As a rabbit owner of apartment rabbits, you can hardly avoid securing the apartment or at least a room, because the outlet for indoor rabbits significantly increases their quality of life.
What can endanger the rabbits?
- In nature, rabbits live in underground burrows, which are often overgrown with roots. Therefore, rabbits gnaw on every cable that is in their way as a matter of course. These cables are life-threatening if they are gnawed on (electric shock).
- Plastic cable clamps can be used to nail cables to the wall. In addition, they must be protected with a cable cover or conduit. It is advisable to lay them upwards or under the baseboards. Accumulations of cables (for example, behind the PC) can be stored in a cable box, to which they are fed through a hole. Flexible cables that cannot be routed along the wall (e.g. floor lamp cables, computer or cell phone charging cables) can be secured by a hose (clear garden hose, cable protection hose, etc.). The garden hose is slit along its entire length with a pair of scissors so that the cable can be tucked in from the side quite easily. Or you can choose metal-sheathed charging cables. For extreme biters, metal shower hoses are the most likely choice. There are also floor ducts for cables that run through the room.
Cupboards, ovens, washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers.
These should always be closed. They must be checked before use. Other animals (e.g. cats) will announce when they are locked in, a rabbit will remain silent.
The toilet lid should always be closed if the rabbits have access to the bathroom. Few toilets are life-threatening, but rabbits may catch a cold or wet the apartment after a “bath in the toilet”. Even though rabbits can swim: Filled bathtubs can be a death trap because rabbits can’t get out. Never leave a filled tub unattended!
Highly toxic houseplants must be removed. Non-hazardous houseplants can be placed. Some of them, however, rabbits like to eat, so they have a low chance of survival (eg, green lily), so it is advisable (depending on the plant) to place them elevated. For example, on a plant column, an unreachable window sill or a small table. Alternatively, you can put the plants, for example, in an old bird round cage or decorative cage.
Things lying around and food
Everything that is within reach of the rabbits can be eaten. Chocolate placed on the couch table likes to be stolen, so it should only be placed elevated. This applies to any human food. Cleaning products, fertilizers, etc. must be stored safely (because they are toxic). Heavy objects can kill a rabbit if they fall down!
If the rabbits are allowed to use the balcony, the parapet must be at least 1.20 m high and tight enough. Otherwise it must be secured with aviary wire. Jumping over the parapet can be fatal. High puppy runs can also be placed along the parapet.
To avoid hurting rabbits when opening and closing doors, they must be opened with great care and slowly. For those who can’t/won’t implement this, they should be unhinged or the bottom of the door should be glassed so that it can be seen through the closed door if there is a rabbit on the other side.
When moving chairs, be careful not to injure your rabbits!
If rabbits can reach the window sill use caution! Accidental windows can be fatal, as can falling out of an open window or getting stuck in a tilted window.
Be careful not to let rabbits get between your feet, unfortunately serious injuries happen all the time because someone steps on or trips over their rabbit.
Predators & other pets
Predators can get into the home through windows or doors, such as martens through tilt-up windows. Especially on lower floors, windows need to be closed or secured at night for this reason.
Pets are also often predators and should not simply be “let loose” on rabbits. However, patient habituation can lead to rabbits living with other pets.
What needs to be protected from rabbits?
Most rabbit owners care about their home furnishings. Therefore, one or another protective measure is useful
- Many rabbits like to eat the wallpaper. Plenty of varied activity and fresh branches to gnaw on will distract the rabbits from the wallpaper. The walls can also be protected with (white) wood, rolled glass, thin wall protection film or Plexiglas. With this film you can cover wallpaper and when you pull off the film, the wallpaper will not break! White chipboard is wipeable and can be connected by means of angles in the corners, so you can put it directly on the wall and the wallpaper behind it remains undamaged. Rolled glass and plexiglass (or hobbyist glass) can also be framed and placed in front of the wall with angles. If the wall is fixed directly or the film is glued on, the wallpaper will be damaged or holes will be made, which will have to be removed when you move out. An easier option is to remove the wallpaper from the wall and just paint the pure wall. More tips for wall protection
- If you catch the rabbits, you can use a sharp no and (if possible) a squirt from a flower sprayer to re-educate them. Otherwise, the remote control spray often helps.
Remove urine stains completely
With simple tricks you can remove urine stains well. On mattresses and carpets, it is a good idea to spray on glass cleaner, let it work for a short time and then rub it out. The stains often disappear almost completely. If you want to be on the safe side, we have had very good experience with Dr.Beckmann’s stain remover (for fruit, red wine, vegetables), which we also use to remove our dandelion stains from picking.
Carpets and their lint are readily eaten by some rabbits. You need to be aware of this and choose suitable carpets (cotton) if necessary and replace them from time to time. In places that are particularly susceptible to being eaten, a large stone tile, a Venyl sheet or a hemp carpet for rabbits should be placed over the top, as the fibers can cause blockages! Smaller rugs can be removed altogether if necessary.
Rough tiles or roughened PVC flooring or linoleum are ideal. Carpet and cork are high maintenance and difficult to keep clean. Most rabbits will slowly become accustomed to slippery or smooth floors (laminate, tile, PVC) and will eventually be able to safely hobble them as well.
Block off forbidden areas
Forbidden areas can be fenced off with animal guards or stair guards. If the distances between the fences are too large, it is best to secure them with aviary wire. Small animal fences or puppy runs are also suitable.
Further hints, tips and tricks will be gladly added!
Rabbits use cozy furniture such as a sofa, bed or chair not only as a place to lie, but often to defecate. Therefore, it may be wise to protect the furniture. Unoccupied furniture can be protected with waterproof sofa throws, waterproof stretch covers or waterproof blankets. More tips on parenting for this behavior: Rabbit pees on bed/sofa.
If the sofa is being chewed on, tips on how to do this can be found below under the subheading “Furniture legs and other furniture”
Only things that may be chewed on and damaged should be stored on all shelves that are accessible by the rabbits. It is therefore advisable to purchase cabinets, these can be closed to protect things. Or you can use boxes for storage in the lower shelves.
Furniture legs and other furniture
Wooden legs and other furniture like to be chewed on. Fresh twigs will distract the rabbits. Of course, it is possible to protect the legs with wire mesh, but this does not look very homely. An alternative is furniture with metal legs. Wooden legs can be sprayed with keep-away spray to keep the rabbits away, but this will need to be refreshed from time to time. In addition, in the places that are gnawed, rabbit toys should be placed so that the rabbits gnaw them instead of the furniture. For example, a wicker bridge can be placed high up in front of the sofa corner. If the rabbits have understood by the spray and the suitably standing toy that they should gnaw this instead, one can move it after some time also again somewhat away. This helps educate rabbits as to which objects are for gnawing and which are not. If a chair leg is nibbled, a sock can simply be pulled up from below. As a discreet protection is suitable transparent tape, with which the chair leg is masked.
It also makes sense to offer straw, hay and fresh twigs at the toilet places (at least one per room), i.e. a so-called nibbling box. In nature, rabbits constantly nibble on grasses, bark and other plants. In pets, this often causes them to gnaw on the furnishings. By offering them lots of places with great material and providing daily variety, occupation and new natural material, you can discourage them.
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