Monday, November 29, 2010

Adventures in Bunny-Proofing

I decided to jump-start my Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, and set aside the afternoon to completing some unfinished household projects.  The most important project was a major bunny-proofing effort in my living room.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my entertainment center is an open bookcase, meaning it has no backing and you can see through to the wall.  This was fine in my pre-rabbit life, but now means that Walter has easy access to all of the television cables, which he loves to chew.

(Side note: why is it that my rabbit seems to seek out these wires to chew?  I could understand the chewing if the cords happened to be in his way, but he goes through great lengths to get to them!)

In my head, I dreamt up a clear behind-the-bookcase blockade.  When I got to Home Depot, I had no idea where to begin.  After wandering aimlessly, while trying not to look like a stereotypically lost girl in the home improvement store, I finally asked for some help.  The salesperson directed me to the display of polycarbonate, acrylic, and glass sheets.  I chose acrylic, since it was lighter (and obviously less fragile) than glass, but cheaper than polycarbonate.  I picked out a sheet that measured 36” x 48” and bought a knife that claimed to easily cut through the material.

Because there is an extension cord behind the bookcase that took up some space, the bookcase sits about three inches out from the wall.  Three inches is enough space for Walter to squeeze himself into, so I decided that I would need to block this off, too.  Essentially, I was building three acrylic walls behind the bookcase: one to cover the back of the bookcase itself, serving as a clear backboard, and two to serve as clear walls to cover the three-inch space between the bookcase and the wall.  I chose Krazy Glue as my acrylic-on-acrylic adhesive.

My plan seemed simple.  I measured twice and planned to cut once.  But the knife I bought didn’t cut the acrylic as easily as I anticipated.  After scoring the material over two dozen times, my frustration set in and with force that came out of nowhere, I managed to break off a piece of the material.  It didn’t break off in a straight line as I intended it to, but it did break off just wide enough and long enough to suit its purpose.

After getting the two side pieces broken off, I glued everything together, organized all the wires and cables behind my entertainment center, and stared proudly at my workmanship as Walter unsuccessfully sought ways to outthink my contraption.

My clear Walter-proof wall works well and looks good, so I am pleased that my dreamt-up blockade has become a reality.  Additionally, I set out some clear doormats at each doorway, since Walter has recently taken to trying to chew his way through the carpet into rooms with closed doors.  I also found a jar of lemon oil and rubbed some of that on walls that Walter likes to chew.  So far, both items have been successful, though he only had a day to experience all the changes before I brought him to the kennel for Thanksgiving.

I bring Walter home tonight, so we’ll see how all my bunny-proofing measures hold up to his antics over the next few days.


  1. I know you already did your bunny proofing, but I just came across this great page

    hope it's useful!

  2. Wow, some great ideas! Thanks for posting about them. (This is why I love your blog: so informative.) Good ideas on that link mberrios provided as well. Hopefully Walter won't outsmart you :) My rabbit will seek out cords and wires too - really, all things soft rubber (like the feet on our chairs and sofa, and the strip that wraps - used to wrap - up my AC adaptor cords). I don't really get it because what in nature does soft rubber/plastic remind rabbits of? (Not that everything rabbits do has a parallel in nature, but considering this is so widespread, I'd think it would).