Is it Okay to Let Your Rabbit Play With Blankets or Towels?


can rabbits play with blankets

Towels and blankets can serve more than one purpose when it comes to rabbit care. They’re not just potential bedding options; they can also be toys or tools for enrichment. However, you still need to consider safety and hygiene. Your rabbit’s bedding and playthings need to be clean, non-toxic, and free from any small parts that could be ingested.

Fabrics like towels and blankets can serve as excellent enrichment tools for rabbits, providing them with a sense of security and an outlet for their natural digging behavior. However, it’s crucial to monitor your rabbit during such play to prevent any accidental ingestion of fabric, which could lead to digestive issues. Choosing the right materials and checking them for wear and tear can help keep your bunny safe while they explore and play.

Yes, rabbits can have blankets and towels

Blankets and towels can make excellent bedding and toys for your rabbits. They’re soft and provide comfort, making them ideal for your bunny to relax on. In general, cotton based products are best, but as long as your rabbit isn’t eating it, cloth toys and bedding are fine.

Many rabbit shelters, including the one I work with, use these fabrics as the primary form of bedding for rescue rabbits since they are easy to clean. They’re not just for comfort either—you can get creative and use these items to make privacy areas or ‘caves’ by draping them over cardboard boxes, chairs, or similar structures. This helps your bunny feel secure and adds an element of enrichment to their environment.

But these materials are more than bedding for rabbits; they are also excellent toys for mental enrichment. They can be used to create fun activities, such as digging, tunneling and foraging activities, that encourage your rabbit to explore and stay active. Your rabbit can dig into them, or bunch up the material, playing for hours on end.

You’re not just limited to towel and sheets either. You can also give your rabbit old T-shirts or other worn out clothing items to play with. Just make sure they’re free of small plastic buttons or metal pieces that could be harmful if chewed or ingested.

rabbit under a blanket
Many rabbits will love to dig and play under blankets. Fleece blankets are great for rabbits because they won’t get their nails and teeth caught on looping threads.

Games to play with blankets and rabbits

Playing games with your rabbit is a great way to provide enrichment and strengthen your bond at the same time. Using everyday items like towels and blankets, you can easily create fun activities that are cheap, safe, and entertaining for your bunny.

  • Tunnel Fun: To start, you can drape a towel or blanket over a chair to make a makeshift tunnel. This allows your rabbit to explore and satisfy their natural burrowing instincts. You can also get on your hands and knees and drape a blanket over your back, creating a tunnel for your rabbit underneath you.
  • Tug of Towel: Another simple game involves placing the towel on the outside of their pen or some sort of fencing. Many rabbits enjoy trying to pull the towel through the bars. One of my rabbits is so good at this that he manages to pull the whole towel through in less than 5 minutes. It’s a fun way for rabbits to use their paws and teeth in a more natural way without destroying anything
  • Foraging Folds: Rabbits love to forage. Try hiding dried herbs or treats in the folds of the towel and let your rabbit sniff and search for the hidden goodies. It’s a delightful way for them to engage their sense of smell and their love of food, all while getting a bit of exercise.
  • Blanket escape: Throw a blanket on top of your rabbit and let them poke around underneath figuring out how to get out. Many rabbits enjoy this so much, they’ll try to get back under as soon as they find the way out.

When should you avoid giving your rabbit blankets or towels to play with?

While blankets and towels are great options for bedding and toys for most rabbits, this is not always the case. The only time you really need to avoid giving your rabbit blankets as bedding is if they are eating it. Especially if they are eating a lot of it. A little nibble here and there is normal, but eating large pieces can be dangerous.

It’s not simply the chewing—that’s pretty standard bunny behavior. But if you notice your rabbit actually munching down mouthfuls of blanket or towel, that’s the concern. If there’s evidence of more than just holes—like large amounts of fabric missing—it’s time to remove these from your pet’s environment to prevent health problems.

Most rabbits don’t do this, but we do occasionally have to take blankets away from rabbits at the shelter because they eat chunks of them. So just keep an eye on your rabbit to make sure they are behaving.

Eating towels can end up causing stomach problems and puts rabbits at a greater risk of conditions such as GI Stasis (which is serious and requires immediate veterinary attention). Since rabbits have a delicate digestive system and are unable to vomit up hairballs like cats do, a fiber-based blockage can cause serious issues.

What to give your rabbit instead of blankets

If your rabbit likes to eat fabric, there are plenty of safe and fun alternatives to blankets and towels. These are some of my favorites (But check out this list if you want more ideas):

  • Cardboard Boxes: An oldie but a goodie! Cardboard boxes not only provide a hideaway but also a chewable treat. You can cut holes in them for added fun, making a little maze for your rabbit to explore.
  • Hay-Based Toys: Hay should make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet, but it also doubles up as entertainment. Stuff hay in a paper bag or a cardboard tube, and watch your rabbit dig and forage.
  • DIY Toys: You can also use paper and cardboard tubesto make simple, destroyable toys – check out my tutorials for some ideas to try out.
  • Willow Balls and Apple Sticks: These are perfect for chewing and tossing. Bonus: they’re good for their teeth!
  • Digging Box: Fill a large container with soil or shredded paper for your rabbit to dig in. They love burrowing and it’s a great way to let them indulge in natural behaviors.

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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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