Just like any animal, rabbits can profit from having a variety of toys. Adding more interest to their environment stimulates their minds and decreases destructive habits, such as chewing wires and sideboards. Unfortunately, the few toys that are marketed as “rabbit toys” are often created for smaller animals such as hamsters, chinchillas, mice, or ferrets. Although occasionally these petit-sized toys and hidey-holes are functional for dwarf breeds, like the ever-popular Netherland dwarf, more often than not, they are created with other animals in mind and can be potentially dangerous for rabbits. Fortunately, rabbits becoming more popular as pets across America and pet stores are beginning to expand their rabbit toy section so that with a little extra creativity and research, rabbit owners can finally create a rabbit paradise.
You probably weren’t expecting another lecture on rabbit behavior, but just like you wouldn’t buy a ball of catnip for your 80 pound Golden Retriever, you shouldn’t buy a small frisbee for your bunny. Obtaining a solid understanding of your rabbits habits is an important step to identifying what kind of toys your rabbit would most enjoy. If you feel you have a solid grip on what toys your bunny loves, jump to the bottom of the page to find a list of excellent rabbit toys to peruse and to thoroughly pamper your bunny with.
First of all, rabbits, like rodents, have constantly growing teeth that need to be worn down through chewing. This can lead your bunny to the common vice of chewing on furniture. If you have a bunny that is particularly prone to chewing, buying a wooden chew toy will make you, your bunny, and your furniture much happier. Because all rabbits need to chew, even if your bunny doesn’t actively mutilate your sideboards, a chew toy is a fabulous (and inexpensive!) option for any rabbit owner.
Rabbits instinctively dig. They were designed to burrow in the ground to seek shelter and hide their young. It is so natural to them, that even the domesticated and fixed house bunny is going to want to dig, and if you don’t create a designated place for them to behave naturally, all I can say is that your carpet better watch out.
There are a couple toy options available that will encourage proper digging and will give you an extremely happy bunny. A digging pit or box is composed of some type of box (Cardboard, plastic container, wading pool, etc) and some kind of filler, such as sand, cardboard, old newspapers, or plastic balls. One rabbit breeder I knew creatively bought a huge plastic storage container, added about five inches of sand on the bottom, and cut a door in the side creating a hidey-hole that would protect her rabbit from predators, keep them cool in the summer, and gave a place for her bunnies to dig–definitely a win. A few notes on materials; plastic is much more durable then carboard, but if your bunny has a tendency to chew on plastic, I would suggest changing out the plastic for a cardboard box since too much plastic consumption is very dangerous for rabbits sensitive digestive system. Additionally, I have seen people use hay or straw, but I would strongly recommend against using them as your bunny will most likely interpret it as another litter box. One last comment, like plastic, some bunnies may try to eat sand so it should also be used with discretion.
As every rabbit owner knows, rabbits are prey and, with a few exceptions, very skittish and fearful when meeting something new. A good hidey-hole is thus crucial to your bunnies happiness and comfort in your new home. Hidey-holes can be anything from a simple cardboard box to an elaborate castle. Regardless of the shape, the most important aspect is that it has at least four sides and that it is not made from anything that would harm your bunnies digestive system if chewed (such as plastic). However, with proper supervision and some good chew toys, even plastic hidey-holes can make excellent homes. To upgrade your hidey-hole, another fun accessory to your rabbit’s abode is a cat or kitten tunnel. All my bunnies have loved these, as it not just a great place to hide, but also a fun thing to jump in, on, or over, causing a LOT of binkying.
Although bunnies are generally thought as being mentally inferior, rabbits have a keen and intelligent mind and can profit from having their brain exercised. A great way to do this is through logic toys and games. These require more money and more supervision, but can be extremely rewarding and a great bonding time between you and your rabbit.
Oxbow Chew Toy Wall: https://www.chewy.com/oxbow-enriched-life-play-wall-small/dp/226876
Naturals by Rosewood Chew Toy Balls: https://www.chewy.com/naturals-by-rosewood-trio-fun-balls/dp/232286
Oxbow Play Table: https://www.chewy.com/oxbow-play-post-small-animal-toy/dp/226839
DIY Digging Box Tutorial: https://houserabbithub.com/how-to-make-a-digging-box-for-a-rabbit/
Castle Hidey Hole (Many options on Etsy, but here’s one): https://www.etsy.com/listing/695729974/wooden-rabbit-castle-and-bridge-set?ref=shop_home_recs_1&pro=1&frs=1
Sun-dried Grass Hidey-hole: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/ware-farmers-market-natures-house-for-rabbits
Three-way Tunnel: https://www.amazon.com/Tempcore-Tunnel-Collapsible-Tunnels-Cats/
Bunny Approved DIY Logic Toys: https://bunnyapproved.com/diy-rabbit-toy-ideas/
Logic Toys: https://bunnyapproved.com/bunny-logic-101/