Have you noticed your rabbit chewing on your walls?
Even though it might be a surprising sight, house rabbits are notorious for eating or chewing on walls.
They munch on walls, the underlying wood, or drywall to wear down their growing teeth, out of boredom, due to iron deficiency, among other reasons.
So, you need to ask yourself, “Why is my rabbit eating the wall?”
Once you have figured out the reason, you protect your walls from being munched on by your furry bunny!
Reasons Why Rabbits Eat/Chew Walls
Here are some common reasons that can explain why your bunny is snacking on your walls:
A rabbit’s teeth don’t stop growing with age.
Instead, it wears them down by munching on abrasive surfaces. If your bunny doesn’t do that, its teeth will grow unchecked.
Unrestrained growth will result in misalignment, malocclusions, or dental diseases.
If your rabbit’s enclosure doesn’t have an abrasive surface, it will find the next best thing to chew on, i.e., your walls.
They are stable, easy-to-reach, and rough surfaces ideal for some heavy or light munching to shape the teeth.
Wild rabbits chew on rough and thick tree barks to keep their teeth properly shaped.
When a house rabbit doesn’t have access to such a surface in its enclosure, its instinct will kick in.
It will start chewing on walls since their texture can be somewhat similar to some tree barks.
Hunger & Certain Deficiencies
Your bunny might start munching on your walls to satiate its hunger. It doesn’t mean that your rabbit is starving. It simply indicates the lack of a balanced diet.
Moreover, it signifies the need for more food to keep at pace with your rabbit’s metabolism.
If you don’t provide an abundant supply of hay to your bunny, it might develop cravings and hunger pangs.
It will lead your bunny to chew on your walls or any other easily accessible surface.
Similarly, if your rabbit’s diet lacks certain nutrients and minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc, and other vitamins and fibrous compounds, it will turn toward a source of these supplements.
Your rabbit might mistake your wallpaper glue or even paint to be the source of these nutrients and start chewing on the wall.
However, since iron helps rabbits build their immunity, its deficiency will weaken your bunny’s immune system.
Chewing on the wall, which houses many bacteria and viruses, will put your bunny at risk of developing diseases or infections.
Meanwhile, potassium deficiency will weaken your bunny’s bones and heart and make it more susceptible to the diseases it contracts.
Some bunnies can develop a liking for wall chewing.
It happens when they don’t have enough toys or other sources of enrichment.
They get attracted to the wall due to its texture or the smell of the paint and start chewing on it.
Over time, it can become their favorite hobby.
Rabbits are smart creatures that need mental stimulation to stay happy and remain occupied.
If you don’t provide your bunny with plentiful enrichment, it will seek fun activities on its own.
These can include shoe biting, furniture chewing, floor digging, or, you guessed it, wall chewing!
An improperly functioning liver can cause your bunny to munch on your walls.
It’s because the main side effect of a bad liver is that it disturbs blood formation, which causes your rabbit to become anemic.
Rabbits who suffer from anemia are more attracted to walls since the smell and the munching process soothes them.
However, it also makes them more susceptible to diseases.
House rabbits need to be loved and taken care of properly.
They need your attention and time and can find ingenious ways to ensure that you give them what they need.
Since rabbits are pretty intelligent, they can quickly learn behavior that will get your attention.
If you’re ever stopped your bunny from chewing on your jacket, shoes, or anything else, it’s enough for it to learn that it’s a behavior that will get your attention.
If you aren’t giving enough attention to your bunny, it might start chewing on a surface to gain your attention.
Since walls happen to be the most readily available surface, they become the victim to your bunny’s tantrums.
Preference for the Smell & Taste of the Wall
If your rabbit’s cage is near a wall, especially a newly painted or constructed wall, the smell of paint, cement, bricks, etc., will attract the rabbit.
As your bunny starts smelling the wall, it might be inclined to lick it. Once it starts licking the wall, your bunny might develop a taste for the wall.
Furthermore, it might find the wallpaper or paint delicious.
So, you will need to keep an eye on your bunny. If it’s only eating the paint, the solution might lie in using a different paint.
Additionally, mud walls are especially attractive to rabbits. The odor of mud attracts rabbits who are deficient in certain minerals.
It can cause your bunny to eat the wall several times a day.
With that said, wall chewing and even eating the paint is hazardous for your rabbit. It might affect its immunity and organs.
Moreover, mud has many germs, which will cause damage to your bunny’s health.
Is Munching on a Wall Harmful for a Rabbit?
Yes, there are no two ways about it! Eating or munching on walls is harmful to your bunny.
It can damage its digestive system, cause mouth or stomach ulcers, and result in multiple diseases.
Furthermore, continued wall chewing will weaken your bunny’s immune system and affect its internal organs.
Since the wall paint has many harmful components, such as lead and oil, it can prove to be fatal for your bunny.
Walls also have many bacteria, viruses, etc., that will affect your bunny’s health.
Moreover, your bunny can develop an addiction to wall chewing, which will continue to cause harm to its mall body.
How Do I Stop My Rabbit from Chewing on Walls?
Here are some tried and tested ways to prevent your bunny from eating your walls:
Unending Supply of Hay
Rabbits love chewing on hay to wear down their teeth. Since hay is your bunny’s primary food, it should have an ample supply of hay within its enclosure.
