Cilantro – the leafy green herb that seems to divide opinions as sharply as politics or pineapple pizza. People either love it or hate it. But what about our furry, long-eared friends? Can rabbits eat cilantro? Is cilantro good or bad for bunnies? This article digs into everything you need to know about feeding cilantro to rabbits. We’ll explore the potential benefits, proper portion sizes, frequency recommendations, preparation tips, and what to do if your rabbit turns their nose up at this polarizing plant. Get the insider scoop on how to make cilantro a healthy, enticing addition to your rabbit’s diet when used properly. Let’s dive in!

Is Cilantro Good For Your Rabbit?

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an herb that is often used in cooking. It has a very distinct taste and smell that people tend to either love or hate. But what about rabbits – can rabbits eat cilantro? The short answer is yes, rabbits can eat cilantro in moderation.

Cilantro is not toxic to rabbits and can be a healthy part of their diet when fed in small amounts. Here are some of the potential benefits of feeding cilantro to rabbits:

  • Cilantro contains vitamins A, K, and C as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. This makes cilantro a nutritious treat that can contribute to your rabbit's vitamin and mineral intake. The high vitamin K content helps with blood clotting.

  • It provides antioxidants. The antioxidants in cilantro may help protect your rabbit's cells from damage.

  • It supports digestive health. Cilantro has been used traditionally as a digestive aid. Some of the oils in cilantro may help stimulate bile production and ease digestive issues in rabbits.

  • It has a strong scent that can encourage picky eaters to eat. Some rabbits are attracted to the strong smell of cilantro and will nibble on it when they reject other foods. The taste can help engage their appetite.

  • It adds variety to your rabbit's diet. Adding new flavors and foods is enrichment for rabbits. A sprinkling of cilantro can make their usual veggies and hay more interesting.

So while cilantro itself does not provide any major nutrients that rabbits can't get elsewhere, it can be a beneficial supplemental source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The taste and aroma alone make it worth offering to your bunny. Just feed it in moderation, as rabbits should get most of their nutrition from hay and leafy greens. Too much cilantro can cause soft stools in some sensitive rabbits.

When introducing cilantro, start with just a small sprig or a few leaves at a time. Make sure your rabbit likes the taste before offering more. Monitor them for any diarrhea after eating it. If their stool stays normal, then cilantro is likely safe for your individual rabbit to consume. Follow the portion guidelines provided in this article to prevent overfeeding.

With its nutritional value and enticing scent for picky eaters, cilantro is a fine addition to a rabbit's balanced diet. The key is moderation, as rabbits do not need a lot of the nutrients in cilantro that are more abundant in other foods. Feed just a little cilantro at a time and watch for any possible digestive upset.

How Much Cilantro Should I Give To My Rabbit?

When feeding cilantro to your rabbit, moderation is key. While cilantro can be a nutritious supplement, too much can cause digestive upset. Here are some tips on ideal cilantro portion sizes:

  • For a small dwarf breed rabbit under 5 lbs, feed 1-2 sprigs or 3-5 leaves per day.

  • For a medium rabbit between 5-10 lbs, feed 3-4 sprigs or 5-10 leaves per day.

  • For a large rabbit over 10 lbs, feed 5-6 sprigs or 10-15 leaves per day.

  • For any size rabbit, do not exceed 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro per 2 lbs of body weight per day.

  • Cilantro should be no more than 10% of your rabbit's total daily diet. Their main diet should still be hay and leafy greens.

  • Introduce cilantro slowly and look for any diarrhea after eating it. Reduce portions if needed.

  • Only feed cilantro 2-3 times per week at most. Rabbits do not require it daily.

  • Make sure your rabbit is eating and digesting their usual diet normally before adding cilantro. Do not feed to rabbits who are ill.

  • Remove uneaten cilantro within 1-2 hours to prevent spoilage.

The tiny leaves of cilantro contain concentrated flavors and oils. Just a small portion of leaves or a few sprigs provides enough taste to be enticing without overdoing it on the oils that can cause digestive upset. Follow the recommended portions for your rabbit's size and monitor their stool. Adjust as needed if they have sensitivities.

With proper portion control, cilantro can be provided in moderation as a supplemental source of nutrition and enrichment. The key is keeping it as a small part of a varied diet based on hay, veggies, and limited pellets. Feed your rabbit cilantro sparingly and watch for any diarrhea as you introduce this new herb.

How Should I Prepare Cilantro?

Cilantro is a versatile herb that can be fed to rabbits in a few different ways:

  • Fresh cilantro sprigs – The most direct option is to pick a few sprigs of cilantro straight from the bunch and give them to your rabbit whole. Rinse off any dirt or debris first.

  • Chopped cilantro leaves – You can chop or mince cilantro leaves into smaller pieces to mix in with other greens. This helps distribute the strong flavor.

  • Mix with other veggies – Try chopping up a small amount of cilantro and mixing it into your rabbit's salad of lettuce, kale, carrots or other vegetables. The cilantro gives a flavor boost.

  • Sprinkle over hay or pellets – Mince some cilantro leaves and gently sprinkle them over your rabbit's hay or pellets. This adds new scent and flavor to encourage eating.

  • Inside foraged toys – You can tuck small sprigs or leaves of cilantro into cardboard tubes, willow balls or other edible chew toys. Rabbits will sniff out and slowly extract the cilantro.

  • As a fresh juice or puree – In very small amounts, juice or puree fresh cilantro to syringe feed to rabbits who need supplemental fluids or nutrition. Only provide 1-2 tsp for a medium sized rabbit per day.

