Yes, rabbits can eat raw cabbage. It’s packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals that are great for your rabbit, as long as they’re given in moderation. A good serving size would be one cup of cabbage, a few times per week.
But importantly, you should not give your rabbit the stalks or the roots from a cabbage.
Which Types of Cabbage Can Rabbits Eat?
There’s quite a few different types of cabbages that you can safely feed to your rabbit:
- Green: The most common variety and it’s soft and sweet.
- Napa: Also known as Chinese cabbage and it’s a yellow and green color.
- Savoy: Similar to green, it’s one of the sweetest and most tender cabbages.
- Red: Has red and purple leaves and it usually takes longer to mature.
You can buy cabbage from the store or grow it at home. Make sure you wash them properly if they’re from the store, as they probably have chemicals and pesticides on them.
No, rabbits shouldn’t eat cabbage stalks. Though they aren’t toxic, they are difficult to digest and could potentially cause stomach upset for your rabbit.
No, rabbits can’t eat cabbage roots. Your rabbit would likely reject the roots if offered to them. Make sure to cut the roots off during the preparation stage.
Yes, rabbits can eat cabbage leaves. As long as they’re fresh and you wash them under cold water to rinse any chemicals off then they are safe to eat.
Cabbage has a whole load of vitamins and minerals that will benefit your rabbit.
- Vitamin A: For bone development, reproduction, and vision.
- Vitamin C: Boosts immune system, reproductive system, and vision.
- Vitamin B6: Supports protein metabolism.
- Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting.
- Potassium: Regulates blood pressure and nerve functioning.
- Calcium: Important for strong bones and teeth.
- Phosphorous: Helps body functioning.
- Magnesium: Helps maintain blood sugar levels.
As well as these, cabbage is low in sugar, high in water, and is made up of water. In moderation, cabbage is a healthy snack for your rabbit.
Too much cabbage can wreak all sorts of havoc for your rabbit.
- Digestion issues and gas: cabbage is rich in sulfurous compounds and carbohydrates. Together, these can make digestion difficult and have the potential to cause diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, and bloating.
- Calcium and kidney damage: though rabbits need calcium to strengthen their bones and teeth, they can have too much of a good thing. If they take in more calcium than they need, they risk kidney damage which can be fatal.
- Pesticides and parasites: these are both usually caused by the conditions the cabbage was grown in. If rabbits ingest either chemicals or some sort of parasite, they could get very sick. The best way to avoid this is by buying organic or thoroughly washing the cabbage.
As long as your rabbit eats a balanced diet and food like cabbage is given to them in moderation, they shouldn’t have any issues. As always, seek vet care if your rabbit isn’t well.
If you’re giving your rabbit cabbage for the first time, follow these steps:
- Check the cabbage is in good condition (ripe, not moldy, and with no parasites in it).
- Wash the whole cabbage under cold water (to remove pesticides).
- Remove the stalk and roots, then cut the cabbage into small pieces.
- Give your rabbit a small piece of cut-up cabbage to try. Then monitor your rabbit over the next 24 hours to check for any reactions. If there’s no reaction, you can give your rabbit more cabbage next time.
- Optional: to mix it with other vegetables.
- Serve alongside hay and water (as well as pellets, treats, and other vegetables).
- Remember to rotate rabbit-friendly vegetables on a weekly basis to make sure your rabbit’s diet is balanced and varied.
If you suspect your rabbit is having a reaction to cabbage, remove the cabbage immediately and take them to a vet. Some of the most obvious signs include a lack of appetite, unusual toilet habits, and your rabbit behaving out of character.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Cabbage?
No, your rabbit can’t eat cooked cabbage. Rabbits have digestive systems designed for raw food, by cooking cabbage the texture changes, and nutrients are lost. This means it isn’t as good for your rabbit’s teeth or overall health and should be avoided.
Can Rabbits Eat Frozen Cabbage?
No, rabbits can’t eat frozen cabbage. To freeze cabbage, it would have been pre-cooked, blanched, and then frozen. This process completely changes the texture and decreases the nutritional value. Raw cabbage is much better for your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Canned Cabbage?
No, rabbits can’t eat canned cabbage. The process of canning adds preservatives and salt (amongst other ingredients) that results in the cabbage being more unhealthy for rabbits than it ever was. Stick with raw cabbage for your rabbit’s snack.
Can Rabbits Eat Baked Cabbage?
No, rabbits can’t eat baked cabbage. This is because it usually has added oil and spices when it’s being baked that won’t agree with your rabbit. As herbivores, rabbits should have plant-based diets and avoid foods that aren’t plant-based.
Can Rabbits Eat Processed Cabbage?
No, rabbits can’t eat processed cabbage. Due to it having too many additives, processed cabbage is not suitable for rabbits to digest and if they did eat it they would likely develop health issues from it.