How to Stop a Bunny from Chewing Its Cage

How to Stop a Bunny from Chewing Its Cage

Chewing is a completely normal habit for rabbits. Most chew to wear down their teeth or because they're bored. Unfortunately, rabbits can damage their cage or hutch if the chewing gets out of hand. You can take steps to protect the hutch while giving your rabbit appropriate things to chew. If your rabbit is chewing because it wants something to do, spend more time interacting with your rabbit or give it toys that it can safely gnaw.

Method 1 of 3:
Redirecting the Chewing Behavior

1
Spritz bitter spray on areas of the cage that your rabbit chews. Check your local pet store for anti-chewing sprays that contain bitter ingredients, which your rabbit dislikes. Spray the product where your rabbit usually chews. [1] X Research source If you don't want to buy a product, put 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water into a spray bottle and spritz it on the cage. This might be a strong enough scent to stop your rabbit. The bitter spray will fade after a few days, so spray the cage again if you notice your rabbit starts chewing it again.
2
Clap and say, "No!" if you see your rabbit chewing the cage. Startle your rabbit as soon as you notice it begin to chew. Clap your hands and firmly say, "No!" but don't yell. This might temporarily stop your rabbit from chewing, so you can redirect it. [2] X Research source It's important to be consistent. Do this every time you see your rabbit chewing and redirect the behavior immediately.
3
Give your rabbit a chew toy or branch right after you startle it. As soon as your rabbit stops chewing the cage or hutch, offer it something new to chew. If your rabbit doesn't seem interested, get it out of the cage and give it a chance to play with you or run around a little. [3] X Research source If you can't get your rabbit to stop chewing, try shaking a jar full of coins. The sudden noise might be more effective at getting your rabbit's attention.
4
Put up a wire barrier if your rabbit keeps chewing its hutch. If your rabbit continues to chew and you're worried that it's destroying the cage or hutch, install a sturdy wire barrier in front of the area your rabbit always chews. If you don't want to use wire, screw in a piece of untreated wood that's safe for your rabbit to chew. [4] X Research source You might find that your rabbit eventually grows up of the chewing habit. Until then, just replace the wood once your rabbit has chewed most of it up.
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Method 2 of 3:
Offering Appropriate Items to Chew

1
Replace fresh hay in the cage at least 2 times a day. Your rabbit needs something nutritious to chew throughout the day. Fill your rabbit's cage with oat hay, timothy hay, or orchard grass hay and swap it out a few times a day so it's fresh. [5] X Research source Your rabbit's diet should be 60% to 70% hay. It's great for their digestive system and chewing the hay grinds down their teeth.
2
Give your rabbit fruit branches or untreated wood to chew. Rabbits love having branches or blocks of wood in their cage for chewing. Use wood that hasn't been sprayed with pesticides and pick branches that have been cut and dried for at least a month since fresh branches can be toxic for rabbits. [6] X Research source Try apple, willow, aspen, or pine branches and blocks. Your rabbit might prefer chewing one type of tree, so keep offering different branches until you find what your rabbit likes.
3
Set out alfalfa cubes or wicker baskets for your rabbit to gnaw on. Your rabbit might like the challenge of chewing up a wicker basket, especially if you fill it with hay. Buy wicker baskets that haven't been sprayed with pesticides. If you'd rather give your rabbit alfalfa cubes, buy them from your local pet supply store. [7] X Research source Alfalfa cubes are a great choice if you're trying to round out your rabbit's diet with extra fiber, protein, and calcium. Some rabbits like to chew on all-cotton towels. This is fine as long as your rabbit isn't eating the towel.
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Method 3 of 3:
Keeping Your Rabbit Entertained

1
Scatter new toys inside your rabbit's cage. If your rabbit is chewing out of boredom, offer a few new toys. Check your local pet store for toys that your rabbit can chew or make some yourself! Take an empty toilet paper roll and stuff it with hay or veggies before putting it in the cage or hang pinecones from a sisal rope, for instance. [8] X Research source Swap out the toys once your rabbit starts losing interest in them. It might start chewing its cage again if it gets bored with the same old chew toys.
2
Give your rabbit a chance to run around or burrow. Your rabbit might be feeling cooped up, especially if it doesn't have a lot of space in its cage. Set up an enclosed space outside or in your house where it's safe for your rabbit to run and stretch its legs. Your rabbit can explore or dig while it's out of its cage, which can reduce chewing out of boredom. [9] X Research source Rabbits are the most active around dawn and dusk. These are great times to let your rabbit out of its cage for a run or a chance to play. If you don't have a safe space for the rabbit to run, find a large cardboard box and fill it at least half full with hay. Set your rabbit in the box and leave it to burrow.
3
Play with your rabbit every day. To reduce boredom chewing, play with your rabbit at least a few times a day. Set out stacking cups or blocks for your rabbit to knock over or get down on its level and roll a ball over to it. You could also set out papers or snacks for your rabbit to "steal." [10] X Research source Some rabbits might be more content to have you cuddle instead of play energetically, especially if the rabbit is older.
4
Consider getting another rabbit to provide company. Rabbits love company so if you leave your rabbit alone for most of the day, it might chew on its cage because it's frustrated or lonely. Giving your rabbit a rabbit companion can make it happier so it doesn't feel the need to chew as much. [11] X Research source If you do get another rabbit, ensure that the cage or hutch is big enough for both animals. The cage should be large enough for both rabbits to stretch out completely. 2 medium-sized rabbits probably need a cage that's at least 12 square feet (1.1 m2) long.
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Method 1 of 3:
Redirecting the Chewing Behavior

