Cabbage – leafy, crunchy, nutrient-packed, and temptingly green. It’s a classic vegetable that we all likely grew up eating, but is it safe for your fluffy rabbit companion to munch on? Can rabbits have cabbage? How much is too much? What kinds of cabbage can bunnies eat? Should you cook it first or feed it raw? Introducing new foods requires care and patience to avoid upsetting their sensitive stomachs. This complete guide will walk you through everything you need to know about adding cabbage into your rabbit’s diet. You’ll learn cabbage benefits, serving sizes, preparation methods, and tricks for transitioning rabbits to loving this healthy, hardy vegetable. Your rabbit will be hopping for these tasty, low-calorie treats!

What Kinds Of Cabbage Can A Rabbit Have?

There are several types of cabbage that are safe and healthy for rabbits to eat. The most common varieties that rabbits enjoy include green cabbage, red cabbage, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, and bok choy. These all provide great nutrition and variety to a rabbit's diet. Here's an overview of each type of cabbage and their benefits:

Green cabbage is the most widely available and affordable type of cabbage. It has tightly packed green or blue-green leaves. Green cabbage contains vitamin C, K, B6, folate, manganese, and fiber. It's a healthy choice offering antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Feed green cabbage in moderation 2-3 times per week.

Red cabbage has purplish-red leaves and denser nutrient content than green cabbage. It's high in anthocyanins which give it antioxidant qualities. Red cabbage also provides vitamin C, K, potassium, iron, and fiber. Introduce it sparingly in a rabbit's diet once or twice a week.

Napa cabbage is lighter and sweeter than regular green cabbage. It has delicate, ruffled leaves that are pale green or creamy yellow. Napa cabbage contains vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, potassium, and manganese. It has over 3 times more vitamin A than green cabbage. Napa cabbage can be fed 2-3 times per week as part of a balanced diet.

Savoy cabbage has curly, wrinkled leaves that are milder tasting than other cabbage varieties. It contains vitamins C, K, folate, manganese, potassium, calcium, and iron. The texture and flavor of savoy cabbage are ideal for rabbits. Introduce it gradually and feed 2-3 times a week.

Bok choy has tender white stalks and dark green leaves. It's higher in vitamins A and C than most cabbages. Bok choy provides antioxidants, iron, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamins B6, C, and K. Rabbits enjoy the crunchy stalks and soft leaves. Bok choy can be fed 2-3 times weekly.

The bottom line is rabbits can eat all varieties of cabbage in moderation as part of a healthy, veggie-rich diet. Cabbage offers hydration, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants important for your bunny. Feed a mix of green, red, napa, savoy, and bok choy cabbages 2-3 times per week for best results. Always introduce new foods slowly and watch for any digestive issues.

How Much Cabbage Can A Rabbit Have?

When feeding cabbage to rabbits, moderation is key. Too much cabbage can cause gas, bloating, or diarrhea due to the higher amounts of goitrogens naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. Here are some guidelines for how much cabbage rabbits can eat safely:

  • Baby rabbits under 12 weeks old should not have any cabbage due to its gassiness. Wait until at least 3 months old.

  • For a dwarf rabbit under 5 lbs, feed 1-2 leaves or about 1⁄4 cup chopped cabbage 2-3 times per week.

  • Medium rabbits 5-10 lbs can have 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup cabbage leaves 2-3 times per week.

  • Larger rabbits over 10 lbs can handle 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup chopped or small whole cabbage leaves 2-3 times weekly.

  • Limit portion to 75% cabbage mixed with 25% other lower gas veggies like celery, cucumber or carrots.

  • Always start with a small amount and monitor your rabbit's toleration. Increase slowly over 2-3 weeks.

  • Cut back if you notice soft stool, little dry poops, less appetite, or stomach gurgling.

  • Provide unlimited hay and water to promote good digestion.

The portion of cabbage should make up no more than 10-15% of your rabbit's fresh veggies for the day. Feed at least 1 packed cup of leafy greens and 1-2 cups of veggies daily. Cabbage's vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners, so limit if your bunny takes these medications. Aim for variety and feed cabbage in conjunction with other greens and vegetables for the healthiest diet. Monitor portions based on your individual rabbit's size and toleration.

Do I Need To Cook Cabbage?

No, cooking cabbage is not necessary before feeding it to rabbits. Raw cabbage is perfectly safe and healthy for rabbits to eat. Many rabbit owners even prefer giving cabbage raw because cooking can deplete some of the vitamin C and other nutrients. Here are some points on feeding rabbits raw versus cooked cabbage:

  • Raw cabbage retains its natural enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamin C content better than cooked.

