Image of rabbits eating cardboard. The caption reads "Is cardboard safe for rabbits."

Yes, rabbits can safely eat and chew on plain cardboard but not cardboard with printed images or any type of ink on them. Chewing on plain cardboard promotes healthy teeth and provides mental stimulation for the rabbit which is good a thing.

Continue reading for more information about rabbits and cardboard.

Is cardboard safe for rabbits? 

As stated above plain cardboard is not only safe but probably the best toy you could ever give a rabbit. Out pet rabbit, Mr.Bunny, loves cardboard in all forms from large boxes to toilet paper tubes. Sometimes he eats it and sometimes he shreds it but one thing is for sure, cardboard is very healthy for his ever growing teeth.

Dangers of over eating cardboard

Cardboard is safe for rabbits to eat but there is a limit to everything. If your rabbit overeats cardboard it may cause an issue with his health. I believe that rabbits see cardboard as an entertaining food to eat and play with.  The problem with eating tons of cardboard all of the time is that they may stop eating their pellets, hay and vegetables.

Cardboard has no nutritional value for rabbits. If you notice that your rabbit is not eating his pellets, hay or leafy greens you may want to take away the cardboard and see if his appetite improves. If a rabbit does not eat or poop within a 24 hour time period you need to see a rabbit vet immediately.

Cardboard contamination

Is important to make sure that their is no ink, dyes or stables in the cardboard before giving it to your rabbit. Another thing to watch out for is tape. Make sure all tape and any adhesive left behind is removed from the box. I have found it best, or easiest to simply cut off any portions of the cardboard that could cause harm to the rabbit.

One more thing to keep an eye on is contamination from rabbit urine. You do not want your rabbit peeing on cardboard and then eating it. Rabbit urine has high concentrations of ammonia in it and is very unhealthy for your rabbit to consume or smell. If your rabbit is caged then make sure to change out any cardboard you give them regularly. I suggest changing it everyday to keep your bun health and happy.

Best types of cardboard for rabbits

Regular boxes, like from amazon work great for rabbits to play with and shred. Even better are the really thick tubes that posters come in or even toilet paper tubes work great.

Ideas for cardboard rabbit toys

Have extra cardboard you need to do something with? Here are some ideas for toys that your rabbit will love.

  • Build a Tunnel – If you do not have a cardboard tube take a sheet of cardboard and roll it into a tube. Tie it together with bailing twine and presto, you have a rabbit tunnel.
  • Rabbit Play House – Take a large square box and cut holes for doors and windows in it. Rabbits love “expanding” the doors and windows and jumping through them. You can also hang things from the ceiling to give your rabbit even more to play with.
  • Dig Box – Take a smaller box and fill it full of cardboard strips. Your rabbit will love digging and throwing the strips around.

Cardboard is good for your rabbits teeth

How many teeth does a rabbit have?… Drum roll please…. 28 teeth. With that being said the four big incisors are the easiest to notice, particularly when a rabbit yawns.

Your rabbits oral health is very important. Small dental issues can quickly kill a rabbit. It is important to keep toys around that will allow your rabbit to chew and gnaw as he or she want’s. Your rabbits teeth are constantly growing so they reed to always be chewing on something. This makes cardboard a great option to help improve your rabbits dental health.

If a rabbit has nothing to chew on then his or her teeth can become overgrown causing severe pain, starvation and then death.

Alternatives to cardboard that your rabbit will love

Here are some great toys that your rabbit will love to chew on that are not cardboard but still healthy and good for your rabbit.

  • Apple Wood Twigs – Rabbits love to chew on apple wood. It is a harder wood that keeps their teeth healthy. I remember reading somewhere that it may have anti-inflammatory properties also. Just make sure that the wood has not been treated with pesticide or any other chemicals.
  • Pine Cones – Rabbits love to chew on pine cones. I had a rabbit many years ago we named “Coney” because she loved pine cones so much.
  • Wicker Baskets – Like always make sure that they are untreated. Wickers provides many hours of entertainment but can make a mess.
  • Shredded Paper – This gives them something to dig in and toss around.
  • Paper Bags – Our current rabbit, Mr. Bunny loves paper bags. Chew, tear, drag and hide in… You name it he has done it!

Cardboard and Rabbits

As we have found out, cardboard is safe for your rabbit and also good for there teeth. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments please leave them below.

About the Author

My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.

I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.