Playtime With Bunny

Making Friends With Your Rabbit

Having owned house rabbits since the late 80's I've made friends with quite a few bunnies. I try to make them feel safe so they are comfortable enough around me to enjoy interaction, affection and play time. While owning house rabbits may require more patience than other types of pets I simply can't help myself ....I love bunny rabbits!

When I'm first getting to know a new bunny I get down on the floor and play with them there, on their level so to speak. In fact that's where 90% of play time happens anyway. This is, in my opinion, the best way to make them feel secure and earn their trust.
Chasing a scared rabbit and then trying to force them to sit on your lap can make them fearful of you. While some rabbits may become willing "lap rabbits" who enjoy being held, most do not. If that's what you're looking for I probably wouldn't recommend a rabbit.



Showing Momma Some Love

Patience

Trust is a difficult thing to rebuild so I exercise patience, giving my new friend the time they need to become comfortable with me and their new environment.
I prefer to allow them to leave their cage/pen on their own if possible and give them the opportunity to explore a little and then come and greet me. Being able to retreat to their cage should they feel scared is also a good idea.
Remember that as a predator, rabbits are often on guard against potential danger. You'll often see that in their body language. Loud music, sudden movements, screaming children and being chased are normally quite frightening for rabbits. Try to provide a quite, secure environment that does not alarm your new friend, in time they may become accustomed to many things they once found frightening. I can run up to all of my rabbits, screaming and clapping my hands and I'm lucky to get a glance, they simply do not see that as threatening or frightening. All of them have rubbed their chins on my vacuum cleaner ...while it's running. I rarely see any of my rabbits act afraid but when they do, we usually don't know what caused it and often wonder if there may be sound pitches we can't hear.

When you are first getting acquainted with a new rabbit you may find it necessary to sit or lay on the floor patiently awaiting bunny acknowledgement. I give them the opportunity to come to me. I open their cage and give them the opportunity to exit on their own, when they feel safe. (At times I must remove them and bring them to a bunny proofed room.)
They are curious enough that it usually doesn't take long before they're in your business.
If possible, you may wish to consider doing some of your daily activities while seated on the floor, this gives your new friend plenty of opportunities to get in the midst of things and interact with you.


Real Men Love Wabbits!

 

Bribe - You Can Buy Love

Handing out treats is also a great way to become fast friends with your rabbit. My advice to you here is simple, keep the treats healthy and do not give too many. Resist purchasing the junk food "treats" you see in the pet store that are loaded with nuts and seeds, something that should not even be on bunnies diet.
Instead choose a veggie or small piece of fruit.

Acceptable Treats Are:
A raisin, a papaya tablet, a small piece of apple (no apple seed), a piece of celery, a piece of pineapple, a piece of pear, a strawberry, a piece of shredded wheat (no frosting) etc. See Feeding for more information.

They really start to warm up quick don't they, haha.

If I gave my boys a treat every time they came looking for one they'd all be overweight and addicted to sweets. I think most of us are tempted to give a begging bunny a treat, especially when we get so much attention as a result, but remember that keeping your pet healthy is also an act of love. I don't feed my boys a bunch of junk because they'd like me to.

Pretty soon they'll start visiting you just to see if you have a treat.
Yeah, we humans like this attention don't we?

Looks Like A Pez Dispenser To Me
 

Treats can also be used in rewarding good behavior or as encouragement to do the right thing...like going back in to their room when it's night night time.

 

Toys for Rabbits

What do bunnies like to play with? As I've mentioned before, the personality of your rabbit will dictate what they find entertaining. Simple observation will help you choose items that they like and most of them will probably be household items, not store bought toys.
I have never had a rabbit who was a big shredder or digger. Mine do not like to tear up phone books and they rarely chew on cardboard but I know others who do.
All of mine love phone cords and if the computer is no longer connected to the internet I usually know why!
My bunnies love to explore so I have given them lots of cardboard boxes that I arrange and re-arrange to make houses and tunnels. They like to climb up on the sofa or recliner to look around and pillows are fun hurtles.

Some bunnies like to toss small objects, I have only seen mine to that when being kept in a small enclosure. Since they are not kept in a cage and I work in my home, my guess is they are rarely bored. If a rabbit is kept in a pen they may show more interest in small toss-able toys or shredding material.


 


The bunnies room contains their favorite things: Cardboard houses, tunnels and willow baskets.


Now let's get that bunny potty trained..

 

 

 

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