“My rabbit chews the bars.“

This would translate to: “I’m bored and I am dissatisfied or I want to get out.”

The chewing damages the rabbit’s teeth and depending on the bars’ coating swallowing it could be harmful. Additionally it is annoying for the owner and loud.

The reason for chewing the bars are most commonly keeping the rabbit confined cages, which do not only bore the rabbit but cause several behavioural issues like “chewing the bars“. Even a “big“ cage is not a proper enclosure for a rabbit. See: How much space do rabbits need?

Many rabbit owners were insufficiently informed on a proper way of keeping rabbits by pet shops or low-quality rabbit-guides; therefore they are surprised when their rabbit chews the bars despite the “big cage“. Even small enclosures are not suited for every rabbit, it can happen that rabbits which are kept on 43sqft will still chew the bars. Little enclosures are always a halfway house, which does not work for every rabbit. In such a case, the enclosure should be enlargened or the rabbit should be relocated to a suitable home.

Another reason is boredom caused by keeping single rabbits. A rabbit, which has no partner, gets bored easily and expresses his need for change and activity by chewing the bars. Rabbits need to be kept with one partner at least. A social partner provides activities 24/7.

The third reason is stimulation by the surrounding. Rabbits need change in their daily life. Rabbits kept outdoors have it automatically (leaves, meadows, snow, wind, birds, cats…), Rabbits kept indoors need to be stimulated by being kept in the same space family life happens, they shouldn’t be isolated in a separate room. It is possible, that despite the bigger enclosure, stimulation by the surrounding and a new partner, the chewing will continue. The longer the rabbit used to chew on the bars, the longer it takes until the behavior is eliminated. Rabbits, which were kept under bad conditions for years, might be so used to it, that it will take ages until the chewing is reduced.

A corrective Action might be to get an enclosure with bars that are out of reach for the rabbit, e.g. by covering the bars or using narrow grids on which rabbits cannot chew. Another option would be perspex-enclosures or wooden boards as sides.

Another reason for chewing is that rabbits can see the other side and maybe even know (from their daily free roaming time) and want to get to the other side. Or they will chew on the enclosure’s doors when they are shut.

You can find a remedy by covering the bars or doors, then the rabbit will understand that there is a border. If there are only a few bars in their way, some rabbits will try to find a way through by chewing them. In the wild they would use this to make pathways by chewing on branches or twigs. Again, a remedy would be perspex-enclosures.

“Why does my rabbit chew on the electric wires?”

In the wild, rabbits live in underground burrows, which are full of roots. This is why rabbits chew wires naturally, which in their way. These wires are life-threatening dangers when chewed on (electric shock).

With plastic cable terminals the wires can be tacked tom the wall. Additionally, they should be covered by cable lids or covers. It makes sense to further lay the wires up high or under the baseboards.

Collections of wires (e.g. behind the computer) can be put in a box, which has a hole in it. Flexible wires, which cannot be laid along a wall (e.g. cables of floor lamps) can be covered by a tube. In Addition, if possible only those cables should be connected, that are needed, all others should be turned off via a multiway connector or a switch.