Please suggest good toys for penned house rabbits.
November 2, 2009 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Please suggest good toys for penned house rabbits.

We have three bunnies, all female, about ten months old. Right now, they're being kept penned in an area about four or five feet square, and they're bored. We don't really have the option of giving them more room (though we're investigating giving them more levels and making their area higher). They really like to chew and one of them is a great digger, and they enjoy things they can pick up in their mouth and throw, especially if it's noisy.

I'd like to fashion some rabbit toys for them. They need to be inexpensive (or preferably free). Currently I'm giving them boxes (whatever we have around that we've used up whatever came in it). Cereal boxes are a big hit, because they can chew on them and throw them around the cage. They tend to end up in their litter and get gross though, so they don't last long. Occasionally I give them a larger box with a hole cut in it and they like that, but it limits the area they can run around in which is already a concern.

Please suggest other toys that I can make which will keep them occupied and happy. Thanks!
posted by joannemerriam to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Toilet paper/paper towel tubes. Great for bopping each other on the cute furry head with.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 11:09 AM on November 2, 2009

Tubes are good. They will also probably like wooden blocks to chew on and toss about.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:36 AM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: Baby toys like rattles and plastic keys.
Pine cones.
Sticks (if they're from cherry/peach/plum trees, make sure they're completely dried first.
toilet paper cores.
grass mats
concrete form tubes (really cheap at Home Depot)
tissue boxes stuffed with hay (make sure the hole is of a good size that won't get their head stuck)
old phone books open to the middle that they can rip up
boxes of shredded paper to dig in
caps from big bottles of laundry detergent (you can stack several, and they can knock them down and throw them about)
two-liter plastic bottles to nudge around
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:44 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

A friend who has house-rabbits says hers really loves phone books for chewing and digging. The thicker, the better.
posted by SpecialK at 11:44 AM on November 2, 2009

Electrical cords, speaker wire, drywall, pvc piping, cabinet doors, carpet squares, linoleum...

Oh wait... as an FYI those are just the inexpensive HAMBURGER toys they may find if they are roaming around your house unsupervised...

You are on the right track with toilet paper tubes, pine cones, old books and bundles of junkmail.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:54 AM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: Also, here are some articles about rabbit toys from knowledgable house rabbit folks:
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:00 PM on November 2, 2009

Response by poster: I frickin love you guys. Keep 'em coming. (We do actually give them wooden baby blocks, but I forgot to mention it.)
posted by joannemerriam at 12:05 PM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: We have lots of plastic rings that are marketed as toys for birds. (Not wood ones, wood's usually been treated). If you can find ones you can hang on the side of the cage, too, that will produce some fun!

*hard plastic balls (with bells in them or not --- our bunnies are of the opinion that the noisier it can be, the better it is)
*little baskets made of hay (can be found at pet stores)
*things to be jumped up on. If you have some shelves and cinder blocks or some other mounting apparatus, you can create a mini jungle gym. One of our bunnies really enjoyed sitting on top of things high up for awhile.
*plastic bowls
*cardboard boxes that can be turned into tunnels/mazes (we had a few of these for awhile and the pitter patter back and forth lasted hours)

I'd recommend being cautious with the paper. We once took a box, filled it up with shredded paper, and our little Netherland Dwarf Seymour took to it instantly. He jumped right in the box and had a grand old time --- then he started eating the paper instead of his hay. And I really do mean eating. So we had to take the paper away from him, and he was not happy with that decision. So, paper is good, but just keep an eye out for how much of it they're just playing with it and how much of it is being eaten. It all depends on the bunny as to whether it will be viewed as a toy or as dinner.
posted by zizzle at 12:29 PM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: I had my bunny (years ago) in a large dog crate, with simple wooden ramps and levels, which was pretty good, but what made it *awesome* was I put some potted herbs in there. He could hide out, nibble, nuzzle, and all sorts of fun stuff. He loved it.

I think I had some parsley, maybe some basil - check what's good for your bunnies. I recommend clay pots (not plastic).

It made the crate look a lot nicer, too.
posted by amtho at 12:42 PM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: I used to have a house bunny, and she liked toys with food inside them - like cardboard or wood folded around an apple slice or yogurt treat. She'd work hard to get at the yummy thing inside and also play with the container.
posted by mccn at 12:43 PM on November 2, 2009

See if you can find any products (balls, baskets, rings) made from woven Willow branches. Our vet carries them, and they are like rabbit catnip!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:53 PM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: Anything that can be knocked down or off of something. My foldable alarm clock is a special target because first it folds down, THEN it can be knocked off my nighttable.
A pack of post-it notes is another double fun item because it's the right size to be thrown and then you can also shred it.

Also, cell-phone-like objects seem to appeal to my guy both in size and weight. He doesn't care about toilet paper tubes because he can't hit them hard enough, I guess. Ballet flats seem to be very throwable, though you have to make sure your girls won't chew them in addition to throwing (mine doesn't).

I have a pendant lamp that hangs from a wire that my rabbit sees as a punching bag- occasionally I look over and it's swinging and every time it comes near him he smacks it with his head. Maybe you could rig up a tennis ball or stress ball on a string for them to bat at or push.

Do you have a hideout spot for them?
When I got rid of my cage altogether, I got the bunny this cheap cabana which can't be locked or anything but does serve the purpose of a special space just for him where I don't intrude (since I also blocked off the under-bed area). He uses it more than I thought he would just to chill out and have some privacy.
posted by rmless at 1:02 PM on November 2, 2009

2nding the concrete form tubes. When we had outdoor buns, Mr dbmcd set up some PVC pipe (including elbows) so the buns could run in and hide (which they needed to do when they were in their grazing pen). They loved it! Of course we did this after Dennis (Hopper) dug straight down about three feet, then out another four or so - he was *so proud* (and filthy).
After we put up the pipes, they never dug again.
posted by dbmcd at 1:25 PM on November 2, 2009

Also: this thread is useless without pictures. Please let us see your bunnies.
posted by rmless at 1:26 PM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: This is what they looked like several months ago.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2009

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