Moreover, it offers them a healthy amount of fiber to aid digestion and avoid impactions or blockages.
So, make sure to give your rabbit timothy hay, oat grass, and meadow grass to keep your bunny satiated and away from your walls.
A Balanced Diet
Make sure to provide your bunny with a balanced, healthy diet to keep all vitamin and mineral deficiencies at bay.
Your bunny should have a sizable portion of leafy veggies and a smaller portion of premium-quality rabbit pellets, along with an unending supply of hay.
If you feel that your bunny is munching on the wall due to an underlying illness, it’s best to visit the vet as soon as possible. Your rabbit might be anemic or have a deficiency.
Get the right tests done and ask the vet to recommend the right meds and a healthy diet to counter the problem.
Even though you cannot train your bunny to speak, you can certainly teach them basic commands rooted in praise or a firm “no.”
When your bunny starts chewing on the wall, approach it calmly and gently. Tell your bunny “no” in a firm voice. Gently push its head down and hold it for a few seconds.
It will help you assert your dominance and make your bunny understand the situation’s gravity.
Then, redirect your bunny to a healthy activity while moving it away from the wall.
You can offer them a chew toy, a treat, or some cuddles to distract them.
Mental Stimulation & Attention
If you want your bunny to stop eating your walls, you will need to provide it with an enriching environment.
Make sure to give your rabbit your undivided attention, set a cuddle time for it, take it on enriching walks, and keep its environment clean.
Moreover, invest in your bunny’s mental stimulation and satiate its natural chewing instinct with chew toys.
By directing your bunny to a safe-to-chew toy, you will safely keep it away from your walls.
Check your bunny’s teeth to see how big they are. If they appear to be overgrown, invest in thick, durable, abrasive chew toys made from natural materials, like wood.
If the teeth are crooked, contact a vet for a treatment plan or special chew toys. Additionally, don’t get smaller chew toys for large bunnies as they might swallow them.
If your bunny is bored, make sure to offer it multiple, different-sized toys in varied materials. Invest in an enclosure tunnel and give it things to dig into for an enriching environment.
Bitter Sprays with Pungent Odors
If your rabbit is persistent or habit-bound, try to make the walls less appealing to it by spraying them with a bitter spray.
You can make this spray by mixing diluted white vinegar with chili and lime juice. Spray the mixture onto the walls and any other surface that your rabbit chews.
Once it licks or chews the surface, and it tastes and smells different and bitter, your rabbit will likely give up and find some other activity.
Ways to Protect Your Walls from Your Bunny
Along with working on your rabbit‘s destructive habit, you can bunny-proof your walls to prevent the odd adamant nibble.
Here are some solutions to bunny-proof your walls:
Using cardboards to block your rabbit’s way to the wall is an easy, convenient, and cheap solution when you’re in a pinch.
Choose chew-proof, durable, high-quality cardboard with smaller gaps between its fibers.
However, some bunnies might start chewing on the cardboard instead of the walls. In that case, you will need to find an alternative solution.
Wire Mesh Panels
You can also invest in panels with wire mesh grids.
The space between the grids is small enough to keep your bunny’s mouth from accessing the walls behind the panel.
These panels look similar to rabbit pen fencing, but they are thicker and sturdier. You can find them in any home décor shop.
If you’re worried about ruining the aesthetic appeal of your home, you can choose colored mesh in trendy hues, such as pink or gold.
You can also go for minimalist hues, such as silver, white, or black.
You can also invest in decorative wood panels made from common woods like birch or pine.
These panels are typically used to hold acrylic paintings and come in circular or square shapes.
These artistic panels are great for bunny-proofing your walls. However, since bunnies like chewing on wood, they are a temporary solution.
If you want a permanent solution, you should choose hardware wooden panels. They are thick panels that come with mounting equipment.
You can cut them to size and nail them onto your walls. To prevent them from clashing with your décor, you can stain the wood to match your room’s aesthetic.
You can use acrylic sheets to keep your exposed walls safe from your bunny.
These are mountable sheets in opaque shades that won’t clash with your décor.
However, these sheets can be a bit expensive.
Cordon off the Walls
If you cannot stop your rabbit from chewing on the walls, it’s time to block its access to the walls permanently.
Just make sure your bunny has enough room to roam around and exercise freely.
Use puppy pens or baby gates to restrict your rabbit’s access to surfaces that it likes to chew.
Invest in gates with smaller spaces between the bars so that your rabbit doesn’t squeeze between them.
You can also use metal barriers to keep your rabbit away from a room or wall.
If your bunny also eats the edges or corners of your wall, you can invest in specialized wall protectors.
You can find these inexpensive protectors at hardware stores.
Make sure to buy corner protectors made from chew-proof materials. If they’re too big, trim them with a crafting knife.
Just keep the height bigger than your bunny, even if it’s standing on its hind legs. You can also choose a color that matches the color of your walls for a smoother look.
The Bottom Line
Bunnies are notorious wall-eaters.
If your bunny is eating your walls, it might be due to boredom, instinctive behavior, some mineral or vitamin deficiency, dental issue, or underlying health problem.
You can use the aforementioned methods to stop your bunny from munching on your walls.
Make sure to take your rabbit to the vet if the problem persists and give it your undivided attention and love.
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