rabbit tunnel How to keep your pet rabbits busy

How to keep your pet rabbits busy

Occupation is very important for rabbits. Although this does not mean that humans should entertain them for hours on end, it does mean that they should make sure that the rabbits find enough material in their enclosure to let off steam and keep themselves occupied in a manner appropriate to their species.

Even small things are suitable to equip a cage so that the rabbits can live a varied life early.
Employment material
To occupy a rabbit are suitable, for example, tunnels, tubes, hiding places, boxes or even branches and boards.

Rabbit on a leash?

A leash for a rabbit? Why not, one or the other may think, when he sees such a utensil in the pet store. But here it shows once again that not everything that can be bought is really useful. Quite the opposite! To take a rabbit to the leash, can go quite in the eye. In fact, it’s really reckless and borders on cruelty to animals.

Rabbits are by nature flight animals, moreover, they are virtually predestined to hit hooks. But what happens if you put the rabbit on a leash? It will not, like a dog or maybe a cat, just run straight ahead, but it will hop here and there, maybe hit a hook, or maybe even get scared and want to flee. It happens much too quickly that the rabbit gets caught in the leash with one of its hind legs or front paws and gets tangled. Panic is preprogrammed here and if the rabbit then starts to wriggle, a broken bone is not uncommon. In addition, rabbits have extremely thin and fine bones, which splinter or break very quickly anyway. Even a broken neck could be the fatal consequence of a rabbit trying to escape on a leash. So if you love your rabbit and want to give it a run, you should never put it on a leash, but provide it with a species-appropriate outdoor run.

So, as nice as the idea of taking your rabbit for a walk on a leash is – it doesn’t work and basically, rabbit leashes from pet stores should simply be banned.

Toys for the rabbit

Does a rabbit need toys at all? And if so which one? Clearly: A rabbit, which does not live in the wild, but in “captivity”, should of course be able to live as species-appropriate and natural life early as possible. A cage, enough run and kind-fair fodder are not sufficient here. In the free nature the animals find finally likewise each quantity occupation material.

But rabbits are not particularly demanding in this respect and most of the toys that make a rabbit’s heart beat faster can be built quickly and with a little imagination the simplest things can be converted into rabbit toys.

At least as important for the rabbits are enough opportunities within the enclosure to let off steam, run, dig and jump around.

Build a maze

Interesting for the rabbits is in any case a maze of caves, tunnels, tubes and various other objects around which they can run, climb, crawl through or jump over. Thus, the rabbits, which are quite curious by nature, have something to explore, to sniff, to explore and to cuddle so it can endure the rabbit life well!

Cardboard boxes and wicker baskets

Unprinted cardboard boxes can be used to make wonderful things that invite play and exploration. For example, by cutting holes and doors into them, filling them with hay, or hiding a treat in them from time to time. If the boxes get too gnawed on, they are simply replaced. It could also be a sign that the animals are missing branches and twigs to nibble on. Willow toys can also be interesting, but unfortunately are often gnawed and broken up.
Caves and tubes

Also caves and tubes for hiding are always in demand with the long ears. It doesn’t matter whether they are made of wood, clay or cork – the main thing is that they are not too narrow so that the rabbits don’t get stuck in them. And of course, these tunnels and burrows must not pose any risk of injury. Any protruding metal parts or the like must be removed beforehand in any case. From a few branches together with a basket or a blanket can also easily build an exciting cave.


All rabbits love to dig for their lives. If at all possible, there should therefore be one or the other possibility for extensive digging in the rabbit enclosure. Outdoors, of course, this is somewhat easier to accomplish than with rabbits kept indoors. A large box filled with earth or sand should not be missing in an outdoor enclosure. Alternatively, a box filled with old fabric scraps or paper can be used.

But beware! With fabric there is a risk of injury – especially when narrow and long pieces of fabric stick out in which the rabbits could get tangled. Also normal bedding of any kind can be interesting for the animals in terms of digging.
Course made of different objects

As long as the things are nibble-safe, one can build the rabbits also times fun-half a labyrinth from empty plastic bottles or rubber balls. They can be moved back and forth, they can be rolled and you can even hop over them.

Teaching tricks?

Rabbits are animals that are not easily trained and should therefore not be compared to a dog. If you have trusting animals and take a lot of time, you might be able to teach your rabbit a trick or two. After all, rabbits are amazingly intelligent animals, but some bring from the outset more willingness to display than others. And humans should respect that in principle.

So the important thing is to take enough time, have a whole lot of patience, and do everything without pressure. A very simple trick would be, for example, to roll a ball to the animal, which it then – with a lot of luck – pushes back with its nose. And this desired behavior can be rewarded with a treat. It works similarly if you want to teach it to listen to its name and come hobbling when you call it.

However, it is always important with such play offers that you never force the animals to do anything. Everything should be voluntary, because rabbits logically have their own head and do not always want to do exactly what their master or mistress imagines. You can’t really train rabbits – and if you can, then only with restrictions. It should always be appropriate for the species and of course the rabbit should not hurt itself on any of the objects used.

Training rabbits should in any case not degenerate into coercion for the animal, it should not feel threatened and it should have fun at any time.

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