What is an X-pen and why is it a good idea? 

An X-pen is a pen for rabbits (or puppies) that gives them room to move about freely and safely. Everything they need is inside the pen. An X-pen allows rabbits space to play safely or stretch out all day, even when their adopter isn’t home. The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society recommends an X-pen to provide the best enrichment, both physically and mentally, for rabbit companions.  

Meets your rabbit’s needs  

Inside the X-pen are all the things a rabbit will need: A place to hide, a litter box, toys, food dishes and a mounted water bottle. Rabbits can become overweight if they don’t have enough room to move, so an X-pen also allows them space to play and move around.  

Materials required for an X-pen  

FLAT SHEET– Use a flat sheet to cover the X-pen floor. Rabbits can be nervous of slippery floors.  

LITTER BOX– Place the litter box in their most soiled corner. Line the litter box with recycled paper/bedding or aspen shavings. Place their hay inside half of litter box. This promotes litter box use! You can also place a hay net directly above their litter pan. This is just as effective.  

PLACE TO HIDE– Rabbits need a place to hide to provide security. You can make fun cardboard castles. Cardboard is also safe for rabbits to chew and safely wear their teeth.  

CERAMIC DISHES– Use two ceramic dishes for their kibble and water. Rabbits like to move their dishes and the weight of a ceramic dish discourages this.  

WATER BOTTLE– Place a full water bottle on the X-pen. This provides the rabbit with a choice of using the dish or the bottle. If one empties, the rabbit isn’t left without water.  

ENRICHMENT– Place a ball with a bell inside, wooden chew toy and/or small stuffed animal in the X-pen for the rabbit to play with. Rabbits will be attracted to chew hard features on stuffed animals like the eyes or nose, so it’s important that the plushies not have any hard features. Rabbits also love to scratch and dig at flattened cardboard boxes and chew toilet paper rolls stuffed with hay.  

CLIPS– Ensure that all the clips that attach to the X-pen are closed and secure so the rabbit does not escape their safe play area.  

Generally, it is recommended that rabbits have at least one hour outside their X-pen daily for enrichment and to bond with their adopter. 

In addition to providing an X-pen for your rabbit, it is important they spend time outside of the pen. Rabbits are social creatures and need activity. For their health and well-being, it’s important to give them enough room to stretch out and play.   

Read our blog for more tips on caring for your pet rabbit.  



The post What is an X-pen and why is it a good idea?  appeared first on Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.

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