  • Raw leaves provide healthy fiber important for good rabbit digestion and wear down teeth.

  • The crunchy texture of raw cabbage is beneficial for rabbit teeth and jaws.

  • Cooking cabbage can increase goitrogen content which affects thyroid function in large amounts.

  • Raw cabbage is high in moisture which is important for keeping rabbits hydrated.

  • If you do want to cook cabbage, steam briefly just until softened but still crunchy. Avoid boiling which leaches more nutrients.

  • Cooked cabbage may be easier for some older or picky rabbits to chew and digest.

Either raw or lightly cooked and cooled cabbage can be fed to rabbits. Most importantly, introduce new foods slowly and watch for any intestinal upset. Providing some daily hay and water along with cabbage is advisable. Avoid feeding too much cabbage raw or cooked to prevent excess gas. Monitor your individual rabbit's preferences and signs of digestive health when adding cabbage.

How Should I Introduce Cabbage To My Rabbit?

When introducing cabbage to your rabbit's diet, go slowly and be observant. Follow these tips for a smooth transition:

  • Start cabbage at 3 months old minimum to allow proper digestion. Wait until 6 months for gassy sensitive breeds like Rex.

  • Make sure your rabbit is used to greens and vegetables first before trying cabbage.

  • Mix just a small amount of chopped cabbage with their usual greens or veggies. Try 1-2 tbsp for a small rabbit and 1⁄4 cup for a large rabbit.

  • Gradually increase the cabbage ratio over 2 weeks while decreasing other veggies. Work towards your desired portion 1-3 times per week.

  • Closely monitor stool and appetite for any diarrhea, many small poops, less eating, or stomach gurgling which indicates discomfort. Stop feeding cabbage if you notice these signs of gas or upset.

  • Offer hay, water, and exercise to allow digestion and prevent issues. Limit pellets for a few days while introducing new cabbage.

  • Try both raw and lightly cooked cabbage to see which your rabbit likes best. Cook briefly via steaming to retain nutrients but soften leaves.

  • Introduce different types of cabbage separately in case one causes a reaction. Try green first then red, savoy, napa, and finally bok choy.

  • Cabbage related vegetables like kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts can cause similar gas so introduce individually too.

  • Once stools are normal, increase portions gradually to ideal 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 cup several times per week depending on size.

With patience and small servings, your bunny is likely to enjoy the crunchy goodness of cabbage as a healthy treat. Discontinue immediately if loose stool results. Having variety in vegetables and greens is key to a balanced rabbit diet.

Will My Rabbit Like Cabbage?

Many rabbits love the taste of cabbage and will show signs of enjoyment when eating it. Here are some signs that indicate your rabbit likes cabbage:

  • Eats cabbage readily without hesitation or needs to be encouraged. May eat cabbage before other veggies or greens.

  • Consumes an entire portion of cabbage quickly. Looks for more or tries to steal cabbage.

  • Digs into the cabbage voraciously and makes crunching sounds while chewing intently.

  • Returns frequently to the cabbage dish asking for refills. May grunt or nip for more.

  • Sits attentively waiting for cabbage to be served or tries to climb on you if it smells cabbage.

  • When given a plate of mixed veggies, picks out and eats all the cabbage pieces first.

  • Binkies and jumps excitedly when cabbage is provided.

  • No change in appetite, stool, or behavior to indicate cabbage caused an upset stomach.

  • Gains weight appropriately and maintains good condition with cabbage as part of diet.

Monitor your rabbit's reactions to determine if cabbage hits the spot. Signs of cabbage cravings indicate it's likely a winner. On the other hand, some clues your rabbit doesn't like cabbage include:

  • Avoids eating cabbage even when hungry. Walks away from cabbage dish.

  • Only takes a few bites of cabbage then leaves it.

  • Eats around cabbage pieces if mixed with other veggies.

  • Stool or behavior changes after eating cabbage signaling intestinal upset.

  • Refuses cabbage or appears uninterested. May push cabbage out of dish.

  • Loses weight or condition deteriorates after starting cabbage.

If your rabbit shows distaste for cabbage, don't force the issue. Stick to greens and veggies they prefer for a happy, healthy bunny. Monitor all new foods introduced for reactions. Each rabbit has unique tastes and tolerances when expanding their culinary palate. With patience and care, many rabbits can learn to appreciate cabbage in small, gradual servings.


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