How To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Its Cage?

Categorized as Bunny Care Tagged
A black rabbit chewing its cage.
"can I eat this?" by Keithius is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

Rabbit chewing their cages is totally normal. The most common reason why a rabbit is chewing their cage is because of boredom, unneutered, hunger, and small cage.

To stop your rabbit from chewing its cage without relying on temporary methods like spraying its cage with bitter spray, you need to find the cause of the problem.

Here are some of the reasons why rabbits chew their cage:

  1. Rabbit not neutered
  2. Rabbit not getting enough exercise
  3. Bored rabbits or rabbits without toys
  4. Alone rabbits without a companion
  5. Rabbit confined in a small cage all day.
  6. Hungry rabbit.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain each one in more detail:

Neuter your rabbit

A veterinarian holding a rabbit to be prepared for surgery to be neutered.
Rabbit Vet, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Your rabbit chewing its cage can be caused by hormone-related aggression. Rabbits who entered sexual maturity would often have this bout of aggressiveness because of their hormones.

Make sure that your rabbit is neutered when they are 6 months old because this is the time they reach their sexual maturity. Preventing your rabbit from chewing its cage is not the only benefit of neutering them.

Here are some of the benefits of neutering/spaying a rabbit:

  • Prevents reproductive cancers.
  • Prevents pseudopregnancy in rabbits.
  • Reduced sexual aggression.
  • Stops unwanted behaviors like urine spraying.
  • Easier to litter train.
  • Less destructive.
  • Calmer.
  • Reduced urine and poop odor.
  • Less/no more fighting with same-sex rabbits.

If your rabbit has recently been neutered and the same behaviors are still happening, just be patient and give your rabbit more time.

Give your rabbits enough exercise.

A rabbit outside getting an exercise.
“Run Rabbit Run” by *Muhammad* is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rabbits are not meant to be kept in cages all day just sleeping, eating, and pooping. In the wild, rabbits have the whole forest at their disposal to wonder and look for food.

Your rabbit chewing their cage is a sign of frustration and boredom. If you’ve been keeping your rabbit in their cages for long periods of time without letting them out and letting them play, chewing their cage is their way of saying “Hey! let me out I’m bored!”.

You would also notice that rabbits would often chew their cage at night time. This is because rabbits are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are the most active at night and sleep in the morning.

If you can’t let your rabbits out of their cage at night, consider getting them a playpen.

Two rabbits inside a playpen with a lot of room to play and roam around.
“Lewis and Clark At 10 Years” by valeehill is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

This would give them enough space to at least move and run around a little compared to a cramped cage.

Provide toys

A brown rabbit palying with its toy ball.
“it is what rabbits do” by hans s is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Another way to ease your rabbit’s boredom and frustration and to stop them from directing those emotions into biting their cage and making a noise is to provide them with toys.

Toys for rabbits should be those they can chew on, this type of toy has the added benefit of grinding your rabbit’s teeth.

Unlike wild rabbits who can chew on twigs and branches to grind their teeth, house rabbits would often develop dental problems because they’re unable to properly grind their teeth naturally.

The most common and cheapest toy for rabbits is a simple toilet paper roll. But if you want something a little fancier, you can buy your rabbit the following:

  • Willow balls
  • Willow bridge
  • Willow sticks
  • Wooden dumbbells
  • Twig Tunnels
  • Ka-Bob Chew Dispenser Toy

Provide your rabbit a companion.

Two rabbits sleeping together peacefully.
“A little surprise” by Clair Graubner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Rabbits are social creatures and they require social interactions by either you, their owner or preferably another rabbit.

Rabbits without adequate social interaction would often lash out aggressively by biting their cage, kicking their cage, and spilling their bowl.

Just be sure that both rabbits have been neutered before bonding them together. The best pair for rabbits are male and female.

While both gender rabbit pairings can be done, those pairings have a higher chance of fighting, especially both male rabbit pairings.

If you won’t be able to give your rabbit enough attention, for example, if you’re always at work, then consider getting your rabbit a companion.

Give your rabbit more food.

Rabbit with a lot of vegetables and food.
“summer-stealing-vegetables” by jamjar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Your rabbit biting their cage could also be their way of saying “I’m hungry, give me some food!”.

Rabbits who are hungry and confined in cages would often do anything to get your attention including biting their cage because they don’t have any choice, your their source of food.

If you’re always at work or away from home, make sure that your rabbit has a LOT of hay and unlimited access to clean drinkable water.

Get your rabbit a bigger cage.

A rabbit big rabbit cage with multiple layers.
“Our bunny’s cage” by Joe Carroll is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

And lastly, rabbits who have small cages can also be the cause of frustration which could lead to your rabbit chewing on their cages.

As I said earlier, rabbits have a TON of energy and they need to expend it somehow. Rabbits primarily like to do two things to expend their energy, running and chewing.

If your rabbits can’t run because of their small cage, then it’s chewing time.

Your rabbits chew because their teeth are always growing and they need to grind them somehow to prevent dental problems. Wild rabbits don’t have this problem because they chew on fallen branches of trees.

Get your rabbits bigger cages and toys to chew on to prevent them from chewing on their cage. Preferably, get your rabbit multi-level cages like in the photo above.

Multi-level cages have the benefit of giving your rabbit more space while having a small base. This type of cage is perfect for rabbit owners who live in small apartments.

Summary

To stop your rabbit from chewing its cage, you need to find the cause of the problem. The most common reason why a rabbit chew on their cage is because your rabbit is unneutered, not enough exercise, no toys, no companion, not enough food, and small cages.

This thing could cause your rabbits to be frustrated and lash out by doing aggressive behaviors like chewing their cage.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 15, 2021) How To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Its Cage?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/how-to-stop-a-rabbit-from-chewing-its-cage/.
"How To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Its Cage?." Bunny Horde - November 15, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/how-to-stop-a-rabbit-from-chewing-its-cage/

Sources and further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Toys for rabbits
  • Neutering in Rabbits