Rabbits need to be mentally stimulated, just like other pets. This is even more important if you have only one rabbit. It's simple to make toys for him or her with items you already have around the house. You don't need to purchase expensive toys from the store. In fact, some of the best toys are ones you make yourself. Read on for some safe, cheap ideas!
How to Make Homemade Toys for Your Pet Rabbit
Don't waste your money on store-bought rabbit toys. Learn how to make easy and cheap toys that will provide hours on entertainment.
Homemade Rabbit Toys, Really?
I got my pet rabbit, Trixie from our local humane society. I knew rabbits need stimulation and I wasn't quite ready to take the plunge and adopt two rabbits. So, I knew she needed to be entertained! I asked the shelter what to do to keep her occupied and they recommended I get some cat balls with the bells inside (batta balls) and other cheap child and animal toys. I'd spend money, come home all excited to see her elation... and NOTHING. She wasn't interested and was even downright afraid of the entertainment in some cases.
I left her transportation box from the humane society in her play area which continued to be her "go to" source of fun. So, I decided she might like to have a cardboard condo in there just to mix it up a little. I then started coming up with other items we already have around the house and had success each time.
The bottom line? Many rabbits seem to like simple, homemade toys. What you give your bunny will largely depend upon his or her personality, mind you. But, I've put together a list of rabbit crowd pleasers I'm pretty sure will be warmly received.
As I've already mentioned, a cardboard box is a huge hit with our leporid friends. You can strategically stack a few together to make a playhouse. Find a tall box and cut out entry and exit doors so she can run through it, hide in it and even climb on it. You can even leave the top and bottom of the box open to create a quick tunnel.
Okay, here's the pièce de résistance for the cardboard, however. Put some shredded paper in that puppy and she will go NUTS! Unfortunately, your cat might take over the box (as my cat Luna has done in the above picture!).
Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls: A Gold Mine for Homemade Rabbit Toys!
Rabbit love to throw paper towel and toilet paper rolls around. I save all of mine for precisely this reason. Even better is stuffing the rolls with some scrumptious treats. It's kind of like those doggy treat balls they have to roll around to get the treats to fall out. Rabbits enjoy the same challenge and excitement- a stuffed roll can last a good couple of hours.
One of the best materials for the "filling" is hay- either Timothy or Alfalfa, depending upon your rabbit's nutritional needs. To make it even more tantalizing, consider adding one of his favorite treats! I make these in layers, alternating hay
with the treats. They enjoy having a variety and not knowing what they're going to get next. I put a variety of snacks in mine: bits of carrots, apples, broccoli, papaya tablets, kibbles, etc. Use whatever really interests yours. Layer hay, then treat, then hay and so on, Stuff it tight enough that it's a challenge for your rabbit to extract. Then, you can even close the ends to make it even more of a game.
Make a Fort!
This was a serendipitous discovery on my part, but hanging a towel on a chair can be loads of fun! Who'da thunk, right? I was in a hurry one morning and ended up putting my towel on the back of my desk chair. My rabbit could not get enough of this secret little fort. She liked playing with the towel, hiding under the chair, and occasionally tormenting my cats when they approached.
It's the same concept as the cardboard box, but they really seem to enjoy the towel. Just make sure he doesn't like to eat the towel. A little nibbling is okay, but feasting is a no no.
You can also drape towels on the cardboard, they enjoy that too.
All Things Jingly
Rabbits also love cans... Just make sure to not give ones that have been opened by can openers and contain sharp edges. A soda can isn't a good idea, either. The hole on the top is sharp and can cut the rabbit's tongue or paw.
Shoot for cans or tins with lids, so you can slip in some added entertainment. Putting a small rock, coin or bell into the can is an added perk. They will roll them around on the floor and toss them up in the air. Some won't like the sound in the can, so that's a personal preference. Experiment and you will discover what your rabbit prefers.
Rings and Things
Rabbits love those good old Mason jar rings... If you played your cards right, you could market them as rabbit toys and make a mint! I'm kidding, really I am. They are just the right size for them to carry around and toss.
- Paper bags filled with hay and other treats
- Paper egg cartons
- Phone books without the cover (make sure it's soy-based ink)
- Newspapers (again, soy-based ink only)
- Empty and clean plastic soda bottles
- Hay tied together
- Cardboard carpet rolls (ask at your local carpet store, they usually give them away)
- Pesticide-free sticks and twigs
- Pesticide-free pine cones
- Round oatmeal containers
- Untreated wood or straw baskets (the latter I do get at the pet store).
- Soft plastic garden nursery pots
WARNINGS About Rabbit Safety
Always watch your bunny when she's playing. If you are a rabbit owner, I know you get what I'm saying. They can be naughty little creatures and get into things that are harmful, even fatal.
While paper is in itself innocuous, rabbits can choke on it if they go overboard. Make sure you or someone you trust is always present when paper is around. It can form little balls in their throats and block the airway. It's not a super common occurrence, but I have heard of it happening.
Hope you grabbed some useful ideas! But, remember... safety first.