Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard? 7 Reasons You Need to Know

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard

Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by George Harry

Can Rabbits eat cardboard? Yes but It is usually not recommended for rabbits to eat cardboard. Eating small amounts of cardboard isn’t harmful to them. But when they too much of it, it can result in an upset stomach. Or worse, an obstruction. It may also have toxic ink, plastic, glue, or sharp metals. Plus, it offers little nutrition too.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard Boxes?

Rabbits can’t eat cardboard boxes. Those made with plain boards may not be toxic, but large amounts of these can still be dangerous. As they could lead to an upset stomach or intestinal obstruction.

Bunnies can’t stop chewing on things. And if they’re left alone with a box, who knows, they may destroy half or the whole thing in a matter of minutes. Heavy-duty industrial boxes are also unsafe for rabbits. As well as other animals. 

As these are thicker than the usual ones. Plus, metal chips and sand are often seen with this type of box. Which are highly harmful when ingested? 

Can rabbits eat cardboard tubes?

Rabbits can eat cardboard tubes in small amounts. But, it must be plain. And it isn’t recommended to be part of their diet. Pet MD says that cardboard from toilet paper is safe. And most parents even use this as a DIY toy for their bunnies. 

With hays or green leafy veggies inside. However, if your bunny loves to eat a lot of this every day, it might affect their appetite. Or cause a stomach problem in the long run.

Why Rabbits Chew On Cardboard and Paper?

Rabbits eat cardboard (or more often chew on cardboard/paper) as a chew toy in an effort to wear down their constantly growing teeth. Rabbits do not normally crave cardboard and if they do it’s because their diet is dangerously low in fiber or they are actually starving.

Rabbits enjoy chewing on things, and it’s one of the most common rabbit behaviors. However, it’s not just playfulness that drives a rabbit to chew on paper or cardboard. They have a biological need to chew on things to wear down a rabbit’s continually growing teeth. 

Both paper and cardboard are high in fiber, so both make tempting things to chew on to wear down those front teeth.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard

Can Rabbits Eat Paper? 

Rabbits can eat paper, but just because they can doesn’t mean that they should. There are no nutritional benefits to eating paper and while the high fiber content of the paper will usually pass harmlessly through your rabbit’s digestive system, eating too much paper might cause blockages.

When you find your rabbit chewing on paper, it’s usually not because they are ‘eating’ it. Instead, your rabbit is just chewing on the paper, which will naturally lead to swallowing some of it.

Rabbits Eating Newspaper

Newspapers are often used around and in a rabbit’s hutch, and this means that there will come a time when your rabbit chews on and eats some newspaper.

Rabbits Eating Newspaper
Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Newspapers are often used in rabbit litter boxes as the bottom layer. Usually, newspaper is layered with rabbit litter and then layered again with hay; however, there are times wherein the shredded paper is used instead of rabbit litter. And thus, there is a possibility that your rabbits can ingest some of it.

Can rabbits eat toilet paper rolls?

Rabbits can eat small amounts of toilet paper rolls, but it is not recommended to let them consume large quantities of this material. Toilet paper rolls are made of cardboard, which is generally safe for rabbits to chew on as it can help keep their teeth trimmed down. Chewing on appropriate materials also provides mental stimulation for rabbits.

However, consuming too much cardboard, including toilet paper rolls, can lead to potential digestive issues, such as blockages. The glue or any residue left on the cardboard might not be safe for rabbits either. Therefore, while it’s generally okay to offer small cardboard items like toilet paper rolls as occasional enrichment or chew toys, it’s crucial to monitor their intake and remove any remnants before they swallow large pieces.

Some people ask that is it ok for rabbits to eat toilet paper rolls? The answer is No; it is not okay for rabbits to eat toilet paper rolls or any other types of paper or cardboard. While rabbits are herbivores and their diet primarily consists of hay, fresh vegetables, and small amounts of pellets, they should not consume paper products.

Can rabbits eat paper towels?

No, rabbits should not eat paper towels or any other paper products. While rabbits are herbivores and their diet primarily consists of hay, fresh vegetables, and small amounts of pellets, they should not consume paper or cardboard.

Paper towels can be dangerous for rabbits if ingested. The paper can cause blockages in their digestive system, leading to serious health issues or even death. Additionally, paper towels may have been treated with chemicals, and eating them can lead to toxicity. 

How can I stop my rabbit to eating cardboard? 

