Bored bunnies can get into trouble. Even bunnies who aren’t bored sometimes just enjoy doing things they shouldn’t. A little preparation, understanding, and a willingness to look at things from a bunny’s point of view will keep both you and your bunny happy and trouble-free.
Wires: Rabbits love to chew on wires – electric, phone, cable and computer wires. You must protect your possessions as well as your rabbit’s life. You can purchase plastic tubing which, when slit open, can be slipped over most wires and taped in a few places. Bunny doesn’t find this as enticing. Some wires can be taped up higher on the wall or tucked under the rug. Check hidden places where the rabbit could climb up and reach those wires. He might find wires that you can’t see as well, such as behind the washer or dryer, behind the TV or behind or under the bed.
Corners: Some rabbits will chew on the corners of the walls or wood trim on windows and baseboards. This is one reason you must watch your rabbit while he is free in the house. If he finds an irresistible spot, you can purchase hard plastic corners at the hardware store. These were meant for the edges of wallpaper. Sheet rock is not good for them.
Wood: For items like chair legs, coffee tables, kitchen cabinets and doorframes, a product called “Bitter Apple” can be purchased at most pet stores. It is applied to the wood and serves as a deterrent to chewing. They must have their own piece of wood to chew on. If they continue to chew on your wood, clap your hands loudly to make them stop then give them their own wood to chew on. (NO CEDAR)
Rabbits will sometimes chew and exhibit destructive behaviors out of boredom. As social creatures, rabbits do better with a friend like them. Also providing toys can help cut back on unwanted chewing behaviors. Things like empty toilet and paper towel tubes, baskets, old paperback novels or phonebooks, etc. can help to satisfy bun’s desires to chew and shred.
When you see your rabbit chewing on something he/she isn’t supposed to:
Loudly stomp your foot, clap your hands or whistle. When you have bun’s attention, give a firm “No Bite!” Consistency is a must when trying to assist your bun in unlearning bad behaviors. Time, patience and positive reinforcement of good behaviors will go a long way in helping you help your rabbit.
Some rabbits are avid diggers. Some will dig to China in their litter boxes. For flying litter and debris, we recommend investing in a large covered cat litter box. Some will dig at carpeting. We recommend when this happens that you provide an appropriate spot of your rabbit to dig. Locate a boxlike container (cardboard box, covered litter box, etc.) and fill it with something that your rabbit can dig through. Hiding an occasional goodie inside the filling is always fun for bun. Shredded newspaper, hay and straw are just a few examples that could be used safely with your bun.
When you observe your rabbit digging in an inappropriate area:
Loudly stomp, clap your hands together or whistle to get their attention. Once you have it, firmly say “No Dig!” Just like with any unwanted behavior restructuring, you will need to be consistent. Be sure to be just as quick and consistent at offering praise when your rabbit isn’t doing the unwanted behavior.
Peeing and Pooing outside the box
See our Litter Training page.