Most animal parents would likely admit that our rabbits are pretty darn spoiled. In fact, our buns may just run the show, expecting treats and pets at certain times, wanting their litter boxes just so, and, well, you’re a rabbit parent. You know how it goes. Fail to meet their demands and we usually get the bunny butt. Still, some spoiled rabbits prefer to do little more than lounge all day. Other rabbits become easily bored, displaying destructive behaviors like chewing carpet and biting baseboards. Whether you’ve got a chilled bun or a bored bun, you definitely want to find ways to keep rabbit mental stimulation alive.
The Importance of Rabbit Mental Stimulation
Rabbits get bored just like people. A rabbit who isn’t mentally and physically stimulated is prone to behavior issues such as aggression and, as we just mentioned, destructiveness. But, did you know mental and physical stimulation is also essential to helping your rabbit remain healthy? A bored rabbit can become depressed, refusing to eat and becoming lethargic.
Here are some ways to keep your rabbit mentally and physically stimulated:
Adopt a Friend
Rabbits are generally really sociable animals. While you’ll find some rabbits who just do not like other rabbits, many thrive with a bond mate. Consider adopting a friend for your rabbit. However, even with two buns, you still have to make sure they have enough to keep them stimulated or else you’ve got the potential for double trouble on your hands.
Go ahead. Have some fun playing games with your bun. Get a willow ball (safe for your rabbit to play with and to chew). Roll it gently toward your rabbit. She may nudge it with her nose or pick it up with her teeth and fling it at you. Yes! Rabbits can learn to play “catch” with time and practice.
Give Your Rabbit Ways to Climb
Does your rabbit love to jump on the furniture and on the bed? Rabbits often love to climb so make sure your little one has the opportunity to do so. Some pet parents use cat trees that offer a perch on the top for the relaxing. If you opt for a cat tree, ensure your rabbit doesn’t eat the carpet (or other covering) and that the base is sturdy.
Another great way to help your rabbit get her fill of climbing is to put a series of progressively higher boxes for her to climb from level to level. However, you must make sure the boxes are weighed down so they don’t tip over from your rabbit’s weight.
Rabbit Mental Stimulation. It's a Challenge.
Your rabbit knows when it’s salad time. Instead of placing a delicious salad plate down in front of her, make her work for those greens. You might want to clip pieces of your rabbit’s greens – romaine lettuce, for example – to the sides of her X-pen. Or, if she’s free roam, find somewhere to hang it so she has to stand up and reach for it.
Offer Logic Toys
Logic toys aren’t just for dogs anymore. In fact, logic toys are now made specifically for small animals, including rabbits. A logic toy requires your rabbit to move cups, for example, to gain access to one of their favorite treats. Logic toys typically have levels of difficulty to offer a challenge.
Have you ever noticed how some human kids have so many toys that most of them go unnoticed? The same thing can happen with rabbits. Don’t overwhelm your rabbit with too many toys. Instead, rotate the toys from time-to-time so your rabbit always has something new and different to play with.
Keeping your rabbit mentally and physically stimulated really is pretty easy. Both you and your rabbit will have fun and you’ll help ensure her continued happiness.