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Elegant Rabbit Proof Home

By Laura Edward

The previous article on rabbit proofing included some great tips.  The biggest was probably “don’t underestimate your bunny’s ability to get out of even the most secured pen or away from your watchful eye even for a moment.”  I have had some rabbit-proofing failures in my home.  For example, there have been a few dropped phone calls after the phone line had been sawed in two.  Also, my husband had to explain to the nice cable TV lady why some of the buttons on the remote were chewed down to nubs.   And I’ve even had a Playstation controller wire chomped through while actually playing a game.  

Thankfully nobunny got hurt during my learning curve, and after years of experience I’m I’m pretty good at the rabbit proofing basics.  I don’t have any plants for curious rabbits to nibble at.  I’ve hidden or covered all of those tasty wires and I’ve blocked off areas where rabbits shouldn’t go.  I supervise my two rabbits, Wally and Veronica, and make sure that there are lots of things around that they are allowed to chew.  But rabbit-proofing while maintaining an attractive living space for the humans is challenging.  

Furniture placement helps a lot.  Putting bookshelves or cabinets in front of outlets and wires not only prevents somebun from chewing on them but also hides them without having wire covers exposed.  When you do have to use the wire covers, neutral tones are best.  

For underneath the couch, I’ve used an inexpensive wood frame that prevented anybun from getting underneath.  The frame was not visible by humans and matched the flooring as well.   

Some bunnies will not chew on wooden furniture or baseboards if it’s been treated with the green apple spray that’s available at most pet stores.  The spray is invisible and needs to be reapplied from time to time.  Some humans have found that rubbing wood with Ivory soap also discourages chewing.  But to thwart one particularly determined rabbit companion who had an affinity for baseboards, I had to cover a section of it with plain untreated wood (never cedar).  This was easily removable for when company came.  

Wally and Veronica love trying to get behind cabinets and couches, but the one place they would love to find themselves is behind the TV with all those yummy but dangerous wires.  I’ve used vases to block off the area.  They’re too tall to hop over and I’ve filled them to make sure they’re heavy enough so that nobun can push them over either.  The vases look like they’re part of the décor.  

Rabbits are curious creatures and want to explore all aspects of their environment.  If there are items that you treasure, they belong far away from bunny.  Even the most well behaved rabbits, when bored, will chew things they’re not supposed to.  But while you’re keeping everybun safe and happy, it’s good to know you can also make your home attractive for you too.

Laura Edward is the human companion to an 11 pound Californian named
Wally and to Veronica, a black and white lop. She lives in Toronto,
Photo:   Some rights reserved by leighannemcc via flickr
    • Peggy Betts Peggy Betts

      I've used some eucalyptus spray (sometimes called Arbor Oil) from a local natural foods store. My buns seem to hate the smell. It didn't seem to stain my stuff. When all else failed, especially on cords/cord protectors, I've used Vick's Vapo-Rub. Sticky, and it attracts fur like nobody's business, but it's kept my 16 buns away from anything it's on. I know what you mean about the marinade deal. "What's that, mom? Tabasco? Our favorite! Can we have some bitter apple for dessert?"

  1. Pat Murphy Pat Murphy

    I don't have a bunny but I "bunnysit" my friend's bun, Sprinkles, which is so fun for me because I love him!  When I do this, my house looks like a war zone. I let him out pretty much when I'm home and watching him, so I really have to block off the "no no" areas: cardboard boxes, wood planks, pictures – all blocking entry to all those fun places he'd like to go!  So far, so good.  I get him again for 2 weeks in June!

  2. Judi (bunny slave to 2 adorable dutch bunnies) Judi (bunny slave to 2 adorable dutch bunnies)

    Hi all
    What I have learned to deter bunny furniture/wall munching is to use ivory soap (and ONLY ivory soap).  For Scratchy (my only chewer), rubbing it on the place you do not want them munch on works.  I have used it on furniture, trim work and carpets.  Sometimes it takes a few applications before they get the message. 
    Violet and Scratchy's bunny slave.

  3. Doreen Doreen

    My rabbit likes to pick out, (yes remove) the caulking around the baseboard and the wall.

  4. LeslieC LeslieC

    To cover cords I use this black long cord stuff with a split down the middle that you can get at auto stores. It has really worked. I definetely keep an eye on them when they're out and about and I have other stuff for them to do when they are out – boxes to climb into and chew on, boxes with leaves and branches. Mine actually haven't been too bad – eek – did I say that out loud?

  5. Hi all,
    Ive taken a lot of the steps that you have but my main problem is wen my bun pees around the house. As we know, bunny pee is like no other and its stained my carpet – even if ive cleaned it as soon as my female bun as done it. She pees in the same place in her hutch and in the kitchen but elsewhere in the house – shes not so fussy.
    She sprays when she's excited too, which is most of the time when she's got a free run of 2 or more rooms lol.
    Any advice please?
    (human pet of a beautiful lop)

    • Glenda Glenda

      Yes, I know that particular problem. I call my little man Mr Pister, quite fitting to him as he is a very dominant male. I have a Bissel Green Machine and use their product called Pet Odour & Stains. Cleans up great. I put the soap in a pail with hot water and scrub it and then suck it up with the Green Machine. I dont bother putting a mixture into the soap side of the machine as I dont use the whole thing. I just mix up enough soap and water in an ice cream pail. Works great!!

  6. Mary Ann Tramutola Mary Ann Tramutola

    My two adorable buns have chewed through countless items, finally fed up I out smarted them, and cheaply too.  Any home improvement store sells cheap wire shelving for closets.  Easy to cut with wire cutters or they can do it at the store. The shelf come already angled so it stand up by itself. Need to go around a corner? Just zip tie them together and bunny proofed in less than 10 mins and under $5.00

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