28 Oct 2022

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Wondering if eating cardboard is safe for your pet rabbit? Read on to know why this material is important for these animals’ physical and mental health.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Rabbits love playing with cardboard; you may even notice them eating some of the material.

Unless they consume large portions of it, there’s no need to freak out. But what about this hardy and bland-looking material that appeals to rabbits? Let’s find out below.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

The shortest answer to this will be, ‘yes- rabbits can eat cardboard.’ However, this doesn’t mean that the cardboard can be considered a source of nutrition for them.

Two Fluffy Rabbits Close Up

If you know rabbits, you’d know that these little animals have fast-growing teeth, comparable to the growth rate of nails in humans. And providing them with little pieces of cardboard to chew on can be a great way to keep the teeth from growing too long.

When rabbits chew on cardboard continuously, it’s only natural to consume a little, which doesn’t usually cause them any harm. Not only are cardboard inexpensive and easy to get, but they also prevent the rabbits from chewing on the wires, furniture or other items that shouldn’t be chewed into.

Plus, “cardboard chewing” will contribute to the mental health of the rabbits by keeping them curious. Hence, you don’t have to scratch your head to find a fun yet productive playtime activity for them!

How To Introduce Your Rabbit To Cardboard?

Two Rabbits Sitting In Cardboard Box

One of the easiest ways to introduce cardboard to your rabbit’s play area or cage is by cutting up a couple of small pieces from a cardboard box. You can even design a cardboard digging box or transform it into a tunnel for the rabbit to explore and eventually start chewing.

A pro tip: use flattened cardboard pieces as mats to protect the edges of your carpet from being chewed on. Likewise, lining them against the base of the wall can prevent the baseboards from becoming chew toys.

Since rabbits are essentially shy, they prefer having safe hideout spaces in their cage or the areas they generally explore. And cardboard pieces can provide them with just that, making them feel more comfortable, especially if it’s a new environment.

Things To Consider Before Giving Them Cardboard

Rabbit Photo Shoot

1. Remove Any Tape Or Staples

The most important thing to ensure is that the cardboard pieces shouldn’t have any tape or staples. These elements can cause severe issues with their digestion or even injure them internally.

2. Choose The Right Type Of Cardboard

While there isn’t any restriction on the thickness of the cardboard per se, keep in mind that the paint used on it may not be edible for rabbits. You should avoid choosing product boxes, cereal boxes, or glossy cardboard.

Your rabbit may not always eat the cardboard, so choosing any type of cardboard should be fine. But it’s practically impossible to monitor them all the time, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

3. Limit Their Cardboard Consumption

If you notice your rabbit overeating cardboard, switch it immediately for some other chewing material. And this brings us to the next section.

What Can Rabbits Chew On Instead Of Cardboard?

What Can Rabbits Chew On

1. Paper

Although paper isn’t as hardy as cardboard, it’s still a good alternative for them to wear down their teeth. You can crumble the paper into big balls so that they get more resistance compared to thin sheets or pieces.

However, be wary of the ink on magazines, receipts, books, etc., as rabbits’ digestive systems don’t tolerate it well. We’d advise going with newspapers that use soy-based inks.

Alternatively, you can go for the plain brown or white crumbled packing paper often found in packages. They are generally safer, and the crumbles provide a nice rugged texture, making for a better grip.

2. Chewing Toys

Chewing toys are another inexpensive and easily available option to help your furry little friend remain active and have healthy teeth. Wooden toys are our favourites as they come in different shapes and sizes, from puzzles to hanging loofahs.

The biggest advantage of such toys is that they are challenging to bite into, so you don’t have to worry about the rabbit eating wood. Still, we’d advise buying non-painted variants or ones painted with rabbit-safe paint, like vegetable dyes.

3. Applewood Sticks Or Pinecones

Chewing on applewood sticks can be fun for rabbits, but ensure you don’t give them too many as they often consume the sticks. You may even substitute applewood sticks with thoroughly washed and dried pinecones.

Taking Care Of Your Pet Rabbit

Before we leave, here’s one final piece of advice: no matter the material your rabbit chews on, there’s bound to be some shavings over time, if not immediately. So, don’t forget to clean up the mess to prevent it from being consumed again.

Want to know which bedding is right for your rabbit? Check out our guide on the different bedding options for your furry friend.

And for an array of rabbit toys, accessories, cages and bedding, look no further than Planet Pet. And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us!

That’s all for this guide, see you next time!

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