Space It Out...
Like a house, your critter's cage or playpen has different places. Even if your pet lives in the house without a cage, you still need different areas that have the things you need. I am going to use a rabbit for an example, since rabbits are usually the only critters large enough to go without a cage. Your rabbit needs 4 main areas: Resting, playing, eating, and using the bathroom. Your rabbit's sleeping box or bed should go in the living room or the owner's bedroom. A litter-box goes in a bathroom. Food, water, and hay goes in a kitchen or dining room. Toys go just about anywhere. Harnesses and leashes go in a mudroom or a place by a door.
In a cage, you have to make sure that these places are evenly spread out. Cages should be long enough for 5 rabbits to stretch out comfortably, wide enough for 4 rabbits to sit down easily, and tall enough for 1 rabbit to stand up without bumping its head. Any bigger is fine, but any smaller is not good unless you will spend time with him 2 hours per day. (with other animals, like hamsters, this is different) Rabbits like at least one part of their cage covered, because it gives them protection and comfort.
Depending on the kind of pet, the cage needs to...well, fit his needs. Still using the example of a rabbit, you need to know about cage items once you have mastered the size. Daisy's cage/playpen setup is very comfortable and practical. On one side, she has her food and water containers, along with hay and chewing blocks and/or salt licks. In the corner is her corner litter-box, the middle is dedicated to toys, and the whole other side has blankets and towels for her, along with some nice tissue paper or other bedding. Her one cage is smaller than the other, and that one is a little different. In the corner is her box, and on the other end of the cage is a food bowl and water bottle and her hay basket that hangs on the side. In the middle she has some toys and one stuffed animal, along with a blanket to sit on. The idea is to keep everything organized and not so mixed-up. Rabbits don't like food to be right under the water, or next to the litter-box. They don't want the water bowl to be sitting in their hay. Keeping things organized is important for any pet.
|A good rabbit home gives a rabbit enough room to groom, play, eat, and rest.|
Read "From Habitat to Home" in the Rabbits USA 2012 Magazine today! (Or go to "www.smallanimalchannel.com/rabbits" to learn more about rabbit housing!)