Why do rabbits eat wax?


Rabbits are known for their unique dietary habits. Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits require a high fiber, low protein diet to thrive. As herbivores, their diet consists mostly of grass, hay, and leafy vegetables. However, rabbits have also been known to consume some unusual items such as cardboard, fabric, and even wax. In this article, we will explore why rabbits eat wax, the possible benefits and risks associated with it, and how to prevent it.

Rabbit dietary habits

Before we dive into the topic of wax consumption, it’s important to understand a bit about rabbit dietary habits. Rabbits are strict herbivores and require a diet high in fiber to maintain a healthy digestive system. They should have access to unlimited hay, fresh water, and a variety of leafy vegetables. Pellets can also be fed in moderation as a source of additional nutrients. It’s important to avoid feeding rabbits foods that are high in sugar, fat, or starch, as these can lead to health problems such as obesity, dental issues, and gastrointestinal distress.

What is wax?

Wax is a substance that is derived from various sources, including beeswax, paraffin wax, and soy wax. It is commonly used in products such as candles, lip balm, and furniture polish. Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees and is used to build their honeycombs. Paraffin wax, on the other hand, is a byproduct of petroleum refining and is commonly used in candles.

Why do rabbits eat wax?

There are a few reasons why rabbits may be attracted to wax. One possible explanation is that wax is high in fat, which is a nutrient that rabbits require in small amounts. Rabbits in the wild may consume wax as a way to supplement their diet with this nutrient. Another reason why rabbits may eat wax is that it offers a chewing experience that is different from their usual diet of hay and vegetables. Chewing on items such as wax can help to satisfy their natural urge to chew and keep their teeth healthy.

Nutritional benefits of wax

While wax is not a necessary part of a rabbit’s diet, it does offer some nutritional benefits. Beeswax, in particular, contains vitamin A and is a natural source of antioxidants. Additionally, paraffin wax is a good source of energy, which is important for rabbits who are active and need fuel to move around.

Risks associated with wax consumption

While there are some potential benefits to consuming wax, there are also several risks. One significant risk is that consuming large amounts of wax can lead to gastrointestinal blockages, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, some types of wax may contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to rabbits. For example, candles made with added fragrances or dyes can contain chemicals that are harmful if ingested.

Other possible reasons for wax consumption

In addition to the nutritional and chewing benefits of wax, there may be other reasons why rabbits consume it. For example, rabbits may be attracted to wax because of its texture or scent. Additionally, rabbits may be more likely to consume wax if they are bored or stressed, as chewing on items can provide a form of mental stimulation.

How to prevent wax consumption

To prevent rabbits from consuming wax, it’s important to keep all items that contain wax out of their reach. This includes candles, lip balm, and furniture polish. Additionally, providing rabbits with plenty of hay, fresh water, and chew toys can help to satisfy their need to chew and prevent them from seeking out other items to chew on.


While rabbits may be attracted to wax for a variety of reasons, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from consuming it. Providing rabbits with a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys can help to satisfy their chewing needs and prevent them from seeking out other items. If you suspect that your rabbit has consumed wax or any other non-food item, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away.


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