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Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Have you ever wondered if rabbits can eat cardboard, newspaper, or any form of paper at all?

You’re just at the right place. Knowing what is safe and what is unsafe for your bunnies is very important if you want to rabbits to live long and healthy.

In this article, we will discuss the safety measures, potential risks, and preventative measures associated with rabbits eating cardboard.

Rabbit Dietary Needs

In their natural habitat, Rabbits primarily live on a diet rich in grasses and hay, supplemented by various leafy greens.

A healthy, balanced diet for a domestic rabbit should attempt to replicate this natural feeding habit.

Hay, which is high in fiber, should form most of their diet, supplemented with fresh vegetables and some specially formulated rabbit pellets.

Fruits, being high in sugar, should only be provided sparingly as treats.

Maintaining a rabbit’s diet closely aligned with its natural food intake is the key to ensuring its overall health and longevity.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Yes, rabbits can chew on cardboard, but not as part of their diet.

All forms of paper, from cardboard to newspaper, can impact a rabbit’s health.

The cardboard itself might not be inherently dangerous, but its additional components could pose a potential risk if ingested by rabbits.

We will further explain this in subsequent sections.

The Composition and Safety of Cardboard

Cardboard, a seemingly innocuous material, is primarily composed of cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp.

However, several additives may be included during manufacturing to enhance the cardboard’s properties.

These additives range from harmless fillers to potentially harmful substances like certain inks or chemical coatings.

Consequently, although the cardboard itself might not be inherently dangerous, these additional components present in it could pose a potential risk if ingested by rabbits.

Why Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Given their natural diet, one might wonder why rabbits are inclined to eat cardboard.

This behavior can be attributed to the fact that cardboard is packed with cellulose, which is a significant component of leaves and vegetables that they eat, and their inherent curiosity and instinctual drive to explore their environment.

Their primary means of exploring new objects is through their mouths, leading them to chew on things they see, including cardboard.

So, while it might seem like your rabbit is attempting to eat cardboard, they’re mostly indulging its instincts to chew and investigate its surroundings.

Potential Risks of Rabbits Eating Cardboard

Rabbits eating cardboard can lead to several potential risks.

The most significant concern is the potential for gastrointestinal blockage if they ingest substantial amounts of cardboard.

Rabbits have a delicate digestive system, and a blockage could lead to serious health complications.

Also, ingesting toxic substances like certain inks or chemical additives in the cardboard can negatively impact your rabbit’s health.

Training Rabbits Not To Eat Cardboard

The good news is that rabbits are somewhat trainable animals, and one can use various tactics to discourage them from eating cardboard.

Positive reinforcement techniques, such as treating them with a piece of fruit or vegetables when they avoid cardboard, can be pretty effective.

Similarly, providing appropriate alternatives to cardboard for them to chew on and directing them toward these alternatives can create a positive pattern of behavior.

Should Rabbits Be Allowed to Chew on Cardboard?

The question then arises, should rabbits be allowed to chew on cardboard?

Under supervision and ensuring the cardboard doesn’t contain any harmful substances, rabbits may be allowed to chew on cardboard.

However, you should closely monitor this activity to prevent the rabbit from eating the cardboard, as chewing might turn into eating if not carefully supervised.

Safe Chewing Materials for Rabbits

There’s a wide array of safe alternatives to cardboard for your rabbit to chew on.

Rabbit-safe toys made of untreated wood, hay-based products, and other approved materials can be excellent options.

These safe chewing materials provide a means for rabbits to satisfy their natural urge to chew and contribute to their dental health.

Regular health checks are important for any pet, and rabbits are no exception, especially if they’re exposed to potential hazards like cardboard.

Pay close attention to changes in behavior, eating habits, or waste production, as these could indicate health issues.

In case of any concerns, consult with a vet immediately.

Rabbit Chewing Habits

Rabbits have a natural propensity to chew, an essential behavior for maintaining their dental health as their teeth continually grow throughout their lives.

Providing your rabbit with safe and suitable materials can satisfy their instinctual chewing needs while ensuring their safety and well-being.


Here are some frequently asked questions.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard Boxes?

Rabbits can safely chew on plain, untreated cardboard, such as cardboard boxes. It can help to wear down their continuously growing teeth.

But cardboard shouldn’t replace their regular diet of hay, pellets, and vegetables.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard Tubes?

Yes, rabbits can chew on cardboard tubes like those found in the center of toilet paper or paper towel rolls.

It’s an excellent way to give your rabbit something to chew on to help maintain dental health.

Again, ensure the cardboard is clean and free of glues, inks, or other potentially harmful substances.

What Happens If a Rabbit Eats Cardboard?

If a rabbit chews on cardboard, it will likely ingest small amounts.

This is generally safe and can provide some fiber, but it should not make up a significant part of their diet.

If a rabbit were to consume a large amount of cardboard, it could lead to a blockage in its digestive system.

It would be best to watch your rabbit’s eating and bathroom habits to ensure they’re not overeating cardboard and that it’s not affecting their digestion.

Can I Give My Rabbit a Cardboard Box To Play With?

Cardboard boxes can make great toys for rabbits. They like to chew on them and hide inside them.

Just be sure the cardboard is clean, untreated, and has no staples, tape, or other materials that could harm your rabbit.

Always supervise your rabbit during playtime to ensure they’re playing safely.


Rabbits can eat cardboard, but we do not recommend it due to potential health risks.

Provide rabbits with a safe and nutritious diet closely aligned with their natural food intake, and satisfy their inherent need to chew safely.

Regular health checks and behavioral training will ensure your rabbits avoid consuming harmful substances like cardboard.

We hope this article helped you know if rabbits can eat cardboard. If you have further questions, comment below, and we will answer them.


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