In preparation for a newcomer into our household (a baby in September!), we decided to do some rearranging of rooms. Coco and Cosette, who used to live upstairs, were moved downstairs, along with my office. So now they primarily live in the kitchen / hallway, with supervised access to my office.
The house is an old Victorian with beautiful, intricate woodwork in the downstairs. It provides a multitude of wooden corners and edges that would be a rabbit’s dream to destroy.
As we discussed in our Bunny Proofing article, baseboards will get destroyed if not protected. When Coco and Cosette lived upstairs, we mainly blocked off the baseboards with furniture and tunnels, and we also just let them go a bit. Periodically, we would sand them down and repaint them, as the upstairs baseboards were just 2x4s, not like the historic, intricate moldings found downstairs.
But when keeping the baseboards in tact really does matter, Mary Cotter of the House Rabbit Society and Amy Sedaris suggest tacking or nailing furring strips or 2x4s to the baseboards so the rabbits just chew those instead. You can paint these to match your baseboards so they blend in a bit better. (See our Bunny Proofing article for a video of Mary Cotter and Amy Sedaris.)
We liked this idea, but we were also looking for a solution that you could easily remove on a temporary basis (perhaps when having dinner guests, e.g.) and one that did not involve putting a lot of holes in the moldings.
We brainstormed a few different ideas, including using zip-tied storage cube panels that would run along the walls and would be attached by a limited number of hooks by the doorways. Furring strips zip-tied to the storage cube panels would provide a buffer between the fencing and moldings so that little rabbit mouths couldn’t reach the woodwork. This solution would allow us to remove the fencing (which would be unsightly) in a quick and easy way, and then put them back on as necessary.
But in the end, we decided on this solution:
We used custom-sized wood panels (connected with hinges to accommodate all the different angles) attached to the moldings via Velcro strips. The panels were stained to blend in better with the rest of the woodwork. Because they’re held onto the baseboards with Velcro, they’re easily removable by us (but not the rabbits).
It’s been two days and Coco and Cosette have already gone to work chewing the wood panels. No surprise there. But the baseboards themselves are protected from further damage.
What solutions have you tried to protect your baseboards?
I have enough rabbit fencing to block off the perimeter of an entire room /aka Daisy’s room (mini lop has her own room). However, this is a better idea for my bedroom, livinig room and kitchen.
Yes, I think with baseboards, if you’re not willing to just let them get destroyed, then a long term, robust solution is probably best. We didn’t mind spending the money on the wood boards because they should last a long time. (Although certainly the edges will get rounded out quickly by the rabbits.) We haven’t found other deterrents to really work well (eg: bitter sprays, discipline, etc.). Unless the baseboards are completely blocked, they will get chewed. It’s just too tempting for them.
Hi there! Your bunbuns are so cute! We have
A bun that look very much like yours but haven’t been able to figure out her breed as she was pet shop bought. Would you mind letting me know coco and Colette’s breed? Thank you so much!
They are a dwarf and a dwarf mix.
Great suggetions thanks!
This is a great idea! My bunny and I had a stand-off with a squirt bottle, and I sprayed perfume on her favorite spots. The perfume works, but living with it is a different matter, especially since I used the stuff I got as gifts and don’t mind wasting, versus the kind that I like (since both are expensive).
She also retaliated by shredding my sheets.
I do not think you are supposed to use perfume on them since it can be toxic.
Try Fooey Bitter Spray, it is pet safe. However, you might have to re-apply after 3 or 4 weeks to maintain the flavour/smell.
Do any of you know if rabbits dig or chew on wooden floors? My wood floors aren’t pristine and have plenty of scratches, so I’m not too worried about a bunny moving around and little scratches. But, I didn’t know if rabbits tried to chew the ground or did other serious damage to wood floors. I certainly don’t want holes in the floor!
Do you have any tips on having a baby and a bunny in the same house? 🙂
Great suggestion. Did you make these yourself and what was the approximate cost? Thanks!
I used starch to adhere strips of cloth to the baseboards (like wall paper), which works as a pretty good deterrent because it is harder for the bunny to sink his teeth into. The only problems are that the bunny can find the edge and try to rip it off, and also that it is a little hard to keep clean. This was a nice, cheap solution for our rental apartment, though, with crappy baseboards that we didn’t care about too much. I am moving into a nicer apartment in a few months, and I think I may try your wood panel solution!
Oo that’s a cool trick! Thanks for sharing.
I used rubber strips used to keep drafts out of windows. They are white blend in perfectly and stick easily to the baseboards. Bun leaves them alone but they need replaced from time to time. Seems like not much is perfect (expect for Bun)
Do you use a specific material to adhere the rubber to the baseboard so as to avoid potentially removing the paint from the baseboard when you wanna remove the rubber? We are renting only so we will have to remove the rubber. Thank you!
What kind of rubber strips? Where did you find them?
I went to garage sales and picked up large cook books. I put them up in the areas that interest our Hazel and then remove them when company comes over. The books still look nice on a shelf when not in bunny proofing mode.
We have thick baseboards and our bunnies decided they looked tasty so I had to find a solution! I used leftover ceramic tiles(long pieces like wood flooring) and propped them up against the baseboards in the rabbits’ room. They are removable, and look alright too. :).