Picture this: I walked into my apartment after a long day at the office to find tufts of my brand new, genuine Persian carpet scattered along the floor!
On further investigation, I found the culprit (my dear bunny) sitting at the other end of the carpet, happily chewing away.
Can You Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Your Carpet?
There are different ways to stop your rabbit from chewing a carpet.
However, it isn’t always an easy process, as chewing comes naturally to rabbits, and they enjoy chewing on different materials.
Make sure your rabbit has enough toys and isn’t bored, which can result in destructive behavior such as chewing.
Offering treats as rewards and using bitter sprays also works well.
11 Tips to Stop a Rabbit From Chewing a Carpet
Let’s take a look at these 11 tips to help you stop your rabbit from chewing a carpet:
Tip 1: Use Positive Incentive
Rabbits are sensitive animals and do not respond well to negative, sudden outbursts.
Instead, when you find your bun chewing on toys or items they are allowed to chew on, reward them by giving treats, praise, or cuddles.
Verbally tell your rabbit how happy you are that they are playing with their toys.
Teaching your bunny verbal commands such as ‘hold’ can also alert your bunny that you are not pleased with their behavior and want them to stop what they are doing.
Tip 2: Give Them More Attention
If your rabbit feels neglected, it will become bored and act out by chewing on your carpet or other household items.
Spend more time with your bun and take them outside for a change of scenery and exercise.
You can also show your affection by grooming your rabbit.
Once your bun is back indoors, they should be too hungry and tired to spend energy chewing a carpet.
Tip 3: Reprimand Your Rabbit
If you catch your rabbit in the act of chewing on the carpet, firmly stomp the ground next to them with your hand.
In nature, rabbits stomp or thump the floor to get another rabbit’s attention.
This thumping action will alert your bun to the fact that you don’t like something they are doing.
Once your bun stops chewing and pays attention to you, you can firmly say ‘no’ or ‘hold.’
Do this every time you catch your rabbit chewing the carpet. Eventually, your bun will recognize your verbal command, and you can stop stomping the ground.
Tip 4: Scoop Them Up
Another tip to instantly stop your rabbit mid-chew is to scoop them up quickly when you catch them chewing on the carpet.
Not all rabbits enjoy being picked up, and you need to make sure that you do this gently but swiftly.
Show your bun where they have chewed and firmly say “no.” Then scoop your bun up and walk away from the area they have chewed on.
You can repeat this action until your bun realizes that this behavior is not acceptable.
Tip 5: Use Bitter Sprays
If your carpet tastes terrible, your rabbit will not chew on it. One way to make your carpet taste bad is to use a bitter spray.
This spray will take away your bun’s desire to chew on that area.
You can make your own bitter spray at home with just two simple ingredients.
Mix two parts of lemon juice with one part of apple cider vinegar, shake well, and place in a spray bottle.
This bitter spray will smell like lemon (a lovely aroma for your home), but the taste will repel your bun.
Another option is to use bits of ivory soap that also help make the carpet smell and taste bad for your rabbit.
Ivory soap is harmless for your bunny, but it leaves a horrible taste in their mouth.
Tip 6: Cover Your Carpet
Pay attention to where your bun most likes to chew on your carpet. Then place heavy furniture on those areas so your bun can’t reach the chewing place.
If it’s not possible to place heavy furniture on top of your carpet, you can use smaller objects to cover the spots while your rabbit is playing around the area.
You can then move the objects when your bun is in their hutch or living area.
Another way to cover your carpet is to use plastic baby playpen fences. You can set up the fences in various ways so that it suits the carpeted area you would like to protect.
The playpen fences are also easy to disassemble, and they fold up so you can store them when necessary.
By covering your carpet properly, your rabbit should forget the area entirely after a while.
Tip 7: Provide Rabbit Toys
Your bun needs various toys for mental stimulation and fun.
Always make sure to provide your floppy-eared friend with plenty of toys, so they don’t become bored.
Chewing on and using toys will satisfy their need to chew, and they won’t chew on your carpet.
Your local pet store should stock a variety of rabbit toys, but you can also make a few toys yourself at home.
Here are a few toy suggestions that will keep your bun occupied and happy:
- Stuff an empty toilet roll with hay or straw
- A piece of old towel or blanket makes an excellent chew toy
- Chew-safe sticks
- Chew-safe balls
- Cardboard boxes
- Compressed hay blocks
- Rope toys
- PVC tubes to run through
- Newspapers to tear up
- Rings with bells on it
- Wooden clothespins
- Small ramps and platforms to climb on
- Kids’ plastic pool filled with sand for them to dig in
Tip 8: Play Mate
Consider adopting another bun to keep your rabbit company. Rabbits can get lonely and frustrated.
Your bun will enjoy playing with another rabbit and will no longer be interested in chewing up the carpet.
Tip 9: Spay or Neuter Your Rabbit
Excessive chewing can be the result of a hormonal problem.
The best thing to do for your bun is to have them spayed or neutered, which will help alleviate the desire to chew on things like carpets.
Rabbits can be spayed or neutered from the age of 4 months old.
Tip 10: More Time to Explore
Let your bunny out to explore. Rabbits are curious and enjoy exploring new spaces.
You can also set up a playpen for your bunny, which will give you more control as to how far they can explore.
Mobile play pens can be moved around as you please.
Letting your furry friend explore more will decrease their stress and frustration, which will reduce their urge to chew.
Tip 11: Water Spray
If you want to stop your rabbit from chewing immediately, then spray them (gently) with some water.
Spraying your bun with water will stop them in their tracks, and this isn’t harmful to your rabbit.
Why Do Rabbits Chew Carpets?
Here are a few reasons why rabbits chew on carpets:
- Cooped up in a cage
- Hormonal issue
- To keep their teeth filed down
Risks of Rabbits Chewing Carpets
Let’s take a look at the two main risks involved when a rabbit chews a carpet:
Risk 1: GI Stasis
If your rabbit ingests too much carpet from chewing on it, it can cause gastrointestinal blockages, which can lead to GI stasis.
This condition can be a severe problem, resulting in death.
Risk 2: Toxic Chemicals
Most carpets are made with synthetic materials and contain various chemicals.
These chemicals and synthetic fibers can be toxic for your rabbit if ingested.
Rabbit Chewing a Carpet FAQs
Do rabbits grow out of chewing on carpets?
Rabbits naturally chew on things to keep their teeth worn down.
You can train your rabbit not to chew on your carpet by offering alternatives to chew on, such as hay and rabbit toys.
Can I hit my rabbit?
You should never hit or hurt your bunny, as this will lead to mistrust and aggression in your bun.
Rabbits do not respond well to punishment.
Is it okay to spray your rabbit with water?
Rabbits can be disciplined or cooled down by spraying them lightly with water.
You should avoid soaking your rabbit as it can lead to hypothermia and death.
Final Thoughts on Rabbits Chewing Carpets
Chewing is natural and normal behavior for rabbits.
Unfortunately, this isn’t good news for your carpet, as rabbits quite enjoy chewing and tearing things up.
On the bright side, it’s possible to train your rabbit to stop chewing the carpet. Start by bunny-proofing your home and offering positive rewards to your bun.
If your bun continues to chew and shows no signs of stopping, you may need to consider taking your floppy-eared friend to the vet to check that there are no underlying health issues such as pruritus (scratching).
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