Rabbits love chewing and nibbling. You might have observed your bunny munching on blankets, towels, or any clothing left on your floor. Rabbits follow their curious instincts. These tiny creatures do not understand that fabric is not healthy for them. If rabbits eat fabric occasionally, they will not experience health issues. As a pet owner, you should take extra care to ensure that your tiny friend is not consuming too much fabric. Excessive consumption can lead to intestinal blockage. Intestinal blockage can be life-threatening. Therefore, you will have to treat the condition fast to save your pet. Are you a bit confused? Let’s clear all your doubts. Go through the following to know how fabrics harm your rabbit. Also, we will discuss different types of fabrics and their impact on your bunny.
Do Rabbits Eat Fabric?
Bunnies like chewing whatever they find appealing. They do it more out of boredom. Curious bunnies will explore your home to chew on something. If they find the flavor of your blanket enticing, they will start chewing. They can end up eating a portion if you do not stop them. However, these creatures should not eat fabrics. Fabrics will not help them with any nutritional benefits. More importantly, fabrics can harm them in more than one way.
Can Rabbits Eat Wool?
As stated earlier, most fabrics are harmful to rabbits. Wool fabric is flexible, pliable, and soft. Wool has antibacterial properties. However, it is not safe for your pet. Wool can crimp. It has an excellent ability to insulate. Also, it is thermal resistant and can stop heat transfer more efficiently than other fabrics. All these qualities make wool a perfect choice for dessert and hot climates. However, these unique qualities make wool unsafe for rabbits. The crimping will make wool clump together. If it happens inside the stomach of your bunny, it can lead to stomach issues. Therefore, rabbits should not eat wool fabric.
Can Rabbits Eat Felt?
Rabbits eat fabric regardless of the type and material. However, fabrics are not healthy for bunnies. When it comes to felt, it is more harmful to your pet. Felt fabric is the outcome of the felting process. The process involves many steps that include condensing, matting, and pressing the fibers. After going through all these, the fabric comes out.
The processing method of the felt fabric makes it dangerous to bunnies. The felted fibers are long. The long fibers can stick to one another easily. They can tangle inside the stomach of the bunny. However, short fibers will not cause much harm to a rabbit. They will not bond with each other and can fall apart.
Like wool, synthetic fabrics can harm rabbits. When the fabrics have synthetic ingredients, they will be more harmful to your pet. It can be even worse with rayon or acrylic. The felting process will ensure easy blending. Manufacturers prefer this blending process since it offers extra durability without impacting the end cost. Therefore, many prefer synthetic fibers. However, if you have a pet rabbit, you will have to take extra caution to create a safe environment for your bunny.
Both rayon and acrylic do not offer any nutritional benefits. Both these synthetics can lead to intestinal blockage. In addition to this, they can be toxic to your pet when consumed in large amounts.
Can Rabbits Eat Polyester?
Rabbit eat fabric like polyester. Polyester might be the safest option for your bunny when it comes to fabrics. Polyester does not have fiber. This unique quality makes it safe for your bunny. Polyester is made of plastic. For this reason only, polyester is not a favorite choice for many. The fabric will not wick moisture. The sweat will not pass, and the user will feel uncomfortable. The material is not environmentally friendly as well. However, polyester material is more developed now. These fabrics feature moisture-wicking abilities. Also, recycled PET bottles are a part of the polyester fabric material.
All these qualities make polyester a better choice for rabbits. Polyester is a bit safer than other fabrics. It will not harm much to the digestive system of your bunny. As stated above, polyester is not made with fibers. However, they use polymer plastics. This material is not the best thing to eat for your pet. But the impact will be less. It might not cause blockage in the stomach of your bunny.
Even if polyester is comparatively safe, you should not allow your pet to munch on this fabric. It is unhealthy, and you should avoid it. If rabbits eat a few bites, it will not cause any problem. However, if the amount will be more and the consumption will be frequent, it might cause health issues.
Can Rabbits Eat Blended Polyester Fabric?
Sometimes, polyester is blended with many other fabrics to make it easy on the environment. Also, blended polyester is more comfortable for humans. You might have seen cotton-blended polyester. This is the most common type. The blend makes the final product more comfortable than pure polyester. However, the blend makes it more harmful. Rabbits can eat fabric when it is pure polyester. Cotton fabric can lead to intestinal blockage for rabbits. Even if the polyester will reduce the risk, but still, the possibility of blockage in the stomach is there. In brief, blended polyester fabric is more harmful than pure polyester.
What Are the Safe Fabrics for Rabbits?
If you are looking for safer choices, you can go with a polar fleece. Yes, rabbits eat fabric and stay safe when the fabric is polar fleece. You might have seen this material. Many people prefer it due to its better insulating ability, stretchiness, and softness. You can have this material in outdoor clothing, jackets, and blankets. You might be thinking that what makes polar fleece a safe option for rabbits. The reason is that polar fleece uses polyester. As stated earlier, polyester is less harmful to rabbits compared to other fabrics. However, it is not the best choice. It is not completely safe. But, it will not harm your bunny much.
