Can Rabbits Eat Almonds?

Categorized as Bunny Diet

Last Updated on December 21, 2021 by Rei Garnet

Almonds are poison to rabbits and should not be given to them intentionally. Almonds belong to plants that are noted for their cyanide-producing potential.

Almonds contain 25.2 mg of cyanide per kilogram. While according to this study, it would take 22-26 mg of cyanide across 1 hour for it to be lethal to the majority of rabbits.

So while almonds can lead to cyanide poisoning, the amount of almonds that your rabbit would need to eat for it to affect its health is a lot.

Also, 100 grams of almonds contains 50 grams of fat, 0.72 grams of starch, and 4.4 grams of sugar. While rabbits should limit themselves to 0-138 grams of starch, meaning rabbits can be fine with or without any starch in their diet. Rabbits should also limit themself to 20-50 grams of fat per day.

As you can see, everything about almonds is bad for rabbits. In addition to potential cyanide poisoning, your rabbits could also suffer from digestive conditions like GI stasis, diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and obesity because rabbits don’t tolerate fatty food well.

If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, or any signs of poisoning, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits can’t eat almonds:

Risk of overfeeding almonds to rabbits.

Fatty and starchy food like almonds should not be fed to rabbits intentionally. They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive system is not really designed to digest large amounts of food like almonds.

Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of almonds :

Poisoning

Because almonds contain cyanide, feeding your rabbits large amounts of almonds could lead to poisoning. Here are the most common symptoms of intoxication in rabbits:

  • Seizures
  • Digestive signs of intestinal inflammation
  • Loss of body temperature regulation – high or low
  • Lethargy, listlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • depression

If you notice or suspect that your rabbit might be suffering from cyanide poisoning, immediately call your veterinarian or the animal poison control hotline.

Fatty liver disease

Because most almonds are high in fat, feeding your rabbits almonds long-term could lead to Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Rabbit’s diet should only consist of less than 3% fat, while almonds are high in fat.

Here are the signs that your rabbit might be suffering from fatty liver disease caused by excess fat:

  • Loss of appetite (anorexia) – may be sudden or gradual
  • Weight loss
  • Decline in number and size of droppings (feces)
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and lethargy

Diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of almonds would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of almonds, which are high in fat. GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.

The signs of GI stasis are:

  • Depressed
  • Hunched posture
  • Bruxism
  • Decreased appetite/anorexia

If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Uneaten cecotropes

Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of almonds instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.

Obesity

Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of starchy food. Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high carb, low-fiber diet are the most susceptible to obesity.

Healthy alternative to almonds as treats.

If you planning on giving your rabbits almonds as treats, these alternatives are much healthier:

Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little bit of almonds?

While it’s true that almonds have cyanide in them, the amount of almonds your rabbit would need to eat to experience any adverse effects is large.

Just observe your rabbit for any additional symptoms like seizures, depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, high/low body temperature, and signs of digestive inflammation.

You can also call The Poison Control Hotlines if you suspect or are worried that your rabbit is experiencing intoxication.

What to do if your rabbit ate almonds?

Observe your rabbit’s behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. The extra fiber would help balance their gut flora. If you notice any changes in their poop or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

Almonds should never be fed to rabbits intentionally because it contains cyanide. Almonds are also high in fat and starch which could lead to digestive problems in large amounts.

While it’s true that almonds contain cyanide, your rabbit would need to eat a lot of almonds before experiencing any adverse effects.

If you suspect or are worried that your rabbit might be suffering from cyanide poisoning, call your veterinarian or your animal poison control hotlines.


Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (January 27, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Almonds?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-almonds/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Almonds?." Bunny Horde - January 27, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-almonds/

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.