Playing with your rabbit isn't the same as playing with a dog or cat. They all have unique natural behaviors that impact what they find enjoyable. Fortunately, it's not hard to learn how to play with your bunny. These six enriching and fun games for rabbits will help you keep your bun busy while strengthening your bond. Let the games begin!
6 Games for Rabbits
Are you ready to make playing with your rabbit a consistent part of your routine? Try out one or all these fun games for rabbits. Better yet, switch them up to keep your rabbit engaged. Always supervise your rabbit while playing. Don't worry if your pet rabbit doesn't get how to play right away. Keep at it and follow the instructions until they respond to the positive reinforcement. Take lots of breaks if you need to, and switch between different games, too!
1. Food Foraging Game
Rabbits are natural foragers, so encouraging your rabbit to forage for food or treats can be a great game. For this activity, you can purchase a rabbit foraging or snuffle mat, or even sew your own. However, in a pinch, you can create your own using household items.
- Clean muffin pan
- Rabbit-friendly treats
- Balled-up paper or toys
How to play:
- Sprinkle treats in about half of the cups in the pan.
- Place a piece of crumpled-up paper or a toy in each of the cups.
- Place the pan on the ground and let your bunny forage for their treats.
Another alternative to this game is to hide treats in a layer of hay.
Tug-of-war isn't just for the pooches. Rabbits like it, too. You can play this with any toy, large piece of fabric, or cardboard. It's helpful to use a specific toy for this game to discourage your rabbit from thinking you're trying to play tug-of-war when you're attempting to take something out of their mouth.
- Rope toy, chew toy, towel, or cardboard
How to play:
- Allow your rabbit to grip the end of the toy with their mouth.
- Gently tug using minimal resistance on the other side.
- Tug the toy back and forth.
Bunnies love fetch, but they play what most people consider "reverse fetch." Instead of you throwing the ball and your rabbit bringing it back, they'll throw the ball, and you'll retrieve it. It might sound silly, but your rabbit will have a blast flinging their toy around, and you'll both get some movement in.
How to play:
- Offer the toy to your rabbit and allow them to toss it.
- If they don't initially throw the toy, you can place it in front of them, then throw it yourself until they catch on.
- Whenever your rabbit throws the toy, retrieve it and offer it back to them.
- Repeat and enjoy!
4. Game of Chase
Rabbits are prey animals, so being chased isn't fun for them — and it could be dangerous if you startle or scare them — but chasing you certainly could be. In this game of chase, you'll be doing the running, and your rabbit will stick with chasing. This is a fantastic activity to improve your rabbit's physical fitness, but be sure to start slow. As your bunny advances, you can increase the distance and duration of the game.
- Treats (optional)
How to play:
- Begin next to your rabbit. You can start standing or on your hands and knees.
- Quickly move to the opposite side of the room and allow your rabbit to chase you.
- Reward them with praise or a treat when they reach you.
- Repeat and encourage your rabbit to playfully chase you all around the house.
5. Escape Room
Bunnies love solving puzzles, and you can easily transform an old cardboard box into an escape room. The tape on reused cardboard boxes can be harmful to rabbits if they chew or ingest it, so remove all tape, staples, or string before using the box.
- Cardboard box
How to play:
- Remove all tape and staples from the cardboard box.
- Fold flaps over the secure end of the box, leaving the other open.
- Place the box on the ground with the open end down.
- Cut a few archways in the surfaces of the box that come into contact with the ground. Make one opening large enough for your rabbit to fit through and the others too small.
- Place your rabbit on the ground with the box over them.
- Watch them try the various openings until they find the one that's large enough for them to escape through.
6. Trick Training
Training your rabbit might not sound like a game, but it takes quite a bit of mental focus and can be incredibly rewarding once your rabbit catches on. Use your play time to teach your rabbit how to spin, high-five, come when called, or use a litter box. This is great for their enrichment and can teach them a valuable skill that you can benefit from as well.
Bunny Playtime Is Important
Mental enrichment is essential for all pets, including rabbits. It prevents boredom, which can keep your bunny from resorting to destructive behaviors like chewing or digging. Enrichment activities encourage a pet's natural behaviors, such as foraging behaviors and social interactions. It's also stimulating for their senses. Bunny games are great for your pet's mental health and wellbeing!
Plus, playing is a fun way to promote exercise and bond with your pet. Nearly one of every three rabbits is overweight, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life. Because pet rabbits are prone to obesity, keeping your furry friend moving can help them maintain a healthy body weight.
How to Play With Your Bunny
Remember, each rabbit is an individual with their own preferences for games. If they don't care for one of the activities listed above, that's OK! Test out each game to determine what your bunny likes. If they become frightened while playing, stop immediately and move on to another activity, or give them some quiet time. Once you find their favorite game, aim to incorporate it into their routine for about 10 to 20 minutes each day.