Cage & X-Pen Habitats

One option for living with a house rabbit, and the one that we recommend for especially for new bunny caretakers or those with young children, is the Cage & X-pen habitat set up. This is the most safe and secure option for any household. It’s also the easiest to bunny-proof fully because it’s one area, not the whole house.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t let your bunny out to play around when your home to supervise, but with this particular type of habitat set up, your bunny can happily stay in their “area” 24/7 without issues with lack of space or exercise. 

Just remember, each family is different. Find the set up that works best for you and your bunny. We have examples below of some cage and x-pen set ups our adopters have found to work for them, we hope these offer some inspiration!

What is an "X-Pen"?

The term “x-pen” is just short for “exercise pen”, specifically the types that are sold for dogs.  

There are varying sizes of x-pen based on dog size. Choose the one that works best for your space. 

As for material, you want a sturdy metal, as the wood version are chemically treated and your bunny will chew at it. You also want to make sure that the space between the bars is close enough that your sneaky rabbit can’t slip through the bars when you aren’t looking. 

Because they’re meant for dogs, most x-pens are 3 feet or a little taller. Most rabbits won’t try and jump over that height, but that doesn’t mean your rabbit won’t try. There are taller made ones, so if your rabbit likes to test it’s jumping heights, you may want to get the extra tall x-pen. These x-pens are only barriers to keep your rabbit in a space, THEY WILL NOT protect your rabbit from a force trying to get into the cage like a dog. 

Where Can I Purchase An X-Pen(s)?

You can purchase doggy x-pens on,, or really any pet store. 

About The Cage & X-Pen Habitat

When we say cage, we’re really just saying a homebase needs to be available within the habitat. Many people choose to have a regular pet store cage (that is not adequate space wise by itself), with the litter box, food bowl, water, etc. in there, and then leave the cage door open so that the rabbit also has access to a restricted area surrounded by the x-pen. 

Other people have extra bedrooms that they can dedicate to their rabbits, and therefore the x-pen itself becomes the “cage” or homebase, and the room is the larger play area. This is fine as long as there are no animals lurking on the other side of the bedroom door that could dart past you when you open the door to see your bunnies. 

The benefits of the Cage & X-Pen habitat set up over Free Roam is that it’s much easier to have the specific area completely bunny-proofed and secured, because it’s not the entire house where family members are constantly moving through and possibly changing things. 


Where to Put the Cage & X-Pen?

It really all depends on your individual household, but bunnies are social creatures who enjoy being a part of the social activity of the household. Having them in the living room, or the dining room can be a nice place for them to hear and see all the comings and goings of the family. The times this type of setup may not be the best is if you have a lot of loud, rowdy kids or animals running back and forth and making a lot of banging, loud, noises all the time. But then again, this doesn’t bother ALL bunnies. You will need to gauge how stressed your bunnies seem if your household is like this. Sometimes finding a alcove or room that’s a bit further away from the action is better in those particular instances.

A lot of people have a spare bedroom that they can dedicate to the rabbits fully. That can be a great option, just make sure you don’t forget about them and that you socialize with them more than just at feedings. This is especially important if you just have one bunny. 

Example of an Exercise Pen You Can Purchase on
Example of an X-Pen you can purchase on

This is a video of HRRN Alumni Bunny Paige doing some amazing zoomies in her home, with the X-pens around the area that she’s allowed access to. We thought this was a nice example of the function of an x-pen, or in this instance multiple x-pens. 

Great example of Cage & X-pen Set up
This is a great example of the cage and x-pen set up. The rabbits have the home base, as well as extra room thanks to the x-pen. The rabbits don't really need more room than what this gives them unless the caretaker just wants to let them out to explore and roam other places.
rabbit housing setup
Great example of the Cage & X-Pen set up. This adopter used wire cubes to build the "cage" or "homebase" area and then has the x-pen surrounding. If needed, the door can be closed and the rabbit contained to the cage, but can also have extra space to run and place when the door is open.
Example of the Xpen being the cage and the room the restricted area
Great example of the X-pen being the dedicated cage, and a spare room the rabbit's domain.

X-Pen Requirements

  • At least 3 feet in height
  • Bars are close enough together
  • Made of metal or a very hard plastic 
  • The space inside the xpen should be a minimum of 4 ft x 4 ft to give your bunny enough space 
Make sure the bars are close enough!
Make sure those bars are close enough!