Rabbits have quite varied diets, but it is always crucial to check whether or not your rabbit is allowed to have a certain kind of food before you give that food to it.
Because rabbits cannot vomit, it is really important not to feed the rabbit things it should not eat, or you could cause some very serious issues.
Rabbits need greenery every day as part of a balanced and healthy diet, and cabbage can make a good part of this. However, excess cabbage can lead to gas and even diarrhea, so it is important to feed this green in moderation to make sure your bunny is comfortable. Do not feed it cabbage for several days running; it should be kept as an occasional treat.
What Kinds Of Cabbage Can A Rabbit Have?
Rabbits enjoy all kinds of cabbage, including cavolo nero and savoy cabbage. Spring greens, Bok Choy, and even red cabbages are all fine for your bunny.
However, you should bear in mind that all the vegetables that come from the brassica family can cause gas and bloating. Rabbits cannot fart, and therefore the gas can build up in their tummies and make them very uncomfortable.
It is even possible for this to be fatal, so always feed cabbage to your rabbit in moderation.
How Much Cabbage Can A Rabbit Have?
In total, a rabbit should have a handful of mixed greens that is around the size of its head each day. This provides the rabbit with valuable vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Although the rabbit gets most of what it needs from grass or hay, the greenery supplements this.
Wild rabbits access this by eating other plants, like dandelions, bushes, and vegetable leaves when they find them, but your pet rabbit will need you to provide them. Even if it is outdoors, it cannot roam free to find these things, so you need to offer them.
Cabbage is beneficial to a rabbit because it has a high fiber content, but because of the gas issue, it should only be fed to your rabbit on occasion with its other greenery. Mix a few pieces of cabbage leaf into the bowl every now and again, and never on consecutive days. This will minimize the risk of tummy problems.
Do not feed cabbage to your rabbit every day.
Alter the amount of cabbage that you give to your rabbit according to the other greenery you offer, especially if you are adding any other brassicas. Ideally, you should only give your rabbit one brassica at a time, and avoid giving any of the different ones on consecutive days.
For example, if you feed your rabbit cauliflower on one day, you should skip all the brassicas for the next day or two, even if they are different vegetables.
Greenery should always be washed before you give it to your rabbit, and it’s great to provide a mixture of greens, rather than just one type.
Do I Need To Cook Cabbage?
No, and in fact you should not cook cabbage that you are going to feed to your rabbit, or give it leftover cooked cabbage. A rabbit’s digestive system has not evolved to handle cooked foods, and you should only ever give it raw produce.
Cooked cabbage might not harm a rabbit, but it does not need it and will not benefit from it. It is particularly important not to give your rabbit cabbage that has added salt, as cooked cabbage often does.
How Should I Introduce Cabbage To My Rabbit?
Whenever you are going to introduce a new food to your rabbit, you should do so slowly. This is true even if you have given other rabbits cabbage without problems before, or if you know people who have done this. Every rabbit is unique, and has different needs.
Some rabbits may react badly to cabbage, even though it is generally safe.
To introduce your rabbit to cabbage, wash a cabbage leaf and then cut off one small piece. Give this to your rabbit, without offering it any other new foods, and see if it eats it. If it eats the cabbage, you should then wait for a couple of days, feeding your rabbit its standard diet in the interim.
Check that your rabbit is eating, pooping, and behaving normally over the next two to three days. If it is, then cabbage should be safe to feed to it in the future. If you notice any issues, you should not feed your rabbit cabbage again.
Do not give your rabbit any other new foods while you are testing cabbage. If you feed it multiple new foods at once and your rabbit gets sick, you won’t know which food has caused the issue.
Will My Rabbit Like Cabbage?
It’s impossible to say whether your rabbit will like cabbage in advance, because all rabbits are different. However, most rabbits enjoy eating cabbage, so there is a good chance that it will.
If your rabbit does not seem to enjoy cabbage and always leaves it in the dish, don’t worry. Simply stop feeding your rabbit cabbage and swap for another food.
A rabbit does not require cabbage to stay healthy, so if your rabbit isn’t a cabbage fan, just look for other green alternatives that you can offer to it.
Do not leave old cabbage leaves lying around in your rabbit’s pen or food bowl, in case it tries to eat them once they have gone off.
All uneaten food should be promptly removed from the cage and composted. If your rabbit does not eat the cabbage chunks in its food dish, try it on cabbage at a later date, or find other foods it enjoys.
Rabbits can eat cabbage, but it must be given to them in moderation, and avoided if you give your rabbit lots of other brassicas.
A good handful of greenery each day is a crucial part of a rabbit’s diet, and cabbage is a great addition to this. Always include other greenery too so you know that your rabbit is getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from its diet.