While rabbits dig burrows, why do they also dig at blankets?
Fur parents tend to get confused about this strange behavior.
“Is there something wrong with my rabbit?”
There are certain reasons why your fur baby is behaving this way. And let me tell you all about them.
Continue reading to discover:
- 11 reasons why rabbits dig at blankets.
- Factors that cause the digging habit of your rabbit.
- Whether this is alarming and should be checked by the vet.
- And so much more…
Why do rabbits dig at blankets?
Rabbits dig at blankets out of natural instinct. They could also be marking territory. Other emotions such as boredom, drowsiness, and anxiety may also be causing this behavior. In rare cases, it could be due to medical reasons.
11 reasons rabbits dig at blankets
#1: It’s their instinct
You guessed it correctly.
Digging is motivated by your rabbit’s instinct.
Since they live underground by digging burrows, it’s only natural for them to dig anywhere.
Moreover, they do it even without soil.
And that includes your blankets.
At first, this digging activity may seem cute.
But not until your rabbit starts to dig at your carpet, bed, furniture, and other household items. Sooner or later, they might destroy anything they try to dig at.
Their scratches might be tiny and cute…
Regardless, even small damages are significant.
But, there’s no way to stop them completely from digging.
Instead, you can give them other surfaces to dig at.
#2: They’re marking their territory
According to research, rabbits are known to mark their territory.
They do this by leaving their scent on surfaces.
This may include clawing, defecating, and urinating on various objects.
Rabbits tend to do this when there are other fur babies at home.
So, when they smell another pet’s scent on your blanket…
You can be sure that they’ll do anything to overpower that scent.
And digging is their way of investigating such scents.
Thus, when you see your fur baby digging at the blanket your puppy slept in, don’t be too surprised.
#3: They want to take a nap
Sleepy indoor bunnies adore dozing off in sheets or blankets.
So if you see your rabbit digging at your blanket, it’s probably nap time.
They’re looking for a place to nap. And they want to let you know that the blanket they’re digging at is their spot.
It could also be a telltale sign that they want bedding inside their cage.
Just make sure the blanket won’t trap their claws.
Additionally, your bunny shouldn’t be able to swallow the fabric.
Your bunny might like a comfortable fleece blanket. You can go ahead and give it a try.
You might also want to know: Top 15 Things To Put In The Bottom Of A Rabbit Cage
#4: They’re bored
How does your fur baby feel when they’re in a cage or indoors for too long?
One answer to that is they’ll feel bored.
And yes, rabbits get bored too.
When they feel that way, they want to relieve this feeling. And they do it through destructive behavior such as digging.
This is also why they dig at the corners of their cages or boxes. That’s if you leave them alone for the entire day.
So, when they start to dig at blankets after a day of being left alone…
Give your fur baby some quality time.
This may stop the digging and give them the comfort they deserve.
#5: They hate the smell
A study shows that fur babies have sensitive noses.
Rabbits may start digging at blankets when they smell the following scents:
- Air freshener.
- Essential oils.
- Chopped garlic.
So if your rabbit consistently digs at a specific sheet or object, they might not like the smell.
The scent may be too sensitive for their delicate little noses.
Moreover, according to PetMD, strong chemicals are toxic for our fur babies. A notorious example is the chemicals found in air fresheners.
Thus, it would be best to adjust your home accordingly. You can do so by doing away with strong scents and chemicals in your household.
#6: They’re anxious
Burrows are created to shelter rabbits from predators in the wild.
So, if your bunny is trying to burrow into your blanket, it means they’re scared and anxious about something.
That’s because digging is a way for them to release fear and make them feel more secure.
Other signs of fear may include:
Are you living in a noisy environment?
If yes, then your rabbit could be anxious because of the strange noises.
Moreover, let’s talk about the findings of this study. It says that your rabbit can get anxiety from the way you handle or carry them.
Improper handling of rabbits may cause fear-related aggression, one of which is digging random objects like blankets.
#7: They’re bragging
Do you have female and male bunnies at home?
If yes, then this might explain one’s digging behavior.
Your male bunny might be showing off to your female fur baby. And they do that by exhibiting aggressive and strange behaviors.
So, if you see him digging at your blankets daily, this means they’re courting your female rabbit.
He’s showing off his capability to dig a burrow and create a safe home for their future litter.
But you should be careful about this behavior.
The rabbit may start digging at your lap when the doe is around…
And let me tell you, that can hurt.
With that, you can either have him neutered or claw-proof your lap.
You can claw-proof your lap by placing a thin thermal cushion on top of it.
This way, their claws won’t penetrate your skin when they start digging.
Also, your fur baby also will become more comfortable.
#8: They want to be petted
Like other fur babies, bunnies also want to be petted.
Generally, rabbits demand pets. They show it through a gentle nudge. Or sometimes, they’ll bump on your hand by using their nose or head.
However, if your hands are out of reach, they’ll scratch or dig accessible objects like blankets.
When they do this, try to give them attention immediately.
Otherwise, ignoring them might mean rejection. And that could stress your rabbit.
But I understand…
There are busy days…
With that, a gentle scratch on the head or a boop through its nose will suffice. That’ll only take a few seconds. But you just made your fur baby’s day.
#9: They want to play
If your bunny is still in its early years, it might demand playtime during random times.
So, they start to dig at your blankets or other objects when you’re unreachable. And if this is the case, try to play with them for a while.
If they’re digging at a specific object, they treat such as a toy and want to play with it.
However, if the blanket has your scent, they could have mistaken it as your clothing.
This only means they crave playtime and request you to join in the fun.
See how you can play with your rabbit through this video:
#10: They’re curious
If your blanket is new and has a strange scent, your bunny might be drawn to it.
So don’t be too surprised when they start digging at it.
It only means they’re trying to transfer their scent to the fabric. Or explore the newly purchased object.
#11: They’re not feeling well
Although there are other ways rabbits express they’re unwell, digging could be one of them.
Aggressively digging at blankets could be a sign of the following diseases:
- Ear mites.
- Ear infection.
- Dental issues.
- Respiratory infection.
This is the only time digging at blankets is considered alarming.
That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your local veterinarian if this behavior persists.