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Home > Rabbits > Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard? Risks & Alternatives

Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard? Risks & Alternatives

a stack of cardboard

If you put cardboard around your rabbit, one of the first things that they’re going to do is chew on it! But are they just chewing on the cardboard, or are they actually eating it?

If your rabbit is chewing on cardboard, they’re definitely going to end up eating at least some of it. But is this a problem? Should you do anything before putting cardboard in your rabbit’s cage? The general answer will be a huge no. 

We answer those questions in detail and more for you here, so you know exactly what you can and should do if your rabbit is constantly chewing on and/or eating cardboard.


Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

If you put a cardboard box or similar toy near your rabbit, the first thing that they will do is start chewing on it. They will also likely tear it apart and even eat a bit of it.

One of the primary ingredients in cardboard is cellulose, the same thing found in most plant matter. The rabbit detects the cellulose and then wants to chew on the cardboard.

Image by: Pixabay

Should Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Just because your rabbit seems to like chewing on and eating cardboard, that doesn’t mean you should let them. However, as long as you take a few precautions and only use the right type of cardboard, there are actually a few benefits to giving cardboard to your rabbit to chew on.

First, it stimulates them mentally, which helps fight off boredom and keeps them happy. Second, cardboard has cellulose, which is a key ingredient in many rabbit foods.

Finally, chewing on something tough like cardboard helps keep their teeth at the right length. Rabbits constantly need to chew on things to keep their teeth at the right length, and cardboard is a great way for them to do that.

However, while these are all benefits of cardboard, you need to take a few precautions to ensure that you’re not accidentally hurting your rabbit when you give them a piece of cardboard. First, there shouldn’t be any markings or ink on the cardboard. So, cardboard with designs or logos is a no-go.

Second, ensure that there’s no tape, glue, or residue from these things on the cardboard. Glue is especially bad for rabbits.

Rabbit Nest
Image By: Klimek Pavol, Shutterstock

How Much Cardboard Can Rabbits Eat?

While cardboard is fine for rabbits to chew on, there can be too much of a good thing. So, how much is too much? We’d love to give you a clear and straightforward answer here, but the truth is that it comes down to your rabbit.

They can chew on quite a bit of cardboard, but as soon as it starts interfering with their actual diet, you need to cut back. While cardboard might be good for their teeth and has a few other benefits, it doesn’t provide all the nutrients that your rabbit needs.


The 5 Great Treats for Rabbits

If you’re looking for a treat for your rabbit, these are great choices. But keep in mind that these shouldn’t be dietary staples. Your rabbit should have a highly nutritious and balanced diet first and foremost.

1. Apples

Image Credit By: pasja1000, Pixabay

Apples are great nutritious treats for your rabbit. Be sure to take out the seeds, as they can be toxic for your rabbit in high quantities. Apples are sweet and crunchy, which are two qualities that rabbits love.

2. Carrots

lionhead rabbit eating a carrot on the grass
Image by: Diana Macias, Shutterstock

What goes together better than rabbits and carrots? While carrots aren’t quite as sweet as apples and other fruits, rabbits still love them. They’re also great for their teeth, and you can feed them a few more carrots than you can apples and other fruits.

3. Bananas

Image by: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

While bananas don’t have the same crunch as many of the other foods that rabbits like, they’re sweet enough that most rabbits don’t care. Just keep in mind that they’re not grinding down their teeth with bananas, so ensure that you feed them plenty of other foods to help with that!

4. Cherries

Freshly-pitted cherries in a bowl
Image by: Candice Bell, Shutterstock

Cherries are sweet treats that rabbits can’t seem to get enough of. But just like bananas, they don’t grind down their teeth as much. Cherries are good rabbit treats, but be sure to limit the number that you give them.

5. Strawberries

Image by: congerdesign, Pixabay

Strawberries are sweet and rabbits love them, but they don’t grind down their teeth or meet all their nutritional needs. Still, there’s nothing wrong with giving strawberries to your rabbit as sweet treats.


The 6 Foods to Avoid Feeding Rabbits

While there are plenty of great treats out there for rabbits, you can’t just feed them anything. Here are a few different food choices that you should avoid when looking for a treat for your rabbit.

1. Avocados

While avocados are delicious treats for us, they’re extremely toxic for rabbits. Avocados contain persin, which is fine for humans, but most animals, including rabbits, can’t handle the stuff. Keep avocados far away.

2. Bread, Pasta, and Other Grains

sliced white bread
Image by: Gamzova Olga, Shutterstock

While these foods aren’t quite as deadly as avocados, they’re not good for your rabbit. Bread and similar grain-based foods are too high in carbohydrates and sugars, so do yourself and your rabbit a favor and feed them something else.

3. Iceberg Lettuce

While this might surprise you a bit, there are two reasons that you shouldn’t feed iceberg lettuce to your rabbit. First, it has little nutritional value, so you’re just feeding them a filler food. Second, iceberg lettuce can contain lactucarium, which is not good for rabbits.

4. Walnuts

walnuts close up
Image by: NickyPe, Pixabay

Walnuts won’t kill your rabbit, but that doesn’t mean you should feed any to them. Walnuts have excessive amounts of fat, and that can create indigestion. This will lead to an unhappy and uncomfortable rabbit.

5. Chocolate

Chocolate is a no-go for any pet, and rabbits are no exception. Chocolate contains a litany of harmful and potentially deadly ingredients for your rabbit, so keep it far away from them.

6. Peanut Butter

peanut butter
Image by: Pexels, Pixabay

Peanut butter is high in fat and provides no nutritional value for rabbits. It won’t kill your bunny in small quantities, but it’s not good for them, and there’s no reason to give them peanut butter.


Final Thoughts

If you notice your rabbit chewing on cardboard, don’t fret! It’s great for their teeth and relatively inexpensive, which is a great combination when you’re trying to care for your rabbit on a budget.

Just double-check that the cardboard doesn’t have anything harmful on it. If it’s clear, go ahead and give it to your rabbit!

Featured Image Credit: JustynaKoniecz, Pixabay

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