How to Rabbit Proof for a Free Roam Bunny

rabbit proofing for free roam rabbits

If you plan to have a free roam rabbit, bunny proofing your home is even more vital. You need to make sure your rabbit stays out of trouble and stays safe even when no one is there to watch them.

Creating a safe environment requires some thought and a little effort on your part. By taking preventive measures, you can minimize the dangers and make your home a rabbit-friendly zone.

While reading through this article, you don’t have to follow every single tip. Think about your own rabbit’s habits. Some rabbits will be determined baseboard chewers while others will ignore baseboards completely. 

If your rabbit is new, I recommend keeping them in an exercise pen for the first couple of weeks  so you can supervise them around the house and get to know their habits. This will help you figure out which rabbit proofing areas you need to pay specific attention to, and which areas it’s okay to skip.

Important: This post contains affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

keep rabbits away from open doors
Use baby gates to keep a rabbit from having access to doors that lead outside and prevent their escape.

1. Decide what areas your rabbit will have access to

When you decide to let your rabbit roam freely in your home, the first step is to determine which areas are safe and suitable. Not all spaces are rabbit-friendly, so you’ll need to think about where your bunny can hop around without getting into mischief or danger.

For example, in my home, my rabbits are not allowed in the office or the basement because there is too much potential for them to get hurt in these areas. You might decide to keep your rabbits in a single rabbit-room in your home, or you can choose to make the entire place rabbit friendly.

Once you decide which rooms your rabbit will not have access to, you need to effectively block off that area. I say it that way because rabbits can be little houdinis; they are great at getting into places where they shouldn’t be. 

The best ways to block off access to rooms include:

  • Doors: This is the only sure way to keep a rabbit out of a whole room. I have yet to meet a rabbit who is capable of turning a doorknob
  • Pet gates or baby gates: This is the second most effective method for keeping rabbits out of rooms they shouldn’t be in. However, you need to pay attention to the space between the bars! Smaller rabbits can often fit between the bars of pet gates. I use this Carlson Pet Gate because the bars are closer together than other brands that I tried.
  • DIY fencing: I often use those DIY shelf fencing cubes to create custom barriers for my rabbits. They are great for blocking off bookshelves. I’ve also attached them to a previous baby gate that I had to keep my rabbits from squeezing through the bars.
  • Exercise pens: exercise pens are best used for blocking off portions of rooms. So if it’s okay for your rabbit to have access to half a room, you can block the other side with a pen.

Remember to check the gates regularly to ensure they’re secure because rabbits are curious and might figure out a way to bypass these barriers if they’re not properly installed.

2. Cover the carpet underneath beds and sofas

When you allow your rabbit free roam of your home, you also need to think about the areas under furniture. Specifically, the spaces beneath your beds and sofas can turn into unintended tunneling sites.

Rabbits have a natural instinct to burrow, and the carpet or flooring underneath these areas is at risk of becoming their latest project. It’s completely okay to allow rabbits under these spaces, but you probably want to make an effort to protect your floor.

You can easily get one of those large plastic mats (the kind that’s used under office desks) and place it underneath the furniture to protect the floor. The cheaper option is to use flattened cardboard boxes. Just remember to check and replace them occasionally, since rabbits will eventually dig and chew holes in the cardboard.

command hooks
Use command hooks to keep wires away from the ground and attach fencing to furniture to prevent rabbits from accessing the areas underneath.

3. Keep wires away from rabbits

Wires are one of the top hazards for pet rabbits. They just love to chew on these. It’s dangerous for rabbits because there is a risk of electrocution, and it’s annoying for electronics or chargers to stop working because your rabbit chewed through them

The best thing to do is to keep the wires completely out of your rabbits reach. Make any wire hubs on top of desks, dressers or bookshelves instead of underneath them. It can help to use command hooks to keep the wire up and away from your rabbits reach.

Any wire that cannot be completely removed from your rabbit’s area should be covered. Use split loom wire tubing to cover them. The thick tubing usually means your rabbit is no longer interested in chewing on the wire.

Since your rabbit is free roam, you also need to make extra consideration for the furniture in the room. Be mindful of how objects and furniture can serve as stepping stones to otherwise out-of-reach places for an adventurous rabbit. Make sure your rabbit can hop up onto a chair and then on top of the table to get access to the wires when you’re away. 

masking tape on baseboards
Putting masking tape on the edge of the baseboards can sometimes prevent rabbit chewing.

