Rabbits love to play and will turn just about anything into a toy. To encourage safe play, and to prevent chewing or playing on electric cords or furniture, here are some suggestions for inexpensive and homemade toys for your playful bunny.
Paper bags and cardboard boxes can be used as hiding places, scratching posts and for chewing. Make sure there are two areas for your rabbit to enter and exit. A large cardboard box turned over with holes cut big enough for the rabbit to go inside and disappear are quite popular. Each day change the boxes as bunnies get bored easily. Use long boxes like those for fluorescent lights (open on each end) and computer boxes, which are turned over with holes cut in each end so he has his own burrow.
Cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towels are great chew toys.
Boxes full of shredded paper, junk mail or magazines can be used for playful digging and scratching.
Toys from other sources can also be used for bunnies. Cat toys that your bunny can roll or toss and bird toys that can be hung and batted or chewed can be fun. Even human baby rattles or mobiles make great playthings for rabbits.
Hard plastic lids from laundry detergent and softener bottles (carefully washed and rinsed) make excellent toys. They are easy to grasp with teeth and, as an added bonus, make great noises.
Dried pine cones, straw whisk brooms, hand towels and even old telephone books can keep your rabbit busy for hours.
Since rabbits love to chew, consider offering your bunny twigs as toys. If taken from a tree outside, age the wood for at least 3 months. An exception is an apple tree twig, which can be eaten straight off the tree. However, some twigs are poisonous – avoid twigs from cherry, peach, apricot, plum or redwood trees.
Make sure all the toys are clean and not small enough to be swallowed. When chewed to a size that could cause a problem, discard and replace the toy. One good things about most homemade toys is that once they “disappear,” as they inevitably will behind the sofa or refrigerator, bring them out later and they are once again “new” toys.
For additional rabbit information, please visit www.rabbit.org.