October 2, 2023

Wolf Fun

Plink Plink Pets

10 Simple & Cheap Homemade Rabbit Toys

10 Simple & Cheap Homemade Rabbit Toys

Are your rabbits bored? Do you need ideas for new toys?

Rabbits don’t take much to please. But boy, do they get bored easily. Don’t waste your money on loads of rabbit toys when you have everything you need right at home.

Keep reading to learn why toys are so important for rabbits and how you can make your own to provide hours of fun for your buns!

Why Do Rabbits Need Toys?

Rabbits are energetic little critters. They need a lot of attention, room to run, and a number of things to do to prevent them from getting bored or depressed.

Mental Stimulation

Rabbits need to keep their minds active to stay vigilant and properly stimulated to prevent boredom, stress, and loneliness. Toys like puzzles encourage instincts and behaviors to enrich rabbits’ minds without overwhelming them.

Physical Exercise

Believe it or not, rabbits are prone to weight gain. Some breeds are more prone to this than others. Either way, having toys like tunnels keep rabbits happy and healthy all at the same time.

Dental Health

A rabbit’s teeth are constantly growing, making chewing vital to a rabbit’s survival. Having chew toys made of durable yet chewable wood ensures your rabbit’s teeth stay at a reasonable length while adding a bit more fiber to his diet.

Social Interaction

It’s recommended for rabbits to be in pairs since it’s their natural way. But if you only have one rabbit, he needs to have a variety of toys to play with. Rabbits can become lonely and depressed without social interaction. Mirrors and plush toys prevent that.

Preventing Boredom

Rabbits tend to get destructive when they’re bored. Having a variety of chew toys ensures your rabbit’s chewing stays productive and your furniture stays safe.

Do Rabbits Get Bored Easily?

Rabbits are smarter than most people give them credit for. They’re hard-wired to be vigilant and quick-witted for survival. This intelligence causes rabbits to become bored easily and quickly, especially if they’re in a cage all day.

However, even free-roam rabbits can become bored with the same old things after a while. That is why having a variety of toys and slightly changing things now and again is recommended.

How Many Toys Do Rabbits Need?

Rabbits don’t need a trunk full of toys to keep them busy. In fact, rabbits can be easily overstimulated, so you should introduce one toy at a time.

However, because they do become bored pretty easily, it’s fair to say that backups are always needed. In my experience, one toy and a few backups are enough for a long time for free-roam rabbits.

Is It Safe to Make Homemade Toys For Rabbits?

If you use rabbit-safe materials, it’s 100% safe to make homemade toys for your rabbits. It’s also super easy and much more affordable than a trip to the pet store!

Best Materials for Homemade Rabbit Toys

When making DIY rabbit toys, you need to make sure that you’re using safe, organic, and rabbit-friendly materials.

The best materials for homemade rabbit toys are:

  • Cotton Linen
  • Felt
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Willow wood 
  • Apple wood 
  • Cotton string

What to Avoid When Making Homemade Rabbit Toys

Certain materials are toxic to rabbits or can become a health hazard. Here are some materials to stay away from when you’re making homemade rabbit toys.

  • Plastic
  • Dyed wood
  • Pressure treated wood
  • Anything treated with pesticides 

Types of Toys Your Rabbit Needs

There are lots of toys for rabbits out there, but all of them fall into three main categories that cover different benefits.

Chew Toys

Chew toys aren’t just for dogs. Oh, no. As mentioned, a rabbit’s teeth are always growing, making chew toys essential for any rabbit parent. Not just for filing their teeth down, either. It also helps jaw bone health and reduces tartar and plaque buildup.

Toss Toys

Toss toys promote movement and activity, but for the whole body. Instead of just hopping around, a rabbit also exercises its upper body. Plus, it encourages self-play, even in bonded pairs.

Interactive Toys 

Interactive toys help rabbits think and use their instincts, making them great source of enrichment and stimulation. Toys like puzzles allow a rabbit to exercise its mind and body.

10 Super-simple (and Cheap) Homemade Rabbit Toy Ideas

As promised, here are 10 homemade rabbit toy ideas. Again, most of these toys are super simple to make and totally free. You likely already have everything you need to make them!

1. Toilet Paper Roll Food Dispenser

Homemade Rabbit food dispenser toy

A quick and easy treat dispenser to keep your rabbits occupied and give them some enrichment.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Toilet Paper Roll
  • Scissors

How to Make It:

  1. Cut a few small holes into the toilet paper roll.
  2. Stuff with pellets or treats.
  3. Close and fold both ends to seal.
  4. Introduce to your rabbit by showing him how to dispense the treat.

2.  Snuffle Matt

A super-fun way for rabbits to engage their natural foraging instincts in the comfort of your home.

What You’ll Need:

  • Linen Bedsheet or Felt Sheets
  • Scissors

How to Make It:

  1. Cute fabric into 1-inch-thick strips
  2. Knot and weave together so it’s a fringy mess
  3. Stuff with a few treats

3. Cardboard Ball

DIY cardboard ball rabbit toy

A great lightweight toss toy for your rabbits, all done in mere minutes.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper Towel Or Toilet Paper Roll
  • Scissors

How to Make It:

  1. Cut toilet roll into 4 equal pieces.
  2. Start putting one piece over the other to form a ball.
  3. When you’re done with the third piece, place a treat into the ball.
  4. Finish the ball by adding the final, fourth piece over and cover any major holes.

