Rabbits are considered to be domestic animals but they are originally “outdoor” animals because they got all their instincts from their wild ancestors.
So, you could easily guess that their diet would be some grass, plants, weeds, and even some hay. You should also know that they’ll be eating the things you might not want them to eat, things like cardboard.
Rabbits are curious little creature who like to roam about and explore new things. They also like to chew on things and everything around them, which also includes cardboard.
You might be having so many queries regarding why rabbits chew on cardboard? Is it safe? Is there some limit to chewing cardboard? Is there a way to stop them from doing this activity?
Well folks, scroll down and read on. Who knows? You might find all your answers!
Can Rabbits Chew On Cardboard?
Yes, rabbits can munch on cardboard but you have to be careful with the amount of cardboard that they are eating.
Now, you might be wondering why pet rabbits love to eat cardboard, and it is because they are filled with cellulose, which is also a significant component of the leaves and vegetables that they eat.
But this does not or will not conclude that cardboards can be a meal replacement.
Also, they need something to help them grind out their growing teeth because if they don’t, it can cause them serious health issues.
The thing that is more important, pet rabbits look at cardboards as toys and these can provide mental stimulation for them that too in case your pet rabbit tends to get bored without a human to keep them company.
Why Do Rabbits Like To Chew Cardboard?
If you are a pet owner and that too of a rabbit, you probably are quite aware of the fact that rabbits are very curious animal, who like to explore new things and also like to chew on things, as if that is their main hobby.
Now the question is, why do rabbits even do that? There may be many different reasons but here are a couple of things that give them a reason to chew cardboard:
- It helps them to fill their constant need for chewing
- It helps them deal or fight with a sense of boredom without their owner
Even if eating cardboard isn’t necessarily bad for them, everything has limits and this is no different, hence you need to make sure that 80% of their diet should contain grass hay.
They are important to your rabbit’s diet because they hold the key ingredient which will help them to stay happy and healthy.
Is Cardboard Safe For Rabbits?
It is okay for a rabbit to eat cardboard. There is no problem if a bunny is eating and chewing cardboard.
Rabbits can safely munch on plain cardboard but not on the cardboards which have printed images on them or any type of ink on them, or any kind of stickers or labels.
The printed cardboard or ink is not suitable for a rabbit’s health, that is why most owners of rabbits avoid keeping cardboard near their bunnies as a safety precaution because in the absence of their owner, if the rabbits start eating the printed cardboard with lots of ink, then they will surely get affected by that and in turn, that will cause health problems to the bunnies.
Cardboard is safe for rabbits to eat but there is a limit to everything. Overeating cardboard can cause issues with a rabbit’s health.
Rabbits also know that cardboard is not any kind of food they would usually see. So, to them, Cardboard is an entertaining food to eat and play with.
The problem with eating tons of cardboard all the time is that they may stop eating their pellets, hay, and vegetables.
Moreover, cardboards have no nutritional value. So consuming this for a long time and in a good amount will not give any benefit and instead of that can introduce many health problems.
What Happens If A Rabbit Eats Cardboard?
Rabbits see cardboard as an entertaining thing to munch on. There is nothing wrong if rabbits are eating cardboard.
But there is a limit to everything. Excessive eating of cardboard by rabbits will cause many dangers to their body functioning.
Cardboards can contain many kinds of inks, dyes, labels, and staples which can prove to be poisonous contamination for rabbits.
Always make sure that all the tapes and any adhesive left in the cardboard are removed from the box, as these things are not edible and can cause choking or more serious problems such as GI blockage, to your bunny.
And if they are eating cardboard, make sure that the cardboard is not contaminated by its urine because rabbit’s urine contains high concentrations of ammonia in it. And ammonia is very unhealthy to smell or consume by rabbits.
So in this case, if the rabbits live indoors, then the responsibilities of the owner increase to always maintain hygiene.
How Do I Stop My Rabbits From Eating Cardboard?
Rabbits love to chew. Whether it’s paper or cardboard, if one day you lose your little friend trying to find every corner of your house, you will find your rabbit eating pieces of cardboard. It is not that easy, but you can solve this problem of your rabbit’s chewing.
Here are a few tips to stop your bunny from chewing on cardboard:
1. Give More Hay!
Rabbits actually really need to chew. They do this all the time because their teeth are always growing so if they suddenly stop chewing, they will have major medical problems. So keeping this in mind, they are not doing anything wrong. It is very natural for them to do so.
You might think that they are small animals and hence they have a lesser diet, but you need to give them a medium quantity of hay every single day, which would amount to a bundle of hay the size of their own body.
Yes, I know it’s a lot of hay! But rabbits need at least this amount of hay to be healthy. This will help them to chew less on cardboard.
2. Make Your House Bunny-Proof!
Bunnies are doing what comes naturally, so they are doing nothing wrong when it comes to chewing or munching.
As a responsible pet owner, it is your duty to bunny-proof your house, rather than putting all the blame on your little furry friend. Bunny-proofing is similar to child-proofing, so, yes the items which are safe for toddlers are also safe for bunnies too.
If your bunny chews on an electrical cord, that might be dangerous for your pet as they ingest pieces of rubber or wire, or the worst that can happen, they can also electrocute themselves.
So, whenever it’s possible, allow your bunny to roam around where there is no electrical cord.
3. Play Time!
Rabbits usually chew because they are bored. Now, since you have determined to stop your bunny from chewing on random objects, you need to make sure that they are not bored. Therefore, you can fill their room or surround them with toys.
Just like you love to spend your time with your family they also want to do the same, you are their only family. You can take your rabbit for a short 15- 20 minutes training session and try to spend time together through playful activities.
Or you could also bring them another company, yes, you read correctly, that it would be really great if you adopt another bunny, this will give them an amazing company since bunnies love companionship. And also don’t forget to neuter them beforehand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Put Cardboard In A Bunny Cage?
Yes, you definitely can. Just remember that as long as there is no coating or ink, it’s non-toxic and safe for rabbits to chew on them. It is a known fact that rabbits love to spend their time inside, that too in their cage; it gives them a sense of safety. Hence, they like to even eat their food inside as well. If you provide them food there only while they are lying peacefully, they are going to love it. They also love to chew on things that also contain plain cardboard, but an excess of anything is bad, and this can be bad for their digestion. This can also cause intestinal blockages.
How Much Cardboard Can Rabbits Eat?
Pet owners, especially if they own bunnies, they know very well that rabbits love to chew on everything. You could say they have a habit of doing so or they do it when they are bored. It is really hard for owners to stop this activity. Rabbits dig and chew and you might also find them eating cardboard pieces, which might cause you to worry regarding their digestion, as they have a sensitive digestive system. But it is okay for a bunny to eat cardboard. But you don’t want the cardboard to be your rabbit’s main source of food. Let them have a limited amount of cardboard to munch on and just remember that they have a proper amount of grass hay and food full of nutrition.
Rabbits are very curious little creatures. They love to explore new things and also chew on new different things. They do this not because they want to frustrate you but because it’s their nature or you can say their instinct to do so.
They can definitely chew on cardboard too, you just have to make sure that they are eating within the limit, because cardboard does not contain any nutrition and that might cause them indigestion.
But chewing is important for their teeth as they are always growing, so if they don’t chew that might become the reason for their serious health issue.
It is okay for them to chew on different things or cardboard, but don’t let them forget to eat actual food that contains nutrition, that is grass hay.