Is your furry friend destroying your home? Do you come home to find chewed baseboards, ripped up carpet, and electrical cords snipped in half? Having an energetic pet rabbit can feel like sharing your house with a tiny wrecking ball! But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some simple rabbit-proofing techniques, you can redirect your bunny’s natural behaviors and save your belongings. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to outsmart even the craftiest rabbit. We’ll cover how to protect your wires, save your carpets, secure your baseboards, and bunny-proof trouble spots throughout the house. Read on to learn trade secrets that will allow you and your rabbit to happily and safely share your home!
What is Rabbit Proofing?
Rabbit proofing, also known as bunny proofing, refers to the process of making your home safe for pet rabbits. As prey animals, rabbits have natural instincts to chew, dig, and hide in enclosed spaces. While these behaviors are normal, they can be destructive in a home environment. Rabbit proofing involves modifying your living space to redirect these behaviors in a way that prevents damage.
Some key steps for rabbit proofing include blocking access to unsafe areas like wires and baseboards, providing approved alternatives for chewing and digging, covering vulnerable surfaces, and supervising playtime. With some preparation and training, you can bunny proof your home to keep your rabbit entertained and out of trouble. A well rabbit proofed area allows your rabbit freedom to exercise and express natural behaviors.
How to prevent your rabbit from biting wires
Rabbits love to chew on wires, which can electrocute them. Protect your rabbits and your electronics by taking steps to keep cords out of reach.
Block off areas with a lot of wires
Limit access to rooms like offices that contain many wires. Use baby gates or exercise pens to block doorways. Supervise playtime in wire-heavy rooms.
Cover your wires
Wrap cords in plastic wire loom or flexible metal conduit. These tubing products are available at hardware stores. For surge protector strips, secure a section of PVC pipe over the cord bundle.
Use wire wraps or cable binding strips to gather loose wires. Caution tape wrapped around cords also deters chewing. Place cords behind furniture so they are hidden and hard to reach.
How to prevent your rabbit from digging at the carpet
Digging is a natural behavior for rabbits that they will exhibit, even indoors. Protect your carpets and floors by directing your bunny's burrowing instincts in a positive way.
Cover the corners
Rabbits like to dig at wall corners where carpet edges meet. Tack down sheets of cardboard or sisal mats to vulnerable areas. You can also place a cat scratching post in the corner.
How to prevent your rabbit from biting baseboards
Baseboards are irresistible to rabbits, who will gnaw and chew at the wood. Save your walls using repellents, barriers, and distractions.
Use cat scratcher mats
Place sisal scratcher mats against baseboards to protect the wood. Rabbits may chew these mats instead. Replace the mats as needed.
Block baseboards with wooden planks or cardboard
Nail wooden boards or firmly attach cardboard vertically over baseboards. These removable barriers will prevent access while preserving your walls.
Set up a fence around the perimeter of your room
Exercise pens, cardboard barricades, or other improvised fences can keep rabbits away from baseboards. Leave ample room so your rabbit does not feel trapped.
Block access to baseboards with furniture
Position furniture like sofas directly in front of baseboards. Place a cat scratcher behind the furniture to provide an acceptable alternative chewing spot.
Use a bitter apple spray
This taste deterrent spray is safe but unpleasant. Apply it to vulnerable baseboards. Reapply frequently. Bitter apple spray may also be used on electric cords.
How to prevent your rabbit from nesting under furniture
Your rabbit may try to burrow under couches, dressers, beds, and other furniture. Block these potential nesting sites to keep your bunny from getting stuck or chewing on supports.
Block off the area under furniture
Use cardboard, wood, exercise pen panels, or storage bins to block access underneath furniture. Leave a few inches of clearance so your rabbit cannot get stuck behind the barrier.
Put plastic mats down under furniture
Plastic chair mats or vinyl runners will protect carpet and remove the temptation to dig. Weight the edges down so the mat cannot be lifted.
How to bunny-proof other areas
In addition to the chewing and digging hazards already described, there are other risks to watch for when rabbit proofing your home.
Keep all exposed electric cords, plants, chemicals, and small objects out of reach. Rabbits may swallow hazardous materials.
Books and papers
Important documents and covers of books are attractive chewing targets. Place them out of reach or spray them with taste deterrent.
Block access behind refrigerators, washers, heaters and other large appliances. These contain wires and hazards if chewed.
Distract your rabbit with safe chewing and digging options
Providing appropriate outlets for natural rabbit behaviors is part of bunny proofing.
Offer chew toys made of willow, pine, and compressed Timothy hay. Rotate novel toys to prevent boredom.
Fill a litter box or cardboard box with shredded paper, straw, or strips of fabric for digging. Supervise to prevent ingestion. Rotate materials to keep the experience interesting.
In summary, rabbit proofing requires dedication but is essential for a safe home. Always supervise your pet, provide mental stimulation, and reinforce desired behaviors. With time and training, you and your rabbit can comfortably share your home.