18 Unique Toy Ideas for Pet Rabbits (cheap and free!) Written by Amy Pratt in Care

Want to see your pet rabbit leap, hop, and pop with joy? A bored bunny is no fun, so it’s crucial to provide engaging toys to keep your fluffy friend active and entertained. We’ve got 18 wonderfully unique toy ideas ranging from free cardboard boxes to interactive treat-dispensing puzzles – all designed to excite your rabbit’s natural behaviors like chewing, digging, tossing, and foraging. Discover the perfect toys to match your own rabbit’s play personality for pennies on the dollar. This ultimate guide details where to find exciting new toys, from DIY projects using household items to secondhand scores and monthly subscription boxes. Get ready to fill your rabbit’s world with enrichment and watch their curious, energetic spirit thrive!

What toys do rabbits play with

Rabbits are intelligent, social animals that need mental stimulation and exercise from toys in order to stay happy and healthy. While commercial rabbit toys can be great, there are also many household items and DIY options that make excellent low-cost or free toys for bunnies. Rabbits like to chew, dig, forage, toss, and otherwise play with toys that engage their natural behaviors. Some good toy options include:

Cardboard boxes – Rabbits love chewing up and digging in cardboard. Packing boxes, paper towel tubes, and cardboard egg cartons make great free cardboard toys. Make sure any cardboard is untreated as the chemicals can be toxic to rabbits.

Twigs and sticks – Untreated apple tree, willow, and birch twigs are safe for rabbits to chew. You can often find these for free in your yard or neighborhood. Just be sure they do not have any pesticides on them.

Old phone books – Let your rabbit dig into and rip up phone book pages. The paper is safe for them to ingest and shred to their heart's content.

Untreated wicker baskets – Wicker baskets and balls with holes are fun for rabbits to toss and chew. Just be sure they do not contain any varnishes or preservatives.

Old blankets and towels – Give your rabbit an old fleece blanket to dig and bunch up. Towels are also great for burrowing.

Tunnels – Rabbits love running through cardboard rolls, cardboard tunnels, and even the sleeves of an old sweatshirt.

Willow toys – Natural willow balls, cubes, wreaths, and sticks are safe, edible chew toys.

Rattles – Make a homemade rattle by putting treats or pellets in an empty box or plastic bottle. Rabbits will toss it around to get the treats out.

Hay and grass mats – Mats made of compressed hay or dried grasses make great chewing and digging surfaces.

Foraging toys – Stuff toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes, or paper bags with hay and treats to encourage natural foraging behaviors.

Digging boxes – Fill a box with shredded paper, straw, or rabbit-safe digging materials like soil-free sod. Rabbits love to dig!

In summary, good rabbit toys let your pet chew, toss, dig, forage, and play. Make use of free household items, DIY projects, and natural chew toys to keep your bunny busy and entertained.

Types of toys to give your rabbit

There are several types of toys that are well-suited for rabbits based on their natural behaviors and instincts. Good options include:

  • Chew toys – Rabbits have continuously growing teeth so they need safe chew toys to wear down their teeth. Untreated willow, apple twigs, straw mats, and compressed hay chews are great chew toys.

  • Digging toys – Provide digging boxes or mats filled with shredded paper, straw, or sod for rabbits to dig and burrow in. This satisfies their natural digging instinct.

  • Foraging toys – Rabbits love to forage for their food in nature. Recreate this with cardboard boxes, paper bags, or toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay and treats.

  • Tossing toys – Rabbits like to pick up and toss toys with their teeth. Good tossing toys include plastic balls with bells, untreated wicker balls, and homemade cardboard rattles.

  • Tunnels – Pieces of cardboard, concrete form tubes, paper bags, and the arms and legs of old sweaters make fun tunnels for rabbits to run through and hide in.

  • Comfort toys – Give rabbits soft blankets, mats, and towels to bunch up and burrow under. These provide comfort and warmth.

  • Activity centers – Multi-purpose play centers with ramps, lookouts, tunnels, and attachments keep rabbits active and engaged.

  • Interactive toys – Teach your rabbit tricks like jumping through hoops or ringing bells with interactive toys. This provides mental stimulation.

The best rabbit toys cater to your pet's natural instincts to chew, dig, forage, and be active. Provide a variety of toy types to keep your bunny physically and mentally stimulated.

What types of toys to avoid

While there are many great toys for pet rabbits, there are also some types of toys you'll want to avoid giving your bunny. Unsafe toy materials and types include:

  • Toys with varnish, paint, or preservatives – The chemicals used to treat these toys can be toxic if ingested by rabbits. Stick to all-natural untreated toys.

  • Toys with small, removable parts – Rabbits may swallow or choke on small parts like eyes, beads, bells, and other attachments. Opt for toys without detachable pieces.

  • Cotton rope toys – Cotton ropes can get stuck in a rabbit's teeth or intestinal tract leading to serious dental and digestive issues.

  • Wire cat and bird toys – Rabbits can injure their mouths on metal wire toys meant for cats and birds. Plastic-coated wire is slightly safer.

