Most bunnies enjoy varied diets, but you should always check can rabbits eat cabbage or any other veggie type before feeding. You can offer your long-eared buddy any of the four cabbage varieties, but it is crucial to provide it in a moderate amount. Otherwise, excess cabbage will cause potentially harmful gas accumulation in the stomach and sometimes diarrhea.
The best option is to occasionally feed your lovely friend with this veggie as a treat. Remember that rabbits like nibbling cabbage and are usually intemperate in consumption, so you need to take care of their well-being. The only way to do that is to gradually introduce this vegetable into your pet’s diet and limit the daily amount.
What Is Cabbage?
Cabbage is a nutritious veggie from the Brassicaceae family high in vitamins A, C, K, and B complex, folate, dietary fiber, and minerals like manganese and potassium. Since it is low in fat, it can be beneficial for your bunny when offered in a moderate amount.
Raw cabbage nutritional value for one cup
|Calories||22 Kcal||22 Kcal||19 Kcal||13 Kcal|
|Protein||1.1 g||1 g||1.3 g||1.2 g|
|Fat||0.1 g||0.1 g||0.1 g||0.2 g|
|Carbs||5.2 g||5 g||4.3 g||2.4 g|
|Sugar||2.9 g||2.8 g||1.8 g||1.1 g|
|Fiber||2.2 g||2 g||1.9 g||0.9 g|
Nowadays, you can find four different cabbage types on the market. They can be highly beneficial for your bunny’s health, but you should offer them with caution and only occasionally.
Always pick out cabbage heads with bright-colored and crisp leaves. It is crucial to wash them thoroughly before serving because most contain pesticide and chemical traces that can jeopardize your pet’s health.
Raw cabbage nutritional value in one cup
|Vitamins and minerals||Green (white)||Red||Savoy||Napa|
|Vitamin A||5 μg||50 μg||35 μg||14 mg|
|Vitamin C||36.6 mg||51 mg||21.7 mg||21 mg|
|Vitamin K||76 μg||34 μg||48.2 μg||43 μg|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg||0.1 mg||0.1 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.12 mg||0.2 mg||0.1 mg||0.04 mg|
|Folate||43 μg||16 μg||56 μg||47 μg|
|b-carotene||40 μg||596 μg||420 μg||145 μg|
|Calcium||40 mg||40 mg||24.5 mg||32 mg|
|Phosphorus||26 mg||27 mg||29.4 mg||21 mg|
|Potassium||151 mg||216 mg||161 mg||95 mg|
|Sodium||16 mg||24 mg||19.6 mg||12 mg|
|Magnesium||12 mg||14 mg||19.6 mg||9 mg|
|Iron||0.4 mg||0.7 mg||0.3 mg||0.8 mg|
|Manganese||mg||0.2 mg||0.1 mg||0.2 mg|
Even though people can consume all cabbage types without limitations, not all are equally nutritious and healthy for your rabbit. The best option is a leafy dark green variety with the highest vitamin content necessary for bunnies.
However, there is no reason to avoid other types while offering a small amount to your long-eared friend. The most common cabbage types beneficial for rabbits include:
1. Green (white) cabbage
This cabbage variety with tightly packed leaves in spherical heads is the most common on the market. It is a cruciferous veggie with 27 calories in 100 g, a low-fat level, and a decent amount of protein. Since it is packed with vitamins and minerals, you should include it in your rabbit’s diet to improve its health.
2. Red cabbage
This cabbage type has smaller heads and a tough texture and can be a delicious treat for your bunny when offered in a moderate amount. Be aware that red cabbage contains the pigment, which often turns the rabbit’s urine green. It is expected and not something you need to worry about.
3. Savoy (curly) cabbage
If you are looking for a tender cabbage variety for your rabbit, you should choose this yummy veggie with deep green crinkly leaves. This type is more tender and has less tightly packed leaves than a standard cabbage.
4. Napa (celery cabbage, Chinese cabbage) cabbage
Unlike other cabbage variations, this milder-flavored type has long yellowish or light green leaves, higher water percentages, and lower calorie levels. Your bunny will enjoy its atypical taste when served in smaller portions.
