Bunnyproofing a Digger

Bunnyproofing for diggers

Yes, there is a bunny in the back left corner hiding under the shredded paper

We thought when we brought Shadow home two months after Tigger that we had done all the bunnyproofing necessary and were fully prepared for the new bunny. He proved us wrong really fast. Shadow was quick to catch on to using the litter pan, but added a new twist to it.

He would hop in, use the litter pan and then dig it out. His excavation skills were exceptional. We would find ourselves with a huge pile of litter on the floor everyday. We would scoop it back in and he would dig it back out.

We went out and got some litter boxes with tops and found ourselves with a whole new set of bunnyproofing needs. Tigger and Shadow were still just a few months old and pretty small at under four pounds each. We had to buy plastic stools for children so they could hop in and out of the boxes. Then we had to put carpeting on top of the boxes when they started to hop on top so that they wouldn’t go sliding right off the slippery plastic. At one point we solved that problem by buying covered litter boxes that had round domed tops. They couldn’t hop on those.

Shadow continued to dig, but the small size of the door kept down the level of the mess. We thought we had our excavator under control. When they got to full adult size, we were able to get rid of the stools.

Things went well for a number of years, then a few years ago, we noticed that they were sometimes not hopping into the boxes but going beside them.  We realized that as they aged perhaps hopping up and in was getting harder. So we invested in some litter pans designed for puppies that have a lowered edge on one side. Tigger and Shadow seemed to really appreciate the ease of getting into and out of these. Shadow really appreciated the ease of digging out these new pans and went back to excavating full force.

I headed back to the stores to try to figure out a work around. I discovered some large flat boot trays that turned out to be just the right size to put one on each side of the litter pans and one in front of them. Now Shadow digs out into the boot tray and we can dump it easily back into the litter pan. However, we do have to watch to make sure that the little stinker doesn’t try to dig out the boot tray too before we can dump it back in.

Our biggest regret is that we haven’t ever had a place to put a sandbox. Our little digger would probably think he was in bunny heaven if we could give him a real digging outlet. We do make him very happy when we give him a pile of shredded paper to go burrowing in and he does love to dig underneath the hay pile in the hay bin. He comes up covered in paper or hay and if he takes off running, the mess goes with him.

Dig on little buddy!

Bunnies Just Want to Have Fun!

Shadow loves slinkies

You should have seen him when he took off running with it!

Had a delay here today while storms rolled through causing the power to flicker.  That is always the signal to power down and take a break.  Sunshine is back and here I am to share some bunny fun!

Previously, I posted about ways to protect your space and your bunny with bunnyproofing. Now its time for fun! A bored bunny is a destructive bunny. Helping a bunny have fun will aid your bunnyproofing. Find things they enjoy doing and they will leave other things alone.

What each bunny likes is different. There are jumpers, chewers, diggers, throwers, and a few do like to play chase. Do some trial and error to find out what your bunny likes best.


You can find toys at pet stores, baby stores, or online sites.  Don’t limit yourself to just rabbit toys.  Look for untreated wood chews or wood toys. There are cardboard chews, cardboard tunnels and rabbit “bungalows or cottages” available.

Hard plastic toys are great:  Here are some ideas and the sections we found them in: keys on a ring (infant/baby), linked chains (bird), balls with bells inside (cat / ferret), bounce back treat dispensers (small animal), rattles (infant/baby), and Slinkies (kid) are all possibilities.

If you have a problem area where your rabbit likes to misbehave, try “mining” the area with belled toys. When you hear the bells, you know it is time to check and see if your bunny has taken advantage of the toys or needs to be escorted out of the forbidden zone.


If you have a safe space for it, you can try a sandbox for a digger bunny.  If not, try filling a box with shredded paper and watch your bunny go burrowing through.

We remembered the fun of childhood sheet forts and created a sheet tunnel. We took two cardboard boxes with cutouts at each end and on one side, placed them five feet apart, and stretched a sheet over. The bunnies love to run through, burrow in and out under the sheet, and sometimes just nap. We play peek-a-bunny by lifting the sheet up and down at the side peering in on them.

Tigger Loves to Throw

Tigger flings this like a shot putter does. She will grab it with her teeth and whirl around to get it airborne and throw it.


Some bunnies like to play chase. Our Shadow will start to run and look back to see if we’re following. He will run back and start again until someone chases him. His happy binkies tell us we have the right idea. Be careful to know your bunny well with this one, since most bunnies fear being chased.

Our rabbits love to hop up with us while we read magazines and try to chew them. We take the pull out ad cards and hold them sticking out a bit at the edge of the magazine. They grab the edge of the card, yank it away from us, and run off with it. Shadow and Tigger like the game so much that if we want to continue reading, we usually have to gather the cards back up and keep letting them “steal” them away.

We take cardboard tubes from paper towels and load them into a small lightweight plastic wastebasket which we set upright in the play area. Tigger and Shadow love to overturn the basket and unload the tubes.  We also put a boatload of cardboard tubes under one bookshelf Tigger liked to commando crawl under.  It would take her awhile to pull enough tubes out to try to get under.  That would give us an opportunity to stop the secret carpet chewing that would occur if we didn’t catch her in time.

The more time you spend with your rabbit learning about their play style, the more you will learn about just how playful and fun a rabbit can be.  Just be careful to stay back a bit until you learn whether your bunny is a thrower like our Tigger. 

Tigger likes to pitch and bat.  She will pitch her weighted bounce back bunny as in the picture, or small wire or plastic belled toys.  She will take cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls and use them like a bat to hit things.  I had one vet visit where I brought one along to keep her distracted while we were waiting, not realizing how she would use it.  She was smacking everything she could with it so loudly that even with a closed-door, the vet techs kept coming in every few minutes to make sure everything was okay.  Silly me thinking I could get her to be playful and forget where she was.

Let the games begin!

A Fun Video – Howard’s Big Dig

And this video shows why you want to keep a close eye or a leash on a bunny in your yard even if it is fenced.  I have heard of bunnies digging their way under fences and disappearing completely.  Although I would love to let our little Shadow go and get a whole lot of digging out of his system, our area is very rural with lots of wild animals and predatory birds.  So our bunnies stay inside house rabbit only.

Here is the You Tube link for the video:  http://youtu.be/ycQIiA7dnKQ