Can rabbits eat paper?

Your rabbit will become sick if it overeats paper. Rabbits have particular nutritional needs, requiring a large amount of dietary fiber. There’s no fiber found in shredded paper or newspaper.They cannot digest paper properly, leading to constipation and internal blockages.This does not mean that rabbits should be kept away from paper entirely. Rabbits have a natural instinct to dig, and paper will provide them with this opportunity. Rabbits also enjoy undertaking projects that take them some time, and shredding paper can provide this.

Can rabbits eat paper?

The Draw of Paper for Rabbits

Rabbits are instinctively driven to chew and dig. Paper, especially in the confines of a hutch, provides an easily accessible outlet for these natural behaviors. A bored rabbit, lacking other forms of stimulation, is particularly likely to resort to chewing paper as a way to pass the time. Additionally, some rabbits may mistake paper for a source of fiber if their diet isn’t meeting their nutritional needs.

The Dangers of Paper Consumption

While a few small shreds of paper might pass through a rabbit’s system without issue, excessive paper consumption poses serious health risks. Here’s why:

  1. Digestive Issues: A rabbit’s digestive system is designed to process high-fiber foods like hay and grasses. Paper, lacking any nutritional value, cannot be properly digested. Large amounts of paper can lead to constipation or even life-threatening intestinal blockages.
  2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Rabbits rely on a fiber-rich diet to maintain their gut health and overall well-being. If a rabbit fills up on paper, they may neglect their essential food sources, creating nutritional imbalances.

Signs of Trouble

  1. Loss of appetite, especially refusal to eat hay
  2. Noticeable abdominal swelling or bloating
  3. Hunched posture indicative of pain
  4. Significantly reduced or absent fecal droppings
  5. Prevention is Key

To minimize the risks of paper consumption, consider the following preventative measures:

  • Diet: Ensure your rabbit always has access to unlimited, fresh hay. This is the cornerstone of their diet and provides the necessary fiber. Supplement with rabbit-safe vegetables.
  • Lining alternatives: If you line your rabbit’s hutch, opt for materials like straw, wood pellets, or hay rather than newspaper or shredded paper. While sawdust and pine shavings are absorbent, be aware of their potential respiratory and liver health risks and ensure excellent ventilation.
  • Enrichment: Keep your rabbit mentally and physically engaged to deter boredom-induced chewing. Provide a variety of safe chew toys (like untreated wood blocks), hiding places, and ample space for exercise.
  • Companionship: Rabbits are social creatures. If possible, consider bonding your rabbit with another compatible bunny for companionship and play.

While a bit of paper shredding might be tolerated, it’s crucial to remember that paper is not food for rabbits. By understanding the risks, providing a balanced diet, and creating an enriching environment, you can help your rabbit thrive while steering them away from potentially harmful materials.


Can rabbits eat paper? Rabbits often chew and eat paper for a few different reasons. One of the main reasons is that they enjoy chewing – it is a natural behavior for them. Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, so they have an instinctual need to chew on things to wear their teeth down. Paper provides a nice chew texture and surface for them. Eating paper or cardboard also provides fiber, which is important for their digestive health. In some cases, a rabbit may eat paper due to boredom if they don’t have enough enrichment materials in their environment.

Leave a Comment