Bunnies are great pets, especially among young children as well as adults who prefer a docile companion. However, bunnies or rabbits have some behaviors that can be quite destructive. If it is your first time to adopt one as a pet, you might be surprised to see wires with chew marks or holes on your carpet. Luckily, there are effective ways of bunny proofing your house. Let us take a look at ways to make sure that your rabbit will not harm itself and help keep your house safe.
The destructive behaviors of rabbits are predictable. In this guide, I will provide you with useful information on the following concerns.
- Protect your wiring
- Conceal carpeted areas in the house
- Securing your baseboards
- Prevent your rabbit from nesting beneath furniture
- Keep your rabbit away from books and hazardous items
- Distracting your rabbit with toys
By thinking ahead and proper preparation of our home, you can lessen the likelihood of any undesirable antics from your furry companion.
A close look on rabbit or bunny proofing
Rabbit proofing or bunny proofing your house generally involves preventing your rabbit’s destructive actions, keeping it safe, and providing it with alternatives for digging and chewing.
The objective is to allow your rabbit with enough space to exercise or roam free without requiring you to monitor it regularly. I recommend bunny proofing the room where you let your rabbit wander freely. However, you can opt to bunny proof your house completely, so your companion has more space to explore and mingle with the family.
Preventing your rabbit from biting wires
When a rabbit bites on wiring, it is merely a burrowing instinct. Rabbits see the wires as roots, and once they encounter the wiring in your house, it triggers the need to “clean it up.” Chewing on wires can be dangerous for your rabbit, especially if it is “plugged in” – live electricity! I will share ways on how to keep both your companion and wires safe.
- Rabbits love to chew on wires. With this in mind, cover the wiring with wire tubing or simply block it off. As your first task, I recommend merging as many wires as possible into one or two areas. Seal off these areas so your rabbit cannot reach the wires. In such instances, it might require you to relocate any wire-heavy technology in a room where your rabbit is not allowed. An option is to install a blockade or fence to keep your rabbit away. You can also keep the wiring off the floor by setting up hooks along the wall and behind the furniture.
- Covering the wiring is also an alternative by using plastic tubing. Rabbits are less likely to chew on thick tubes. In case your rabbit decides to give it a go, it will take time to chew through the plastic. This gives you time to replace the plastic cover when needed.
Preventing your rabbit from biting on the baseboards
I have to warn you that rabbits are likely to chew on things you do not want them to leave marks on. Since the teeth of rabbits grow continuously, they need to wear it down. Naturally, rabbits have some extensive chewing habits. Providing your rabbit with hay is highly beneficial for their dental health, but they also need various chew toys.
- Cat scratcher mats. Attach them to the wall using command hooks. You can use the flexible ones to wrap around the leg of furniture such as wooden tables or chairs. The mats will surely come in handy on corners of rooms and around doorways.
- Using wooden planks or cardboard. One way to prevent your rabbit from biting on the baseboards is to attach wooden planks on them. I recommend this as the ideal long-term solution, but not an option if you are living in an apartment or renting a home where you are not allowed to make any alterations. Cardboard is a cheaper option that you can flatten against the wall.
- Setting up a fence around the perimeter of your room. This is also a good option, so your rabbit cannot reach the baseboards.
- Blocking access by using furniture. Keep your rabbit away from the baseboards by positioning the furniture innovatively against the walls to block access to the baseboards. Although this will not secure the entire perimeter, it limits the amount of work you must deal with.
Preventing your rabbit from digging at the carpet
As natural burrowers, digging is a natural behavior of your rabbit, especially with the females. If you want to prevent this behavior, I suggest diverting attention and protecting the house’s vulnerable parts.
- Keep your rabbit in rooms with hardwood flooring and provide rugs that your rabbit can dig in. If this is not possible, place something down to cover the carpet, particularly in the corners of rooms and around the doorways.
- A good solution is a plastic mat that can prevent your rabbit from reaching the carpet, but bathmats or plain cardboards work well. I recommend positioning your furniture in corners to keep your rabbit away from these potential digging sites.
Preventing your rabbit from nesting under furniture
Rabbits love to explore areas under the furniture, such as beds or sofas. In some cases, they might decide that these are the ideal places to build a nest and eventually start digging into the carpet.
- Blocking off the area under the furniture. An initial option to try is to block off the area below the sofa, cabinet, bed, etc. You can make use of storage cube fencing to seal the gap along the base of the furniture.
- Plastic mats under furniture. Place plastic mats underneath the furniture. This works well in preventing your rabbit from destroying the carpet. An affordable option is to use flattened cardboard boxes along the floor. Just make sure that you will replace them now and then.
How to bunny proof other areas in the house
Now that you are done with the main aspects of bunny proofing your house, I suggest checking on all items that your rabbit might encounter. With a little more work, you can keep your rabbit from getting into anything dangerous or destroying something important.
- Dangerous objects. Some of the potentially dangerous objects include cleaning supplies and other chemical products you keep under the kitchen or bathroom sink. It also includes house plants that are dangerous to rabbits, candles, and any human food that your rabbit might be curious to nibble on. You can prevent an incident by keeping these items behind closed doors or out of reach.
- Papers and books. Rabbits love to chew on paper, including books. You might be surprised to see your favorite books in pieces if left on areas that your rabbit can reach. I suggest blocking off your rabbit’s access to your bookshelves, but it requires more than that by relocating your books on the upper shelves. As for other paper items, please do not leave them anywhere that your rabbit can reach.
- Appliances. Some appliances, such as fans and heaters, can be dangerous for a curious rabbit. The ear or nose of your rabbit might get caught in the fan blades or end up with burns. In some cases, rabbits can knock down these appliances, posing as a fire hazard. To remedy this issue, I suggest putting these appliances out of your rabbit’s reach.
Distracting your rabbit with safe chewing and digging options
Once you are confident that your rabbit cannot access anything dangerous, it is time to provide your companion with alternatives. Since digging and chewing are rabbits’ natural behaviors, I recommend giving them a chance to make the most out of their instincts without being destructive with several safe chewing and digging options.
- Chew toys. One way to distract your rabbit while also keeping their teeth firm and healthy is to provide chew toys. You can provide wooden toys, applewood sticks, pine cones, stuffed animals, or cardboard paper rolls. You can even create chew toys at home by using a combination of these items.
- Digging box. A safe place for your rabbit to dig without destroying your house is to provide a digging box. I suggest looking for a box that your rabbit can fit into, whether it is cardboard or plastic or anything you have on hand. Fill the box with fun toys. You can use shredded or crumpled paper, wooden chew toys, toilet paper rolls, etc. Hide some treats in the box to encourage your rabbit to dig inside the box instead of the carpet. Just make sure that you will refresh the toys and treats now and then, but I know for sure that this will keep your rabbit entertained and allow its natural behavior to go unhampered without destroying your house.
When bunny proofing your house, being prepared significantly helps, I am sure that with the help of these useful tips that I just shared, you will keep your rabbit happy and safe while preventing any destruction along the way.