Why Does My Rabbit Scratch the Bottom of Her Cage?

why does my rabbit scratch the bottom of her cage

Rabbits have natural instincts to dig, and they also use this behavior to wear down their long nails. They can dig at their cages, toys, and even blankets.

Providing them with chew sticks and keeping their cage away from noisy areas can help reduce this scratching. This will only go so far, though.


Rabbits are prey animals and rely on instinctual behaviors to help them survive. Whether in their cage or in the wild, they may dig or scratch at the floor to create a den or mark their territory with scent. It’s a natural behavior that can become problematic when they dig or scratch at carpeting and other items inside their cage.

If your rabbit’s digging or scratching behavior is caused by an external issue, it is important to try and find a solution. This can include covering any scratches with protective layer, using a pet-safe bitter spray to repel your rabbit, and offering them a digging box. Providing a comfortable, hygienic environment for your rabbit and giving them plenty of toys and other forms of entertainment can also help to minimize their digging or scratching habits.

Another common reason for rabbits to dig or scratch is boredom. They are very intelligent creatures, and if they don’t have enough physical or mental stimulation, they will resort to digging or scratching as a way of occupying themselves. This is especially true if they have been living in a small, confined space for an extended period of time. Ensure that your rabbit’s cage or hutch is spacious and has ample toys to keep them occupied.

Additionally, if your rabbit is digging at blankets or other objects in their home, it’s likely that they are trying to transfer their scent to the item or because they want you to play with them. If you notice that your rabbit is digging at their hay or bedding, this could be a sign that they are pregnant and preparing for a nesting area.

Additionally, if your bunny is displaying signs of anxiety or stress, it’s crucial to address those issues as soon as possible. This can include ensuring that their cage is large enough to allow them to move around freely, providing them with toys that are appropriate for their age, and making sure they have plenty of companionship with their owner.


In the wild rabbits dig burrows to prepare for the arrival of their young, and this deeply embedded behavior doesn’t stop once they become pets. Sometimes this digging is the result of boredom or anxiety. If your bunny is constantly scratching and gnawing at the carpet or wood in their cage and looks anxious, they may need to see a veterinarian to rule out health issues that are causing stress.

In most cases, if your bunny is digging and scratching for a reason other than boredom or anxiety, it’s probably because they want your attention. Rabbits have a very social nature and need to be around their people. They also have a lot of energy, and they will seek out entertainment, like digging and chewing behaviors, to keep their minds busy. This can occur if your bunny’s home hutch or cage is too small or doesn’t have enough toys to offer them an outlet for their boredom or anxiety.

Another sign that your bunny wants your attention is if they sit with their ears up. In this position they are calm and relaxed, but if they thump their ears they’re on edge or nervous. If you can’t be with them, or they don’t have any toys to play with or hide in, they might start digging and scratching the bottom of their cage to try to escape or to get you to pick them up.

If they are trying to escape and scratching at the wires of their cage, this is very dangerous and needs to be addressed immediately. If you aren’t able to take them out of the cage, you can retrain them to dig in other places by offering them a digging box or grass mats that are designed for rabbits. You can also offer them more toys to chew and play with, and make sure their cage or hutch is the right size.

You can help your bunny relax and reduce his feelings of anxiety by playing with him, holding him (if he lets you), or just sitting on the floor with them. This will help to reduce the digging and scratching he does to try to get your attention or escape his cage. Don’t yell or spray water on him, as this will only agitate him more and could lead to injury.


Rabbits in the wild dig to create burrows that shelter them from predators, regulate their temperature, and provide places to have babies. They also dig to mark their territory and advertise for a mate, as well as to help wear down their long claws. When a rabbit in your home begins digging, it is likely instinctual and not necessarily because they are trying to dig out of the cage. Carpets, however, can confuse rabbits and encourage them to scratch at the surface. The scratching helps wear down their nails and may help them get used to the texture of a rug, as they would have done in their natural environment.

In addition, rabbits might scratch and dig in an attempt to escape. This is an instinctive behavior that is triggered by an uncomfortably tight space or a dangerous situation. If your rabbit is attempting to escape, you should move them to a larger enclosure to give them more room and reduce their stress levels.

Sometimes, rabbits will dig at blankets to transfer their scent to the fabric. They might also be interested in the textures of the fabric, similar to how cats knead when they are comfortable. If your rabbit is digging at a blanket that you have been petting, this is a sign that they want more petting and love.

Other times, rabbits will dig because they are anxious or bored. This can occur if you leave your rabbit alone all day, or if they live in a noisy environment that makes them feel unsafe. In these situations, it is important to distract them and offer more playtime or exercise to relieve their boredom and anxiety. In addition, you can try to redirect their digging behavior by providing them with a digging box that will allow them to dig without damaging your furniture. You can find these at many pet stores or at local rabbit rescues that sell supplies. Lastly, you can encourage their natural behavior by offering them some recently turned soil in their outdoor enclosures. The added sand or gravel can stimulate the digging behavior and allow them to release their anxiety and stress.


When a rabbit feels hungry, they can get quite destructive in the process of getting to their food. They will dig, chew, and scratch to get at the kibble in their cage or hutch, which can cause significant damage that can be costly to repair (especially on wood or linoleum floors). You can help keep your rabbit from digging by giving them more food so they don’t feel hungry. You should also make sure they have plenty of hay to snack on.

Rabbits have an instinct to hide when they are scared or feeling threatened by predators. As prey animals, they are always on edge and watching their backs to avoid being eaten by predators, so this is an easy way for them to get rid of the fear they’re feeling by digging holes to stash themselves in. If your bunny is scratching or digging and seems extra jumpy, this could be a sign that they’re feeling afraid or sick, and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Boredom is another reason why rabbits may start digging and scratching in their hutches and cages. Like other pets, rabbits crave mental stimulation and can become bored when they’re left on their own for long periods of time. If this is the case, try playing with your rabbit more often or giving them toys that they can chew or pull on to occupy their minds. A well-sized hutch or cage is also important for rabbits to have, as they need a minimum of 6 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet to feel comfortable and safe.

Finally, some rabbits might be digging or scratching to request attention from their humans. If they are being ignored by their owners or aren’t getting enough petting, a rabbit might scratch or dig to let them know they’re uncomfortable and want them to pay more attention to them. You can test this by leaving the room and seeing if the rabbit stops or resumes their behavior. If they resume, you might need to consider more drastic measures.

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