It’s no secret that rabbits love soft materials. All domesticated rabbits like blankets and pillows in the home. You’ll likely be tempted to place similar items in your pet’s hutch for added comfort.
Do not wrap your rabbit in a blanket. She may feel trapped and panic, potentially leading to injury as she tries to escape. Lay a blanket or towel down and let your rabbit arrange it as she sees fit.
Can I Give My Rabbit a Blanket?
Rabbits adore soft fabrics. Your pet will roll around in blankets and towels in your home. They love the softness and warmth provided by such materials. These soft furnishings provide all manner of comfort and entertainment to rabbits.
There is the softness that blankets provide, and there are burrowing opportunities. Rabbits love to dig and burrow to create a warm, dark space. This mimics the wild instinct of digging a burrow.
Blankets can also keep a rabbit warm, and protect her paws. Some rabbit cages can have tough, metal floors. This can lead to sore hocks. A blanket or towel can prevent this from happening.
What Kind of Rabbit Blanket is Best?
Blankets can make a great addition to your pet’s hutch. There are caveats to this:
- Never offer a blanket that contains holes. Rabbit paws can become trapped in these gaps. This can cause your rabbit stress. She may hurt herself trying to get free.
- Your rabbit will likely chew the fabric of the blanket. She may end up swallowing parts. If she is showing signs of intestinal discomfort, remove the blanket and see a vet.
- Your pet may get herself trapped in the blanket. Alternatively, she may even suffocate if she burrows too deeply. Do not offer your rabbit a blanket that’s too big for her.
- Watch your rabbit for any signs of an allergic reaction. A rabbit may be allergic to the fabric itself, or laundry detergent or fabric softener.
- If you give your rabbit a blanket, don’t later take it back and use it yourself. Rabbits are territorial. That blanket belongs to your pet now. If you attempt to reclaim ownership, your rabbit will become grumpy. Rabbits do hold grudges.
If you want the perfect blanket for your rabbit’s cage, pet stores sell specialist items. These will be designed with the size and needs of a rabbit in mind. They can be expensive, though.
If you’d prefer to recycle a blanket from home, a fleece blanket is recommended. This material is soft enough to appeal to rabbits, and sturdy when chewed.
Do Rabbits Need Blankets in Cold Weather?
Rabbits have a surprisingly high tolerance for cold weather. When the seasons start to change, your rabbit’s body adapts accordingly. When fall arrives, your pet grows a thick fur coat to accommodate the impending drop in temperature.
Despite this, your rabbit may also enjoy the additional warmth provided by a blanket. Rabbits find this comforting. Sliding under a blanket makes a rabbit feel safe and secure.
Avoid swaddling your pet in a blanket. Rabbits hate feeling restrained. You may think that you’re doing your pet a favor by wrapping her up tightly at night. In reality, this will cause stress.
Why Do Rabbits Not Enjoy Being Wrapped in Blankets?
Rabbits do not like to feel trapped. Your pet will free herself, and this can lead to injury/stress. Your pet could give herself a heart attack in her desperation to get free.
Your rabbit may also overheat if she is wrapped too securely. This can have dire consequences. Rabbits are always happier being a little chilly than too warm. Hyperthermia can be a real risk when a rabbit is wrapped up.
How to Offer Rabbits Blankets in Cold Weather
If you want to offer your rabbit a blanket, lay it close to her bed. Your rabbit will then do what she needs to in order to get comfortable.
Just like you make your bed in the morning, a rabbit will do the same. She will arrange the blanket exactly how she wants it.
My Rabbit Keeps Digging at Her Blanket
Digging is among the most natural behaviors that any rabbit can exhibit. Your pet is satisfying a wild instinct. Rabbits dig at blankets for a number of reasons:
- The soft feel of the blanket is nice under your rabbit’s paws. She can dig for hours without hurting her claws.
- Your rabbit wonders if she can dig through the blanket, like she can dirt or hay. This can provide hours of entertainment.
- Your rabbit is messing up the blanket to set it as she likes. Rabbits do not share a human’s love for smooth, neat blankets. They like to scrunch blankets up.
If your rabbit’s digging concerns you, distract her. While digging is a natural behavior, it can cause problems. Your pet may start digging at the carpet in the house and other surfaces.
How to Stop a Rabbit Digging at Blankets
Most rabbits will be happy digging. It does not matter what they sink their claws into. This means that you can provide alternatives.
A telephone directory is ideal. These thick books will keep your rabbit occupied for hours. You could also provide more hay for your rabbit to burrow into.
Ultimately, rabbits will dig. It’s what they do. If your pet is digging a blanket in her hutch, it’s better than many alternatives. It may be best to leave her to it.
My Rabbit Ignores Her Blanket
If two rabbits share a hutch, one may have claimed a blanket. As rabbits are territorial, this is taken seriously. Your other pet will not try to use something that belongs to another rabbit.