4. Cover baseboards where your rabbit likes to chew

Rabbits have a natural instinct to chew, and unfortunately, your baseboards might be on their menu. To keep your bunnies happy and your baseboards intact, you might have to completely block access to them. Bitter apple spray will not be enough to keep a determined rabbit away.

For a cheap or temporary solution we turn to the most versatile rabbit-proofing tool: the cardboard box. Flatten the boxes and lay them upright against the wall. It’s not a pretty solution, but it will do the trick.

For something a little more permanent, you can zip tie those little DIY cubes together and attach them to the baseboards with command hooks. The holes here are too small for your rabbit to get a good bite out of the baseboards.

The other option is to place as many bookshelves and pieces of furniture against the edges of the room as you can to block off the majority of the baseboards.

cat scratcher and plastic mat
Rabbits prefer to dig and chew at corners. Use a flexible cat scratcher to cover the baseboards and a plastic mat to cover the rugs.

5. Cover up any carpet digging spots

Rabbits have a natural instinct to dig, which can spell trouble for your carpets if you’re not around to stop them. Corners of the room tend to be the most at risk. Since rabbits will instinctually dig, it’s best to cover up any trouble areas.

You can use a plastic mat, like I mentioned in part 2, or you can get smaller cheap area rugs to cover the corners of the room. Not only do these rugs shield your carpets from potential damage, but they also provide a designated area where your rabbit can indulge in their digging behavior without causing any harm. 

When choosing rugs, it’s important to select options that are durable and easy to clean, as rabbits may also be prone to accidents or spills. You also might want to get something made from natural materials, such as seagrass, so that if your rabbit ingests a little it’s unlikely to cause any digestive discomfort. 

6. Put any books, notebooks, or chewable objects in plastic bins

When you’ve got curious bunnies hopping around freely, you also need to think about how to keep your belongings out of their reach—especially those that are enticing for rabbits to chew on, such as books and paper items.

You can keep these items up and out of your rabbits reach, just like with wires. However, anything on bookshelves or floor level that your rabbit might be able to reach should be placed in plastic bins with secure lids to prevent your rabbit from destroying them.

7. Decide how much you care about wooden furniture

When it comes to free-roaming rabbits, your wooden furniture will mostly likely get some chew marks. For most rabbits, furniture is not their favorite chew toy (unless it’s wicker), but they will still inevitably chew on the legs of chairs, tables, bookcases, and cabinets at least a little.

However, it’s highly unlikely that your rabbit will render these pieces of furniture unusable. So if you’re okay with some rabbit teeth marks on all your wooden furniture, it doesn’t really matter if you cover it up. 

However, if you do care about your wooden furniture, it’s best to keep it in a room away from your rabbit’s reach. You can also wrap cat scratcher mats (like these velcro mats) around the legs of chairs and tables, but this is often more trouble than it’s worth.

8. Keep clothes, pillows and chewable materials off the floor

When you’ve got a free-roam rabbit hopping around, you’ve really got to keep your floors clear of clothes, pillows, and anything else they can sink their teeth into. Many rabbits like to chew holes in clothing or dig and destroy pillows.

Your free roam rabbit will force you to have better laundry habits so you don’t end up with holes in your clothes. Keep any clothes in a basket or hamper away from your rabbit’s reach, instead of throwing them on the ground. The only fabric objects that I leave on the ground are the ones that my rabbits are allowed to chew on (blankets are one of my rabbit’s favorite toys).

9. Make sure your rabbit treats and pellets are out of reach

Since your rabbit has access to much more of the house after they are free roam, there is a greater chance that they’ll observe and figure out how to access those yummy treats and pellets. Since too many treats and pellets can lead to an upset digestion, this is something we need to avoid.

Always store rabbit food in containers that are bunny-proof.  Consider using containers with secure lids and storing them high up where your bunny can’t reach.
Also remember that rabbits are smart. If they want something, they are going to try to figure out how to get it. Your smart bunny can also be inclined to find clever ways to get to their snacks, so you might need to periodically reassess your rabbit-proofing strategies occasionally.


  1. “Bunny Proofing.” House Rabbit Society.

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Amy Pratt

Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals.

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