Many rabbit owners are surprised to find out just how playful their pets are. Most rabbits will appreciate a selection of fun and simple toys, such as a cardboard box or empty paper towel roll.
Toys will help keep your rabbit physically active and prevent boredom. A bored rabbit is much more likely to become destructive or even depressed, overweight, or worse yet, develop ileus. Deprived of toys and playthings, your rabbit may turn to your furniture and other belongings as chew toys, or even dangerous things like electrical cords. Experiment with a variety of toys to find out what is entertaining to your rabbit and continue to provide new toys on a regular basis (or at least rotate the ones they have).
While a good selection of toys will help keep your rabbit away from the things you do not want them chewing on, you also need to make sure the toys you provide them are safe. If your rabbit is interested in eating one type of toy (e.g. plastic, cardboard, etc.), try switching to another type to avoid issues. Watch out for soft rubber items or plastic parts that can be eaten and cause gastrointestinal problems or blockages and if your rabbit enjoys shredding paper and cardboard, make sure they are not also ingesting it.
Rabbit Toy Ideas
A huge variety of items can make good rabbit toys even though you might not find them marketed as rabbit toys in stores. There are also some things you will have around the house that make great rabbit toys. Be creative and pay attention to how your rabbit likes to play and you'll probably even find things not listed here that your rabbit thinks are toys. Just make sure the items you provide for your rabbit are safe if you stray from this list.
- Cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls
- Paper bags of varying sizes, especially one that your rabbit can fit inside
- Cardboard boxes, especially a closed box with two or three rabbit sized entrance holes cut in the sides
- Cardboard concrete forms or large PVC pipes for tunnels, but make sure your bunny can't get stuck in them
- Untreated wicker baskets or other wicker items such as a wicker tunnel and wicker balls marketed for cats
- Hard plastic cat balls with a bell inside, but make sure your bunny isn't chewing up and swallowing the plastic
- Ward plastic baby toys such as rings, links, keys, rattles, etc.
- Parrot toys and bells
- Kitty condos (the shorter ones), tunnels, and platforms
- Small straw whisk broom
- Straw balls (you can get the ones meant as hamster houses and for added enjoyment, fill them with timothy hay)
- Box full of shredded paper, preferably ink free
- Fresh branches from untreated apple trees
- Dried pine cones
- Large rubber balls
Benefits of Providing Rabbit Toys
Enrichment is the word used to describe activities that make an animal think. A mentally stimulated rabbit is a happy rabbit and a happy rabbit is usually a healthy rabbit. This is why enrichment for your rabbit is a necessity.
A variety of toys that make your rabbit pick things up, crawl into and over items, and use their brain to get to treats hidden inside, are easy and fun ways to provide enrichment opportunities. Mazes made from boxes, egg crates with treats inside, and wicker balls with hay poking out of it are all easy options that anyone can do to provide their rabbit with enrichment. By being creative, watching your rabbit and how they play, and rotating toy options, you'll have a binkying bunny every day.
Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT