for Your Rabbit
be very playful creatures, and most enjoy playing
with toys. In fact, toys are an important part of
a healthy rabbit's life. As with cats and dogs, toys
can provide rabbits with an outlet for energy and
curiosity. In addition, rabbits have a propensity
for chewing. Providing them with a few chewable toys
can help wear down their ever-growing front teeth
and might distract them from gnawing their feeders
and cages or your wood furniture and baseboards (if
your pet bunny runs free, like mine).
A good variety
of toys are available. Some you can buy in a pet store;
others in a regular toy store.
A few online
stores exist that specialize in toys for rabbits.
You can also make
a range of simple toys from common household
from a Pet Store
stores such as PETsMART.com sell toys that rabbits can enjoy.
Some are made specifically for small animals like
rabbits. Others are made for cats, dogs, or birds,
but rabbits will enjoy them, too.
Chew sticks are
made of wood, and many varieties are flavored, too.
I like the ones shaped like carrots, although the
shape doesn't seem to matter much to my rabbit.
Super tubes are
fun for bunnies to crawl through. They're made of
cardboard and are essentially short, wide tubes.
wire ones or ones made of rubber--are favorite bunny
toys. Stay away from the balls that are made of thin,
latticed plastic, though--these are too easily chewed
through by rabbits.
particularly mobiles made of wood, are fun for bunnies.
Hang them from the ceiling of your bunny's cage for
him/her to bat or leave them on the floor for your
rabbit to drag. Most rabbits enjoy chewing the wood.
made of flavored potato starch and make a tasty chew
toy. You can get Nylabones in vegetable and fruit
flavors. Although they're marketed for dogs, many
bunnies love these fake bones.
You can get
many good, low-priced toys for your rabbit at a regular
toy store (or in a department store that sells toys,
for that matter).
or plastic balls make good push toys. My rabbit
loves to push his ball around with his nose. Avoid
Nerf balls, though. Some rabbits will chew them
and might wind up digesting some of the foam.
Baby rattles can
be fun--many rabbits like to pick them up and seem
to enjoy the rattling noises they make. Avoid soft
rattles--rabbits might chew through the cloth and
eat the foam stuffing.
toys made of hard plastic, such as those gigantic
plastic key rings (Rattle Keys), are another favorite
toy for bunnies. Don't give your rabbit soft teething
rings, like the ones that are filled with gel.
It's too easy for your pet to chew through them
and he/she could end up digesting some of that
gel, not to mention the thin plastic of the rings.
to fascinate many rabbits. The large plastic ones
are usually the best ones for bunnies. Try arching
a slinkie beside your rabbit, and see what he/she
animals can be fun toys for some rabbits. They
like to pick them up and carry them around--or
to "brick and mortar" stores like PETsMART.com and
Toys 'R' Us that are also available online, you might
want to check out some of the online specialty stores
that sell toys specifically designed for rabbits.
The Busy Bunny sells edible treats for your
bunny, such as untreated willow baskets filled with
such tasty items as timothy hay, pine cones, and
Bunny Luv has select toys for your rabbit, including
plastic chew toys and a cardboard bunny castle.
Bunny Bytes includes a pretty broad selection
of toys, including chew toys, bird toys suitable
for rabbits, cardboard rabbit housing, and other
Leith Petwerks sells
all kinds of chew toys, including wood and lightweight
acrylic ones, and more.
Some of the
best toys for rabbits are ones that you can make
yourself or that you can get for free or at low cost.
For instance, wood items can make dandy chew toys.
wood from a workshop or garage in the form
of a small block or stick will make most bunnies
very happy. As long as the wood is not painted,
glued, stained, or treated in some other fashion,
it should be safe for your rabbit to gnaw on.
or twigs from fruit trees can provide another
source of free chew toys for your rabbit. Do be
careful about giving them wood from trees, though--some
trees, such as redwood, are not good for rabbits.
If you use pesticides in your yard, it's best to
avoid giving them wood from your trees, even if
you don't spray your trees directly.
are dry and free from sap are yet another tree product
that many rabbits love. Not only will most rabbits
chew them, many bunnies enjoy picking them up and
tossing them about.
tubes from paper towel or toilet paper rolls
make a dandy chew toy. Try stuffing the tubes with
hay and watch your rabbit have a great time pulling
or chewing the hay out.
boxes will be fun for your rabbit to crawl
into. I like to put boxes on their side and let
my bunny hop in and out. (Likewise, I'll often
leave a plastic laundry basket on its side on the
floor for him to play in.) Often I leave a little
scrap of paper for him to discover inside of the
box. Some people like to tape up the boxes and
cut one or two openings for their rabbits, so it's
a kind of bunny hideaway.
Paper cups are
easy for your rabbit to pick up and carry and toss
around. Give him/her only paper cups that aren't
plastic-coated. Cups made of Styrofoam are also no-nos.
Phone books have
got to be the ultimate chew toy. Most rabbits will
gnaw happily on these. Be sure that phone books are
old because your rabbit won't be giving them up easily.
If your rabbit appears to be eating a lot of the
paper instead of just shredding it, you might want
to restrict your rabbit's access or take away the
phone book altogether. (Eating a little paper, though,
isn't anything to worry about.)
bits of paper will entice some rabbits to play
like a cat, batting the paper around. Most rabbits
will enjoy chewing the paper, if nothing else.
of unpainted and untreated wood or of straw can serve
a double purpose if the baskets are big enough for
your bunny to crawl into. Not only does your rabbit
get a new place to hang out, he/she can chew to his/her
empty cans such as soup or tuna cans can be
picked up and carried by your rabbit or batted
around by him/her. Be sure that you remove the
label and the lid completely and that you file
down any sharp edges.
Paper bags like
you get at the grocery store will provide a lot of
fun for most rabbits. When they get tired of "exploring" the
interior of the bag, they can push it around and
spoons are appealing to many rabbits, who will
carry them around by the handle. And chew them,
of course. The spoons should be all wood and unpainted.
with a small pebble inside become homemade
rattles that many rabbits enjoy. They pick up the
can or roll it, enjoying the rattling of the pebble
in the process. Be sure to take off the tab and
file down any sharp edges first.
boxes are cardboard boxes or litter pans that
are filled with old carpeting, newspapers, hay,
or cloth. As you might guess from the name, a digging
box is a place where your bunny can dig to his/her
or blankets can be great fun for your bunny.
Many rabbits like to bunch cloth up, knead it,
and drag it to a new spot. Pick up one end of the
cloth, and some rabbits will play tug-of-war with
you. If your rabbit starts to chew through the
cloth and eat it, though, best take it away. Cloth
might harm a rabbit's digestion.
Best for Your Bunny
Not all rabbits
will play with all toys. Experiment until you find
toys that appeal to your bunny. Just like kids, bunnies
can get tired of toys, so don't be surprised if yours
plays with a new one for a couple of weeks and then
abandons it. (Often, rabbits "remember" forgotten
toys in a few days or weeks.) Try having a few toys
on hand, perhaps in a box that he/she can take from
when the mood strikes or that you can lay in his/her
a lot of fun to watch when they're playing. Toys
are something that both you and your rabbit can enjoy.