This mild flavored plant comes with pale green leaves growing from a whitish stalk. It is rich in nutrients and has high levels of vitamins A and C, plus it is packed with b-carotene, selenium, and folate. Interestingly, it brings only 6 Kcal per cup.
With 28 Kcal in one cup, this tiny cabbage is the most caloric plant in the entire family. It is full of folates and vitamins C and K, making this veggie highly valuable to your rabbit. You can offer it sparingly as a treat to improve your pet’s daily diet.
Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage?
Your rabbit will be delighted to get cabbage and happily nibble this crunchy veggie whenever possible. It is also a highly nutritional and affordable food for these animals you can find throughout the year.
The best thing is that this plant doesn’t contain toxic parts that may harm your bunny’s health.
However, you should avoid offering it too often to prevent gastrointestinal distress caused by the sulfurous compounds this vegetable contains. It will be enough to serve a moderate amount to your long-eared friend a few times a week.
Even though cabbage is a healthy and balanced food for rabbits, not all animals accept it immediately. Therefore, you should introduce it gradually to let your pet gets used to it.
Cabbage parts appropriate for rabbits
Leaves are vital cabbage parts beneficial for rabbits. They provide valuable nutrients for your pet’s proper growth and keep it healthy. Always pick out fresh veggies with crisp and bright-colored leaves since wilted ones can harm your little bunny.
Your rabbit pet can nibble cabbage stalks, although they are a bit thicker and tougher than leaves. It is better to chop them before serving, particularly if you have a dwarf rabbit.
Cabbage roots are not toxic or harmful to rabbits, but you can expect your pet to refuse to eat these tasteless parts.
It is better to refrain from offering cooked cabbage to your bunny since its digestive system can’t successfully handle cooked food. Even though such served cabbage is not harmful to this species, your pet can’t benefit from it. Plus, you should avoid feeding it food rich in salt.
Is Cabbage Safe for Rabbits?
Cabbage is an entirely safe food for bunnies, but only when offered in a moderate amount. The best option is to offer this veggie two to three times a week. That will provide enough nutrients for their bodies without jeopardizing their GI tract.
Cabbage for kits
Since kits have sensitive gastrointestinal systems, you should avoid offering them cabbage before reaching three months of age. Always introduce this veggie gradually and wait at least 24 hours to check for potential side effects before repeating the process.
Cabbage Benefits for Rabbits
As I have already mentioned, a handful of cabbage a few times a week can be highly beneficial for your bunny. This vegetable is high in necessary vitamins and minerals and a rich source of antioxidants that keep body cells healthy and prevent many diseases.
Besides, it contains 80.5% to 96% water, depending on the type. Such an amount makes this veggie an excellent source that prevents dehydration. Plus, a high level of fiber improves gut mobility.
One of the best things cabbage can provide is a high calcium level. It is fantastic for these animals since their teeth constantly grow, making the need for this mineral high.
Cabbage Risks for Rabbits
Unfortunately, cabbage has several disadvantages as food for rabbits. Therefore, you should be careful when adding this veggie to the feeding schedule.
For instance, a high level of vitamin C in cabbage can be a problem since rabbit’s body synthesizes this vitamin. Therefore, too excessive and accumulated amounts may lead to kidney problems.
Another danger is the high level of pesticides that some types of cabbage can contain. It is crucial to wash each leaf separately to remove as many of these chemicals as possible. You should also check this veggie for parasites since they lead to severe health problems.
There is one more problem. When you offer overly ripened or rotten cabbage to your long-eared buddy, its digestive system will react immediately. Such veggies always cause diarrhea and stomach disturbance.
Cabbage Alternatives for Rabbits
You can offer a few veggies instead of cabbage to make your bunny’s diet more nutritional and diverse. The best options are:
- Celery and asparagus
- Zucchini and cucumber
Cabbage is a highly nutritious food for your rabbit, but you should be careful when offering it. It is crucial to introduce it carefully and never overfeed your pet with only greenery, including this yummy veggie. However, cabbage is an excellent treat you can provide a few times a week to make your little buddy happy.