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None of my rabbits have EVER slept in their beds. They prefer to sleep in the middle of the floor where I can trip over them, or in the corner of their pen where they can keep an eye on everything.
But they do love a bed.
Just not always for sleeping in. Often for digging in and reorganising, and, alas, peeing in.
I’m not going to discuss the ubiquitous Ikea bed here, simply because I’ve never had a rabbit small enough to fit on one, so I’ve never bought one. They’re cute, but I prefer something a bit bigger for my bun’s, er, buns.
Do house rabbits need a bed?
I don’t believe so anyway.
Think of a rabbit bed as being an extra toy, or enrichment activity for them. They don’t need it. But some rabbits like them.
Do remember that all rabbits are different. A select few will LOVE a bed, and spend all their time in it, but most are pretty happy to kip on the floor.
Rabbits don’t like being too warm. At all. A rabbit will do a lot better in an environment that’s too cold than one that’s too hot. So they won’t necessarily gravitate to a cosy bed like a cat or a dog will.
They do like a safe space though, like a box or a tube. Just don’t get disappointed if you spend a fortune making them a cosy space and they drag all the blankets out.
Make sure the bed is washable
This is another ‘not all rabbits’ thing, but I’ve had enough of the little beasts to recognise a pattern.
About 80% of rabbits will pee on soft, squishy things like beds and blankets.
I assume that they designate it a high-value item, and therefore they must mark it as their own.
This type of behaviour is really difficult to train them out of, but there are still options for cute, cosy beds available.
If your rabbit is a pee-er, then don’t spend much money on cute beds. Buy a nice box and put a cheap blanket or old towel in it.
Cat/dog beds are often washable, but they won’t last very long if you’re washing them very frequently. Save your money. Your rabbit won’t mind – promise.
This is my top pick for three reasons:
- It’s soft and cosy
- It doesn’t have a bottom, so rabbits are less likely to pee in it
- LOOK AT HER:
If you look closely under her chin, you can see the top of her paw. Sometimes she sits with her paws resting on the bed and it’s cute af.
You can get these beds on Etsy here. I freaking LOVE them.
These types of beds are actually designed for rabbits with head tilt, which is how we came to buy one. Naturally, Daisy fucking HATED it, so we gave her the bed we bought for Holly (you can’t get a pressie for one and not the other) and Holly got the donut bed.
Full disclosure, she rarely gets in it. In fact, she didn’t use it at all for months. Imagine my delight when I came downstairs one morning and she was just chilling in it.
Thankfully, it’s so cute when she does get in it, that we don’t feel like we wasted our money. Also, she does rather like piling all her other toys in it, which is is funny to watch.
Interestingly, she often gets in the donut when we have guests round, so I’m guessing she likes the feeling of being secure in a bed whilst maintaining perfect visibility.
2. A box
There is no need to buy a fancy bed for your bun. When the vacuum cleaner comes out, and Holly needs a bit more protection than the donut affords (NB: I have never attacked ANY of my rabbits with the vacuum cleaner, but Holly’s not taking the risk), she likes to retreat to her box.
Any cardboard box will do. Holly likes to chew a back door in hers, and she also likes to sit on top of it, so they don’t last that long (chewing out the back of and then jumping on top of is not a great way to ensure the longevity of a box.
We fill the box with the paper packaging that comes in Amazon parcels, but Holly is a shredder, not a chewer, so we don’t worry about her ingesting it (if she did we’d remove it). This isn’t necessary but she has fun pushing it out of the box and then shoving it back in.
It’s hardly the most aesthetically pleasing (but you could find a pretty box!), but when it comes down to cost per use, it’s incredible value.
3. The wicker basket
This is another DIY-ish job. It’s just a nice basket with a blanket inside. Hardly groundbreaking, but pretty cheap, and Holly LOVES it. She’s also yet to pee in it, but the blanket is one we used to use for Daisy’s bedding (when she was too ill to use a litter box) so we know it can withstand being washed like, twice a week.
Make sure you go for a basket made from untreated wood, and then your rabbit can chew to their heart’s content.
A note on blankets: DON’T go for anything that is super fuzzy or fluffy. It will end up attracting hay, will end up clogging your washing machine. As I mentioned, rabbits aren’t that interested in being warm and snuggly – even an old towel will work perfectly well. Rabbits like feeling safe, not warm.
That being said, make sure you put something in the bottom of the basket – you don’t want to risk them getting a claw caught.
4. A snuggle bed
These are pretty easy to find on Etsy – just search for rabbit bed and they should crop up. We got ours from The Hare Apparent, the same place we got the ring bed.
The idea is that the rabbit sits on the thin bit in the middle and snuggles between the two cushions. I suppose it kind of mimics sitting next to another rabbit.
The benefit here is that the bit the rabbit sits on isn’t cushioned – it’s just fabric – so bunny is less inclined to pee on it.
To be perfectly honest here, Daisy doesn’t use it. Holly isn’t that interested either. HOWEVER these are very popular with other rabbits, and they’re a great option for those on a more limited budget, but have rabbits that like snuggly beds. Also, it’s so cute.
5. A tube
Tubes are great. Rabbits like to sit in them and play with them, and they’re a great addition to a zoomy assault course if that’s something your rabbit likes. You can see ours in the basket picture above – it’s the blue thing.
Holly likes to play with the tube, but at least three of our previous rabbits liked to sleep in it. I’d panic thinking I’d lost them, and I’d have to (gently) roll the tube to see if there was any resistance from a sleeping bunny in it. There usually was.
Do yourself a favour and get a simple tube. Don’t get a t-junction type one, because they take up disproportionally more space than a regular tube, even though there’s only a bit more space. You can also easily stash a tube in a cupboard, or even upright in a corner, but you can’t so much with a bigger one.
Things to remember with rabbits and beds
Your rabbit will be EXTREMELY suspicious of all of these items for a weirdly long time before one day they decide they’ll use it forever.
Cardboard boxes are the exception to this rule, but if your bunny doesn’t love it straight away, please don’t be offended.
It is very, very difficult not to get overexcited when rabbit’s first start using beds but BE COOL. You don’t want to scare them (by either squealing or creeping up on them to get a better photo) into never using the bed again.
Try to keep food/hay out of the beds. We don’t want to encourage them to use beds as litter boxes (well I don’t anyway, you do you).
If anyone has any awesome bed recommendations, leave us a comment. The cuter the better!