Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard/Paper/Tissue Paper?(Must-Read)

Rabbits absolutely love chewing on different things since it keeps their teeth sharp and it is simply fun to do that. But is it safe for rabbits and bunnies to eat cardboard?

Rabbits can eat cardboard in small amounts and will more than likely do so if they are provided with it. Many rabbits enjoy eating cardboard as it provides them with entertainment and keeps their teeth healthy. Remember to never give your rabbit anything with glossy/plastic/ink coating. Tissue paper is also not safe for your rabbit.

In this article, we will tell you about the pros and cons of your bunny eating or chewing on cardboard, paper, or tissue paper, so you will be able to make an informed decision on whether to provide your pet with them or not.

Is It Safe For Rabbits To Eat Cardboard/Paper?

Cardboard and paper can be safe for rabbits to eat. However, a rabbit should not ingest large amounts, otherwise, it will cause health problems.

There are also certain types of paper and cardboard that should never be given to a rabbit. These include those which have a glossy/plastic coating and also anywhere inks have been used.

Some people may be concerned with newspapers. However, the ink used in newspapers is not toxic to rabbits and therefore can be treated in the same way as regular cardboard and paper. Many rabbit owners ask can bunnies eat cardboard/paper. As everyone with a rabbit knows, they are notorious for chewing all manner of objects.

Pros Of Cardboard For Rabbits

Now that we talked about whether the cardboard is safe for your bunny, let’s go ahead and discuss some pros of cardboard for your pet.

Teeth health

The best reason for giving cardboard to your rabbit is that it’s great for the health of their teeth. It acts in a similar way to hay, by helping to wear down their teeth. A rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout its lifespan. If they do not have appropriate materials for grinding down their teeth then they can experience serious health issues.

It is fun

Another great thing about cardboard is that it can provide hours of entertainment for your rabbit. They will love just simply tearing up pieces of cardboard. Or you could create some toys for your rabbit with a toilet roll, or similar. Place some rabbit treats inside the roll or stuff it with grass and watch them have a lot of fun.

They won’t chew your things instead

Providing a rabbit with cardboard can also keep them from chewing on other things that they shouldn’t. Such as your phone charger! Cardboard is also cheap and easy to source.

Cons Of Cardboard For Rabbits

Now it is time to mention some cons of cardboard, here they are.

Indigestion Issues

As mentioned before, Cardboard can cause serious health problems in rabbits. Ingesting excess amounts of cardboard can interfere with a rabbit’s digestive system. Problems can include stomach pain, gas, and digestive blockages.

No nutritional value

Keep in mind that cardboard has no nutritional value. So, if your rabbit was consuming large amounts, it’s probably going to be full and not want to eat the correct nutritious food that you provide it with. If you are concerned that your rabbit is possibly ingesting too much cardboard, then you can purchase some wooden toys for it to chew on instead.


Now, not really a con for the rabbit, but more so for you; mess! A rabbit can shred up cardboard in a short space of time. Unless you want to be constantly cleaning, this may be another reason to limit the amount of cardboard you give to your rabbit.

Is Tissue Paper Safe For Rabbits?

Tissue paper is not a safe material for your rabbits. This is due to the dyes and other synthetics that have been used in the processing of tissue paper. It won’t cause any immediate problems, as it is not poisonous per se, but you really don’t want your rabbit to consume it.

Like regular paper, tissue paper won’t provide your rabbit with the teeth benefits that cardboard does. Therefore, besides entertainment, there are really no positive reasons for giving your rabbit tissue paper.

Are Boxes Safe For Rabbits?

Boxes can be safe for rabbits, provided you take a few extra precautions. Most boxes will have either staples, tape, or glue holding them together. None of these items are safe for your rabbit. You will either need to remove these things or find a box that doesn’t contain them.

You can purchase pet-safe glue if you are wishing to assemble your own box.

Do not use glossy, plastic-coated boxes, or ones that are colored. These contain dangerous chemicals that can cause intestinal problems in your rabbit. It can even lead to GI stasis, a condition where the rabbit’s digestive system starts to shut down. This can occur very suddenly and can often be fatal.

Related Post: What Glue Is Safe & Non-Toxic For Your Pets?(+Alternatives)

Can You Put a Cardboard Box In a Rabbit Cage?

You can put a cardboard box inside a rabbit cage. It can be a great place for a rabbit to hide in. It is important to have a place where a rabbit can feel safe and feel as though it has somewhere it can retreat to. Just make sure to keep in mind the dangers of cardboard boxes, as discussed in the previous paragraph.

Boxes can also be turned into tunnel-like structures, which creates a fun activity for your rabbit. Some people like to create their own cute little rabbit houses for their beloved pets. You can even buy elaborate, ready to assemble, houses and castles online. The beauty of these cardboard houses is that they are lightweight and easy to move around.

A rabbit is more likely to chew on its cardboard house and tear it up if it’s bored. So, if it has plenty of other entertainment and enough interaction with you or another rabbit, it should remain intact for quite a while.

Can Rabbits Have Shredded Paper As Bedding?

You can use shredded paper for rabbits’ bedding, however, it’s usually not the preferred choice for their bedding material. Paper that has been processed into either paper pulp or paper pellets is a better choice as it can absorb water. These products can be purchased from pet stores.

Rabbits that live indoors don’t really require bedding. Those that live outdoors may require bedding for warmth. Sometimes instead of shredding paper, people use it to line their rabbit’s hutch. Hay or straw will then be used on top to provide warmth for the rabbit. Regular newspaper/paper needs to be changed quite frequently as it becomes damp and smelly.

In Conclusion

You may have been worried when you saw your rabbit tearing up paper or cardboard and appearing to eat it. However, as you have seen, in most instances it will not cause serious problems. Much of the time they are probably just playing with it anyway, rather than consuming excessive amounts.