is unlikely that you would even need to have the entire cage filled with bedding and would only have to have bedding in the litterbox. In fact one of my rabbit cages doesn't even have a cage floor to it. It sits dierectly on the regular floor of my home with a litterbox in and the rabbit has never pooped or peed outside of his litterbox.

If you do make a coroplast tray for the bottom it is usually a good idea to have the grids (cube panels) on the inside so the rabbit doesn't chew the coroplast but even if they manage to eat some it will not hurt the rabbit at all.

Are you planning on making the rabbits house rabbits? I hope so. They do so much better and are so much more fun when they are allowed to run around the home and interact with their humans.

Here is a great website to learn more about rabbit care, house rabbits and littertraining House Rabbit Society Rabbit Care Guide (http://rabbit.org)

BunyBun
12-11-06, 05:56 pm
VooDoo -

Thanks for your reply and advice.

Yes - these rabbits will absolutely be exclusively indoors. Our only other pet is a cat (also adopted from a shelter) and he is indoors only too.

It's nice to hear that litter box use can be fairly natural for the rabbits. It would SO nice if they would find it most comfortable to go there and leave the rest of their "private residence" for lounging and play.

I saw some NIC cages on eBay today that didn't look too bad and seem to have the space/size requirements we want without having to complete another DIY project (we've been in the midst of a major home remodel for the last year - 'nuff said).

BunyBun :)

VoodooJoint
12-11-06, 06:57 pm
these rabbits will absolutely be exclusively indoors. Our only other pet is a cat (also adopted from a shelter) and he is indoors only too.
That's not really what I meant by a house rabbit, but it is good that they will live indoors. By house rabbit I mean a rabbit that is allowed, out of the cage, free run of a room or rooms for at least 8 hours a day

BunyBun
12-11-06, 11:02 pm
Oops . . . kinda new to the bunny world so I'm still learning! :o

We have kids so at least at first any time outside of the cage will need to be supervised. Our ideal would be to have a rabbit(s) that were able to roam free and use the cage as their private space but I think this will be a gradual process.

I have the House Rabbit Handbook. Are there any other resources online or in print that talk more about house rabbits as you defined them? It's interesting, the House Rabbit Resource Network that we've spoken with hasn't mentioned this in our conversations. My family and I have always hoped that our new rabbit family members would eventually transition into this sort of arrangement with us - it's just that I have run across very few people who have this great relationship with their rabbit.

BunyBun

VoodooJoint
12-11-06, 11:13 pm
The link I gave you in my first post is really good. Lots of reading there.

Here is a thread with many other rescue friendly rabbit forums, info sites and online supply.

BTW one of the best foods and hay for your rabbits is Oxbow Pet Products | Welcome (http://Oxbowhay.com)

Most likely the reason you don't see people who have a great relationship with their rabbit/s is probably because they are cage kept. House rabbits who get to roam, explore, exercize and interact with their humans are often much more outgoing, interesting and MUCH happier then rabbits kept confined for 23 hours a day in a small cage.

BunyBun
12-11-06, 11:17 pm
Thank you for the encouragement. I can only imagine that a rabbit would be much happier, especially if he/she is encouraged to be a part of the home but also respected with their own private space to retreat to.

I'll check out the additional links - and thanks again!

VoodooJoint
12-11-06, 11:19 pm
Oops, forgot to give you the Rabbit links link http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/rabbits/8790-need-your-great-rabbit-forums-here.html

bunnyluv17
12-12-06, 06:53 am
I'm very suprised this rescue is not familiar with NIC cages, especially when the House Rabbit Society seems to promote them so much. Another option would be a puppy exercise pen, which would offer space but you won't be able to make upper levels.

Does the rescue spay/neuter all their rabbits? Usually rabbits that are spayed/neutered are much easier to littertrain.

I'm glad you mentioned that it will be a gradual process to turn your rabbit into a free roam bunny, I think too many people want to let their rabbit have free roam right away which usually results in something(s) being chewed or peed on. Bunny proofing can often be a trial-and-error process for new bunny owners that might not know what these guys are capable of, so it is best to start with small areas and work your way up.

This is also a good idea for littertraining, as giving them too much freedom too soon can cause them to "forget" their good habits.

Here's another good reference website:

Rabbit References - Care, Feeding, Tips (http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/morfz/rabcare.html)

BunyBun
12-12-06, 08:40 am
I was surprised that the rescue wasn't more excited about the cages too. Concern seemed focused on toxicity issues and the absence of a wire floor with tray underneath (the wire always makes me think ouch!)

They definitely do spay/neuter all the rabbits that pass through their organization. I think they will be supportive of us trying a NIC/Coroplast cage out though and seeing how it works out for us.

Thanks for the additional link!
BunyBun

Solebomber
12-13-06, 12:06 am
I was surprised that the rescue wasn't more excited about the cages too. Concern seemed focused on toxicity issues and the absence of a wire floor with tray underneath (the wire always makes me think ouch!)

Depending on the Shelter/Rescue they maybe concerned with ease of cleaning if they have to deal with many animals on limited staff, having a tray that can be pulled out and cleaned saves time which will give them more time to care for more animals, I know our local shelter has alot of animals to care for and they can't afford to hire more people to take more time to clean cages and pens, I believe they are out to strike a balance that will allow for more animals recued and adopted out on the limited funds they have. A rabbit with well furred feet won't have foot problems on a good wire cage floor in the shelter, and I would hope they are attentive enough to notice if one does.

Slap Maxwell
12-19-06, 12:51 pm
My rabbit is a free ranging house rabbit, who's "home base" is a 2x4 cube cage with lino floors topped with carpet. He has a hidey area, food, water, and toys in this area- but spends most of his days hopping around the house.