How To Bunny-Proof a Room

Janelle Leeson

Janelle Leeson

. Reviewed by Melissa Witherell, DVM
Updated Feb. 22, 2024
Bunny relaxing outside cage

Natalia POGODINA/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Rabbits can make wonderful pets for people of all ages. They enjoy being near their pet parents and can even be litter trained, says Natalie Lopresti, PhD, a longtime bunny foster and volunteer educator for the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society (MCRS).

But rabbits have some special quirks that can potentially lead them into trouble—or danger—without proper preparations. From carpet diggers to bunnies that love to munch on everything, here’s how to bunny-proof a room.

Why Is Bunny-Proofing Important?

It's in a rabbit’s nature to dig and chew, so it's essential to prepare your living space and offer plenty of outlets for your active bunny.

Rabbits have a natural tendency to chew because their teeth are constantly growing and need to be worn down, says Heather Smith, foster coordinator at Rose City Rabbit Rescue. It’s important to keep your belongings safe so they aren’t ruined by rabbit chewing, but it is also key to keeping your rabbit safe from possible shock or even electrocution from biting exposed cords.

Additionally, a rabbit’s instinct to tunnel can kick in when they are in a dark corner that’s easy to dig in, like one with a plush carpet. Rabbits can easily ruin your carpet with their claws if left unsupervised or without protection placed on the carpet.

How To Bunny-Proof a Room

Rather than allowing their rabbits to free-roam all day, many pet parents opt to use a pen. Whichever approach you choose, here are five steps for bunny-proofing to help keep your bunny safe.

1. Take a Bunny’s Perspective

What better way to survey your bunny’s room than getting down on the floor and seeing the world from their point of view? Look for potential dangers for your rabbit and address them:

  • Cover any open electrical sockets

  • Pick up any loose items

  • Remove or protect any cords, table and chair legs, or other belongings that could be chewed

  • Protect carpeted corners that could tempt tunneling

  • Cover baseboards to protect from chewing

  • Remove plants that could be toxic, especially if they tend to drop leaves

“When you first bring a rabbit into a new area, monitor them closely—they will quickly point out to you things that you missed,” says Lopresti.

2. Remove Cables

To keep your rabbit from chewing cables, pin cords up and out of your rabbit's reach. Otherwise, cover cords with specialty pet cord protectors. Choose thick cord wrappings, as rabbit teeth are sharp and can quickly penetrate flimsy wraps.

Alternatively, you could opt for a different room altogether or block off your rabbit's access to the room if there's an abundance of cords.

3. Protect Your Carpet

Wondering how to stop a rabbit from chewing carpet? Shield your floors with:

  • Plastic wall corner protectors

  • Floor protectors

  • Strategically placed ceramic tiles

Alternatively, you can divide your bunny room with a pen, creating a bunny-proofed area while leaving the rest off-limits.

Even with your floors protected, your rabbit will still want to dig and chew. Lopresti recommends providing them a dig box. A dig box can be made from a cardboard box filled with bunny-safe goodies such as straw, wooden chew toys, and their favorite treats or snacks.

4. Add Baseboard Protection

Bitter apple spray can come in handy for baseboards and other furniture you don’t want your rabbit to chew. But Lopresti warns, “Some bunnies may find bitter apple spray to be a condiment rather than a deterrent.” That’s why she and other volunteers at MCRS reach for 99.44% pure Ivory® soap instead.

“You can rub the bar of soap on anything the rabbit is chewing on, from baseboards to wooden furniture,” she explains. “The soap is very high purity and doesn’t contain additives that hurt rabbits, but it still tastes bad and highly discourages them from eating items they shouldn’t.”

As with protecting carpet from bunnies, you can also cover your walls and baseboards with protective plastic coverings or block off your bunny’s access.

5. Provide Rabbit Chew Toys and Enrichment Items

Rabbits are curious creatures with natural instincts to explore, dig, and chew. The key to safely allowing your rabbit to exercise these natural tendencies (without wrecking your home) is to offer toys, enrichment items, and games.

Chew Toys

  • Grass mats: Made from natural materials
  • Chew sticks: Help maintain your rabbit’s teeth and offer a flavor bunnies love
  • Hanging chew toys: In addition to chewing, bunnies love batting at them

Enrichment Activities

  • Snuffle mats: Hide treats within the fabric folds, encouraging natural foraging behavior

  • Stuffed animals: Many bunnies love having their own “stuffie” for comfort and companionship

  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls: Stuff them with hay and bunny treats for DIY foraging fun

  • Large enclosure and supervised playtime: Allow rabbits to exercise and explore freely a few times a day

  • Consider adopting a bonded pair: Bunnies do better with a partner and tend to have less destructive behaviors than a single bunny because they have each other to stay occupied

A happy bunny will exhibit many behaviors that are entertaining to watch, says Smith, “whether you love their twitching little nose, radar ears, or their zooming and binkies—a binky is a giant leap into the air and a twist at the end just for fun!”

Rabbit-Proofing FAQs

How do I protect my walls from rabbits?

Protect your walls by covering them in cardboard or plastic wall protectors. Block off your rabbits' access to walls by using a pen, or deter them from chewing walls by spraying bitter apple or rubbing pure Ivory soap on the surfaces.

How do I stop my rabbit from chewing my baseboards?

To prevent your rabbit from damaging your baseboards, provide plenty of chew toy alternatives, such as apple sticks, wooden blocks, or baby chew toys without small parts. For particularly determined bunnies, consider covering your baseboards with cardboard or plastic wall protectors. Alternatively, you can use bitter apple spray or rub pure Ivory soap on them as a deterrent.

How do I bunny-proof my bed?

Similar to protecting your couch, you can bunny-proof your bed by blocking off the underside with untreated wood, cardboard, or fencing.

Janelle Leeson


Janelle Leeson

Freelance Writer

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