4. Foraging Box

The perfect way to productively engage your rabbit’s natural love of digging, foraging, and chewing.

What You’ll Need:

  • A shoe box
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors/Boxcutter

How to Make It:

  1. Crumple newspaper pieces into balls and put them in the shoebox.
  2. Cut the top of the shoebox to create a half-cover.
  3. Add some treats to entice your rabbit to dig and forage.

5. Herb Garden Box 

A sustainable way to give your rabbit more greens and fun!

What You’ll Need:

  • A large planting tray or litter box
  • Rabbit-friendly herb plants or seeds (i.e. parsley, basil, mint).
  • Potting Soil with low-level of fertilizer (or eco-friendly and organically fertilized)

How to Make It:

  1. Lay down a few inches of soil and plant herbs.
  2. Water the plants and give them lots of sunlight for a few days to make them heartier. (Trust me, they’ll need it). If you’re using seeds, you’ll need to wait until they grow.
  3. Put the tray down on the floor and let your rabbit at those glorious greens! Introduce slowly if your rabbit isn’t used to fresh herbs.
  4. Water and take the tray away as needed to let herbs regrow.

6. Woven Willow Ball

A fun craft for you and an even better homemade toy for rabbits!

What You’ll Need:

  • A bundle of fresh willow branches
  • Vinegar (for soaking)

How to Make It:

  1. Soak the willow branches in water and vinegar for 30 minutes and rinse.
  2. Let the willow branches dry for a few hours or put them in the oven at 200 °C (400 °F) for 15 minutes.
  3. Tie the ends of each willow branch together to form rings.
  4. Fit and weave the rings over each other to form a ball.

7. Braided Willow Branch Toss/Chew Toy

What You’ll Need:

  • A handful of willow branches 
  • Vinegar
  • Scissors
  • String 

How to Make It:

  1. Soak willow branches in water and vinegar for 30 minutes and rinse.
  2. Let the willow branches dry for a few hours or put them in the oven at 200 °C (400 °F) for 1 hour.
  3. Cut long branches into 9-inch lengths. Braid together using 3 branch lengths in each strand. Tie off both ends with string or knot with branch ends.

8. Stuffed Pinecones  

An all-natural chew or toss toy that you can spice up by stuffing with treats or fruits and veggies.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-3 pinecones
  • Vinegar (for soaking)
  • Diced fruits and veggies (optional)

How to Make It:

  1. Soak pinecones in vinegar and water and rinse off.
  2. Dry in the oven by baking at 200 °C (400 °F) for 2 hours. Let them cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Optional: stuff with treats, fruits, and veggies.

9. Hanging Vegetables

A great way to enrich your rabbit’s mind, body, and diet right in their cage.

What You’ll Need:

  • String
  • Clothespins
  • Rabbit-friendly fruits and vegetables 

How to Make It:

  1. Cut a length of string that spans the width of your rabbit’s enclosure.
  2. Tie both ends of the string to each side of the rabbit enclosure, making a clothesline.
  3. Hang up some rabbit-friendly goodies on the line with the clothespins.

10. Hanging Hay Ladder

Multiple levels of play with hay promote stretching for when your rabbit has to be in the enclosure.

What You’ll Need:

  • String
  • Something to poke a hole with (scissors, a pencil, etc.)
  • 3 toilet paper rolls
  • Your rabbit’s favorite hay

How to Make It:

  1. Punch a hole through both sides of each toilet paper roll.
  2. String the toilet paper rolls together, knotting each roll into its place, forming a ladder.
  3. Stuff toilet paper rolls with hay and hang them from your rabbit’s cage.

Other Rabbit Toy Ideas

Here are some other creative ideas for rabbit toys.

Cat Toys

Toys like cat balls can be used as kibble dispensers that your rabbit can roll around to make snack time much more fun.

Bird Mirrors 

Mirrors you’d typically find in a birdcage are the perfect size for your rabbit’s cage. If you only have one rabbit, this is also a great way to prevent loneliness.

Concrete Form Tubes

If you can get your hands on some concrete form tubes, they make perfect tunnels for rabbits to exercise and play in. Just make sure they’re big enough for your bunny to fit through!

Wooden Blocks

Wooden blocks made from rabbit-friendly wood like willow or apple are great little knick-knacks for rabbits to gnaw on for their teeth.

Plush Toys    

Like mirrors, plush toys can help a lonely rabbit feel less lonely. Even for bonded pairs, having something different like a stuffed rabbit can be fun to watch them interact with.

How to Encourage Your Rabbits to Play With New Toys

It may take some time to gauge whether or not your rabbits like their new toys. Give them time to explore it.

Here are some tips to help you entice your rabbit to play more.

  • Introduce each toy slowly and only one at a time.
  • Don’t force things. If your rabbits don’t like one toy, try something different.
  • Use treats and food when you can to entice them.