Destructive behavior in house rabbits

Rabbits make excellent pets if you know how to properly care for them and stimulate their minds. Rabbits in the wild are very active creatures and are also territorial. You need to understand what is required to keep your rabbit from becoming destructive.

In the most ideal situation you adopt a young rabbit, you feed him a good, pelleted diet, hay and give him a big bottle of water. You let him out of the cage daily for romps around the house (after rabbit- proofing it), to explore, play with toys and interact with you. Rabbits enjoy getting attention and form a bond with their owners. They also are very intelligent animals who get bored sitting in a cage constantly, not to mention they love to run and jump.

Unfortunately sometimes a rabbit gets neglected for a bit or is actually adopted having destructive behaviors already. Rabbits also may begin bad behaviors when they reach sexual maturity. There are many things you can do in these situations.

First and foremost, a rabbit should be neutered or spayed. Many people do not realize that they may misbehave when reaching sexual maturity or that female rabbits are very prone to uterine cancer and that all rabbits should be altered just as dogs and cats should, to prevent behavioral and health problems. This alone may stop a male rabbit from destroying things in frustration from not having a mate or stop a female from digging things up and nesting when she feels like she needs to have bunnies.

If a pet rabbit suddenly starts showing bad behavior and is altered, he or she may be feeling neglected. They very much enjoy time spent with their person, being petted, scratched behind the ears and under the chin, and even cuddling. If you give your bunny more attention its possible that behavior problems will stop all together. They cannot be left in a cage 24/7. 

Now if your rabbit is given proper attention and also altered and when out and about starts chewing on wood trim, digging in the carpet, and other such things, he could simply be bored with what he has been given to play with. Variety is the spice of life they say, and that applies to rabbits as well.

Also having continuously growing teeth they do need plenty to chew on. Try offering empty toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes to hide or dig in (even adding grass, a different bedding, or torn up paper), balls of different sizes he can roll around with his nose, blankets to burrow and hide in, blocks of wood to chew and many more bunny- safe toys. Rabbits can be very curious so anything they can sniff around and hide in would provide some entertainment.

When there is destructive behavior in any animal there is always a reason. Please don’t write off your furry friend as just a bad bunny, try these suggestions and you will have one happy rabbit on your hands. Get creative and construct cardboard bunny villages, play soccer with him (though obviously don’t kick a ball at him, just soft nudges), or design fun chewing toys for him. You can enjoy having your rabbit for many years of fun and friendship if you give him a chance.