DIY Bunny Toys
Homemade bunny toys
I love seeing bunny’s playing. It’s one of the most adorable things (along with falling asleep sitting up) that bunnies do. They love playing, be that throwing toys around, foraging for food or just running around, and they should be able to do all of these things! Its very important for happy bunnies. They also love chewing so giving them toys is really dealing with both issues, if not you'l have chewed wires, furniture and bedding! Not pretty. But instead of punishing your buns for this behaviour, which is totally natural and shouldn't be seen as bad behaviour (if you can't put up with it, then a bunny is not for you) get your rabbit something to play with and chew. Remember that rabbits need to chew constantly for their teeth and if stopped of this they will ave very harmful health issues.
At first we tried buying bits of wood for Cocoa at the pet shop, then other little things for her to play with but to absolutely no avail. She wouldn’t touch any of them! I had wasted my money and had loads of unused toys lying around in the hopes that she would one day warm up to them.
So here are some DIY toys I have found very successful and as you can see from the pictures, Cocoa absolutely loves them, she plays with them, sleeps with them and even gets a bit frisky with them at times.
Toilet roll holders-
Such a simple and cheap thing that we all (hopefully) have in our homes. You can use them as they are and stuff them with hay and a treat or you can get creative and make them even more fun for your bunny!!
Cocoa loves toilet roll holders. I usually cut small chunks out of the side. Make about 6 cuts at either end of the roll and you can then fold them over each other and put the hay inside. Bunnies will throw this around for hours trying to get the hay out!!
By nature, rabbits love tunnelling. In the wild rabbits will make huge tunnel systems and love being snug and comfortable in them. You can easily make these by getting a few pieces of cardboard and fold the sides together in a cylinder shape. Tape the sides together. You can make it as long as you want, you can make it with turns and leading into a box. The bought tunnels are great too, however for the price, they really wont last long. Rabbits will scratch and chew away on these so making one out of recyclables is your best option.
Again, easily made! Use any old towels or clothes (make sure to take any buttons and zips off) and tie a string around the top to make a head. Cocoa will sit on it and get dragged around the room. If she falls off she scuttles to get back on as quickly as possible. Rabbits use their feet to push the fabric around, and their teeth to throw it around. We like to call this ‘redecorating’. Right now my new buns like to sleep on their rag dolls too, very cozy.
Any old wicker basket will do, but there cannot be any paint or varnish! So basically, no treated wood. If you have long thick grass anywhere, plait it and use a single piece to tie it together. You can go even further and plait a few rows of it then weave it into a little mat.
Any balls really-basketball, football, tennis, cat ball. They will push them around for hours. You can also make wicker balls or hay balls. These are even better.
Using any empty bottle to entertain your rabbit is very easy. Put a few holes in the side and a few small pieces of broccoli or bunny nuts and your bunny will push it around trying to get the food out.
Pieces of untreated wood-
Rabbits chew...a lot, and love throwing things around. One way to make sure they aren't gnawing away at your furniture, or wires is to leave them some pieces of wood. Untreated wood is the only one you should use, so no varnish. Also apple tree and cherry tree wood is extremely harmful so steer clear of these. Rabbits will gladly gnaw on wood to keep their teeth in good health, if a rabbits teeth gets to long it can be very nasty. Chewing is very important and as such if there's nothing for them to chew on, they will go for your wires and furniture. In fact I leave these pieces of wood for the bunnies in a wicker basket, so they can grab one any time they want.
Old cuddly toys-
I was given a kind of fluffy teddy slipper for both feet one christmas, and although a lovely gift as it was, I simply never used it. cocoa found it one day and it was love at first sight. She groomed the teddy, slept on him, humped him, and even used him as a nest in the little pouch, which is where she put her pulled fluff. She spend a lot of time with the teddy slipper!!
Old phone books-
This ones my favourite. we have two bookshelves in our living room and our buns love to sneak over and chew the books at eh bottom shelf. I put out a phone book for them and they didn't touch it. So I tries it on the bottom shelf as it it were an ordinary book and hey presto! They Love it...probably because they think they're chewing something they shouldn't be.....they seem to love things like this! Smart little buns
Other bunnies castles....
Favorite Bunny Toy!
The Bunny Castle!
Bunny castles are extremely easy to build and can be as simple as two or three cardboard boxes with openings in them. You can make them as cute as you want with windows or little roofs but your bun will love spending time here regardless.
If you do want to go a bit more all out....then the two story bunny castle is the way to go, plus if you're creative, it an be really fun to build and play around with, finding out which structure your bunny prefers. You of course can buy these online, but I much prefer making mine. Other people have had amazing luck building fun castles for their buns too. All you need are different sized cardboard boxes and some scissors, play around with shapes first, how many boxes do you have? Are they all the same size? How much space do I have to put it? Once you figure this out and get cutting doors you'l be well on your way.
If you have a big enough space and boxes you should consider a bunny maze, placing either barriers inside one giant box or using multiple boxes. We have one under our bed using multiple boxes and our buns love it up there!we can hear them running around upstairs,and having lots of fun! Here's a link to a video on a bunny maze!
Cocoa loves her Ragdoll!
Which have you tried and found successful?
There you have it!
So these are some of the toys I found most effective. And yeah we all want our rabbits to be happy, but that doesn't mean you have to spend loads on toys they will never use. So leave some comments if you have had luck with any other diy toys for bunnies as I love finding new ways of getting my buns to play and have fun! I hope you found this helpful, and that your buns have happy play time with their new toys!