Learn about the kinds of toys that pet rabbits like in this Howcast video featuring bunny lover Amy Sedaris and rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter.
Speaker 1: So we’re going to be talking about bunny toys today.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: . . . and I brought some of my favorite, and I see you’ve brought some of your favorites.
Speaker 2: Yes, I did.
Speaker 1: And I brought my favorite toy at home, Bean, my personal little . . .
Speaker 2: Bean, being such a cutie pie, Netherland Dwarf.
Speaker 1: Netherland Dwarf, looks like a wild rabbit, but he’s not, and we’ll talk about that later.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: So what do you do for toys?
Speaker 2: All right, this is something, well, first of all, my rabbit is obsessed with these little beachcomber straw hats, you just plop it on the floor and they’ll chew it. Here’s one that she’s not quite finished with here, but sometimes it’s just completely gone, and they just like to chew on it.
Speaker 1: Will she go through the entire thing?
Speaker 2: The entire thing, yeah.
Speaker 1: So completely disappear.
Speaker 2: But you want to make sure it’s not treated, right?
Speaker 1: Yeah, if you can, with any straw toys. Some imports have bug sprays on them, or other kinds of little chemicals that you might want to avoid, and it’s best to try to find untreated ones. Although people have told me that they have bought the sprayed ones because of a regulation importing into the U.S., that they have to be sprayed with no ill-effects on the rabbits. I try to find untreated ones myself, just to be safe.
Speaker 2: Okay. Now here’s one that I like to make at home. What you need is you just need a toilet paper tube, a pair of scissors, and you’re going to fringe the edges, because this gives them a little, what do you call it, like not resistance.
Speaker 1: It gives them a little play, there’s a little play in cardboard that way so it’s not quite so stiff.
Speaker 2: Right.
Speaker 1: So that they can access what it’s going to go into it a little more easily. I’m guessing you’re going to stuff it the way we do.
Speaker 2: Right, and then you kind of do the edges like this. See, this is fun, this is fun, and then you just fill it with your favorite hay, it can be a treat hay, you want to use like a herb hay.
Speaker 1: This is Timothy Hay here, you don’t have to use Timothy Hay, but any grass hay is a good alternative, Timothy is a grass hay.
Speaker 2: A little dynamite stick, see? And then you just throw that around, and I mean hay will go all over your apartment, but, you know, if you love your rabbit, you don’t really care, and then you just play. I mean, it’s really a lot of fun, you want to play with that (?).
Speaker 1: And you can use paper towel rolls too if you want it longer.
Speaker 2: Yep, paper towels, right. That’s the other thing . . .
Speaker 1: We have here a slinky, which is great, a lot of rabbits love to grab the end of a slinky and toss it around. One thing you want to be really careful about, and this is a good rabbit to show it with, this size slinky and this size rabbit could be a bad combination, and that’s why we’re showing this. A smaller slinky is better for a smaller rabbit, because this size rabbit can get its head into this slinky. For many rabbits that won’t matter, but some rabbits will panic when they get their head into a slinky, and they don’t back out. So you want to be careful about the size, and make it appropriate to the size of the rabbit.
Speaker 2: And what about metal versus just plastic ones?
Speaker 1: I like plastic ones myself.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: I know some people have used metal ones, but I like plastic ones, they’re much more visible to me on the floor so that I don’t step on them when a rabbit’s on the floor playing with them.
Speaker 2: Also oatmeal, sometimes people take out the sides of the oatmeal, you know, canisters . . .
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: . . . and your rabbit can get stuck in that too, so.
Speaker 1: Yeah, any canister, a rabbit will like to play in the canister, but you have to be really careful about panic, a rabbit can feel panicked when he’s cornered. This bunny right now, for example, is choosing to go into this nice little willow tunnel, which is great, many rabbits like to hide in tunnels, but if this had a closed-end on the other side and he didn’t back out, he could panic in there, so we try to be pretty careful about that.
Speaker 2: And also you can fill this with hay, right, since they have a little hay in there to eat as well.
Speaker 1: Yep, yep.
Speaker 2: And plastic keys, you know, baby toys are great.
Speaker 1: They love them.
Speaker 2: My rabbit always picks this up and tosses it across the room when she needs me.
Speaker 1: They love them, yeah.
Speaker 2: Like a dinner bell.
Speaker 1: Yeah. This is another kind of toy we really like, it’s a nest of straw, or I don’t know what this is, whether it’s willow or not, but it’s like those Russian boxes, those Russian doll boxes, one inside the other, you can see the sizes here, and you can actually give the bunny the whole stack, closed like that, and especially if it’s a bigger rabbit, they will jump in, they will remove the cover of this one, then remove the cover of this one, then chew their way . . .
Speaker 2: Oh, I had no idea, I didn’t know about that.
Speaker 1: Yeah, these are really great.
Speaker 2: Then you’ve got the little, any kind of little straw, little . . .
Speaker 1: Yeah, anything tossable.
Speaker 2: . . . tossable That is funny, because we talk about rabbits playing . . .
Speaker 1: Look what’s going on here.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: He’s chewing the cardboard. We’re talking about rabbits playing with toys, they’re not actually playing in the sense that kids play, but they love to manipulate objects in their environments.
Speaker 2: And plus they love like resistance, and they like your baseboards and wires, so this gives them a nice option.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and we’ll talk about bunny proofing too, but that raises a good point, which is that rabbits love to chew against resistance, so they like wood that doesn’t yield when they chew it.
Speaker 2: Like balsa wood.
Speaker 1: Anything. So what I did, what I had to do in my apartment after I saw my woodwork getting destroyed was I went out and I bought furring strips, and I just tacked them over the woodwork, and now all the furring strips are chewed and I don’t have to worry about the woodwork anymore. So that works great.
Speaker 2: Toys.
Speaker 1: Toys. Toys. Amen.