A lack of scent may also perturb your rabbit. Rabbits draw comfort from familiar aromas. If the blanket has just been cleaned, your rabbit may lose interest.
Check the material of the blanket. If it is unfamiliar, the fabric may be unpleasant to the touch. Try switching the blanket for two alternatives; one of the same fabric, one different.
Ensure that your rabbit has no negative experiences with the blanket. An allergic reaction may put her off using it. Fleas and ticks can also live in soft blankets and towels. If your rabbit thinks the blanket makes her itch, she’ll keep her distance.
Is Putting a Blanket Over a Rabbit Cage Safe?
There may come a time that you wish to throw a blanket over your rabbit’s hutch. This is better than most other forms of cover. A blanket will cover a hutch without affecting the air circulation.
If you are worried about the blanket falling off, weigh it down on the ground. This will stop the blanket slipping if your pet chews and nudges it through the bars.
Why Would I Put a Blanket Over a Rabbit’s Hutch?
There are a number of reasons to throw a blanket over your pet’s cage:
- Covering a hutch provides darkness and privacy. This will help your rabbit sleep.
- It prevents other pets or animals from seeing your rabbit. This will keep your pet safer.
- A blanket can block draughts. Your rabbit’s hutch must be dry at all times.
- It will calm a rabbit down. If she cannot see activity outside her hutch, she will be less agitated.
Do not leave a blanket over a rabbit’s hutch all day. This will cause your pet anxiety. Used sparingly, it can be an effective technique.
Are Towels Safe for Rabbits?
Towels are a cost-effective addition to a rabbit’s hutch. Towels can be used for three main purposes:
- Laying a towel on the floor will act as a carpet in a rabbit’s hutch. This will protect your pet’s paws, and prevent conditions such as bumblefoot.
- Cheap blanket substitutes. They can be rolled around on, or wrapped up in for warmth.
- Rabbits love nibbling on towels. Your pet will spend hours working at a particular corner. As long as she is not swallowing excessive fabric, this is safe entertainment.
As with a blanket, your rabbit should have her own towel. Do not offer a towel that you will later need in the bathroom. It belongs to your pet now.
What is the Best Towel for Rabbits?
As with blankets, softer towels are better. Your rabbit will take comfort from a fluffy towel. She will also struggle to ingest parts of this material. A hand towel is recommended. This smaller towel will minimize the risk of suffocation.
Do not offer your rabbit a damp or used towel. Your rabbit may find the scent initially comforting, but this is dangerous. Rabbits must be clean and dry at all times.
There is also the risk that remnants of soap will remain on a used towel. Rabbits have a different skin pH to humans. If human soap touches a rabbit’s skin, it can cause a rash.
I Don’t Like My Rabbit Chewing on Towels
If you are concerned about your rabbit chewing on a towel, deter the behavior. Do not use training or negative reinforcement for this. Instead, focus on alternatives.
Rabbits will always be looking for something to chew. Rabbits love new experiences. If you offer a new toy, it will capture her imagination. Apply a sweet taste such as honey to make it irresistible.
If you grow particularly concerned, make the towel unappealing. Dip the corners in something that does not taste good. Vinegar is ideal, as rabbits dislike bitter tastes.
Just be aware that this may deter your rabbit from using her towel. This could be detrimental to her quality of life. Towels can be useful to a rabbit if she uses them safely.
Cleaning Towels and Blankets from a Rabbit’s Hutch
If your rabbit has blankets and towels in her hutch, they must be cleaned occasionally. Your rabbit will not welcome this. She will draw comfort from familiar scents.
If the blankets in your pet’s hutch are clean, there is no need to wash them too often. While you’ll clean a hutch weekly, blankets and towels can be washed fortnightly. Again, this is assuming there are no stains on the towels or blankets.
Check any blankets regularly for urine staining. If the urine sinks into your rabbit’s skin, it can cause yellowing of the fur or scald. It will also create a strong, unappealing smell.
How to Wash a Rabbit’s Blankets and Towels
If your rabbit has been unwell, you should wish any blankets and towels in her hutch. Wash these by hand in a sink or bathtub. Create a solution of warm water and a little bleach. This will kill any stubborn germs or bacteria.
If you find fleas in your rabbit’s hutch, wash all blankets and towels in a washing machine. Use a high heat and a rabbit-safe detergent. This will kill any flea eggs hiding in the blanket.
If you are just undertaking a general wash, either approach is fine. You can hand wash, with or without bleach. Alternatively, just put the towels through a standard cycle with your own laundry.
If used appropriately, blankets and towels are great additions to a rabbit’s hutch. They serve many purposes, and bring pleasure to your pet’s life. Just take a safety-first approach. Avoid overheating, choking hazards, and restrictions.