How to Move House Without Stressing Your Rabbit

Moving to a new home can be an exciting adventure, but for our beloved pet rabbits it can also be an overwhelming, stressful experience. Their lives center around familiar surroundings and daily routines. How can we help these sensitive animals adjust to a new environment without causing them undue distress? This comprehensive guide covers everything rabbit owners need to know to move house smoothly and keep bunnies feeling safe, comfortable and cared for along the way. We’ll explore tips for trip planning, transport, setting up new enclosures, maintaining routines, bunny-proofing new areas, and helping rabbits overcome relocation stress. Follow our step-by-step advice to make any upcoming move as anxiety-free as possible for your long-eared family members.

Moving with a rabbit

Moving to a new home can be very stressful for pet rabbits. Rabbits are creatures of habit and feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Any change to their environment, even small changes like rearranging their cage, can cause stress. A big move to a new house will likely be very unsettling for your bunny. However, with some planning and preparation, you can make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are some tips for moving with a rabbit:

The best way to move with a rabbit is to set up their living space in the new home first before transporting them. This will allow you to get their new area fully ready so they can settle in right away. If possible, set up their new enclosure in a quiet room away from moving chaos. Place familiar items like litter boxes, chew toys, bowls, and sleeping areas in the new space so it has some of the same smells and cues as the old environment. Spend time with your rabbit in the new area before the move so they can get comfortable.

If setting up early is not feasible, aim to move your rabbit at the very end after furniture and boxes are unpacked. Limit access to the rest of the house at first so they are not overwhelmed. Resist any major changes like new cages or play areas right away. Keep things as familiar as possible.

Try to keep a normal routine during the move. Feed them on a normal schedule and interact at their usual times. Moving is stressful enough without disrupting their whole schedule. Make sure they always have access to hay, fresh vegetables, clean litter boxes and fresh water. Do not change brands of food abruptly.

Use a carrier designed for rabbits when transporting them. Line it with familiar bedding and bring along snacks. Cover the carrier to provide a sense of security. Avoid moving your rabbit during very hot or very cold weather.

Once settled into their space in the new home, resist rearranging things or making changes too quickly. Allow them to adjust to the new environment first before introducing any changes. Spend lots of time with your rabbit petting, hand feeding treats, and offering reassurance. Having their trusted human nearby will help reduce anxiety in their new home.

With some planning and patience, you can manage a move successfully without causing your rabbit too much disruption to their routine. Pay attention to their behavior and appetite in the days following the move to ensure they are adjusting well. If they seem anxious or stop eating, consult an exotics vet. With your help, your rabbit can quickly feel right at home in their new house.

Option 1: the two-day plan

One recommended approach for moving house with a rabbit is the two-day method. Here are the steps for this plan:

Day Before Move:

  • Set up your rabbit's new housing area in the new home first before transporting them. Assemble their new cages or enclosures so it is fully ready.

  • Move food, water bowls, litter boxes, toys, blankets, etc so their new area contains familiar items.

  • Spend time with your rabbit in the new space so they become accustomed to it. Let them explore and get comfortable.

  • Transport your rabbit in an appropriate carrier lined with familiar bedding and toys. Bring snacks for the trip.

  • At the new home, place them directly into the newly set up housing area so they can settle in.

  • Limit access to the rest of the unfamiliar house at first. Stick to the new enclosure.

  • Keep to your rabbit's normal feeding and play routine as much as possible.

Moving Day:

  • Restrict the rabbit back to their carrier/crate on moving day with bedding, litter box, food, and toys. This creates a familiar "den" while the move is underway.

  • Make sure the crate is in a quiet, climate-controlled room away from the moving commotion. Check on them frequently.

  • Set up their permanent new housing at the new home first before bringing them over.

  • When their new space is fully ready, transport them in their crate and settle them into the newly set up area.

  • Spend time petting and reassuring them. Try to keep to normal routines.

  • Limit access to the rest of the home until they adjust to their new housing space first.

The key is keeping their new permanent space consistent before and after the move so they can settle in quickly. Maintaining their normal routine also provides comfort and familiarity during a stressful change. Take things slowly and be attentive to signs of stress like changes in eating, litter habits or behavior.

Option 2: Plan ahead

Successfully moving house with a rabbit requires planning ahead to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Several weeks before the move, begin acclimating your rabbit to a travel carrier so it feels familiar and safe. Give treats inside and make it a positive space.

  • Book an appointment with an exotics vet for a checkup before the move to ensure your rabbit is healthy enough to travel and handle the stress. Address any concerns.

  • Research vets, shelters, and bunny-savvy groomers in your new neighborhood in case you need them after moving. Transfer medical records to the new vet.

