Why Do Rabbits Like To Dig? The Secret Lives of Rabbits

Have you ever wondered what rabbits do when they’re not eating carrots or starring in a Disney movie? Well, they’re not just chilling with their bunny buddies, they’re busy digging

Yup, that’s right. Rabbits are digging machines, and they’re super good at it too! So, let’s hop on this adventure and find out why rabbits like to dig so much.

Brief History of Bunnies and their Digs

Bunny Fact #1: Rabbits have been around for a looong time. Like, 40 million years long! And guess what? They’ve been digging all that time. That’s a whole lot of dirt they’ve moved!

Now, before we dig deeper into the reasons, let’s first understand what kind of rabbits we’re talking about here. 

There are two main types of rabbits: domestic rabbits and wild rabbits. While both of them share a love for digging, wild rabbits take it to a whole new level. 

Domestic rabbits may dig your garden or your lawn, but wild rabbits, they create intricate burrow systems called warrens.

A Peek into Warrens

A warren is like the rabbit version of a fancy apartment complex, with multiple entrances, rooms, and even escape routes. Warrens are important for rabbit survival, and they provide a whole bunch of benefits:


Warrens help keep rabbits safe from predators like foxes, eagles, and, well, Elmer Fudd. If a predator comes knocking, they can quickly escape through one of their secret exits.

Temperature Control

When the weather gets too hot or too cold, a warren provides a cozy space with stable temperatures.


Warrens are where the magic happens, and rabbits reproduce like, well, rabbits! A warm, safe space is perfect for raising a family of cute, little bunnies.

Personal Space

Rabbits have their own private rooms within warrens, which means they can have some alone time when they need it.

The Digging Instinct and It’s in their Genes

Bunny Fact #2: Rabbits are born to dig. They’ve got powerful back legs and sharp claws, which make them excellent diggers. It’s like they have built-in shovels!

So, why do rabbits like to dig so much? 


Rabbits dig because it’s in their nature. They’ve been doing it for millions of years. It’s like how we humans enjoy eating pizza or binge-watching TV shows; it just feels right!


Digging is a great workout for rabbits. It helps them stay fit and healthy, which is essential when you’re a small, furry creature trying to survive in the wild.

Stress Relief

Rabbits can get stressed too! Digging is a fun activity that helps them relax and feel more at ease.

Domestic Rabbit Digging 

So, you’ve got a domestic rabbit, and they’re busy digging up your flower beds or digging into the carpet. Don’t worry, it’s not personal! Domestic rabbits still have that digging instinct, and they need an outlet for it.

Here are a few ways you can help your bunny pal get their digging fix:

Create a Digging Box

Make a DIY digging box filled with shredded paper or soil. Your rabbit can dig to their heart’s content without destroying your garden or your home.

Provide a Digging Garden

If you have space in your yard, create a designated digging garden for your rabbit. Plant some rabbit-friendly plants, and let them dig away. They’ll love the freedom, and your other plants will thank you!

Offer Toys and Enrichment

Keep your rabbit entertained with toys and activities that stimulate their natural instincts. You can find digging toys online or even make your own. Get creative!

Bunny-proof Your Home

Make sure your rabbit can’t access areas where you don’t want them to dig, like your prized vegetable patch or your favorite rug. A little bunny-proofing goes a long way!

Some Fun Digging Examples 

To wrap up, here are some examples of rabbits digging and the various situations they find themselves in:

Mr. Whiskers’ Great Escape: Mr. Whiskers, a domestic rabbit, managed to dig a tunnel from his backyard enclosure to the neighbor’s yard. He wasn’t trying to run away; he just wanted to explore and meet some new friends!

The Burrow Break-In: A group of wild rabbits decided to set up their warren underneath a family’s backyard shed. The family discovered the rabbits when their dog started barking at the shed, and they were shocked to find a maze of tunnels beneath it!

Daisy’s Digging Disaster: Daisy, a cute domestic rabbit, decided to dig a hole in the middle of her owner’s freshly laid carpet. Her owner wasn’t too pleased but realized that Daisy needed a better outlet for her digging instincts.

Embrace the Digging!

In the end, rabbits dig because it’s what they’re born to do. All kind of bunnies they’re wild rabbits creating intricate warrens or domestic rabbits looking for an outlet for their instincts, digging is an essential part of their lives.  

They’re following their instincts, staying healthy, and building the perfect bunny home. Maybe we should all take a leaf out of their book and start digging our own cozy burrows!

FAQs About Rabbits Digging

Can a rabbit dig through concrete or other hard materials?

While rabbits are expert diggers, they can’t dig through concrete or other hard materials. Their claws are strong and sharp, but they’re not invincible! If you want to prevent your rabbit from digging in certain areas, a barrier made of concrete, bricks, or even thick, hard plastic can be effective.

Can digging cause harm to a rabbit’s paws or nails?

In most cases, digging is a safe and natural activity for rabbits. However, if a rabbit digs on rough or abrasive surfaces, it could potentially cause injury to their paws or nails. To avoid this, make sure your rabbit has a soft, safe place to dig, such as a digging box filled with soil or shredded paper.

How can I tell if my rabbit is digging too much?

While digging is a normal behavior for rabbits, excessive digging could be a sign that your rabbit is bored, stressed, or lacking enough physical and mental stimulation. Make sure your rabbit has a variety of toys, activities, and a safe digging area to keep them engaged and happy.

Do all rabbit breeds have the same digging abilities?

Different rabbit breeds may have varying digging abilities, but most rabbits have the instinct and physical traits to dig effectively. Some breeds, such as the European rabbit, are more adept at digging and may be more prone to creating elaborate burrows. But as said, most domesticated rabbits still retain some of their wild digging instincts.

Why does my rabbit dig at me or my clothes?

If your rabbit digs at you or your clothes, it’s not because they’re trying to burrow into you! They may be displaying a variety of behaviors, such as seeking attention, grooming you, or trying to communicate something. It’s important to observe your rabbit’s overall body language and context to better understand what they’re trying to tell you.

Read: Why Do Rabbits Like to Lick You?

Jacob Mathew

Jacob Mathew, the rabbit guy. He’s been working with those cute little buns for several years and he knows a lot of things about rabbits, if not everything. Jacob loves cats and bunnies more than any other animals. Read my full bio

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