  • Jewelry, buttons, etc. – Rabbits may swallow small household items like jewelry, buttons, coins, rubber bands, and paperclips. Keep these out of reach to prevent intestinal blockages.

  • Wood shavings – Soft wood shavings like pine and cedar are toxic for rabbits to ingest. Use newspaper, aspen, or paper-based litters instead.

  • Straw or hay with pesticides – Make sure any straw, grasses, or orchard hay is pesticide and herbicide free or it could make your rabbit sick.

In addition to dangerous materials, also avoid toys with sharp edges or textures. Smooth plush toys are best. Supervise your rabbit with any new toy to ensure they are using it safely. Remove and replace toys that show signs of damage or cause safety concerns.

How to find toys your rabbit will want to play with

Every rabbit has their own unique toy preferences. Here are some tips for finding toys your individual bunny will be excited to play with:

  • Observe your rabbit's play style – Do they prefer chewing, digging, tossing, etc? Provide more toys that match their play personality.

  • Try different toy textures – Offer soft, hard, fuzzy, smooth, crinkly, and crunchy toys to see what piques their interest.

  • Test out toy shapes – Rabbits may favor certain shapes. Balls, cubes, rings, and longer chew sticks appeal to different rabbits.

  • See if they like alone or social play – Some rabbits prefer playing alone with toys, while others need social interaction. Try both scenarios.

  • Rotate toys frequently – Rotating toys keeps them new and interesting. Store away toys for a week or two before reintroducing them.

  • Offer variety – Even for individual rabbits, providing a diverse toy box reduces boredom and stimulates their mind.

  • Make toys rewarding – Hide pellets or treats in chew toys to encourage playtime. Food-dispensing toys add mental enrichment.

  • Stick with favorites – Take note of the exact toys your rabbit repeatedly plays with. Stock up on those favorites!

  • Try DIY options – Homemade toys let you cater to your rabbit's needs. Change and refine DIY toys until you find a winner.

With some experimentation and observation, you'll learn your rabbit's toy preferences. Focusing on toys tailored to your bunny's play personality keeps them engaged and entertained.

Where to get new toys

It's a good idea to regularly acquire new toys to keep your rabbit interested and prevent boredom. Here are some places to find fun new toys for low prices or even free:

  • Pet stores – Petco, Petsmart, and local pet stores have affordable rabbit toy sections. Look for sales!

  • Online – Chewy, Amazon, Etsy, and other online retailers offer huge selections and convenient home delivery.

  • DIY – Make homemade toys from free household items like cardboard, paper, and blankets using DIY instructions online.

  • Secondhand stores – Check Goodwill, garage sales, and FB Marketplace for gently used rabbit toys.

  • Hand-me-downs – Friends with rabbits may have unused toys they're willing to pass along.

  • Craft stores – Craft stores have materials for DIY toys like seagrass, wicker, and wood pieces. Use coupons for these stores.

  • Bunny product sites – Specialty sites like Binkybunny and Busy Bunny have unique rabbit toy brands.

  • Local farms – Farms, orchards, or landscapers may give away free apple tree branches, willow sticks, or straw.

  • Around the house – Everyday boxes, toilet paper tubes, old sweaters and blankets make great free rabbit toys with some creativity.

  • Subscribe and save – Sign up for monthly rabbit toy boxes from sites like BunnyBox to get new toys delivered right to your door.

With this wide range of options, you can easily keep your rabbit's toy supply fresh, varied, and affordable. Shop sample sales and clearance racks and DIY what you can for the best deals.

How to keep your rabbit interested in their toys

It's easy for rabbits to get bored with the same toys day after day. Here are some tips to keep your bunny actively engaged with their toys:

  • Frequently rotate toys – Rotate toys in and out of storage weekly or monthly to make them seem new again.

  • Offer toy "buffets" – Place several toy options in the cage or pen to maintain novelty and choice.

  • Incorporate food – Stuff a box with hay and treats, smear banana on a chew toy, or hide pellets in a dig box to entice play.

  • Try new textures – Vary textures with soft fleece, crunchy seagrass mats, crinkly paper, and smooth wood.

  • Get creative – DIY novel toys and structures from cardboard, wood, and office supplies to pique your rabbit's curiosity.

  • Play together – Join your rabbit for interactive play with tossing, rolling, or hiding toys to make it more rewarding.

  • Watch for preferences – Notice favorite toys your rabbit returns to repeatedly. Provide more of these proven winners.

  • Limit boredom – Make sure your rabbit has sufficient playtime out of their cage or hutch each day.

  • Add complexity – Gradually increase toy difficulty by hiding treats under multiple flaps, using food-dispensing toys, or requiring certain actions like nose nudges or lifts to reveal food.

  • Stay safe – Supervise play and discard damaged toys to prevent injury or consumption of toy parts.

With a rotating stash of toys adapted to your rabbit's interests and play style, your bunny will stay active and engaged for years to come. A mentally and physically stimulated rabbit is a happy rabbit!

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