Category: Healthy Rabbit Diet

Healthy Rabbit Diet

Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage?

Bunny rabbits are one of the easiest pets to feed because they need very little. As a rabbit owner, you will know that vegetables, hay and plenty of water are all you really need to get by. We usually find that once a rabbit is around 6 months old you are safe to start experimenting with certain foods. You will just need to monitor your little bunny for any reactions or intolerances. Some vegetables are better than others while some should be avoided at all costs so be sure to always double-check.

Is Cabbage Safe for Rabbits?

Can you feed a rabbit cabbage? Yes, you absolutely can in moderation. Cabbage can be a great option for a healthy and balanced rabbit diet. You will have to monitor your rabbit and introduce the new food slowly. If you introduce too much then your rabbit may feel bloated and have diarrhea. Cabbage can cause symptoms in some rabbits with a more sensitive digestive system so you should keep a close eye when introducing cabbage to a rabbits diet – like all new foods.

What Type of cabbage is best for rabbits?

There are numerous types of cabbage and although cabbage, in general, is OK for rabbits, some are better than others. The best cabbage for your rabbit is the dark leafy type as it packs nutrients, vitamins and is tastier for your rabbit. White and red cabbage is very common too and although safe to eat they don’t have as many nutrients and vitamins for your rabbit.

Something to keep in mind if you do choose red cabbage is that your rabbit’s urine can turn green. This is a common side effect and all reports point to it being safe.

Rabbit in hutch

How to prepare cabbage for your rabbit

Now that you know cabbage is perfectly safe and part of your rabbit’s diet you are likely wanting to know if you need to do anything special.

There are a few tips when it comes to feeding your rabbit cabbage, one being not to cook cabbage. Your rabbit will prefer it raw and will also benefit more from it being raw. Your rabbit’s teeth will get a little work out on the crunchy leaves and this chewing action is thought to help naturally trim their teeth and prevent dental problems in the future.

The second tip is to ensure you wash the cabbage. It may look clean straight from the supermarket but you must ensure you wash it to get any germs, bacteria, and pests off of the leaves.

In terms of actually serving up your delicious cabbage meal, you don’t need to do anything specific other than tear some small leaves so they can be tackled by your rabbit. Just keep an eye on if the leaf is too big or small and going forward you can alter how exactly you prepare the food.

Most will prefer to mix 1 or 2 cabbage leaves with some other vegetables and maybe even some pellets. If you start with one leaf for every 3 days then that should be slow enough to ensure your rabbit doesn’t have any reactions to cabbage.

A few leaves of cabbage

Health Benefits of Cabbage For Rabbits

Being a leafy green cabbage is packed full of minerals and vitamins which will help keep your rabbit fit and healthy.

Calcium

These vegetables are a known source of calcium which helps with dental growth. Rabbits are well known to have teeth that don’t stop growing so the additional calcium source will be put to use.

Vitamins

Cabbages are packed with vitamins like B6 and K. Both of these are needed for a healthy rabbit and although they will likely get the vitamins from other sources it is always good to know for sure that your bunny will get vitamins from cabbage.

Minerals like magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus will also benefit your furry little friend.

If your rabbit reacts to cabbage – Bloating

There are many people who believe cabbage can cause gas in rabbits or that rabbits who eat it will be susceptible to health problems. Now given my own experience, research, and other rabbit owners I haven’t seen anything that says cabbage is bad or should be avoided.

Gas can be a real issue for rabbits as due to their digestive system they are unable to pass gas. Excess gas can cause bloating and will be uncomfortable for your rabbit. In many cases your rabbit will have a little diarrhea if they have too much gas.

With all of that in mind, there is a way of ensuring your rabbit doesn’t have gas after eating cabbage and that is by following what we have mentioned above. Be mindful of how much cabbage your rabbit eats, don’t introduce it too fast, don’t rely just on cabbage for your rabbit. I would say 1 to 2 leaves of cabbage every 2 or 3 days is OK, but you will want to monitor your rabbit.

If your rabbit starts to experience bloating, diarrhea or doesn’t seem themselves then remove all the cabbage and resort back to their normal diet. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt to speak to your vet also who will be able to give you more personalized advice about your rabbit.

Are there better alternatives?

The simple answer here is yes. Dark leafy greens are the best food for rabbits. They contain vitamins, minerals and all the nutritional value that a healthy rabbits needs.

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots and carrot tops
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Spinach

There are a few vegetables you should avoid and never feed to your rabbit:

  • Potato and potato tops
  • Rhubarb (including the leaves)
  • Tomato leaves
  • Iceberg lettuce

Summary

So to summarize the question and answer, yes rabbits can eat cabbage but in moderation. You must also be sure to follow some steps to keep your rabbit safe and healthy. Oh, and green leafy cabbage is the best for your rabbit.

Sources

https://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/safe-vegetables-for-rabbits-and-guinea-pigs