Why Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard? [is Cardboard Even Safe?]

HomeBehaviorWhy Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

There are a few reasons why rabbits eat cardboard. One reason is that it provides them with much-needed fiber. Another reason is that it helps them grind down their teeth. Rabbits may also eat cardboard because they are bored and enjoy the taste!

Rabbits are curious creatures and often like to nibble on things they shouldn’t. Cardboard is one of the most common items that rabbits like to chew on. While it may seem strange, there are actually a few reasons why rabbits eat cardboard.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why your rabbit might be drawn to your box of cereal!

Why Do Rabbits Eat Cardboard?

This seems like odd behavior, doesn’t it? After all, rabbits are supposed to be herbivores. So why do they want to eat something that is clearly not a plant or vegetable?

As it turns out, there are a few reasons why rabbits may want to chow down on cardboard. The good news is that, in most instances, you don’t have to be too concerned about this behavior. Unless your rabbit is starving (we will talk more about that near the end), cardboard actually offers many benefits to rabbits.

Here are the 7 most common reasons rabbits eat cardboard.

Filing Their Teeth

One of the most common reasons rabbits enjoy eating cardboard is because it helps them file their teeth.

As you may know, rabbits must continuously file down their teeth to prevent them from getting too long. Cardboard is the perfect material for this because it is soft enough to grind down their teeth but tough enough to provide a good “workout.”

In addition to eating cardboard, rabbits also like to chew on hay, vegetables, and fruit. These foods also help keep their teeth healthy and strong.

They’re Playing

Another reason rabbits may want to nibble on cardboard is that they are simply playing.

Rabbits are curious creatures and often like to explore their surroundings by chewing on things. Cardboard is an intriguing material for rabbits because it is not food, but it still has a lot of texture and flavor.

For many rabbits, chewing on cardboard is a fun way to pass the time.

Prevents Boredom

In addition to playing, rabbits may chew on cardboard to prevent boredom.

If rabbits are not given enough stimulation, they can become bored and depressed. Chewing on cardboard is a great way for rabbits to stay entertained and avoid boredom.


One of the more serious reasons rabbits may eat cardboard is malnutrition.

If a rabbit is not getting enough nutrients in their diet, they may start to crave other things that can provide them with the nutrition they need. This includes chewing on cardboard.

Nesting (Hormone Driven Chewing)

When rabbits prepare to have babies, they start to build a nest. This usually involves chewing on a lot of different materials, including cardboard.

This behavior is hormone-driven, so it is not something that rabbits can control.

Required Fiber

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons rabbits eat cardboard is because it provides them with the fiber they need.

Rabbits require a lot of fiber in their diet to stay healthy, and cardboard is a great source of this nutrient.

They Like The Taste

Finally, some rabbits simply enjoy the taste of cardboard.

While this may seem strange, rabbits have a different palate than we do. Cardboard actually has a lot of flavor and texture that rabbits find appealing.

Cardboard is Not Bad For Rabbits

Now that we know some of the reasons why rabbits eat cardboard, let’s talk about whether or not this is actually bad for them.

In most cases, eating small amounts of cardboard is perfectly fine for rabbits. In fact, as we mentioned earlier, it can actually be good for them!

However, there are some instances where eating cardboard can be dangerous for rabbits.

When Cardboard is Dangerous

There are two main instances when eating cardboard can be dangerous for rabbits. These are:

1) When the cardboard is treated with chemicals

2) When the cardboard has staples in it

Let’s talk more about each of these dangers in detail.

Treated With Chemicals

One of the most dangerous things about cardboard is that it is often treated with chemicals. These chemicals can be very harmful to rabbits if they ingest them.


Another danger to look out for is staples. If the cardboard you give your rabbit has staples, it could cause lacerations in its mouth. Even worse, if they swallow the staple, it can cause severe internal damage.

What If My Rabbit Is Eating Too Much Cardboard?

In most cases, eating small amounts of cardboard is perfectly fine for rabbits. However, if your rabbit is eating too much cardboard, it could lead to an intestinal blockage.

This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. If you think your rabbit may be eating too much cardboard, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Cardboard is Perfectly Safe For Rabbits

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why rabbits may want to chew on cardboard. In most cases, this is perfectly safe for them to do. However, there are some instances when it can be dangerous.

If you’re concerned that your rabbit is eating too much cardboard, or if you think it may have an intestinal blockage, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away.

Bryan Moore
Bryan Moorehttps://perfectrabbit.com
I am Bryan, owner of PerfectRabbit.com. I love all animals but find myself especially drawn to rabbits. I have been very lucky to be able to turn my passion into my profession, and I am grateful every day that I get to do what I love. It is my hope that through this website, I can help others learn more about these wonderful creatures and provide them with all the information they need to care for their own rabbit. View my Full Author Page Here

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