Information pulled from the House Rabbit Connection’s rabbit care guide.
Rabbits have behaviors that don’t always mesh well with our lifestyle. Rabbit-proofing your home will help keep your pet and your things protected.
Just what do rabbits get into?
Wood - particular favorites include molding, table and chair legs and doors.
- Supervise – when your rabbit is out of her cage, make sure she has adequate supervision. As she learns what’s appropriate, she’ll require less observation.
- Restrict the area – never give your new pet rabbit the full run of a large area. Use barriers and increase the play area gradually.
- Train your rabbit – when you see your rabbit going for a tasty door corner, yell “no” or clap and stomp your feet to startle her. Then redirect to something appropriate like her toys.
- Soap the wood – all-natural soap rubbed on wood will usually prevent nibbling. Don’t use bitter apple or pepper spray because rabbits love the taste!
- Substitute – give her items that are OK to chew. This will satisfy her desire.
Rugs and Carpets – rabbits love to dig at wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs.
- Supervision, restricting the play area and training are important preventative measures to decrease digging behaviors.
- Cover the rug – Corners are the most enticing. Cover corners with linoleum, tile or a litter box. Carpet samples and plastic covers for under the desk also work well.
- Substitute – if your rabbit digs at the carpet it means she wants to dig at something. Give her an alternative like an old phone book. Face the binding towards her so that she can dig and shred the pages. If you notice her eating the pages, give her something else to dig into.
Wires and cords – wild rabbits clip through vines to clear escape routes. Domestic rabbits still have this instinct. They find it impossible to resist chewing wires and cords because they look like vines. This can be extremely dangerous for your rabbit as they will go for electrical cords, phone cords and cable cords.
Remove or contain all wires and cords that are in your rabbit’s play area. The only way to ensure that she will not chew is to make the cords inaccessible. Use:
- Wire wrap – from a hardware store. The plastic wrap protects your wires and vice versa. Wrap several wires together to make a bundle thicker than a vine so your rabbit’s instincts won’t kick in. Check your wires regularly.
- PVC or plastic tubing – slice the tubing and insert the wires.
- Shower curtain rods – insert the wires.
Upholstery and textiles – rabbits love to chew furniture, bedding, towels and clothing.
- Protect the backs of sofas and chairs with cardboard QUIK-TUBES (used for pouring cement and found at most hardware stores). This will have the added benefit of protecting your carpet.
- Block access to underneath beds and behind furniture.
- Keep folded towels and clothing off the floor and out of rabbits’ mouths.
- Substitutes – give her your OLD towels and clothes.
- Toys – we all like to play. Make sure your rabbit has plenty of pet toys. This will help prevent her from going for things that are out-of-bounds.>