Can Rabbits Climb?
Rabbits are often characterized as quiet pets. But they are not only cute, the agile animals have much more up their sleeve!
When they have the opportunity, the curious long ears go on a discovery tour and inspect their surroundings. They like to climb to an elevated position to get a good overview from there.
In this article, you’ll find out which places these can be, what’s dangerous, how to create great climbing opportunities for your pet, and much more about this interesting topic.
Do rabbits really climb?
Why do rabbits actually climb? And what drives them to take up a higher position? Normally they live in an elaborate tunnel system under the ground, so isn’t balancing at dizzying heights against their nature?
Many owners do not even know about the abilities of their furry noses and are surprised when the little rascals easily overcome the fence of the free run.
The fact is: rabbits can not only climb, it is even fun for them and has a benefit for the animal.
Rabbits like to go climbing because:
- They get to see much more of the exciting human world. Down on the ground, your rabbit’s field of vision is limited to things at ankle height. With its excellent sensory organs, it smells and hears everything you do, but it can’t associate these impressions because it lacks optical detection. Your sporty munchkin, however, would not like to miss anything of “his” people.
- In particular, they can find the remains of lunch or other tasty morsels on tables. The intelligent animals have an excellent memory and never forget where they dusted something to eat.
- This way they manage to explore other rooms. Your adventurous rabbit is known to get bored quickly. If it can use furniture, such as shelves or sofas, to reach other rooms, it will probably make quick use of it.
- In this way, you will be able to enjoy petting. No path is too far or obstacle too high for the cuddly furbearers to reach your lap to be cuddled and fondled.
- Their need for security is more likely to be satisfied in elevated locations, as they notice much more quickly from there when someone approaches.
- So, as you can see, there are many enticing and important reasons for your rabbit to be a climber.
However, your Hoppler’s excursions into higher realms sometimes also harbor tangible dangers that can end badly. Let’s take a look at the various objects, furniture and places that can be involved and whether there is a risk of injury.
By the way: Despite their climbing instinct, rabbits are afraid of heights, which you should definitely consider
These dangers lurk for rabbits when climbing
Even though rabbits are naturally endowed with a climbing instinct, the human home or garden comes with a hazard or two that you should definitely be aware of.
Rabbits really enjoy the free run in the garden and will use it extensively.
However, your animal walker will sooner or later meet the boundary in the form of a fence. Now it depends on the height of the fence, if it is low, your rabbit will easily jump over it. If it is higher, your rabbit will not be impressed by it. If it has set its mind on exploring the world beyond the fence, it will tackle this obstacle without hesitation and simply jump up as far as it can, then climb the rest.
With its paws, it finds a foothold on the cross-braces, which act as a kind of stepladder for the brave acrobat, easing its way to the top.
But once at the top, there’s a problem: your agile pet is unable to climb down and is stuck. If you don’t notice its plight and free it from its predicament, it will eventually jump down.
Unfortunately, the rabbit’s skeleton is very fragile, so there is a risk that it will injure itself not insignificantly in the process. It is better to use a wooden fence with such animals that like to escape or never leave them alone and unobserved..
Normally, rabbits will show little interest in climbing high walls or even walls, because they find few opportunities to act tread-proof there.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to keep surfaces of such kind free, because the shrewd fur bearers are known to have it fist thick behind the ears. Hanging branches or climbing ivy can encourage them to go on an unauthorized discovery tour.
Most rabbits enjoy using the steps of stairs as an obstacle course. If you take a few safety precautions, there’s nothing wrong with it.
Of course, slippery stairs are to be avoided, because your rabbit’s paws will not find a foothold and the momentum of a jump will cause him to slip and, in the worst case, fall down the whole staircase. A carpet would be ideal here, so your sporty Hoppler can train his muscles much more safely.
A very steep staircase is also risky for your fluffy pet, here too there is a risk of falling.
Shelves and other furnishings
As a responsible rabbit owner, you will naturally rabbit-proof your home. The precious porcelain vase, for example, should be out of reach of your climbing mascot, because one nudge is enough to make a mess of your floor as a pile of broken glass.
If your free-roaming rabbit has already made it to the sofa, it’s not far to the shelf. Most of the time, your cuddly munchkin can’t pass up the opportunity that presents itself. He will try to get higher and higher so that he has the best view.
From the very top, however, the fall is also the furthest. Therefore, provide for the welfare of your animal favorite and redesign your apartment accordingly.
Our tip: An exciting climbing park to train and let off steam for your rabbits.
If you have time and desire, then build your rabbit his own individual climbing frame, based on the structure of a cat scratching post, only more stable.
It’s best to use materials such as cardboard and cartons, which you connect with tubes, ramps and bridges. On the ramps, attach footbridges, because in this way the little climber will find a better grip for his paws. Also offer him thick branches as natural climbing opportunities, he will be thrilled with them.
Use wooden boards covered with carpet to create a great lookout for your dizzy pelt.
It’s best to build the climbing park in a workable way, so you can rebuild and change it at any time. If you notice that your rabbit loses interest and needs a change, you can quickly create something new and exciting out of the hat.
To protect your cuddly pet from injuries caused by falls, place several layers of thick carpet or pillows under the highest vantage points.
If you can’t offer your rabbit so much space in the living area or if you don’t have a garden, you can also create a small realm for climbing, playing, watching and hiding on the balcony. In this case, a commercially available cat net is suitable for securing your cat. With such a variably adaptable climbing park, you can make your rabbit happy and minimize the risk of an unauthorized climbing tour and its negative consequences.
A small warning at the end
In no case should you forbid or wean the rabbit from its innate climbing instinct. Only steer it in a safe direction.
To the species-appropriate attitude also belongs that you let him live out his natural abilities and preferences. The more opportunities you offer him, the more comfortable and balanced your animal roommate will feel with you. In addition, you prevent depression in your rabbit.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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