  • Plan where your rabbit's new enclosure will go in the new home. Set it up with familiar furnishings if possible.

  • Gather all supplies you will need upon arrival – litter, critical medications, hay, pellets, greens, etc so you are fully stocked.

  • If flying with your rabbit, research airline requirements well in advance. Get the right sized carrier and required health papers from your vet.

  • For long drives, prepare a rabbit travel kit – litter box, toys, greens, bowl, blanket, medication, etc. Stop frequently to offer water, greens and check on your bunny.

  • Time the move so you can set up your rabbit's housing area first before bringing them over if at all possible.

  • Consider temporary housing with a trusted friend while you complete unpacking if the new home is highly disrupted.

  • Examine your new home for potential hazards and rabbit proof thoroughly so they will be safe exploring eventually.

  • Unpack and set up basic bunny necessities first – enclosure, litter, hay, pellets, any medications. Leave their area calm and functional.

Thorough preparation and planning will help you anticipate challenges and arrange the smoothest possible transition to get your rabbit settled quickly.

Traveling with a rabbit

The carrier

Choosing an appropriate carrier is key to safe, low-stress travel with your rabbit. Look for the following features:

  • Sturdy construction of plastic or wire mesh to prevent escape. Hard-sided rather than collapsible.

  • Large enough for your rabbit to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably

  • Proper ventilation and temperature control

  • Leak-proof bottom with bedding to absorb waste

  • Access doors for easy cleaning

  • Mesh windows for light and ventilation

  • Padded shoulder strap for carrying (for small rabbits)

  • Meets airline requirements for under-seat dimensions and construction (if flying)

Prepare the carrier to be inviting:

  • Line bottom with absorbent puppy pads and soft bedding

  • Include familiar toys and chew sticks

  • Attach water bottle and food bowls

  • Use treats and positive training to get rabbit accustomed to carrier

  • Place familiar worn blankets inside for comforting scent

  • Cover part of carrier to create a 'den' environment

With the right carrier set up, your rabbit can feel safe, comfortable and ready for travel.

Keeping your rabbit comfortable in the car

The key to comfortable car travel with rabbits is temperature control, limiting stress, and meeting all their needs on the journey:

  • Never leave a rabbit alone in a hot parked car – temperatures can rapidly become dangerous

  • Cool air conditioning is vital. Adjust to maintain comfortable temperature.

  • Pull over if necessary to monitor your rabbit closely. Check that they are not overheating.

  • Offer water every 2-4 hours via bowl or syringe. Hydration is crucial.

  • Portable litter box secured in carrier is ideal for longer trips. Empty frequently.

  • Have hay available to munch and also avoid GI issues.

  • Stop every few hours to let rabbit stretch legs, get activity. Supervise closely.

  • Bring gadgets/toys from home for entertainment and comfort.

  • Avoid loud music or noise that could be frightening.

  • Drive carefully over bumps or turns.

  • Keep carrier partially covered to create a sense of security.

  • Use treats, toys and gentle stroking to keep rabbit calm and relaxed.

With proper precautions, you can create comfortable travel conditions for your rabbit. Monitor them closely for signs of stress or overheating. Keep stops frequent for activity, food and litter to ease the journey.

Trains and planes

If traveling farther distances with your rabbit, you may consider airplanes or trains. Here are some tips for each:


  • Contact the train company well in advance about pet policies. Fees or containers may be required.

  • Get the largest carrier possible – enough for litter box, toys, bowls, and standing.

  • Pad carrier bottom well and use puppy pads to absorb waste. Empty at stops.

  • Bring ample hay, greens, pellets and water. Refill frequently.

  • Cover part of carrier with blanket to create a safe 'den' feeling.

  • Place familiar toys and blankets inside for comfort.

  • Keep carrier under seat or nearby so you can monitor rabbit.

  • Travel during cooler times of day or year and bring cooling gadgets.

  • Check policies – some trains do not allow animals out of carriers at all.


  • Research specific airline pet policies well in advance. Fees, forms, carriers differ.

  • Get an airline-approved carrier of proper size for under-seat storage.

  • Attach food and water bowls. Provide hay.

  • Line carrier bottom with absorbent puppy pads and soft bedding.

  • Get vet health certificate within 10 days of travel as required.

  • Avoid sedating rabbit – clearing ears is important on takeoff/landing.

  • Request a direct, early flight to limit time on the plane.

  • Freeze water bottles to keep carrier cool if traveling in summer.

  • Bring rabbit's favorite toys/blankets for comfort.

  • Pet carrier will be stored underseat. Avoid opening during flight.

