Whether you're hoping to save money on pet supplies, or you want to help the environment, there are many reasons to search for a used rabbit cage. But, is using a secondhand hutch healthy? These tips can help you weigh the pros and cons, then find a great, used rabbit hutch for your bunny friend.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Rabbit Cage
Purchasing a used cage for your bunny might seem like a no-brainer, but there are both pros and cons to buying used over new.
- You can save a significant amount of money compared to buying a new cage.
- Buying secondhand benefits the environment.
- When buying locally, there's a good chance you won't have to assemble the hutch.
- If you have financial constraints, buying used may allow you to purchase a larger cage than what you could afford new.
- The cage may be worn, damaged, or need expensive repairs.
- A previous owner's rabbit may have had a disease that could be passed on to your pet.
- You must disinfect the cage before using it for your own rabbits.
- The cage may not have all the features, color, or aesthetic you prefer.
Where to Find Used Rabbit Cages
If you live in a big city, you may have better luck finding used rabbit cages in your area. However, you can often locate a used cage through one of the following sites.
eBay is an auction site through which you might have luck finding a used cage. Just note, even if there are several available options, it's important to consider whether the sellers are local or live elsewhere. Given the size of hutches, most sellers of these items offer free local pickup or charge incredibly high shipping rates- some upwards of $100. You're better off buying a new cage for that exorbitant shipping rate.
Craigslist is a great place to search for used items, so it's possible you may find a used rabbit hutch through the site. Most sellers do not ship or deliver goods, so you must search locally or plan to drive to a neighboring town if you find a cage there. If the listing does not offer photos of the cage, you can request current pictures to see if you're even interested in the item. However, if you meet with the seller and you don't like what you see, you can decline and keep searching.
If you have a Facebook account, you can use the marketplace feature to search for a used hutch. Simply view available items filtered by keyword, your location, price, etc. Similar to Craigslist, you won't make the payment through Facebook- just message the seller to make sure the rabbit cage is what you're looking for, then make arrangements for the exchange.
OfferUp is another free website where you can find used rabbit cages for sale. Sellers will create a listing with photos and information describing their cage, as well as an asking price. You can ask any questions you may have, then make an offer on the cage if it fits your needs.
5miles is a similar local online marketplace, and you might get lucky by finding a home for your rabbit. One word of advice - don't buy any used cage unless the seller offers a clear photo so you can judge the cage's condition and if it's really worth purchasing at all.
Freecycle is a network where all items listed are completely free. Not only can you potentially find a free rabbit cage, but you can also create a "wanted" listing to let locals on the site know what you're looking for. If anyone has a used cage, they can reach out to you.
Thrift shops or secondhand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army often have pet supplies for sale. In general, you'll have to head to your local store in person to see what they have available. However, Goodwill does have an online marketplace, and it may be worth looking for a cage there.
You may be able to locate a used cage through a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance who has a rabbit. They may know another rabbit owner who has an extra cage they'd like to sell or may even have one themselves. It's also worthwhile to reach out to a local rabbit group or club and inquire about used enclosures.
How to Clean and Prepare Your Used Rabbit Cage
In order to kill any possible viruses that may be lingering on the cage surface, it's important to properly disinfect the entire enclosure. Use a solution of 1:10 diluted bleach. Choose a well-ventilated area away from your rabbit to clean the cage, and wear gloves and eye protection.
- Take out any bowls or other items in the cage and spray the cage down from top to bottom on the inside and outside, as well as the door.
- Remember to spray the floor thoroughly to remove any deposits of urine.
- Allow the bleach solution to sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the entire cage with water to remove the bleach.
- Allow it to air dry for at least 24 hours.
- It is best to replace any feeding bowls and water bottles.
Consider the Material
The material of the rabbit cage might influence your decision on whether it's something worth purchasing.
- Wood: Try to avoid getting a used cage made of wood. In general, wood may harbor viruses, bacteria, and chemicals, so hutches made out of it are very difficult to clean. Unless you know for sure that the rabbit housed in the enclosure previously was healthy, it's best not to risk potentially leaving lingering organisms in the wood.
- Wire-bottom: You don't necessarily have to skip a used cage with a wire bottom, but keep in mind that you'll have to make some modifications. Rabbit's feet are tender, and bare wire flooring can be painful and lead to pododermatitis, an uncomfortable foot condition. Line the cage with soft bedding to keep your rabbit comfortable.
Is It Worth It to Purchase a Used Rabbit Hutch?
Purchasing a used cage can take quite a lot of work, especially between deep cleaning the surfaces and fixing any broken cage in need of repair. While you might save money by going this route, you should consider whether it's worth it to spend more on a new hutch. This will ensure the cage hasn't been contaminated and will give you the option of purchasing a more modern design. Consider the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to buy that used cage.