Trimming a rabbit’s nails is one of the most important (and worst) parts of being a bunny owner. 

They need to keep them trimmed, or they’ll end up with pain and potential infections. 

But if you don’t want to trim them, another good option is a rabbit nail file. 

This article will cover how to use it, some of the best options, and other related questions to this topic. 

rabbit nail file

How to Keep Rabbits’ Nails Short Without Cutting: Nail File!

If you have a pet rabbit, you likely notice that they can grow very long nails. 

Most of the time, people have their rabbits’ nails cut every few months. 

You need to use a special set of rabbit nail clippers because they are designed specifically for the shape and size of your rabbit’s nails. 

However, many rabbits don’t like this process. 

They get stressed out and kick, and if they jerk their leg, you might accidentally cut it too short and make it bleed. 

It is even more difficult if the rabbit has dark-colored nails. 

You can see the quick or the nail bed with clear or white nails. 

In the wild, rabbits wear down their nails naturally. 

They cover a lot of ground and do a lot of digging. 

They dig for shelter and food so their nails don’t grow uncontrollably. 

However, when you keep them on soft bedding and in the house, they need some help. 

If you want to shorten your rabbit’s nails without causing the stress of nail clippers, use a nail file. 

Buy a nail file made for rabbits, and it is easy to do and less stressful. 

This method for shortening the nails might take a little longer, but it is safer and less stressful for your rabbit. 

If you do want to trim with clippers, check out our guide for how to trim a rabbit’s nails without force.

How to Use a Nail File for Rabbits

Although most rabbits find a rabbit nail file less stressful than nail clippers, they still need to get used to it. 

Rabbits are prey animals, so they have the instincts to become frightened when they are in a vulnerable position. 

You need to hold your rabbit to file its nails, so it might take some getting used to. 

If you spend a lot of time with your rabbit, it may be less stressful. 

Start by sitting in a comfortable position, and then place your bunny in your lap. 

Wait for it to relax by petting and talking to it. 

You might want to lay a towel on your lap. 

If your rabbit is frightened, the towel can help keep your rabbit calm if you need to. 

You may find it easiest to wrap your rabbit in the towel, but do not wrap its head because that can make it difficult to breathe and frighten the rabbit further. 

If you have another person who can help, you can have them wrap your bunny in the towel and hold it the way you would cradle a baby. 

Holding the rabbit so that its head is lower than its body puts it into a calm state of mind. 

This is only necessary if your rabbit is afraid, kicking, and struggling. 

Take one of the paws, and pull the hair back from one of the nails. 

Take the nail file, and file the first nail. 

You do it the same way you file your nails, by rubbing back and forth to shorten them. 

Go through all of the nails on each foot. 

Do as much as you can do without upsetting your rabbit. 

If you can only do two feet the first time, that’s fine. 

Stop and then do the other two feet the next day. 

The important thing is to ensure that the experience is as uncomplicated as possible for your rabbit. 

Three Best Rabbit Nail Files

best rabbit nail file

Patelai Store 11-Piece Grooming Set

This nail file set is a great option for bunny owners because it contains 11 different tools. 

You get: 

  • a small animal grooming brush, 
  • Nail clipper 
  • Nail file
  • Two pet hair combs
  • Two double side plastic pet combs
  • Two long-handled dual-headed toothbrushes 
  • Two stainless steel pet combs in this set

This is a great option because it is affordable and includes the nail file you need. 

It also has nail clippers, which give you that option later. 

The nail clippers and file are stainless steel, so they are sturdy and durable. 


  • Includes 11 tools for grooming 
  • Quality products
  • Affordable
  • Safe and easy to use


  • You may not use all of the included tools on your rabbit

Rabbit Nail File and Clipper

This nail set for bunnies from Mr. Rabbit includes a nail file and clippers. 

They are safe and easy to use, and they are ergonomically designed for comfort. 

This is a high-quality set, and they offer precision. 

Start with the nail file and get your rabbit used to having its nails done. 

Then, you may be able to use the clippers one day. 

This set is designed for small animals, so anyone can use it. 

Not only is it great for your rabbit, but it is a great introductory type of nail file and clippers. 


  • Includes high-quality nail file and clippers
  • Ergonomically designed for comfort
  • Easy to use
  • Safe for your rabbit


  • A little pricier

GETi Nail Files

This is a set of standard nail files that work great for filing your rabbit’s nails. 

A rabbit’s nails are made of keratin, the same material as humans, so you can use nail files designed for people when you file your rabbit’s nails. 


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • You can share them with your rabbit
  • No other grooming devices included


  • No rabbit grooming tools included

Commonly Asked Questions

How Long Should a Rabbit’s Nails Be?

There is no one specific length that your rabbit’s nails should be. 

However, you need to understand its nails. 

Look for the quick, which is a vein inside of the nail. It stops short of the end of the nail. 

You want to file the nail up to the quick without hitting it. 

If your rabbit’s nails extend past the fur on its feet, it is time to trim its nails. 

How Often Should I Trim My Rabbit’s Nails?

In a perfect world, you should trim your rabbit’s nails every month. 

This will prevent the quick from growing too long, keeping them short enough. 

If your rabbit is very nervous about having its nails done, you should do it more often. 

This will help it learn to be less afraid over time. 

File your rabbit’s nails once a week if you need to. 

Can I Cut My Rabbit’s Nails with Human Clippers?

Although human nails and rabbit nails are made out of keratin, they are shaped very differently. 

Human nail clippers are designed for flat nails, whereas rabbit nail clippers are designed for the rounded nails of a rabbit. 

You shouldn’t use human nail clippers on your rabbit. 

If you have no other option, you can do it, but it is best to ensure that you have clippers designed for the rabbit. 

How Do You Naturally File a Rabbit’s Nails?

There are several ways to naturally file a rabbit’s nails. 

Give them a rough mat to scratch and dig on, as this will help them wear down their nails naturally. 

Make sure that they run around on a hard surface each day. Letting them dig outside also helps. 

In the wild, rabbits wear down their nails by moving around and digging, giving them opportunities to do these things. 

Read more about why your rabbit may be scratching the floor.

What Happens If I Don’t Cut My Rabbit’s Nails?

If you don’t cut your rabbit’s nails, the blood supply, also called the quick, will grow out with the nail. 

The nails will continue growing unless they catch on something and break off. 

When you finally cut them, you won’t be able to trim them short enough because the quick will be too long. 

It will take several clippings to get them back under control.