1
Spritz bitter spray on areas of the cage that your rabbit chews. Check your local pet store for anti-chewing sprays that contain bitter ingredients, which your rabbit dislikes. Spray the product where your rabbit usually chews. [1] X Research source If you don't want to buy a product, put 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water into a spray bottle and spritz it on the cage. This might be a strong enough scent to stop your rabbit. The bitter spray will fade after a few days, so spray the cage again if you notice your rabbit starts chewing it again.
2
Clap and say, "No!" if you see your rabbit chewing the cage. Startle your rabbit as soon as you notice it begin to chew. Clap your hands and firmly say, "No!" but don't yell. This might temporarily stop your rabbit from chewing, so you can redirect it. [2] X Research source It's important to be consistent. Do this every time you see your rabbit chewing and redirect the behavior immediately.
3
Give your rabbit a chew toy or branch right after you startle it. As soon as your rabbit stops chewing the cage or hutch, offer it something new to chew. If your rabbit doesn't seem interested, get it out of the cage and give it a chance to play with you or run around a little. [3] X Research source If you can't get your rabbit to stop chewing, try shaking a jar full of coins. The sudden noise might be more effective at getting your rabbit's attention.
4
Put up a wire barrier if your rabbit keeps chewing its hutch. If your rabbit continues to chew and you're worried that it's destroying the cage or hutch, install a sturdy wire barrier in front of the area your rabbit always chews. If you don't want to use wire, screw in a piece of untreated wood that's safe for your rabbit to chew. [4] X Research source You might find that your rabbit eventually grows up of the chewing habit. Until then, just replace the wood once your rabbit has chewed most of it up.
Advertisement

Method 2 of 3:
Offering Appropriate Items to Chew

1
Replace fresh hay in the cage at least 2 times a day. Your rabbit needs something nutritious to chew throughout the day. Fill your rabbit's cage with oat hay, timothy hay, or orchard grass hay and swap it out a few times a day so it's fresh. [5] X Research source Your rabbit's diet should be 60% to 70% hay. It's great for their digestive system and chewing the hay grinds down their teeth.
2
Give your rabbit fruit branches or untreated wood to chew. Rabbits love having branches or blocks of wood in their cage for chewing. Use wood that hasn't been sprayed with pesticides and pick branches that have been cut and dried for at least a month since fresh branches can be toxic for rabbits. [6] X Research source Try apple, willow, aspen, or pine branches and blocks. Your rabbit might prefer chewing one type of tree, so keep offering different branches until you find what your rabbit likes.
3
Set out alfalfa cubes or wicker baskets for your rabbit to gnaw on. Your rabbit might like the challenge of chewing up a wicker basket, especially if you fill it with hay. Buy wicker baskets that haven't been sprayed with pesticides. If you'd rather give your rabbit alfalfa cubes, buy them from your local pet supply store. [7] X Research source Alfalfa cubes are a great choice if you're trying to round out your rabbit's diet with extra fiber, protein, and calcium. Some rabbits like to chew on all-cotton towels. This is fine as long as your rabbit isn't eating the towel.
Advertisement

Method 3 of 3:
Keeping Your Rabbit Entertained

1
Scatter new toys inside your rabbit's cage. If your rabbit is chewing out of boredom, offer a few new toys. Check your local pet store for toys that your rabbit can chew or make some yourself! Take an empty toilet paper roll and stuff it with hay or veggies before putting it in the cage or hang pinecones from a sisal rope, for instance. [8] X Research source Swap out the toys once your rabbit starts losing interest in them. It might start chewing its cage again if it gets bored with the same old chew toys.
2
Give your rabbit a chance to run around or burrow. Your rabbit might be feeling cooped up, especially if it doesn't have a lot of space in its cage. Set up an enclosed space outside or in your house where it's safe for your rabbit to run and stretch its legs. Your rabbit can explore or dig while it's out of its cage, which can reduce chewing out of boredom. [9] X Research source Rabbits are the most active around dawn and dusk. These are great times to let your rabbit out of its cage for a run or a chance to play. If you don't have a safe space for the rabbit to run, find a large cardboard box and fill it at least half full with hay. Set your rabbit in the box and leave it to burrow.
3
Play with your rabbit every day. To reduce boredom chewing, play with your rabbit at least a few times a day. Set out stacking cups or blocks for your rabbit to knock over or get down on its level and roll a ball over to it. You could also set out papers or snacks for your rabbit to "steal." [10] X Research source Some rabbits might be more content to have you cuddle instead of play energetically, especially if the rabbit is older.
4
Consider getting another rabbit to provide company. Rabbits love company so if you leave your rabbit alone for most of the day, it might chew on its cage because it's frustrated or lonely. Giving your rabbit a rabbit companion can make it happier so it doesn't feel the need to chew as much. [11] X Research source If you do get another rabbit, ensure that the cage or hutch is big enough for both animals. The cage should be large enough for both rabbits to stretch out completely. 2 medium-sized rabbits probably need a cage that's at least 12 square feet (1.1 m2) long.
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