Last week went over rabbit diets and what/what-not to give to your little bunnies. This week, we’re going over a topic that is a lot more fun: play-time with your fur-babies!
Now, just another reminder that rabbits are prey animals, so they don’t play the same way as a cat or dog. Rabbits can still be a bit skittish with sudden movements or loud noises, even if they are comfortable with you, so playing chase or play-wrestling is definitely not a go-to. However, there are other ways to enjoy time with your bunny.
Some rabbits tend to do their own thing, so there may be times you just have to sit back and watch as they play, but I’ve known some bunnies that play fetch or are more interactive with their owners. My bunny Millie is very interactive with me and we sometimes run around the house together like a race, but my other bunny, Prince Ali, would rather be by himself than play with me.
Bunnies love to flip things over or knock things down (sort of like a cat) so grabbing a water bottle, or maybe some small bowls or cups, can be a fun activity for them. Rabbits also love to fling things around so I bought my two bunnies a plastic set of keys and a rattle to throw around. Sometimes I will toss the toy and have them go and grab it. It’s not as intense as a game of fetch with a dog, but it’s still a great bonding exercise to have with your bunny.
Other fun things I tend to do with my own fur-babies is hide treats throughout the house and have them go on scavenger hunts for them. This keeps them both active mentally and physically. I have also made them several tunnels, ramps and small houses all from just cardboard. Rabbits love to run around and giving them some obstacles or things to jump on is a great way to add to the fun. There are some things that you can buy from a store, but again I just use cardboard because it’s cheaper and I can easily purchase more if they happen to tear into it.
Another great thing that I always make sure to have is a dig box. Rabbits love to dig, even domesticated bunnies, so having an area where they can dig is a great way to stimulate their minds. Some people have brought in dirt for their dig boxes, but if you want to avoid the mess like me, wrinkled up newspapers or old t-shirts work just fine. Plus this is a great way to hide treats for them to search for.
As far as toys go, unfortunately there isn’t a lot of options like cat or dog toys, and it is critical to look out for harmful ingredients in your rabbit’s toys. A lot of companies like to soak their wooden or hay toys in colors or preservative chemicals, which is harmful for your rabbit. Personally, I prefer OXBOW toys, just because they’re a bit more natural than all the other options out there. For my bunnies, I usually have a few wooden chew sticks on hand, plus some wooden/wicker balls for them to shove around. I also have some cardboard toys, but again make sure they aren’t soaked in chemicals and also be careful that your rabbit is not eating too much cardboard. Too much cardboard is definitely not good for your bunny’s tummies.
Although rabbits like company, sometimes they prefer to do things on their own or if they are bonded, they tend to prefer playing with each other, but there are still fun ways to play and bond with your bunnies. Watching them zip around, jumping and bouncing along the way, is an amazing sight to see. It means that your rabbit is comfortable, healthy and most importantly, happy! And a happy bunny means a happy owner.
I’ve posted a few links below for more information on fun activities to do with your bunnies.