Rabbits are funny, social, and curious little creatures. They love to explore new things and also chew or munch on everything. This might include their own cage, ropes, cords, cardboard, or even plastic.
After hearing plastic, your heart might stop for a while, but you read that correctly. Rabbits do chew on plastic, and they even sometimes eat it too.
Now you might be having non-stop questions in your mind about whether they actually eat plastic? Is it safe for them or for their bodies to chew on plastic? Why would they do this?
And it’s valid and understandable, so we also have our answers ready. Why don’t you read this article and find the answers on your own?
Why Do Rabbits Chew Plastic?
Rabbits love to chew things. It is entirely not possible for us to stop them from doing this act. Instead, you can keep a check on them and help them to chew things safely.
It’s their natural behavior to chew things. They have this instinct. But behind their chewing, there is a reason, and that is that as rabbits’ teeth grow continually, or you can say every day, the only way to keep them from getting too long is to chew on things.
In some cases, many owners have seen their rabbits eating plastic items such as:
- Packaging straps
- Litter boxes
- Hairbrush handles
- Rabbit feeders
Is It Okay For A Rabbit To Chew On Plastic?
The answer to this question is hidden in another question, and that is; is your rabbit just chewing on plastic and not actually eating it?
If yes, then it is completely fine and you can let your bunny chew on plastic. They usually chew because of their teeth, and if plastic does not cause any harm to their teeth, then you can let your bunny go ahead and chew on plastic occasionally.
But here comes the danger if your rabbit starts eating pieces of plastic, even the small ones. Whether they chew off some rubber or tear apart the pieces of plastic off the litter box, this can lead them to a very serious health issue. It can cause damage to your rabbit’s digestive tract.
So, if you come across such behavior, you should consider this a red flag and replace their toys and accessories with wooden or metal ones.
What To Do If A Rabbit Ate Plastic?
In most cases, rabbits just chew on plastic, but if you catch that rare case, then it is fine if they have eaten a small piece of plastic. The plastic will simply go through their digestive system and come out the other end.
However, you need to prepare for the possibility of them eating a little more than a small piece of plastic because that might cause them a serious digestion problem, which will slow down their functionality.
Have you heard of an illness called GI Stasis? It is a very common and deadly rabbit illness.
And I will point this out here because the behavior of eating corners of plastic toys or the edge of a plastic box causes problems in the GI tract and becomes the reason behind this disease.
If you are aware of the fact that your rabbit might eat a large amount of plastic, then my friend, you need to keep an eye on them and look for a change in their behavior.
If your rabbit shows a decreased appetite or struggles to poop, then you should take them to a veterinarian to make sure that they are not seriously ill.
How To Prevent Your Rabbit From Eating Plastic?
Chewing is the natural behavior of rabbits, and it is not easy for them to leave or for you to force them. So, if you know that whatever happens, they will chew on plastic, you need to take responsibility and redecorate your house to be more non-plastic-friendly.
To keep your rabbit healthy, give your rabbit some non-plastic accessories or toys. Rabbits like to chew on plastic litter boxes, food dishes, and even their own house, I mean, their “small cage”. The only thing you want to do is replace all these things with the non-plastic ones.
Get them a metal litter box, something wooden or cardboard to lay on, some ceramic dishes, and also lots of hay to prevent them from eating plastic.
Don’t forget to avoid those plastic toys, because boy, you are giving a full plate meal and blaming your rabbit for eating it. Toys are things that are in their reach and are closer to them, and they take advantage of that.
Rather than playing with them, they like to chew on them. Try going natural and giving them hay-based toys, chew sticks, or cardboard for them to play with, and yes, of course, to eat!
Also, don’t forget about the synthetic carpet. If your rabbit loves to chew on plastic, remember that a synthetic carpet is usually made of plastic, and you definitely would need to replace it with some eco-friendly or natural fiber carpet.
Which Are The Acceptable And Avoidable Plastic Toys?
If your rabbit only chews and does not eat plastic, then you can provide them with plastic toys to play with.
Generally, it is best if you give them toys that are made of thick plastic because they are less likely to break off. These toys are definitely meant for your rabbit to play with, or you can hide treats inside of them.
Such toys are:
- Treat balls: As the name suggests, these are plastic balls, which can be the best to toss around and try to find the treats that you hide.
- Bottle caps: yes, you read that right. You can simply wash your water bottle and take out the cap to give your rabbit his/her new toy. They can play with it and even chew on it a little.
The rabbits, who are actually chewing on it, don’t really like eating plastic, but there are still some types of plastic that you should definitely avoid for your rabbit to play with because the rabbit might chew pieces off and accidentally ingest them.
Some of those objects are:
- Soft plastic: plastic that can easily be torn off should be avoided because rabbits tend to play with everything. Erasers, rubber bands, remote control buttons, etc. are the right examples of the above-described types of plastic.
- Rabbits chew on things because of their teeth. They are growing every day, so to stop that they chew. Hence, they have large teeth, so what will a thin plastic do against them? Those that are most likely to tear off, which include plastic bags, wrappers, bubble wrap, food packaging, etc.
- Small plastic pieces like zip ties, small buttons, or any small plastic object should be avoided as they can easily fit inside the rabbit’s mouth.
Can Rabbits Die From Eating Plastic?
It is natural for them to chew on things, which sometimes also includes plastic. While chewing, they might eat a little or more than a little bit of plastic.
If they eat a small piece of plastic, then it is totally fine because it will pass easily through their digestive tract. But if the case is the opposite, it may cause them serious health issues and make them really sick.
After eating plastic, the main risk would be that those pieces of plastic might get stuck somewhere in the digestive tract, which can become the cause of the discomfort, tissue damage, or severe constipation, which could be deadly.
But if it has eaten already, then don’t panic. There are a few things that can help or cure your bunny.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Rabbits Actually Eat Plastic?
It’s a very common question and quite often asked many times. Rabbits are most likely to chew on plastic, but there are two types of rabbits: ones that chew on plastic and later spit it out, and ones that chew on plastic and then actually eat it. You need to make sure that your rabbit comes in the correct category.
Now the question might arise, how? It’s simple. Wherever you find your rabbit munching on plastic, you need to look for the pieces of plastic on the floor nearby. If you see some, then congrats, your rabbit just literally chewed on that plastic piece. If not, then that’s bad news, and they probably eat them.
Can Rabbits Vomit Up The Plastic?
Vomiting is extremely beneficial to our biological systems. It is utilized to cleanse your intestines of unpleasant substances, dangerous meals, and infections. Unfortunately, rabbits are unable to vomit. Their digestive systems merely travel into the stomach and out the other end. Rabbits are unable to vomit because their digestive systems close off doorways throughout the stomach and intestines.
There is no doubt that rabbits are one of the cutest pets, and the number of people wanting to own rabbits is increasing day by day. But before buying one, you need to know the fact that rabbits love to chew or munch on things.
Those things also include plastic, which is totally normal and natural for them to do so. It is okay as long as they are just chewing and even eating small pieces, but if they go for the large pieces of plastic, then you need to do something about that because this might cause them serious digestion issues.
You can simply replace some plastic objects with non-plastic ones, like their house, surroundings, and even toys. Give them hay instead, it is full of nutrition, does not hurt your rabbits’ teeth, and will also keep them happy and healthy.