Moving house with your rabbit
Routine and familiarity are important for rabbits, so moving house can be particularly stressful for them. Our article gives you advice on how to move successfully with your pet. If you have any concerns, either before or after the move, contact your local Healthy Pet Club practice for advice.
The biggest risk when transporting rabbits is overheating. Last month we wrote about this topic, and you may want to look at that article for ideas on how to prevent this potentially fatal event. Make sure you have plans in place:
- At your old house, on the day of the move
- During transport
- At your new house, while you are moving in.
When you are busy with other tasks, it is easy to forget that a spot that was originally in shade is now in the sun, so be sure to check your pet frequently.
Planning ahead will make your move less stressful – here’s a checklist:
- Find a transportation cage that will comfortably contain your rabbits
- If possible, travel them in pairs (rabbits kept alone are likely to be lonely)
- Read the ‘Preparation’ section of our accompanying article on travelling with your rabbit
- Keep your rabbit’s environment and routine as normal as possible, right up to moving day
- If you plan to let your rabbit run free in the new house, acquire several litter boxes
- Find out where your local Healthy Pet Club practice is before you move.
The day of the move
- Make sure that your rabbit is somewhere secure and quiet before the removal crew arrives
- Read the sections entitled ‘The journey’ and ‘Keeping your rabbits safe’ in our accompanying article on travelling with your rabbit.
Once in your new home
- Remember that rabbits evolved to run away from anything scary, and are likely to find a new environment challenging
- As soon as you arrive, set up your rabbits in their normal accommodation, surrounded by their usual ‘furniture’ – toys, housing, bedding, etc.
- Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and food, and that the cage includes somewhere to hide
- If your rabbits are timid, keep loud noises to a minimum
- Don't let them out of their cage until they are eating well and appear curious about their surroundings
- If your rabbits are allowed to run free in the house, set up litter boxes in different places – this will let them choose their favourite littering sites, and will probably reduce the number of ‘marking accidents.’