How Do Fabrics Harm Rabbits?
Even if rabbits eat fabric, they do not get any health benefits. Almost all types of fabrics do not have any nutritional value. Most of them are unsafe as well. The key concern is an intestinal blockage. The condition is life-threatening. Regular consumption will harm your pet in many ways. Here are more details.
- 1. Causes Obstruction in Guts
Fabrics are not safe for rabbits. Some fabrics are more harmful. If it is blended with synthetic materials, the fabric can obstruct the gut of your pet. A wild rabbit might chew on cotton blossoms without experiencing any stomach issues. However, if they chew on blankets or towels, they might experience stomach obstruction. The reason is that these fabrics might be blended with any other synthetic material. Synthetic material is mixed with many fabrics to boost the durability of the end product. Also, synthetic material makes the product less expensive. However, you should avoid this material if you have a bunny pet. The material will cause digestion problems and stomach discomfort.
- 2. Becomes Tangled in the Stomach
Long fabrics or fibers can be tangled in the stomach. Fibers can tangle easily, and that makes it a preferable choice for many. However, this distinct quality makes the fabric harmful to your pet. They can stock in the stomach. With regular consumption, the fibers will create a ball in the stomach. The ball can cause a lot of stomach issues. If it happens, it will be difficult for your pet to pass food and other waste. If you leave the condition untreated, it might lead to death.
- 3. Develops Digestive Issues
You might be aware that bunnies are prone to different types of digestive issues. They experience more digestive problems due to their intestine and gut up setup. The plant fibers go to their stomach and then into their colons. But digestive fibers can form into caecotrophs, a softer type of poop. As a result, your pet can eat and process those fibers. The unique setup can lead to blockage in your rabbit’s stomach. While following a balanced diet, your pet will experience fewer digestive issues. However, fabrics can tangle and develop a ball. Rabbits cannot digest tangled fabrics.
- 4. Bunnies Cannot Vomit
As we know, bunnies cannot vomit like humans. People consider induced-vomit for their pets to treat the blockage. However, you cannot follow the same way for your rabbit. These animals lack the gag reflex. Also, the digestive system of a rabbit is unable to regurgitate the food. As they cannot vomit, any intestinal blockage can lead to death. You can consider surgery to treat this condition. However, surgery might cause many other health complications.
- 5. Results in Other Intestinal Obstruction Problems
You do not need to ban all the fabrics from your house. Even if your pet chews on some fabric occasionally, it will not kill the rabbit. However, regular and excessive consumption can cause different types of health complications. When eaten in a considerable large amount, your pet might experience the following symptoms.
- Loss of appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Teeth grinding
- Less poop
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your bunny to the vet. Also, make sure that the rabbit is not exposed to any type of fabric.
Why Do Rabbits Eat Fabric?
It is common for a rabbit to eat fabric. Rabbits eat many things that can harm them. They have the natural tendency to sink their teeth whatever they find. That might be wires, fabrics, or wood. Here are a few reasons that develop such instincts in bunnies.
Teeth Are Always in Growing Phase
Rabbits have the inborn tendency to chew on something. Their teeth are always in the growing phase. This ability develops a natural urge to chew on something to soothe the growing teeth. You might have realized that these creatures experience teeth issues more than other pets.
Sign of Boredom
Rabbits want something to chew on when they are bored. It happens with most of the animals. Animals want something for enrichment and stimulation. When they do not find anything for stimulation, they will engage in some basic things. Your bunny will love to chew on something to get the attention of humans.
Once the pet gets your attention, you might want to spend some quality time with your bunny. When the playtime comes, your tiny friend will try its best to grab your attention. Chewing is the easiest way to attract your attention.
As they like to chew on something, they chew whatever they find. Fabrics are easy to access for them. They can chew on shirts, blankets, and towels. However, these are not healthy for your pet.
Rabbits Develop Pica Behavior
Bunnies like to chew. It is a natural bunny behavior. If you find your pet always looking for something to chew on, you should not be worried. However, it might need medical attention in some instances. Some rabbits develop a chewing habit. They cannot stop doing it. It becomes obsessive. Compulsive chewing is called pica. When your pet develops the craving to chew inedible objects, you should talk to your vet.
Rabbits with pica behavior keep chewing on wood, paper, and fabrics. Pica might be the indication of some illness. Pica behavior might be caused by enteritis. This condition can develop due to inflammation in the intestine.
It is worth mentioning that pica symptoms appear suddenly. If you notice that your bunny has developed excessive chewing habits suddenly, you can talk to your vet to avoid any confusion.
Rabbits eat fabric. However, fabrics do not help in their growth. Instead, some fabrics cause health issues. The key concern is an intestine blockage. If you do not treat the condition, it might be fatal. Therefore, pet parents should take adequate steps to protect their bunnies from harmful fabrics. Make sure that they cannot access synthetic fabrics. Synthetic is more dangerous than other fabrics. Pure polyester is a safer choice. But that does not mean that your pet can chew on polyester fabric. Regular and excessive consumption can cause stomach blockage even if it is polyester.