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If you’re looking for an answer to the question ‘why the hell does my rabbit insist on going under my bed every chance they get’ I’m afraid I can’t help you. I don’t know what switch flips in their brain to make under the bed the ultimate destination, I just know that it exists.
We’ve only had one rabbit that insisted on going under the bed, and luckily she wasn’t destructive. She’d just come out covered in dust bunnies and mad that she couldn’t live there
Side note: are dust bunnies called dust bunnies due to rabbits’ love for being in dusty places?
Why does my rabbit go under the bed?
I assume that the actual reason is that it’s enclosed and dark and makes them feel safe. Same reason they have a fascination with getting under/behind the sofa.
Rabbits are also very curious and love new places
But there’s also that percentage of rabbits that like doing stuff they’re not allowed to do.
How can I stop my rabbit going under the bed?
If you can, shut the door and don’t let your rabbit in the bedroom. Rabbits go into bedrooms to accomplish two tasks:
- Get under the bed and get covered in dust
- Pee on the bed
You don’t need that in your life.
It’s much easier to block off a whole room than it is a part of it. You could get a baby gate, or just be vigilant about keeping the door closed.
Rabbits can take a while to train not to do stuff they want to do because, er, they want to do it and they’re pretty headstrong and stubborn as a species.
By teaching them that going into certain rooms is a privilege and not a right (for example by only allowing them in your bedroom when you’re there)it can be easier to teach them what the rules are (such as if they go under the bed they’re not allowed in the room at all).
Sometimes rabbit can be so hell bent on getting under the bed (for reasons only they can explain) it’s easier to ban them for a while than to try to train them.
If your rabbit lives in your bedroom, or you have a studio apartment, then things are more tricky, but there are a few things you can try.
These ones from Amazon are pretty cheap.
Obviously you’ll need to get enough boxes that there isn’t any space for the rabbit to get under, and that might be a lot. The upside is that you’ll have a lot of storage.
You could just use any plastic storage boxes you have already, and arrange them to form a wall.
If you’re feeling sneaky, you could run a tube ( like this one) under the bed and out the other side so that bunny is technically under the bed but also not able to roam under there and eat the underside of your bed.
You can get cute little picket fences to protect baseboards and stuff (that’s obviously NOT what they’re actually made for, but that what you see a lot in bunny-proofing social media posts), so you could put one around the bed.
Just make sure you get one that low enough that you don’t have to climb over it to get into bed.
Bargain with them
Offer a regular box to see if they’re just after a home base in your bedroom. If you block off under the bed and don’t give them anywhere else to hide that’s a bit unfair.
A lot of rabbits like having somewhere that they know they’ll be left in peace. Holly has a cardboard box that she likes to sit in, and we never grab her out of it. If we need to catch her to trim her nails we block off the box rather than having to drag her out of it.
That sounds mean when I write it down, but she’s not that bothered about being caught (tbf if she’d learn to trim her own nails we wouldn’t need to).
As I said, some rabbits just like going under beds and a box won’t cut it. It would be a lot of work to try to train them out of it and it probably wouldn’t be 100% successful, so blocking it up is the best way.
Can you deter rabbit’s from going under the bed?
Yeah, probably, but it isn’t as reliable a method as blocking off access entirely. There are a few things you could try:
- Putting a cotton ball soaked in peppermint oil in your bedroom
Whilst rabbits like mint, peppermint is too strong for them and they hate it. Since you couldn’t put the cotton ball anywhere that the rabbit might eat it (essential oils and bunnies don’t mix) I can’t see that this’ll be any more effective than shutting the door BUT it will deter mice too
- Changing the flooring under the bed
If your bedroom is carpeted, try putting a roll of laminate flooring (or something equally slippy) under the bed and seeing if they avoid it.
You’ll need to keep a close eye on your rabbit, because if the laminate doesn’t deter them, they could end up hurting themselves on the slippery surface.
Worth a try.
- The spray bottle trick
I’ve never known this trick to work, but many people have had success, so you may as well give it a try.
Now, we’re NOT going to spray the bunny. We’d just end up with a mad, damp bunny. The spray is a distraction. This is how it works:
- Squirt the spray bottle when the bunny goes under the bed. It’s a weird noise that animals don’t like. You can accompany it with a ‘no’ or ‘ah ah’ for added effect, if you like.
- Rabbit comes out from under the bed to see what all the fuss is about
- Repeat as needed
This is pretty effective on cats (not all of them, but a lot) because they really hate the spray noise. In my experience, rabbits care about the noise much less, and they get used to it quickly, so you only have the option to use it a couple of times before it doesn’t work. Use your sprays wisely.
Is it ok to let my rabbit go under the bed?
Sure! If it’s safe and you don’t mind the standard bunstruction, your rabbit would probably love it under there.
Just be prepared to say goodbye to any carpet or baseboards under there, and possibly even your mattress if they can get a good grip.
You could use the little picket fences to protect the baseboards, and protect the carpet with a rug (carpet offcuts from flooring stores are great for this). Be especially vigilant around the corners – bunnies love to dig in corners.
If you do allow your bunny to chill under the bed, you’ll need to vacuum under it regularly, since the dust could be harmful and cause respiratory issues, and keep an eye out for things that could harm your rabbit, like splinters. Do checks every now and again to ensure your rabbit isn’t slowly chewing through your bedframe, Shawshank style.
I’m a very risk averse person, and wouldn’t get on a bed if my rabbit was under it, in case it collapsed. I have no idea if that’s sensible or ridiculous. Surely it’s the same risk level as bunk beds? I’ll leave that call up to you.
Final thoughts on rabbits going under the bed
It’s nigh-on impossible to stop them, and REALLY DIFFICULT to get them out again. I usually ended up enticing them out with banana, but all that’s happened in the rabbit’s mind is that they got to go under the bed (yay!) and then they got a treat (yay!).
That’s hardly a deterrent, is it?