Caring for your rabbit can be more involved than you may think. Much like cats and dogs, rabbits need a proper habitat as well as a stimulating environment to stay happy and entertained. But how exactly should you go about providing this for your rabbit?
In this article, we will cover how to properly care for your rabbit to keep him happy. We’ll also cover how to stimulate your rabbit’s senses to keep him entertained. Read on to discover everything you need to know.
Here are seven easy tips to keep your rabbit happy and entertained:
1. Invest in Stimulating Toys For Your Rabbit
Keeping your rabbit entertained is all about playing with them and equipping them with the toys to entertain themselves. Playing with toys can involve chewing, tossing, and rearranging. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in toys that are sturdy enough and won’t break. You’ll also want to make sure that none of these toys have small pieces your rabbit can ingest.
What Kind of Toys Do Rabbits Like to Play With?
There is a myriad of different toy options available that can often be made right at home. Unlike cats and dogs, rabbits don’t need flashy toys to enjoy themselves. Usually, the simplest is the best.
Some toys rabbits enjoy include:
- Toilet paper rolls, with or without hay inside
- Deep trays for digging
- Hanging parrot toys
- Cardboard box houses
- Paper grocery bags
- Cat toys
When looking to purchase or make toys for your rabbit, it’s best to see if it fits one of these categories:
If you have options for each of those categories, your rabbit will never get bored.
2. Play with Your Rabbit Regularly
While toys are a great way for rabbits to entertain themselves, you’ll also want to spend time playing with them. Playing can be as simple as tossing a toy around with them or setting out items for them to rearrange. Either way, it’s an important step in bonding with your pet that you won’t want to miss out on.
3. Pet Your Rabbit Every Day
Of course, you’ll want to spend time petting and cuddling your rabbit to keep him happy! If you can, take some time out of every day to sit down and give your rabbit some attention. You can place your rabbit on your lap while you’re watching TV or dedicate time to be present and play with your pet.
Make sure that your rabbit enjoys being held before picking him up to cuddle! The last thing you’ll want is to stress your rabbit out when you’re trying to bond. I recommend petting your rabbit on his cheeks and forehead but being careful to avoid touching his ears, neck, and stomach.
You’ll learn over time where your rabbit likes to be pet. Every rabbit is different, and what works for one may not work for another!
4. Give Your Rabbit Enough Open Space
Keep your rabbit happy by giving providing enough space to hop around in.
Adult rabbits typically grow to be around 10 pounds or less, which is considerably larger than other rodents such as hamsters or rats. Therefore, rabbits need sizable enclosures that will give them enough space to move around comfortably.
The exact measurements of the cage will vary depending on the size of your rabbit, but it’s best to go bigger rather than smaller. Generally, your rabbit’s cage should be at least four times the size of your rabbit.
Check this chart to see the minimum floor space and interior height you will need in your rabbit’s cage:
|Rabbit Weight (In Pounds)||Minimum Floor Space (Square Feet)||Minimum Interior Height (Inches)|
|4.4 or less||1.5||14|
|11.9 or more||5||14|
The average rabbit enclosure should measure at least 39” long by 27” wide and 24” tall. This should give your rabbit enough space to hop around without bumping into the sides or top of the cage. If you are planning to house more than one rabbit in this enclosure, adjust the size accordingly.
5. Pack Your Rabbit’s Space with Necessities
Once you’ve obtained the correct sized cage, you’ll need to set it up with a handful of items to keep your rabbit happy. Start by lining the floor of the cage with a soft material, such as newspaper or straw. This will protect your rabbit’s feet and add an extra level of comfort.
A rabbit enclosure should have four basic components:
- Litter box
- Sleeping area
The subsections below will go into further detail for each of the four components.
When selecting a food dish opting for a heavier food dish that is unlikely to break down over time. There are plenty of options available online and at your local pet store, but you don’t need anything too fancy. It’s important that your rabbit has easy access to his food dish.
To ensure proper hydration for your rabbit, you’ll need to invest in a water bottle that attaches to the side of the enclosure. Water bottles for rabbits are equipped with a long metal spout that the rabbit can drink from whenever he finds himself thirsty.
Some rabbits prefer to drink from a water dish instead of a bottle. There is no right option, and many rabbit owners recommend experimenting with both a dish and a bottle to see which your rabbit prefers.
Rabbits like to have a designated area in their enclosure to use the restroom. This can be set up similarly to a litter box of a cat, but smaller. Choose a sturdy container that can fit in the enclosure and line it with straw or newspaper. Make sure that it is big enough for your rabbit to fit into comfortably!
Separate Sleeping Area
Lastly, prepare a separate sleeping area for your rabbit. This can be as simple as a soft mat, or you can opt for a separate plastic hut for your rabbit to indulge in. Whichever you choose, ensure that the area is lined and comfortable.
6. Choose the Right Food
One of the most important steps in keeping your rabbit happy is investing in a proper diet. Rabbits have fairly simple diets-you can pick up their food at your local grocery store!
Generally, rabbits will eat a mixture of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables.
You’ll typically find that hay makes up the majority of your rabbit’s diet, so be sure to have some on hand at all times. Pellets should be consumed in smaller quantities, and pellets with added ingredients should be avoided as they can cause health problems.
Fresh vegetables are a great option for your rabbit! Some vegetables your rabbit might enjoy are:
- Dandelion leaves
7. Regularly Groom Your Rabbit
It’s hard to stay happy when your rabbit isn’t clean! Rabbits are typically known to be clean animals and like to stay groomed. There are several basic steps to grooming your rabbit that can be done on your own.
The first step to grooming your rabbit is to brush him regularly. This should be done every three days using a brush specifically designed for rabbit fur. Rabbits enjoy grooming themselves, and ingesting too much fur can cause health problems.
You’ll also want to do some general cleaning if you notice anything funky with your rabbit. Wipe off excess bedding or dried urine from their fur. In general, keep your rabbit as clean as you would yourself!
For more complicated grooming processes, such as nail trimming or ear cleaning, take your rabbit to your local vet. It’s easy to go wrong here, and the last thing you’ll want to do is accidentally harm your rabbit.
Keeping your rabbit happy and entertained doesn’t have to be difficult. When owning any pet, especially rabbits, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what they need in order to be happy and healthy. Now you know exactly how to keep your rabbit happy and entertained, and you’re well equipped to be an outstanding rabbit owner!