There is no better reward in bunny parenthood than to see your bunnies binky with joy or lay on their tummy in a display of total relaxation.
If, instead, you notice that your bunnies partake in destructive behaviors like nibbling on furniture or digging into your new carpet, pay attention! As this could be a sign that you haven’t properly considered your rabbits’ exercise and enrichment needs.
Fortunately, we’ve put this guide together to help you see the world from your mischievous buns’ point of view. From exercise requirements to a fun range of rabbit accessories, read on to learn everything you’ll need to provide for hoppy and healthy rabbits.
Exercise for Rabbits
In the wild, rabbits can run for about five miles a day! These natural-born athletes like to sprint in short bursts, dodging and twisting their agile bodies to avoid predators.
While the exercise routine of a pet bunny might differ slightly, they remain just as full of energy, with needs based on their age, size, and breed. For example, younger rabbits tend to be a lot more active than older bunnies (who are more partial to a snooze, although still need their daily gym sesh).
Why Rabbit Exercise is Important
When your bunnies’ physical needs aren’t met, they feel bored, stressed, and face significant health problems. Activity and movement are vital for the development of a young bun’s bone structure, and it’s what keeps them in shape as they enter their adult years.
Bored bunnies will turn to destructive behaviors and double the amount of food they graze on in a day (a problem we can absolutely relate to!). This can lead to health issues like obesity, muscle atrophy, heart problems, and even arthritis.
When a bunny is too limited in their mobility to groom themselves, they also become vulnerable to flystrike - a potentially fatal condition where maggots burrow into their skin to lay their eggs. Nobunny wants this!
How to encourage rabbits to exercise
Even if you’re housing your bunnies in a spacious cage indoors, you should give them access to a large exercise area. Ideally, this could be a safe room where they can stretch their legs and indulge in all of their naturally curious, playful, and exploratory behaviors!
You should give your bunnies at least 4 to 5 hours of access to this exercise area (but more if possible!) to let them release all that pent-up bunny energy. This can easily be achieved by bunny-proofing the room and leaving their cage’s door open. If you can’t bunny-proof, you could opt for one of our handy collapsible playpens or some barriers.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring your buns’ out when the sun’s out - as long as you find a safe location and can keep an eye on them, they’re guaranteed to have a bunderful time outdoors too!
Enrichment for Rabbits
Physical exercise also contributes to your rabbit’s enrichment. Just like us hoomans, your bunnies’ happiness relies on their psychological well-being just as much as their physical well-being.
Rabbit toys and accessories are a great solution to sharpen their minds (and teeth!). This could be a bunny-friendly logic puzzle or a fun ramp they can zoom up and down.
Or, for a budget-friendly DIY solution, try knotting up a piece of string with some tasty treats hidden inside for your buns to work their way into!
How to encourage natural rabbit behaviors
In the wild, rabbits spend several hours a day foraging for food. Even if your bunny no longer needs to lift a paw to find their next meal, it’s important to encourage those natural behaviors.
Digging, burrowing, and chewing are habits that contribute to your rabbit’s happiness and well-being. To satisfy these urges, try giving them pet-friendly wooden blocks to chew, tunnels they can burrow into, and digging boxes.
You can make a DIY digging box with even just a cardboard box and some hay, and it’s guaranteed to provide hours of bunderful entertainment!
Balancing Exercise and Rest for Rabbits
All of this exercise and brain work makes for some binkied-out buns! So while it’s important to let your bunnies be bold and adventurous, a healthy rabbit lifestyle will balance these active periods with some quiet, restful timeouts.
As prey animals in the wild, rabbits are naturally nervous creatures that will become anxious and stressed if they can't easily hide. You can create a comfortable, zen-like retreat in your rabbit’s main cage with soft fleece bedding and some cozy hideys.
Don’t take it personally, sometimes your bunny will just need some alone time! Ideally, you should leave their cage’s door open so that they can easily hide away whenever they want.
Kavee's Role in Promoting Exercise and Enrichment
Here at Kavee, our C&C cages have been designed to meet all of their needs. Our indoor rabbit cages are larger than the minimum recommended size requirements and provide ample room for your buns to hop about, stretch out and rear up on their hind legs.
You’ll also want to consider some safe Kavee accessories for rabbits to keep them out of mischief (and save your furniture!). Add some safe multi-level platforms that your buns can use to hop on and off, and try our Bloomin’ Bunny Burrow for a fun adventure tunnel.
Bunnies were not made to sit in cages looking pretty (although we can’t deny that they’re pretty adorable!). When you make the decision to adopt one, you need to consider everything it takes for proper rabbit care to ensure a long and hoppy life.
Rabbit exercise is vital for maintaining their physical health, while rabbit enrichment will engage their minds and reduce any destructive behavioral tendencies. Think about how you can incorporate these things into your routine on a daily basis - for the good of their well-being and your furniture’s sake.Our range of spacious rabbit cages and rabbit accessories have been designed to keep your rabbits happy, healthy, and engaged - so hop on over and take a look!