Rabbits are by nature curious, fun-loving creatures and need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. A rabbit with no outlet for these natural tendencies can become bored, lonely, overweight, destructive, or depressed. Toys should be provided in your rabbit's cage and in his exercise area.

The good news is that some of your rabbit's favorite toys are common household items. Stuff an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll with hay and your bunny has a safe chew toy and will consume the hay as well. A cardboard box with an entrance and exit cut into it will provide your rabbit with a playhouse he can hide in, run through, and jump on. Some rabbits will devote a lot of time to shredding newspaper or an old copy of the yellow pages. Other toys from around the house are paper grocery sacks, round oatmeal boxes, canning jar rings, non-plastic coated paper cups, a can with a pebble inside, a straw whisk broom, clean hard plastic bottle tops, or a towel (if your rabbit does not eat the towel).

Most rabbits enjoy digging and chewing. Give your rabbits toys that he can dig in or chew and he will be less likely to amuse himself by digging or chewing in places that you'd rather he didn't. Fill a box with shredded paper for digging. Good chew toys include sea-grass or maize mats, untreated wood (no redwood or cedar), rabbit safe branches or twigs, cardboard, untreated willow or wicker baskets, and dried pinecones. Rabbits are usually pretty disinterested in the chew sticks found in pet stores.

More toy ideas

Bunnys' play area

Your rabbit's exercise time will be enhanced if you provide him with some fun things to run through, hide in, and jump on. Besides the cardboard box mentioned above, here are some ideas for play structures that you can make or buy: a wooden box, a Cottontail Cottage, a Little Tykes playground, or a cat tree. Cardboard concrete forms are tubes found in home improvement stores. They are great for tunnels and can be cut to size with a saw. If your rabbit is a burrower, you can stuff one end of his tunnel with newspaper. You can build a play condo out of boxes with cardboard or wood ramps. If your rabbit spends a lot of time in his cage, consider giving him a cage with multiple levels and ramps. Hang a towel or sheet on a kitchen chair and you have an instant bunny cave.

Rabbits enjoy safe, lightweight toys that can be picked up and tossed. Small inexpensive child or animal toys that appeal to a playful bunny include Batta Balls (a ball with a bell inside), hard plastic baby teething keys, baby rattles, and hanging bird or baby toys. Your rabbit might like a large hard rubber ball, but balloons are dangerous and must be avoided.

Variety is the spice of life

Babs tosses his keys

Change the toys in your rabbit's cage from time to time as he loses interest in them and reintroduce them at a later time. Keep your rabbit safe by giving toys that don't have small pieces that he can ingest. And by all means, get on the ground and play with your rabbit! Let him climb on you or gently toss toys to him so he can toss them back. As you get to know your rabbit better, you'll discover which toys or games he prefers.