If your rabbit is fond of chewing on cardboard, it’s essential to redirect this behavior to prevent potential health issues. Here are five tips to help you stop your rabbit from eating cardboard:

  1. Provide appropriate chew toys: Rabbits have a natural need to chew to keep their teeth healthy. Offer a variety of safe and suitable chew toys made of materials like untreated wood, wicker, or hard plastic. These toys will satisfy their chewing instincts without harming them.
  2. Remove access to cardboard: Keep cardboard boxes and other items made of cardboard out of your rabbit’s reach. If you have any cardboard in their living area, remove it to prevent them from nibbling on it.
  3. Offer a balanced diet: Ensure your rabbit’s diet is well-balanced and provides all the necessary nutrients. High-fiber hay should be the primary component of their diet, along with fresh vegetables and a limited amount of rabbit pellets. A nutritious diet can reduce the likelihood of them seeking other inappropriate items to chew on.
  4. Bitter deterrent spray: Consider using a pet-safe, bitter-tasting deterrent spray on cardboard or other items you want to protect. The unpleasant taste will discourage your rabbit from chewing on those objects.
  5. Supervise playtime: When your rabbit is out of their enclosure for supervised playtime, make sure the area is rabbit-proofed. Keep any cardboard objects, wires, or potentially hazardous items out of their reach to prevent accidents and undesirable chewing behavior.

Remember, rabbits are naturally curious and have a strong need to chew. Providing appropriate alternatives and creating a safe environment will go a long way in curbing their cardboard-eating habit. If you notice excessive or unusual chewing behavior, consider consulting a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

What could be the reason to eat cardboard? 

Rabbits may eat cardboard or other non-food items for various reasons. Understanding these reasons can help you address the behavior effectively:

  1. Dental health: Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously, and they need to wear them down to prevent overgrowth. Chewing on hard objects like cardboard can help them naturally file their teeth down.
  2. Boredom: Rabbits are intelligent and curious animals. If they lack mental stimulation or physical activity, they might resort to chewing on cardboard or other items as a way to alleviate boredom.
  3. Insufficient diet: A diet lacking in fiber and other essential nutrients may not fully satisfy a rabbit’s hunger or chewing needs. They might start exploring non-food items, like cardboard, to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
  4. Exploratory behavior: Rabbits are naturally inquisitive creatures, and they use their mouths to explore their surroundings. Cardboard may pique their interest due to its texture and scent.
  5. Stress or anxiety: Changes in the rabbit’s environment, such as moving to a new home or experiencing loud noises, can cause stress. In response, rabbits may exhibit unusual behaviors, including chewing on cardboard as a coping mechanism.
  6. Habit: If a rabbit accidentally discovers that cardboard is tasty or enjoyable to chew, they might develop a habit of seeking it out even when they are not particularly motivated by any other reason.
  7. Lack of appropriate chew toys: Without access to suitable chew toys, rabbits may resort to chewing on whatever they find available, including cardboard.

How dangerous to eat cardboard for rabbit?

Eating small amounts of cardboard occasionally may not immediately harm a rabbit, but it is not a healthy behavior and can lead to potential risks and health problems. Here are some reasons why eating cardboard can be dangerous for rabbits:

  1. Digestive issues: Cardboard is not easily digestible and can cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested in large quantities or frequently. It may lead to blockages in the digestive system, which can be life-threatening for rabbits.
  2. Choking hazard: If a rabbit consumes large pieces of cardboard, it could get stuck in their throat, leading to choking or breathing difficulties.
  3. Toxic substances: Some cardboard may be treated with chemicals or have adhesives, inks, or other potentially toxic substances that can harm the rabbit if ingested.
  4. Dental problems: While rabbits may chew on cardboard to wear down their teeth, excessive chewing can lead to uneven wear or dental issues.
  5. Nutritional deficiencies: Eating cardboard does not provide any nutritional value for rabbits. If they consume it instead of their proper diet, it could lead to nutritional deficiencies and overall poor health.
  6. Behavior reinforcement: Allowing rabbits to eat cardboard might reinforce the behavior, making it more challenging to redirect them to appropriate chew toys.

Conclusion:

Rabbits can eat small amounts of cardboard occasionally, but it is not recommended as a regular part of their diet. Consuming cardboard can lead to digestive issues, choking hazards, exposure to toxic substances, dental problems, and nutritional deficiencies.

It’s crucial to provide rabbits with appropriate chew toys and a balanced diet to prevent them from seeking out cardboard. If your rabbit has a habit of eating cardboard, take steps to redirect their behavior and ensure they have a safe and stimulating environment.

You Can Also Read Can Rabbits Eat Arugula

FAQ’s

Yes, rabbits can eat cardboard in small amounts, but it is not recommended as a regular part of their diet. Eating too much cardboard can lead to digestive issues and other potential health risks.

No, rabbits should not eat cardboard boxes. Large amounts of cardboard can be dangerous, leading to upset stomach or intestinal obstruction.

Rabbits can eat cardboard tubes in small amounts, but it is not recommended to be part of their regular diet. It may cause stomach problems if consumed excessively.

To stop your rabbit from eating cardboard, provide appropriate chew toys, remove access to cardboard, offer a balanced diet, use bitter deterrent spray, and supervise playtime to ensure a rabbit-proof environment.

Rabbits can potentially die from eating cardboard, but it is not a common occurrence. Cardboard is not toxic to rabbits, but it can pose several risks to their health if ingested in large quantities or if it causes blockages in their digestive system.

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