Rabbit like to run along the edges of rooms where they feel safe and floor length curtains or blinds are perfect for running and hiding behind. As a result of a rabbits natural tendencies to chew fibrous materials, especially when they hang down into their path curtains and blinds can become badly damaged over time.
Rabbits have razor sharpen teeth which grow constantly throughout their lives so are always looking for something to chew on to ware them down and can make short work of the the cloth and even the tough material of lateral blinds are made of. Other damage can include chewing the end of draw strings and tassels which can be sliced through.
It”s best to bunny proof your curtains and blinds and in this article we have some tried and tested bunny proofing techniques that can help you stop the damage and make them safe for your bunny to play around.
Keep hooks and drawstrings tied up out the way
Always keep draw strings or other cords out of reach, not only could they be an easy target for chewing its also a concern that your rabbit may get tangled up in them and hurt itself. If you don’t have a regular way of doing this then install a hook and make tying it up out of reach a habit when your rabbit is roaming in the room.
Draw the curtains in from the ends a bit to clear access
You will often find that damage can occur at each end of the curtains where they meet at a wall. This may be the spot where where you rabbit likes to run along behind them then pop in and out. In this case its best to draw the curtains in a bit from the wall so your house rabbit doesn’t see them as an inconvenience and this will hopefully mean they will be ignore. Alternatively you could try putting a tunnel toy or cardboard box there to keep the curtains out of the way but let you rabbit pass through.
Three quarter length avoid chewing damage
If you are choosing new curtains its more then worth considering three quarter length as opposed to floor length as this will practically prevents the problem by moving them out of reach for your house rabbit. If you already have curtains it may be also worth having them taken up to three quarter length, this can also be a good way of neatening up any damage that has already been done if your house rabbit decided it would have a go at taking them up for you.
Always provide lots of suitable alternatives
It likely that your rabbit is attract to your curtains as they give it something to play with. The easiest way to keep your rabbit out of trouble is to enrich its environment with lots of other places to hide in like tubes, tunnels and boxes. Also provide some alternatives they can chew on to distract them as it’s not good for them to eat the material your curtains are made of.
Applying bitter apple sprays or other taste deterrents
Bitter sprays can help make your curtains and blonds a lot less appealing to chew on however they are not a single solution and need to be used alongside other bunny proofing. You can apply the spray directly to the affected area or to help stop the spray going everywhere you can also spray some into a cloth then wipe the liquid on. Remember to keep reapplying the bitter spray regularly so it doesn”t loose its effectiveness. Always use a product designed for specifically rabbits such as the and avoid home made remedies like perfume or chilly oil as these can be harmful to your rabbit.
Training your rabbit to stay away from your plants
In the wild rabbits spent most of their day eating especial somewhere they feel safe so trying to stop them doing this behind your curtains is going to be an almost impossible challenge. The constant battle which you are unlikely to win will probably make your rabbit timid or even lead to antisocial behaviour problems such as aggression back towards you. However if you do want to try and control these natural urges there are a few deterrents that are gentile enough to be safe and may have some aversion effect. A commonly used deterrent is to keep a water mister to hand and when you catch your bunny actively tying to reach a plant spray a fine mist over them and say No! in a firm voice without shouting. Another idea is to keep a jar filled with some coins and use this as a rattle to strongly indicate the behaviour is not tolerated, then direct them towards a more suitable toy. As always these work best alongside lots of activity and chew toys that you bunny will eventually learn are acceptable.
Rabbits naturally seek shelter
Rabbits are a prey species and in their natural habitat use area of shelter to move around to stay under cover and keep safe. Your rabbit may like to run behind your curtains as this also makes them feel safe so keep a check on them to make sure the material is not being chewed.
- Don’t let your house rabbit eat your curtains. The synthetic or fire treated materials could harm them if digested
- Make sure loops of cords or material are tied up out of reach or you rabbit could get caught in them and get hurt
- If you rabbit likes to go behind you curtains leave a gap at the ends for your rabbit to pop in and out of or they will get chewed if they are in the way.
Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny Proofing group!
We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts with a specific interest in sharing our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our rabbits environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our rabbits to inhabit.