Rabbits are herbivores, and as such, their digestive systems are well suited to digest most of the vegetables. However, can bunnies eat cabbage? Do the same rules apply to adult rabbits? These questions are best answered after reading the article below.
Nutritional Benefits of Cabbage for Rabbits
For nutritional purposes, Yes, rabbits can eat cabbage. Like cauliflower and kale, cabbage, a vegetable from the brassica genus family, has so many beneficial nutrients for your rabbit. Some of these nutrients are;
Your rabbit is constantly regenerating teeth. The calcium found in cabbage can aid in this process while also strengthening bones. The crunchy texture of cabbage also helps to reduce the chances of overgrown teeth for rabbits.
Cabbage is an excellent source of fiber that helps promote good bacteria in the stomach and ensures regular bowel movement.
This is quite an important vitamin because it assists in normal muscle functions. Vitamin B6 helps break down proteins which are especially useful for domesticated bunnies.
The main reason to consider feeding cabbage to your rabbit is that it contains potassium necessary for the health of the nervous system and muscles. Some secondary reasons are that it reduces water retention and regulates blood pressure.
The main function of Vitamin C is to strengthen the immune system and ward off infections. For rabbits, it also promotes a healthy reproductive system and vision.
Cabbage has some magnesium that helps regulate blood sugars and keep your pet healthy.
Veterinarians recommend offering some supplement form of Vitamin K to pregnant and breastfeeding rabbits. Vitamin K that is sufficiently present in cabbage is encouraged for its blood clotting attributes.
The nutritional benefits of cabbage speak for themselves. However, there are a few concerns about feeding cabbage to your pet rabbit. During summer, some cabbage will keep your rabbit hydrated and cool.
Info: Bell Peppers
Are bell peppers good food to give to your rabbit? Find out here: Can Rabbits Eat Bell Peppers?
Cons of Feeding Cabbage to Rabbits
As with all foods fed to pets, proper research is vital before offering your rabbit anything. Cabbage is no exception because, as we will discuss below, some caution should be exercised when feeding rabbits a crunchy cabbage. These are;
Cabbage contains glucosinolate goitrogens which are termed toxic for rabbits. Over time too many goitrogens cause thyroid gland enlargement. Thyroid problems inhibit the proper intake of iodine. Cabbage should be given in moderation every once in a while or as a treat to avoid thyroid issues.
Cabbage tends to irritate your rabbit’s stomach and cause many digestive issues such as bloating, too much gas, and diarrhea. If your pet experiences any stomach upset, you should immediately stop feeding them cabbage and contact your veterinarian.
Cabbages that are not organically grown pose a health risk to rabbits. Most pesticides used when growing cabbages are quite harmful when ingested. Properly cleaning the veggie will go a long way to protect your rabbit.
Do these pros and cons also apply to young rabbits, and if so, 1- can rabbits eat cabbage 2- can bunnies eat cabbage? The answer is no. cabbage is not recommended for rabbits younger than seven months; it is advised to stick to hay which is a safer option.
Is Cabbage Safe For Rabbits?
To sum up, cabbage is a great source of nutrition for your rabbits when given in small amounts. It would be best if you only fed your rabbit raw cabbage as any other form of cooked cabbage will induce stomach problems for your rabbit.
Savoy cabbage is most recommended for rabbits because it is low in vitamin C, which, when in excess, can cause kidney damage. You should only feed the leaves instead of the core, which may cause digestive problems. White, red, and purple cabbages are all completely safe for rabbits.