Rabbits

How To Play With Your Rabbits

how to play with your rabbits
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Did you know that rabbits need about 3 hours a day of exercise and playtime? If you’re wondering how to facilitate a healthy level activity in your bunny, we’re here to help!

In this article, rabbit lovers will learn 4 ways that bunnies have fun:

  • Chewing
  • Exploring
  • Playing
  • Hiding

Take a closer look at each category to get ideas for toys you can make, toys you can buy, games you can play with your bunny, and how to make your fluffball’s home comfier and more conducive to playtime.

For more information (and chuckles) about general body language and how to tell when your rabbit wants to play with you, we highly recommend reading through The Language of Lagomorphs.

Pro tip: Play with your rabbit on a rug or carpet. Slippery floors are almost impossible for their fluffy feet to get traction on. The carpet will let your bunny run, jump, and binky to their heart’s content!

Chewing

rabbits chewing

Rabbits love destruction. Whether it’s chewing for the sake of it or snacking like a champ, bunnies are chew fiends. When presented with a new thing to inspect, most rabbits will give an initial nibble to scope it out. “Is it good to chew?” is their top priority.

Because their teeth never stop growing, bunnies need to grind them down. Quality Timothy hay is the best way to help your rabbit keep their chompers in check.

Giving your bunny something good to chew will do more than help their teeth, though. Safe chew options in your home will stimulate your friend mentally and keep them distracted from things like electrical cords.

Here are a few ideas for your rabbit to chew over:

  • Chew toys: Oxbow has a great variety of bunny safe chew toys. Some are made from hay, others from dried sticks, or even yucca root.
  • Bunny safe wood: If you have any number of rabbit safe trees in your yard or you live near an orchard, you can bring your ravenous chewer some fresh twigs to gnaw. They especially love fresh, green wood. Some bunny safe trees are apple, pear, birch, mulberry, and more! Make sure the area you get your sticks from is not treated with pesticides and herbicides, as bunnies are extremely sensitive to these chemicals.

Exploring

rabbits exploring

For such a shy creature, rabbits sure are curious!

Try some of these to make a welcoming environment in the home for your bunny to explore:

  • Scatter feeding: Just like it sounds, you can scatter your rabbit’s kibble around their living area to keep them occupied for hours. It stimulates their minds and mimics the way they eat in the wild. This is also a good tactic for reducing any food aggression or tussling over kibble.
  • Treat treasure hunt: To encourage some curiosity and get your bunny moving around, you can even hide healthy treats around the house while they are roaming free. Place the snacks away from cords and high ledges, then let them loose for the treasure hunt!
  • Rearrange the furniture: Rabbits don’t have the best long-term memory and are nosey little creatures by nature. The combination of which means that changing up your floor plan is another simple, completely free way to give your rabbit more places to explore.

Playing

Though they play differently than dogs and cats, rabbits can still enjoy a good toy or game.

And rabbits play with the darndest things. Curtains, water bottles, slippers – what do you see your bunny bothering and tossing around the most? If you don’t want holes in your slippers, try finding toys that can mimic some of those everyday items your rabbit plays with!

Here are some of our favorite playtime activities for our bunny buddies:

  • Tricks: For mental stimulation and a fun challenge for both participants, try teaching your bunny some tricks. Convince them to come when called, or give your bunny some exercise with agility tricks.
  • Chase: Some rabbits love a good game of chase! This Language of Lagomorphs article will give you an idea of when your bunny might be inviting you to chase them around a bit.
  • Treat puzzle games: There’s nothing like the smell of food to get your bunny in the mood for playtime. You can buy or make treat toys like a turn around treat dispenser, a treat ball, or a bunch of DIY toilet paper tube toys you can fill with snacks.
  • Human jungle gym: Have you ever been laying on the floor reading, when suddenly there was a bunny on your back? If they’re comfortable with you, many rabbits love climbing on their humans. Try doing some yoga or sitting on the floor quietly near your rabbit to pique their interest. Then tempt them onto your lap with fruits and greens!

Hiding

rabbits hiding

Regardless of how outgoing your bunny is, all rabbits are prey animals. That means they will deeply appreciate having their own little hidey nooks in their house and yours.

Rabbits in the wild only sleep in their burrows. It’s their safe place where they don’t have to fear predators. So, having a hiding spot that they can fully relax in nearby will help your bunny feel more comfortable around you.

  • Tunnels: A tunnel will give your bunny a close, dark hiding spot as well as a place to explore. And they will absolutely be chewing on it, so make sure the materials are non-toxic. You can buy all manner of pet tunnels, make your own from cardboard, or even craft an entire bunny castle.
  • Repurposed tunnels: On a budget? You can use various household items to make a bunny tunnel. Repurpose that old clothes hamper or make a temporary tunnel with blankets draped over the coffee table.
  • Edible hideaways: Architecture you can eat? Bunnies say, “yes, please!” Tunnels made from things like Timothy hay or rabbit safe woods combine their love of a relaxing hideout and lust for destruction. Oxbow makes many different sizes and always uses safe materials.

Conclusion

In the end, one of the most important parts about figuring out how to play with your rabbit is learning what they like best.

Learn how to tell when your bunny is in a playful mood, and when they just need some alone time. They’re quiet animals, but if you pay attention, they’ll tell you what they want.

And every bunny is different! Don’t be afraid to test out different kinds of toys, games, and house configurations. Your fluffy buddy will love the variation, and you’re sure to find some fun ways to hang out with your bunny.

We hope these tips and suggestions will help you cultivate some silliness and playfulness in your home.

Happy binking!

Lauren
About author

Lauren lives in Memphis with her giant, black, raw vegan roommate: Güstav, the Flemish Giant. A lifelong love of all animals has led her to writing and education. Her critter care resume includes rabbits, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and hamsters... to name a few! She has also worked as a dog trainer, farmhand, and multi-species foster mom for many years.

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