We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts with a specific interest in sharing our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our rabbits environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our rabbits to inhabit.
Rabbits chew on things for a number of reasons and if your rabbit repeatedly chews on the wood or wire fencing of its enclosure or hutch then you need to get to the root of the to stop it successfully. The reasons are explored below with some general ideas that can help also.
Wanting to be sociable
If your rabbit is aware that you are in and feels that it is not allowed to join you then it may keep pulling and chewing on its hutch, cage or enclosure to effectively escape. Rabbits can be tenacious with this sort of behaviour which if formed into a pattern can be hard to stop. If you are at home and for some reason you don’t want your rabbit roaming you home then its best to ensure the enclosure is in a quiet spot in the house where the door can be closed, that way your rabbit will relay. If it’s on the odd occasions where your rabbit wants your attention then you could try attaching a hanging chew toys with a bell on it by the door, although rabbits are not vocal they do like making noise and will form behaviour around ring the bell rather than chewing the enclosure. If your rabbit wants to roam about and there is no reason for keeping it in an enclosed space then you should let it out and give it as much time socialising with you as you can.
Wearing down teeth
Rabbits are constantly chewing, their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives so they are always looking for tough materials to help ware them down. If your rabbit cannot satisfy this need it may be chewing on the tough materials of its enclosure for this reason, in which case you will need to enrich its environment with some more suitable alternatives. First and foremost lots of fresh hay is very important. You rabbit should be eating a stack of hay almost the same size as itself each day. Any wicker or willow chews purchased from a pet store would help or a freely available alternative is to keep a constant supply of cardboard box and old toilet roll tubes.
Seeking digestible stuff to chew
Rabbits are also constantly looking for fibrous materials to chew on and will happily eat wood or other soft materials we would consider indigestible. Again a constant supply of Hay, cardboard boxes and wicker treats will hopefully leave you rabbit satisfied and then it should ignore the other things you don’t want it to chew.
Using bitter strays
A common defence for unwanted chewing behaviour if to use a bitter spray from a pet shop. It’s surprising what rabbits will eat so you may find this has little or no effect. Remember to apply it on a regular bases. A good way of doing this without spraying it everywhere is to stray some into a cloth then wide it directly on to the areas you want. Be careful of home made alternatives that bay be suggested to you such as perfume or chilly oil as these can be harmful.
Teaching your rabbit NO!
Another way to dissuade your rabbit it with an aversion technique with some voice training. In essence you keep a water mister to hand then when you can catch your house rabbit actually in the act you give him a quick blast of cold mist and say NO! Some rabbits will respond to this, others won’t. Make sure it’s a clean water mister and make sure it’s in the mists not squirts.