Because many rabbit owners keep their pets locked in small cages, they miss out on much of the joy that house bunny owners experience daily. One aspect of rabbits is that they enjoy playing with toys.

When bunnies are allowed to live in a room or even a large exercise pen, they become more outgoing and playful. When given some noise-making toy, such as plastic keys on a ring, they happily toss them one way and then another. I had one long-eared companion named Mark who liked to push a cylindrical rattle around his pen. Gideon, my first true house rabbit, loved picking up cardboard tubes from paper towels and letting them drop to the floor.

In a sense, cardboard box houses with doors at either end become a plaything for rabbits. Not only does such a simple toy give them the satisfaction of enlarging the doorways but they feel a measure of safety while lying inside them. When a old phone book with the covers removed is placed inside, bunnies have a wonderful time shredding them. I’ve spent many mornings listening to Deborah, my current house rabbit, joyously ripping paper in her cardboard hideaway.

The best thing about toys for rabbits is that they can be made at home or bought cheaply from thrift shops. With a little imagination, anybody can make playthings which will keep bunnies occupied. After all, they need mental stimulation. If they aren’t provided with toys, they’re more likely to get into mischief.

One toy I invented for rabbits is the CD top. I took a ruined CD-R and sanded off the aluminum coating. Then I flattened a toilet paper tube and rolled it into a spindle. Next, I put the spindled tube through the hole in the centre of the CD-R. Not only does this simple object give rabbits something to toss but it rocks back and forth. That adds to the rabbit’s  fun.

I wrote about these and other bunny distractions in When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies. It’s available through the Bruce Atchison’s books page. I briefly mentioned my rabbits in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book edition while Virtual Bookworm Publishers stock the paperback version.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.


  1. I resent the fact that you think most rabbit owners keep their rabbits in small cages. Anyone who would do that is not caring for their bunnies properly.
    Also, a responsible rabbit owner will know that it is important to let your bunny have free range for at least two hours a day.
    My rabbits are housed in condos I made from NIC cubes and are three levels high. They also get at least 4 hours of free range.
    To categorize most rabbit owners this way is not correct. Only those that are not very responsible.

    1. It’s a sad fact that you, Cynthia, and I are in the minority when it comes to good rabbit care. Many, if not most, owners of rabbits buy them as Easter gifts to the kids, Many rabbits end up in the back yard in smelly hutches. Folks like us care about our bunnies, including giving them large living quarters and plenty of run time. We responsible rabbit owners are few and far between, according to the stories I hear on PetBunny, eThump, and other groups. I’m so glad to know that your bunnies have such a considerate human to look after them. I hope you continue to do that and to show as many people as possible how wonderful house bunnies are.

      1. Bruce, you are far more polite in response than I was!!
        You are absolutely correct. This time of year, shelters get in run offs of people’s impulse buys at Easter because baby rabbits are “sooooo cute”. without doing the research about what it takes to have a rabbit. That is why so many groups are trying to separate Easter and rabbits and many shelters will not adopt out rabbits at that time. Rabbits take more work that cats and dogs put together and they are not inexpensive to maintain. Having said that though, the joys of companion rabbits far outway the work!

        After having my rabbits for four years, it is tearing me apart that I either have to re home mine or lose my house. Being disabled myself and also having a child with autism spectrum, I have no choice. Moving is not an option. Because of the Easter run off, I am having a very hard time finding the proper homes. I cannot tell you in words how much this is killing me inside. Each one has a special place in my heart and I am really going to miss them tearing around the house doing their binkies!

        Rabbits are the third most popular pets and people do not understand the importance of spaying and neutering rabbits. There are so many unwanted and abandoned rabbits. I can go on and on about this topic. But I need to get back to trying to find the right homes…. 😥

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