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Why Is My Rabbit Digging on My Bed? Decoding Their Behavior

Are you wondering, "Why is my rabbit digging on my bed?" 

When I got my first pet rabbit, I didn't expect that I would often find him digging on my bed and destroying my bedsheets.

So, I spent a lot of time researching this rabbit behavior and the possible reasons behind it, and I am here to share my findings with you. 

Just keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Digging is a natural behavior for rabbits and not something that you should worry too much about.¬†¬†
  • Rabbits can dig on your bed to attract your attention, seek comfort, or because they're trying to communicate with you.
  • You can stop your rabbit from digging on your bed by restricting your bunny's access to the room or redirecting its attention.¬† ¬†¬†

Is It Normal For Rabbits to Dig?

Before getting to why rabbits dig on beds, let's talk about whether it's normal for rabbits to dig and why digging is important.

Most wild rabbit species excavate burrows to hide from predators, shelter from the elements, and give birth to babies in a safe environment. 

Domestic rabbits aren't so much different from their wild cousins and have the same instincts to dig and seek protection underground.

Moreover, as experts from the RWAF say, "Digging is a normal instinctive behaviour that meets a number of the rabbit's welfare needs and uses its muscles in ways that are important for health." (1)

It's not strange or uncommon for bunnies to dig into the ground, sheets, blankets, or beds. But let's unravel this mystery of why some rabbits do it.  

Check out this cute video!

10 Mind-Blowing Reasons Rabbits Dig On Beds

So, why is your rabbit digging on your bed? Usually, rabbits dig on beds because they're trying to make a comfortable nest to nap.

But digging can have many meanings, so you must observe your bunny to determine what drives them to burrow into your bedsheets. Here are the top 10 reasons. 

#1 No Other Digging Alternatives

Your pet bunny doesn't have to worry about potential predators. But it still has its natural instinct to dig and needs something to satisfy them.  

When there's no alternative around, such as cardboard boxes, artificial grass mats, and other digging toys, your bed is a suitable target. It's soft and feels good on the claws.

#2 Marking Territory

Do you know that rabbits are territorial animals? They use urine, droppings, and scratching to spread their scent and mark their territory.

Since you spend a lot of time in bed, it's natural for your bunny to want to mark it as part of its domain and keep other pets from intruding. 

If your male bunny is digging to mark territory, you may find traces of rabbits dropping in the bed. 

#3 Boredom

,

Boredom is another common reason for developing destructive digging habits. Rabbits are intelligent, curious, and active animals that don't do well with boredom. 

So, when you don't provide enough mental and physical stimulation, all your bunny can do is dig its bedding, the carpeted floor, or your bed sheets to pass the time. 

It's vital to provide enough physical activities for your bunny to prevent such destructive behavior and save your furniture from damage. 

#4 Nap Time

Have you ever seen your bunny dig on the bed and suddenly flop? I almost had a heart attack the first time my bunny did it. I thought it had died! 

Other rabbit owners told me that it was normal behavior. Likely, bunnies do it because they want to make a comfortable nest from the blankets/sheets and have a quick nap. 

Check the video below to see an example of the dramatic bunny flop! 

#5 Frustration

Some bunnies use digging to express frustration and annoyance. Think about it as a way for your rabbit to blow off steam! and calm down! 

According to experts from the PDSA, boxing, showing teeth, and tensing are signs of an angry rabbit. You shouldn't handle your bunny until it's in a better mood to avoid a bite or a scratch. (2)

#6 Anxiety and Stress

If your bunny digs excessively, you consider anxiety and stress. It's natural for rabbits to hide underground from predators, so your bunny may be trying to dig a hole in your bed because it doesn't feel safe. 

Many things can make your adult rabbit anxious, including a loud environment, other pets, sudden changes in the house, or trauma. 

Surprisingly, according to a study, inappropriate handling of your bunny can also make them stressed. So, be careful how you pick your bunny!  

#7 Attention Call

Are you paying enough attention to your fluffy pet? Sometimes, rabbits have strange behavior because they're trying to attract the attention of their owner. 

While rabbits can vocalize, they prefer other ways to communicate with people, such as nudging, rolling over, thumping, tapping, or teeth gnashing. 

And if your bunny learns that you come running whenever it digs the bed cover, it will use this tactic to summon you whenever in need. 

Here are some meanings of rabbit sounds:

#8 Playful Mood 

Sometimes, rabbits dig because they're in a playful mood. Digging in dirt, soil, and other surfaces makes your bunny really excited because it gets to explore new surroundings.

In some cases, rabbits are so happy when digging that you can catch them doing a bunny blinky. 

#9 You've Got a Female Rabbit

Female rabbits are also more persistent and destructive when digging. In the wild, they are responsible for building the nests for bunny rabbits. 

So, if you have a female bunny, it's more likely they'll dig anything that catches their fancy, such as your bed, carpeted floors, blankets, towels, etc. They just have stronger digging instincts. 

#10 Illness

Usually, digging is not a sign of an underlying medical issue. But I'm always wary of sudden changes in rabbit behavior because they're often a sign of an illness.

So, consult a vet if you notice excessive digging and other common signs of illness in rabbits such as:

  • Changes in litter habits¬†
  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hiding

Now, let's talk about what you can do when you catch your bunny digging on your bed. 

How to Stop Rabbits From Digging On The Bed? 

Since digging is a normal rabbit behavior, you shouldn't try to suppress it because it will have ill effects on your bunny's health. Instead, here's how to redirect the digging:

  • Provide a digging box. If your bunny has a suitable digging alternative, it'll not use your bed or other household items.¬†
  • When you catch your bunny digging in an inappropriate location, say "No," clap your hands, and take your pet to the digging box.¬†
  • Offer appropriate toys to distract your bunny from digging on your bed.¬†
  • Use bed protection, such as plastic sheets. I also place cage liners over the surfaces where my bunny likes to dig. I highly recommend Luftpets products because they're durable and well-made.¬†

  • Spaying your pet can also decrease their digging instinct if it's related to nesting.¬†
  • Keep your bunny occupied and provide a rich environment so your fluffy ball isn't bored.¬†

FAQs

1. How do I stop my bunny from going on my bed?

You can stop your rabbit from going on your bed by using smells that rabbits hate or confining your rabbit to another room to prevent it from jumping on your mattresses. 

2. Is it okay to let your rabbit sleep in your bed?

It's not wise to let your rabbit sleep in your bed because you can accidentally hurt it in the middle of the night. 

3. Why do bunnies like beds?

Rabbits like pet and human beds because they're safe, comfortable, and cozy. 

Conclusion

Why is my rabbit digging on my bed? Digging is a form of entertainment and allows rabbits to work their muscles. It's normal behavior and not something you should punish.

But digging can be a way for your bunny to communicate that something makes them stressed, anxious, or annoyed. So, you have to be careful when interpreting this rabbit behavior. 

What do you think about these common reasons why rabbits dig on beds? Does your bunny like digging on your bed? Share your experience in the comment section. 

Resources:

1. Digging [Internet]. Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF). [cited 2023 Nov 30]. Available from: https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/digging/

2. Understanding rabbit body language [Internet]. www.pdsa.org.uk. Available from: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/rabbits/rabbit-body-language

 

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