Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Rei Garnet
Quick Facts About Catnip:
- Scientific name – Nepeta cataria
- Also known as – Catmint, catwort, and field balm
- Origin – Europe and Asia
Catnip is a herb that belongs to the mint family. Catnip is not toxic to rabbits but its still better to limit giving them to you rabbit because there are other herbs and vegetables that’s more beneficial to your rabbit’s health.
Make sure that your rabbit is at least 12 weeks old before giving any kinds of herbs like catnip. Young rabbits are susceptible to digestive problems so its much better for them to stick on eating hay.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits can eat catnip:
Do rabbits like to eat catnip?
Catnip is a herb that belongs to the mint family, and as we all know, rabbits love herbs, so they would likely eat them.
It would also depend on the rabbit itself. Some rabbit owners online have reported that their rabbits don’t like catnip, while others would eat it.
Here’s an example of a rabbit eating some catnip:
As you can see, rabbits would not hesitate to eat some catnip if they ever got a chance to do so.
Is catnip safe to be eaten by rabbits?
Catnip itself is not toxic to rabbits, so it’s safe. Just be careful that you limit them and never feed them in lieu of hay.
Also, make sure that your rabbit is old enough to eat herbs like catnip. Only feed them to rabbits that are 12 weeks old or above.
Young rabbits are the most susceptible to digestive problems from the lack of fiber, so it’s better to only feed them hay.
Also, when its your rabbit’s first time eating catnip, only feed them a little so that their gut flora has time to get used to the new food.
How much catnip can a rabbit eat?
As much as possible, don’t make feeding catnip to your rabbit a habit. There are other herbs and vegetables that are more beneficial to your rabbit’s health.
When should you not feed catnip to rabbits?
Don’t give catnip to rabbits that are older than 12 weeks or those that are having digestive problems.
Rabbits that are having digestive problems should only be fed hay. Remove any other food from their diet except hay.
This would ensure that your rabbit is getting their required fiber for the day.
Always bring your rabbit to a veterinarian if you suspect that they’re having digestive problems.
Ignoring digestive problems in rabbits is extremely dangerous, especially for young rabbits.
Risk of overfeeding catnip to rabbits.
The risk associated with catnip is mainly due to overfeeding.
Overfeeding any other food to rabbits (except hay) is dangerous because rabbits wouldn’t be able to get their required fiber for the day.
Here are the most common problems when rabbit owners overfeed catnip to their rabbits:
- Gastrointestinal Stasis: Overfeeding catnip in lieu of hay to your rabbits could lead to GI stasis, which is caused by a lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea is also possible when rabbit owners overfeed large amounts of catnip or any leafy greens to their rabbits too fast. Always introduce any new diet to your rabbits slowly.
- Uneaten cecotropes: Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of catnip instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber.
Healthy alternatives to catnip.
While catnip is safe for rabbits, you should still mix in some other vegetables and leafy greens to your rabbit’s diet.
Here are some alternatives to catnip that you can give to your rabbits:
- Green peppers
- Alfalfa, radish & Clover sprouts
- Beet greens (tops)
- Peapods (the flat edible kind)
- Peppermint leaves
- Bok choy
- Peppermint leaves
- Carrot & carrot tops
- Raspberry leaves
- Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can rabbits eat catnip daily?
No, rabbits should be eating a variety of leafy greens and vegetables daily. Feeding catnip every day is not ideal and could lead to digestive problems.
Catnip is a herb that belongs to the mint family and is not toxic to rabbits.
But, you should still refrain from given them to your rabbit because there are other herbs and vegetables that are more beneficial to your rabbit’s health.
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