I'm thinking about building my own wooden rabbit enclosure and want to waterproof it for ease of clean-up. If I use tung oil to waterproof the wood, will it harm the rabbits (as long as the wood is cured and the oil has not been freshly applied)?

If this oil is toxic to rabbits, how else can I waterproof the wood?


  • 1
    Cured properly (which takes 7 days) it's supposed to be food safe, I would think so, but I can't find proof one way or another. Nuts (which this is an oil from) are normally not good for rabbits.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 20, 2014 at 22:16
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    @JohnCavan - The problem is that the expectation is that you are not going to be chewing on that wood you cured. The rabbits will be.
    – user9
    Jan 21, 2014 at 16:23
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    @Chad - I expect, which is why I noted the cured properly is necessary for food safety. Nevertheless, no info on toxicity risk for rabbits that I could find.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 21, 2014 at 17:15
  • @JohnCavan - I do not know that it is or not either. Just that generally the idea behind the curing is that it will prevent it from being leeched out into the food. But it is assumed you will not be eating the wood as well.
    – user9
    Jan 21, 2014 at 19:22
  • @Chad - this oil is potentially used in contexts that could result in ingestion (e.g. cutting surfaces), not sure how common that is though.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 21, 2014 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


As John say's in his comment, there is some possibility that the Tung oil is toxic to rabbits.

When we built the 3 story condo below (Dec 2009), we did a a lot of research. Latex was ok in theory, but there was some questions about it.

We ended up going with a soy paint the brand we choose was DuraSoy this was applied over plywood. It has been 4 years now and is holding up well. It was rather pricey as I recall, it has performed well and I would purchase it again. The rabbits have not shown any substantial desire to chew on it.

In this condo, we also use waterproof floor coverings. We purchased some white plastic panels then cut them to size. We cover them with a homemade pillow case (kind of thing), made of heavy cotton fabric. This provides tracktion, waterproof, and is easy to wash.

On the second floor, you can see there is a water bowl, on the dark blue covering. Because the painted surface is rather slippery (in bunny terms) we also put no slip strips on the stairs (there are stairs along the back wall connecting each floor.

The bare wood you see is completely untreated. Sharp edges near the wire are always getting chewed on, so leaving them bare seems to be a good idea.



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