  • Upon arrival, let rabbit rest and recover before transporting further.

With proper preparation and an approved carrier, air or train travel is possible for rabbits, but always consult your vet and research policies. Prioritize your pet's comfort and safety. Both options allow accompanied travel so you can monitor your rabbit and provide care during the journey.

How to help rabbits adjust to a new home


Rabbits thrive on predictability and consistency. Maintaining your rabbit's normal routines as much as possible, even during a move to a new home, will provide critical familiarity and help ease the transition.

  • Wake up / go to bed at the usual time. Prepare their salad and feed on schedule.

  • Clean litter boxes on the same cycle. Use the same brand of litter.

  • Offer pellets, hay, veggies and treats at accustomed times.

  • Grooming and health check routines should stay the same.

  • Playtime, exercise, training – stick to your rabbit's known timetable.

  • Transport toys, blankets, bowls, litter box – familiar items are comforting.

  • Interact, pet and hold your rabbit as you normally would.

When everything is new, keeping feeding times, playtime, sleep schedules consistent provides stability. Make their core daily routines in the new home mirror what they are accustomed to. This sameness reduces stress. Slowly introduce any changes once the rabbit is comfortable in the new environment. Honoring routines makes an unknown space more welcoming.

Spend time with your rabbit

Spending quality time with your rabbit daily will help them adjust to their new surroundings. Rabbits take comfort from their bonded humans.

  • Sit near your rabbit's enclosure and read, work or watch TV to provide company.

  • Offer treats by hand and provide gentle petting frequently.

  • Encourage playtime chasing toys or exploring new tunnels and boxes. Praise and reward curiosity.

  • Allow supervised time exploring rabbit-proofed areas so they learn their new space.

  • Provide toys like dig boxes and chews that provide mental stimulation.

  • Chat soothingly and use familiar command words or phrases.

  • Maintain handling and cuddling that your rabbit enjoys.

  • Consider clicker training new, positive behaviors using favorite treats.

  • Watch for signs of stress like hiding, grunting, lack of appetite.

  • Place worn clothing in enclosure so your scent is comforting.

Rabbits want security, company and reassurance from their family. Dedicate ample time to hands-on interaction, supervision and affection during this adjustment period. Your presence helps make a new home feel secure.


Before allowing your rabbit to explore their new home, be sure to thoroughly bunny-proof each room they will access. Rabbits love to chew, dig and forage everywhere. You must make the environment safe.

  • Use cord covers and protectors so electrical wires are inaccessible. Rabbits may chew and electrocute themselves.

  • Block access behind appliances and furniture where rabbits could get stuck or chew hidden hazards.

  • Remove houseplants or place on high shelves. Many common plants are toxic to rabbits if ingested.

  • Take up fragile, valuables items they could knock down or chew.

  • Block access to kitchen and bathrooms if possible – many dangerous cleaners and chemicals.

  • Check for small holes or openings near baseboards or cabinets where rabbits could enter and get trapped.

  • Use baby gates to block unsafe areas and supervise all free-roaming time. Rabbits are quick!

  • Ensure no access to poisonous foods like chocolate, carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, raw beans or meat products.

  • Lever-style door handles can be jumped up and opened. Use latches or slide bolts above bunny reach.

  • Check for any sharp edges on furniture or belongings at bunny level that could injure them.

Take time to get on floor level and view each room from a "bunny perspective" to spot all hazards. Turn rabbit explorations into a positive, rewarding experience.

What items to bring with you while you travel

When traveling with your rabbit, having certain items on-hand will help them stay comfortable, safe and reduce stress during the journey:

  • Familiar small pet carrier, lined with bedding/litter/bowls

  • Collapsible food and water bowls

  • Supply of usual pellets and hay (enough for trip plus extra)

  • Favorite fresh vegetables and herbs

  • Vitamin supplements or medications

  • Pet first aid kit (consult your vet)

  • Biodegradable/compostable potty pads

  • Small litter box and absorbent litter

  • Puppy pee pads

  • Favorite toys and blankets (unwashed for scent)

  • Treats for rewarding good behavior

  • Grooming supplies (brush, nail clippers)

  • Hand sanitizer and paper towels

  • Cooling ice packs or frozen water bottles if warm

  • Flashlight (in case of power loss)

  • List of nearby bunny-experienced vets at your destination

  • A photo of you and your rabbit together in case of accidental separation

  • Bottled or filtered water to avoid gut issues from change in water source

Packing thoughtfully for your rabbit's needs during travel will help you respond quickly to any situation – keeping your companion healthy and reducing the stresses of new places and transport. Some key supplies will make a big difference for your pet's comfort.

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