Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard? What You Need To Know

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Cardboard is not harmful to rabbits, But it should not be a regular part of their diet. Cardboard lacks nutritional value and can cause digestive issues if ingested in large quantities or if it contains ink or adhesives. However, if a rabbit consumes a small piece of cardboard, it will likely pass through its digestive system without causing any problems.

In this article, I will share with you whether or not your rabbits can eat cardboard and what you should consider before allowing your furry friend to nibble this material.

Can A Bunny Eat Cardboard?

Yes, a bunny can eat cardboard. They may nibble on cardboard out of boredom or curiosity. However, consuming large amounts of it can lead to digestive problems, including blockages and potentially fatal intestinal issues.

While rabbits can technically nibble on cardboard, it is not a recommended diet component. The lack of essential nutrients makes processed wood fibers, such as cardboard, an unsuitable food source.

Additionally, ingestion of chemicals or inks present in many types of cardboard can pose harm to rabbits. Eating large amounts of cardboard can also lead to dehydration, as it can absorb fluids in the digestive system.

You should offer cardboard or other types of chew toys only in moderation, and always supervise your rabbit to ensure they don’t consume too much.

Why Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

Rabbits have the instinct to chew on different materials, including cardboard. There are several reasons why rabbits might be drawn to chewing on cardboard:

1. Dental Health

Rabbits have teeth that continuously grow and need regular trimming. Chewing on the cardboard can help maintain their dental health.

2. Boredom

If a rabbit does not have enough stimulation or toys to play with, it may turn to chew on cardboard to relieve boredom.

3. Instinctual Behavior

Rabbits may be attracted to the texture and smell of cardboard as a means of exploring their environment, as chewing is a natural behavior for them.

4. Hunger

If a rabbit is not getting enough to eat, it may chew on cardboard as a way to alleviate hunger. Establish a routine to ensure your rabbit is consistently fed and never goes hungry.

Dangers Of Feeding Cardboard To Rabbits

If a rabbit eats cardboard, it can have several negative consequences on its health. Here are a few potential impacts explained:

1. Digestive Issues

Serious digestive problems, including intestinal blockages, can arise from the rabbit’s inability to digest cardboard effectively.

2. Chemical Exposure

Ingestion of some types of cardboard treated with chemicals or inks can result in toxicity to rabbits.

3. Dehydration

Cardboard is absorbent, and when consumed, it can absorb fluids in the rabbit’s digestive system, leading to dehydration.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies

Cardboard does not provide any nutritional benefits to rabbits, and a diet consisting mostly of cardboard can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.

Best Cardboard For Rabbits

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

When it comes to giving rabbits cardboard, it’s important to choose materials that are safe and free of harmful chemicals or inks. Here are some of the best options:

1. Unbleached Corrugated Cardboard

This type of cardboard is made from plain, unbleached paper and is a safe and natural option for rabbits to chew on. It is important to ensure it is made from untreated, chemical-free materials.

Some cardboard products, even unbleached ones, may contain harmful chemicals or inks that can be toxic to rabbits if ingested.

2. Cardboard Scratchers

cardboard scratchers are marketed as toys for cats, but rabbits can also enjoy using them to scratch and chew.

There are specially designed cardboard scratchers for rabbits that are made from safe and natural materials. These scratchers can provide a fun and interactive way for your rabbit to satisfy their chewing needs.

While cardboard scratchers can provide a fun outlet for a rabbit’s natural chewing and scratching behaviors, it is important to choose scratchers made from safe, untreated materials and avoid any that contain harmful chemicals or inks.

3. Recycled Paper Bedding

Some brands offer recycled paper bedding for rabbits that is safe for them to chew on. This can provide a soft and comfortable place for your rabbit to rest, while also satisfying their chewing instincts.

When choosing a cardboard option for your rabbit, it’s essential to make sure it is free of any chemicals or inks that can be harmful to them.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid giving your large rabbit pieces of cardboard that they could ingest, and instead, opt for smaller pieces or toys specifically designed for rabbits.

Alternative Paper For Rabbits

If you are looking for alternatives to cardboard for your rabbit, several options can provide safe and enjoyable chewing experiences. Here are some of the best choices:

1. Hay Racks

Providing your rabbit with a hay rack filled with fresh hay is an excellent alternative to cardboard. Hay is a natural and important part of a rabbit’s diet, and chewing on it helps to keep their teeth trimmed and healthy.

2. Willow Toys

Willow is a natural material that is safe for rabbits to chew on, and there are many toys available that are made from woven willow branches.

3. Bamboo Toys

Bamboo is another natural material that is safe for rabbits to chew on, and there are many toys available that are made from bamboo.

4. Apple Wood Chew Sticks

Applewood is another safe option for rabbits to chew on, and many chew sticks are available from this material.

5. Seagrass Mats

Choose seagrass mats made from woven seagrass fibers as a safe and natural option for your rabbit to chew on.

When choosing an alternative to cardboard for your rabbit, it’s important to make sure it is safe and free of any harmful chemicals or substances.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard Tubes?

While rabbits may be attracted to chewing on cardboard tubes, it is not recommended as a regular part of their diet.  Cardboard tubes, especially those from toilet paper or paper towel rolls, are often coated with chemicals and inks that can be toxic to rabbits if ingested.

Additionally, the rough texture of cardboard can damage a rabbit’s delicate digestive system and cause blockages or other health issues.

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard Boxes?

Rabbits may chew on cardboard boxes, but avoid making it a regular part of their diet. Cardboard may provide some chewing stimulation, but it is not nutritionally beneficial and can pose a choking hazard.

Additionally, beware of the types of cardboard you provide to your rabbit, as some may contain toxic chemicals or inks if ingested.

Ensure your rabbit’s health and well-being by providing appropriate chew toys like a hay rack filled with fresh hay, willow toys, applewood chew sticks, or seagrass mats. These toys are safe and nutritionally beneficial for your rabbit.

These options provide the chewing stimulation that rabbits need while also being safe and nutritionally beneficial.

As always, it is important to supervise your rabbit when they are chewing on any material and to consult a veterinarian if you notice any changes in their behavior or health.


Rabbits may enjoy chewing on cardboard, but it is not a recommended component of their diet due to its absence of essential nutrients and potential health hazards.

Instead, provide them with appropriate chew toys and a balanced diet for a happy and healthy life. It is important to provide rabbits with a healthy and balanced diet that consists mainly of hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of pellets.

Offer cardboard or other types of chew toys only in moderation, and always supervise your rabbit to ensure they don’t consume too much.

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