Rabbits Eat Cardboard

Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard? | Is it Bad for Them?

Rabbits can eat and process cardboard, but it should be in moderation. Cardboard should not be a part of your pet rabbit’s diet because it lacks essential nutrients. Therefore, you should maintain a healthy diet of hay, green vegetables, and water. However, not all types of cardboard are suitable for your pet rabbit, and you should be careful about the type your pet chews.

Many rabbits will chew on cardboard lying around the house, so you need to give them cardboard toys. The trick is to incorporate cardboards into the daily life of your rabbit while ensuring that the pet is getting a balanced diet.

Is Cardboard Bad For Rabbits?

Plain cardboard without any glue, tape, or staples is excellent for your rabbit. Cardboard is made from plant cellulose, and your rabbit can digest it.

However, most rabbits play with the cardboard instead of eating them unless they are hungry. 

Cardboard with dyes, glues, glossy paper, ink, staples, and tape can be harmful to your rabbit. Glue, dyes, and ink contain chemicals that are harmful to your rabbit’s health.

Since you can’t determine which chemicals are in glues, dyes, or ink, it is best to avoid any cardboard that has any of the harmful materials. 

Some cardboard-like cereal paper has a glossy finish and ink on it. Don’t give your rabbit any cardboard with a glossy finish to chew. It will lead to health complications due to the chemicals on the cardboard. 

Why Do Rabbits Chew Cardboard?

There are several reasons why rabbits chew on cardboards around the house. Understanding why your rabbit plays with cardboard will make it easy not to shoo the rabbit when it goes near cardboard. 


Most of the time, your rabbit is playing or bored when they opt to chew on cardboard. Rabbits are playful creatures, and they get bored when their owners leave for work.

You may notice that your rabbit chews on furniture when you are out of the house. Cardboard is an excellent way for your rabbit to stay engaged and happy when you aren’t home. 

Trimming Teeth 

Rabbit teeth grow the same way human nails do. Therefore, your rabbit has teeth growing all the time, and they need to be trimmed to stay at the ideal length.

Chewing on cardboard is an excellent way to trim rabbit teeth. In addition, providing plain cardboard to your rabbit ensures that it doesn’t chew on furniture or other things to reduce the size of teeth. 

Mental Challenge 

Rabbits don’t chew cardboard sitting in one place. Your rabbit will drop cardboard pieces all over the house when playing.

Rabbits can chew holes to hop through them or even cut pieces and try to flip them when playing. Cardboard offers mental stimulation to pet rabbits, which is healthy for your pet. 

How Much Cardboard Should a Rabbit Eat?

Ideally, a rabbit should eat a small portion of cardboard when playing. It shouldn’t exceed the size of a roll of toilet paper. Therefore, you should watch your pet rabbit and note how much cardboard the rabbit eats per day. 

However, most pet rabbits chew on cardboard and shred it into pieces. Therefore, you will find pieces of cardboard all over the cage when your pet is done playing.

Ensure that your pet is well fed before providing cardboard to prevent the rabbit from consuming it as food. Also, ensure there is enough water for the pet to drink at will. 

If you notice your rabbit eating more cardboard than a tissue roll, you should discontinue giving your rabbit cardboard. Excess eating of cardboard can be a sign of deficiency in the diet of your rabbit.

Therefore, you should provide a balanced diet to your rabbit before you reintroduce cardboard to it. 

What Kind Of Cardboard Should Rabbits Eat?

A specific kind of cardboard that a rabbit can chew without getting poisoned or developing digestive issues. Therefore, you need to be picky about the type of cardboard that your rabbit chews.

Remember that it’s your responsibility to ensure your rabbit doesn’t consume anything poisonous. 


Cardboards should be thin and short. The standard cardboard that rabbits chew is tissue paper cardboard or a layer of packaging carton.

The cardboard must be soft enough for the rabbit to tear without hurting its teeth. Never use industrial-grade cardboards because they have adverse effects on rabbit teeth. 


Choose clean cardboard for your pet rabbit because ink or foreign chemicals can make it sick. Go for plain cardboard without any printed content or dirt for the safety of your pet rabbit.

Therefore, inspect every piece of cardboard before giving it to your pet rabbit for chewing or playing. 

Also, store cardboards meant for rabbits in a safe location. You can opt for cardboard toys for rabbits from reputable companies.

That way, you can pick out several cardboard toys and give them to your rabbit, knowing they are a safe option. 

Free of Dangerous Materials

Materials like tape and staples can be a choking hazard to your pet rabbit. Staples are small, and they will choke your pet rabbit immediately when it consumes it.

Also, rabbits can’t digest tape, and it can lead to intestinal blockage. Therefore, you need to check for those things before giving your pet cardboards. 

How to Incorporate Cardboard into Playtime

There are a few fun ways to incorporate cardboards into your rabbit’s playtime. Adding cardboard to playtime is an excellent way to control the amount of cardboard your rabbit eats.

Also, you can create fun activities for your rabbit that will give it a reason to be physically active during playtime. 

The easiest way to add cardboard into fun stuff is to cut holes in the cardboard and create tunnels. Another way is to hang the cardboards a few feet above your rabbit so that it can jump to take a bite on the cardboards.

Then, your pet will be motivated to try as much as possible to jump and tear a piece of cardboard.

Finally, you can buy cardboard toys that your rabbit will chew on during playtime. Pet stores carry cardboard toys with cute designs that rabbits find interesting.

Overall, playtime is an excellent way to allow your rabbit to chew cardboard.

Are There Cardboard Alternatives?

Yes. You can find alternative chew toys for rabbits at a pet store or online stores. Not everyone likes the thought of their fluffy pet-eating cardboard.

Chewable toys do the same job that cardboard does, and you can be sure the materials are harm-free. However, chewable toys are not better than cardboards.

Overall, it is a personal choice to use a chewable toy or cardboard to keep your rabbit entertained. Therefore, please don’t feel guilty when choosing to give your rabbit cardboard to chew because it is readily available. 

Are Cardboards Safe?

Cardboard safety will depend on a pet owner. First, you must ensure all cardboard that your rabbit comes into contact with is chemical-free.

Overall, chemical-free cardboards are safe for a rabbit as long as your pet doesn’t eat past the recommended amount. 


Rabbits do eat cardboard out of boredom rather than hunger. You can give your rabbit cardboards to play with as long as they are chemical-free.

Chemicals like ink, dyes, and glue can be harmful to your pet’s health. Therefore, you must be vigilant about the type of cardboard you give your pet during playtime. 

It is essential to give your rabbit cardboard in an enclosed area or their cage. Rabbits shred most cardboard, and they can spread the pieces across the house when left in an open area.

In addition, it will lead to a lot of cleaning work, especially for busy pet owners.

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