Bunnies make great pets with the right housing, diet, and socialization. Creating a comfy and safe environment will help your bunny enjoy the good life during his typically 5-12-year lifespan. While you may assume that adding a blanket will help keep your bunny comfortable in his living space, some blankets may not be safe for them.
Blankets are safe for bunnies as long as they are not too worn or full of holes. It is best to offer an appropriately-sized fleece blanket that the bunny can burrow in and rearrange to its liking. It is also important to monitor the bunny to ensure they do not nibble and ingest too much fabric.
If you’ve already hopped over to the pet store and come home with a bunny, you may be wondering what kind of cozy comfort your bunny prefers in his cage and what’s safe for him to have. Perk up those ears, and let’s find out!
Are Blankets Safe to Have in a Bunny Cage?
Adding a blanket to your bunny’s cage is a perfectly okay thing to do. After all, rabbits that live in the wild line their burrows with warm materials like fur, straw, and grass. Creating a soft, cozy nest is a natural behaviour of most domesticated rabbits as well.
Most rabbits love soft fabrics and the warmth gained by having them nearby. Plus, having a soft piece of fabric in their cage will provide your bunny’s paws some relief from a hard, metal, or vinyl cage floor.
Giving your bunny a blanket offers him hours of digging and burrowing entertainment, as well as a sense of security and comfort.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Blanket for Bunnies
When you choose what type of blanket to add to your bunny’s cage, there are a few important points to consider:
- The blanket should be in good condition: no holes or worn, threadbare spots. Your rabbit’s paws could become entangled, causing him stress. He could be injured trying to get free.
- The blanket should be the right size for your bunny. If his blanket is too big, he can burrow in and become twisted up in the fabric, which could ultimately lead to suffocation.
- Choose the right type of material in a blanket. Fleece is an excellent option since it’s soft, smooth, seamless, and strong. Avoid super-flimsy fabric that doesn’t offer much warmth and is easily chewed, which leads to the next point.
It’s great if you have the perfect, old (but not holey) blanket lying around the house. Your bunny will show his appreciation by making it look even older and well-used. If you don’t have any blankets to hand off permanently, you can find plenty of small animal options online:
- Sleep Pad – Made of lightweight, machine washable fleece
- Blanket – Comes in 3 sizes and multiple colours and patterns
- Throw – Offered in 4 sizes of thicker weight fleece
Other Things to Keep in Mind with Bunny Blankets
The following are a few things to keep in mind once you have chosen the right blanket for your bunny to ensure his safety and happiness:
- Rabbits nibble and chew…a lot! There is no doubt that your bunny will chew off bits of the blanket fabric. Be sure to keep an eye on him to make sure he’s not nibbling off too much fabric. Excessive ingestion of the blanket material could lead to gastrointestinal problems like a blockage.
- Bunnies like burrowing. Rabbits are born with an instinct to dig and burrow, and a blanket gives a bunny the chance to practice these skills. If you’re worried that this digging habit will carry over to other parts of your home, like the carpet or your favourite easy chair, you can offer your bunny an alternative like newspaper or hay.
- Use a bunny-safe detergent when you wash his blanket. An unscented commercial detergent and hot water is the best choice. This will take care of any bacteria, dirt, and grime while keeping your bunny safe from harsh additives and scents. Blankets or towels that have been in the cage with your bunny should be washed at least every two weeks.
- Watch your bunny to see if he has any allergic reactions to the blanket fabric or the laundry detergent you use to wash it in.
- Rabbits are territorial creatures. Once you give your bunny a blanket, he’s going to expect it to be his, and only his. Don’t try to take it back. And he may be unhappy with you when you wash his blankie every so often because all the familiar scents it holds will be washed away too.
Is it Okay to Put a Blanket Over a Bunny Cage?
Covering your rabbit’s hutch or cage with a blanket is okay as long as you don’t leave it covered for long periods. Used sparingly, a blanket provides your bunny a dark and private retreat that mimics his inborn love of small burrows outdoors.
Putting a blanket over a bunny’s cage offers a few other benefits:
- Calming Effect: Rabbits can get overstimulated if a lot is going on around them. Covering the cage occasionally removes that view and helps calm your bunny.
- Windscreen: For rabbits that live in an outdoor hutch, blankets can block the wind and help keep their home dry.
- Out of Sight: A blanket will keep your bunny hidden from other animals, indoors or out. You should still make sure the cage or hutch is securely closed against any predators getting in.
A blanket can slip off the cage or be tugged out of place by a curious bunny, defeating its purpose for being there in the first place. To prevent slippage, you can anchor the blanket down with a few heavy items you have on hand. Or use bungee cords to strap it to a wire cage.
Remember: Never cover the cage for long periods (like all day while you’re out). This can stress out your furry friend.
Are Towels Good Alternatives for Blankets?
Towels, like blankets, can give your bunny a feeling of comfort and security in his cage. Choosing a towel is similar to choosing a blanket—the softer, the better.
It’s better to use a hand towel rather than a full-size bath towel. The size is more appropriate for a rabbit and eliminates the risk of deep burrowing and suffocation.
If you decide to use a towel instead of a blanket, consider these points:
- Give your rabbit a new towel. Used towels can hold soap and soap scents which can be harmful to your bunny.
- Never offer your rabbit a damp towel. Bunnies and their environment must stay dry to avoid respiratory problems.
With pet rabbit ownership on the rise, many folks who take on the care of a bunny need to know what they don’t know about rabbits. Getting the diet, handling, and habitat right are critical for your rabbit’s long-term health.
When it comes to habitat, most blankets are safe for bunnies to use, as long as it doesn’t have holes and is made from a bunny-friendly fabric like fleece. If you don’t have a suitable blanket on hand, small, brand-new towels make excellent alternatives.
If it seemed likely that your bunny would like a warm blanket for his cage, but you just weren’t sure, now you’ve got the info you need to create a soft and cozy haven for your fluffy pet!
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