Rabbit Digging Through Carpet

Why is there a hole in my carpet, Mr. Bunny? Earlier, we discussed ways to keep cats from scratching up the carpet. But what’s up with rabbits scratching and trying to dig through the carpet?

My sister has a pet bunny, and she used to let it roam around everywhere in her room, as long as she there with it. So, I was surprised during my last visit to find the bunny in its cage. My sister proceeded to show me bits of the carpet that had been scratched away to almost nothing. I assumed that the bunny had scratched in order to sharpen her claws, much like a cat would do. My sister corrected me. The rabbit had tried to dig her way through the carpet. That is not something you hear everyday! Why do bunnies do that, and how can you make them stop?

The answer to “why” is that rabbits have the natural urge to dig. Remember, in the wild they often live in underground burrows. Therefore, if they are not given an “approved” place to dig in, they will find someplace of their choosing. In my sister’s case, the chosen object was the carpet and flooring.

As with cats, you can change this behavior and save your carpet in a couple of ways. One solution is to put down protection in areas that rabbits tend to “dig.” Common areas for digging are corners and under doors, and you can save these by placing a plastic mat or a grass mat over them. Another option is to build or create a place for your rabbit to freely dig. You can make a digging box out of a large, deep cardboard box. Place some shredded paper or even soil for your pet to dig in to his heart’s content. Make one side of the box lower or cut a hole in the side, to allow your rabbit to get in and out of his new “burrow.”

Once you have these options in place, here are your next steps. Whenever you see or hear your bunny digging in the wrong place, first, simply say “no” or clap your hands. Next, set your pet in the digging box. Plan to stick to this two-step process for the long haul, because it will take some time to change his behavior. But eventually your rabbit will learn that the digging box is the appropriate place to burrow.

A digging bunny, is a happy bunny—with a happy owner!

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