Rabbits are well known for being very energetic. Their need for stimulation is a factor to consider so that they don’t get in trouble by chewing on things that aren’t toys. Rabbits chew on things and interact with toys that they find entertaining, and our list of DIY rabbit toys can help you find inexpensive and safe options to keep your pet occupied.
The Benefits Of Rabbit Toys
Each bunny will have a unique “play style” or way that they like to interact with items that they interpret to be toys. Rabbits are notorious for chewing on things like furniture and power cables, so it's a good idea to provide them with lots of safe toys, so there is less temptation to gnaw on other more dangerous items.
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DIY rabbit toys can also help save you some money as the supplies needed to make these toys are the kind of materials you may otherwise throw away. If you don't have some of the materials on our list, consider asking family or friends if they have any on hand. The materials that your bunny finds interesting to chew on are also widely available for free.
Providing your rabbit with a variety of toys essentially gives them some enrichment or activities that help to use their brain as part of the entertainment. A rabbit that receives mental stimulation each day is more likely to be happy and healthy.
Toys that provide your rabbit enrichment should encourage them to perform different actions such as picking things up with their mouth, crawling over or into various items, and figuring out how to extract treats from objects you provide. Several popular options require little or no crafting on the owner's part.
Rabbits generally love being creative, and these curious creatures may play in different ways. By observing your bunny for a short time, you can figure out how they like to play, and how you can best rotate what toys are made available to them for the most entertainment.
Making Sure Rabbit Toys Are Safe
A simple online search can help to reveal if a particular material is safe for your rabbit, and there is a surprising number of materials that are ok to use. Cardboard, paper, paper bags, and some kinds of plastic are frequently used to create DIY rabbit toys, but there are other materials such as straw, and pine cones.
Other ideas for safe materials that could be used for rabbit toys include
You can also use things such as PVC pipes, or cardboard forms that are used for concrete molds if you have them. Since these materials are more expensive and specialized, they may be more difficult to find, but hardware stores are a great place to check for rabbit-safe materials.
Before you give your rabbit a toy, carefully inspect it and check to make sure that it is clean and free from any small loose parts that could be easily removed and swallowed. Hard plastic is generally safe because the rabbit is unable to gnaw off large chunks, but softer plastics can be a hazard.
Towels and other fabrics may be safe as long as they are clean, but make sure not to leave this kind of material with your rabbit for extended periods as they may eat some of it and create a blockage in their stomach.
Another way to ensure that toys stay safe is to check them regularly as you rotate the selection of toys you provide to your rabbit. By turning the toys, you can also make sure that they are wearing well, and see which ones your rabbit likes to play with most.
Rabbit Toy Ideas
If you are looking for ideas for rabbits’ toys that you can make yourself, take a look at our list with several suggestions for items that are often free.
Cardboard is one of the most common materials used when it comes to rabbit toys, and it can take many different forms to suit the playing style of your rabbit. Cardboard rolls that are used to hold paper towels or toilet paper are excellent free options, and paper bags are also a good choice.
You may find that cardboard forms intended to be concrete molds can also come in shapes that your rabbits will find entertaining. They may be available in both circular columns and square columns.
Cardboard boxes also make great rabbit toys, and if you're feeling creative, you can make your rabbit a maze, or other simple structure and hang other toys from it. Some pet owners have made small houses out of cardboard, and the rabbits enjoy being able to enter the boxes from multiple sides.
There are a wide variety of plastic toys that are appropriate for your rabbit to play with, and many of them can be found at local stores but not in the pet section. Whiffle balls commonly used by young children for various sports can make an excellent toy for rabbits.
Whiffle balls can also be filled with strips of paper, treats, or other edible items for your rabbit to work out of the holes. It can be very entertaining for your rabbit to hang the ball filled with different objects so that they can bat at it. Some pet owners hang the ball from a part of the rabbit’s cage or a small structure such as a cardboard box.
There are also some cat toys made from plastic such as balls that make good toys for rabbits. Some of these balls may contain a bell so be sure to check the balls frequently to ensure the rabbit doesn’t chew through it and swallow the bell.
There are also some toys intended for parrots that can be fun for rabbits such as various tubes, hoops, and balls that are either hollow or solid. Avoid objects that have metal components even if they aren’t painted as these may damage a rabbit’s teeth.
Pinecones that haven’t been treated make excellent toys for rabbits, and they can be strung together with natural string to make for a fun and interactive activity. The pine cones work well for wearing down the rabbit's teeth, and they're also fun for just tossing around. If you can't find any around where you live you can also find pinecones at pet stores.
Wicker and willow toys and baskets are another popular option for many rabbits, but it's essential to get items that aren't treated. Rabbits will enjoy the sound of toys rattling around in a wicker basket, and these types of things are also good for chewing. Rabbits will frequently like the texture of wicker or willow, so balls made from this material are a favorite.
Small whisk brooms made from straw can also be a good toy, and straw balls typically meant for hamsters are another natural item many rabbits love. For increased enjoyment, consider adding shredded paper or timothy hay for more enrichment. If you have an apple tree nearby, green branches can also help wear down rabbit teeth.
Toys For Babies, Dogs, And Cats
Sometimes the best toys are ones that weren't explicitly intended for bunnies but will work just as well. Plastic or wood teething rings commonly meant for babies, hard plastic cat balls that make noise, and large rubber balls that are generally for dogs are all good examples of toys that are safe for bunnies.
Baby rattles can also be a good option if they are made from safe materials, and links and keys made from plastic can work as well. These kinds of toys should be checked regularly for wear as how long they will last with a rabbit is somewhat unknown. Treat balls or other treat dispensing toys that are meant for dogs can also be a fun option for rabbits.
Fleece and cotton fabric can be used to make several different kinds of rabbit toys and tutorials are widely available online. These crafts are generally quick to make and take only a few supplies.
Old t-shirts and be cut into strips and braided or tied together to make a variety of shapes. Old socks can be cut or knotted and even filled with treats or other toys. You can also take fabric and make a simple hammock for your rabbit.
Paper can be cut and shaped into other objects quite easily, or it can be folded and strung on a stick or string to make a type of garland your rabbit will love to rip apart. Put shredded paper or other packing paper in a box and make a couple of entrances in the box for your rabbit to explore.
You can also make a type of mobile from different kinds and shapes of paper, or cut the paper and fold it into little boxes, wreaths, or cylinders and stuff the items with things like hay, treats, and greens.