No matter how you offer cilantro, introduce it slowly and watch for any diarrhea after eating. Limit it to a garnish, not the main meal. Chop, mince or puree cilantro finely to help avoid any choking hazards from bigger leaves getting stuck.

Cilantro's aroma and taste make it perfect for adding excitement to a rabbit's diet. Use it sparingly to sprinkle meals and treats with the flavor and nutrition of this strong herb. With some creativity and portion control, cilantro can be a fun ingredient in your bunny's dishes.

Should I Give My Rabbit Cilantro Every Day?

It is not necessary or recommended to give cilantro to your rabbit every day. Here are some guidelines on frequency:

  • Cilantro should be fed in moderation as an occasional treat, not a daily vegetable. Rabbits do not require it as a regular part of the diet.

  • Feed cilantro only 2-3 times per week at most. Any more may be too much for some rabbits.

  • Avoid feeding the same treat veggies every single day. rotate various leafy greens, herbs and produce to add diversity.

  • Make cilantro an unpredictable, intermittent treat. Rabbits tend to get bored of foods fast if they are routine.

  • Use cilantro as a supplemental flavor boost alongside other veggies a couple times a week, not as a daily salad base.

  • Remove any uneaten cilantro within a few hours to prevent spoilage or bacterial growth. Do not leave it in the enclosure overnight.

  • If your rabbit has soft stool after eating cilantro, stop feeding it for a week then try again more slowly.

  • Grow cilantro yourself and pick fresh sprigs for occasional feedings. Do not harvest faster than the plant replenishes.

  • Pay attention to your rabbit's preferences and appetites day to day. Adjust feeding times and amounts based on their interest level.

While cilantro has some beneficial nutrition and enticing scent, rabbits do not require it every single day. Use it as periodic flavorful enrichment by rotating it into the mix a couple times a week at most. Follow your rabbit's lead on when they seem most excited by novel spices like cilantro to keep it engaging.

What If My Rabbit Does Not Eat Cilantro?

It's quite common for rabbits to turn up their nose at new foods, especially strong-smelling herbs like cilantro. Here are some tips if your rabbit refuses to eat cilantro:

  • Mix it with other veggies. Combine a few small pieces of cilantro into your rabbit's regular salad mix of milder greens. They may nibble it blended in.

  • Sprinkle it over hay or pellets to intrigue your rabbit with the new scent. The familiar food taste helps cover cilantro's flavor.

  • Offer just a sprig or two at first for them to get used to the smell. Gradually increase the amount over many days.

  • Make sure the cilantro is fresh. Rabbits dislike wilted or bitter herbs.

  • Try different cilantro varieties. Rabbits may like some bred for milder flavor versus others with strong taste.

  • Tuck little pieces into chew toys or hand feed as training treats to associate it with a reward.

  • Entice your rabbit to try cilantro by eating some yourself in front of them to demonstrate it's safe.

  • Be patient and keep offering it consistently but in small amounts. Familiarity breeds acceptance over time.

  • If your rabbit is outright disgusted by cilantro, respect their preferences. There's no need to force the issue if they continue refusing it.

With its pungent aroma, cilantro understandably puts some picky rabbits off at first sniff or bite. Creative tactics like blending with mixes, scent boosting other foods and hand feeding may help overcome the hesitation. But if your rabbit ultimately just does not enjoy cilantro, don't worry. Focus on providing their favorite, familiar vegetables instead.

What Happens If I Feed My Rabbit Too Much Cilantro?

Cilantro is safe for rabbits in small amounts but can cause problems if fed in excess. Here's what to watch out for if your rabbit eats too much cilantro:

  • Diarrhea or soft stool – Excessive cilantro consumption may irritate the intestinal tract and cause diarrhea. Stop feeding it if this occurs.

  • Dehydration – Digestive upset can cause dehydration, especially in small rabbits. Encourage them to drink more if diarrhea occurs. Offer hydrating vegetables like cucumber slices too. Call your vet if they seem lethargic or stop eating.

  • Nutritional imbalance – Too much cilantro displaces more nutritious foods like hay and greens. Make sure cilantro is just a garnish, not the bulk of meals.

  • Reduced appetite – Some rabbits fill up on the strong flavors of cilantro and then are not hungry for hay, veggies or pellets. Keep portions small.

  • Obesity – Since cilantro is high in vitamin K which helps blood clotting, eating a lot could increase clotting risks if a rabbit is overweight already.

  • Pesticides – Cilantro soaked in chemicals from non-organic sources may poison rabbits if ingested frequently in high amounts. Stick to pesticide-free cilantro.

  • Choking hazard – Cilantro stems and leaves can pose a choking risk if swallowed in large pieces. Chop or mince cilantro finely before feeding.

The key is moderation. When giving cilantro to a rabbit, stay within the recommended serving sizes and frequencies. Monitor litter box habits and watch for changes in eating, pooping or energy levels. Discontinue cilantro if any concerning symptoms develop. Focus on a balanced diet without an over-reliance on any one item, even healthy treats.

In Conclusion

Cilantro can be a nutritious, aromatic addition to a rabbit's diet when fed properly. Small amounts provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Be sure to introduce cilantro slowly, watch for signs of digestive upset, and limit it to no more than 10% of their total food intake 2-3 times per week. Cilantro is not necessary daily but can add exciting variety and entice picky eaters to their salad when used in moderation. Keep an eye on your individual rabbit's preferences and you can safely incorporate this delicious herb into their meal rotation.


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