If you’re new to pet rabbits, you may find yourself inundated with contradicting information about what rabbits need. This has really happened because knowledge about pet rabbit care over the past couple of decades has expanded significantly. So some people are basing supply lists on old practices that we’ve found aren’t really best for rabbits who live in the home.
This is an inclusive list with the most up-to-date information about keeping pet rabbits. I also give explanations for each item to help you pick out the supplies that are safest and healthiest for living with a happy bunny.
Important: This post contains affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and Chewy.com, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
|Food and Nutrition|
|• Leafy greens|
|• Treats (optional)|
|Housing and Habitat|
|• Pet playpen|
|• Hiding house|
|• Cat Litter box|
|• Paper-based litter|
|• Food and water bowls|
|• Towels/blankets/area rugs|
|• Hay trough (optional)|
|• Pet carrier|
|• First aid kit|
|• Nail clippers and brush|
|• Cleaning supplies|
|• Wire covers|
Food and nutrition supplies
A rabbit’s digestion is very sensitive, so it’s essential to make sure you give them a healthy and balanced diet. For more information check out Rabbit Diet 101.
- Hay (lots of it!): Timothy hay is best for adult rabbits and alfalfa hay is good for rabbits under 6 months.
- Recommended: Small Pet Select Timothy Hay
- Pellets: Get a brand that is just the plain brown pellets with no added fruits or colorful pieces.
- Recommended: Oxbow Garden Select Rabbit Food
- Fresh leafy greens: You will need to get fresh greens from your local grocery store or farmers market to give your rabbit a balanced diet (avoid iceberg lettuce).
- Treats (optional): Treats help you build trust with your rabbit. Flavored hay treats are best, but you can also cut fresh fruits and vegetables into little pieces. Carrots are considered a treat for rabbits.
- Recommended: Oxbow Simple Rewards Flavored Hay Treats
Trusted brands for rabbit food
The two brands that I trust the most for rabbit food and hay are Oxbow (which can be found in most pet stores) and Small Pet Select (an online store). Both of these brands have high-quality hay, rabbit food, treats, and toys. At Small Pet Select, you can buy hay in bulk, which helps you save money in the long run. If you choose to try out the online store, use the code ‘BUNNYLADY’ at checkout to save 15% on your order.
Housing and habitat supplies
Rabbits need more space than most new rabbit caretakers expect. They are pretty active and friendly pets and can even be allowed to free roam your home (like a cat or dog) after you’ve taken necessary precautions. Learn more about how to rabbit-proof your home so that your rabbit can be given more freedom.
- Ex-pen enclosure: Most cages marketed toward rabbits are much too small. I recommend getting a pet exercise pen instead (usually found in the dog section of pet stores)
- Recommended: Pet exercise pen
- Hiding house: Rabbits need a place to hide so that they feel safe and comfortable in their home.
- Litter box: Rabbits need litter boxes made for cats. Avoid the small corner litter boxes that are marketed for rabbits. Those ones are too small and discourage good litter box habits.
- Recommended: Medium cat litter boxes
- Litter: It’s okay to use kitty litter for rabbits if you want to, but avoid any kind of clumping litter. I recommend a paper-based litter for rabbits.
- Recommended: Small Pet Select Litter
- Food and water bowls: Rabbits should have a bowl for water instead of a bottle. Try to find a large heavy bowl that the rabbit won’t be able to flip over.
- Recommended: Heavy ceramic bowls
- Toys: You can purchase toys from a pet store, or give your rabbit cardboard and paper-based toys for cheaper options.
- Towels, blankets, or area rug for bedding: You don’t need the product called bedding for rabbits (that’s better used for hamsters, gerbils, mice, etc.). Instead, use old towels or area rugs to cover any slippery floors so your rabbit’s feet can have traction.
- Hay trough (optional): You can put hay directly into the rabbit’s litter box or get a separate hay trough for them.
- Recommended: Large hay trough
- Carrier: You’ll need a good carrier for your rabbit. They can easily chew through cardboard boxes.
- Pet first aid kit: It’s a good idea to have a basic first aid kit put together just in case you need it. I rarely use mine, but I’ve been glad to have it on the few occasions I needed it.
- Grooming supplies (nail clippers and brush): Some simple cat nail clippers and a comb will be necessary for the occasional grooming that rabbits need. Some breeds, such as lionheads, will need more attention in this area than others.
- Recommended: Hair Buster Comb
- Cleaning supplies (dustpan, vacuum, pet-safe cleaner): Make sure you have some basic cleaning supplies on hand since rabbits tend to make a mess. You’ll want a pet-safe cleaner and a heavy-duty vacuum since hay is not usually easy to clean.
- Wire covers: Rabbits like to chew on wires, so make sure to get some covers or keep all your wires out of reach.
- Recommended: Split loom wire tubing
What NOT to get for pet rabbits
- Salt licks: Salt licks are not harmful to rabbits unless they try to take a bite out of it, but they also are not necessary for a rabbit habitat and don’t give any nutritional value.
- Water bottle: Rabbits should have a water bowl instead of a spout water bottle. The only exception is if your rabbit likes to flip over their bowls. In that case, give them a bottle in addition to the bowl.
- Over-sugared treats: Rabbits shouldn’t have treats with added sugar to them. Stay away from yogurt treats and dried fruit with added sugar in it.
- A rabbit cage: Most cages that are marketed toward rabbits are too small for them. Learn more about how to make sure your habitat is big enough for your rabbit.
- Bedding: Bedding is unnecessary for rabbits, it just ends up making a big mess.
- A corner litter box: Those corner litter boxes that are marketed for rabbits are too small. It’s unlikely that your rabbit will like to use it, so they won’t have good litter box habits.
- Soft plastic toys: Dog or cat toys that are made of soft rubber or thin plastic are not good for rabbits since they may end up eating pieces of it.
Tips and Tricks Newsletter
If you are new to caring for rabbits, check out the Bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter. Right after you sign up, you’ll receive a FREE printable checklist with everything you need for your rabbit! Use it when looking for supplies for your rabbit so you can make sure you get everything you need to be ready for your new bunny.
Recommended Products and Brands
Important: These are Affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and Chewy.com, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases.
The two brands that I use when buying food for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Select. These both have high quality rabbit products and are companies that care about the health of our small animals. If you are purchasing anything from Small Pet Select use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.
- Hay: Second Cutting Timothy Hay from Small Pet Select
- Pellets: Oxbow Garden Select Food for Rabbits
- Treats: Oxbow Simple Rewards
- Toys: Small Pet Select Natural Toys
- Enclosure/cage: A rabbit exercise pen
- Rabbit carrier: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed