Can Rabbits Eat Meat?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Meat should never be fed to rabbits intentionally because rabbits are herbivores meaning they are not designed to digest meat. Meat is also high in protein and fat, both of which are not recommended to be given to rabbits in large amounts.

Feeding your rabbits meat could lead to digestive problems like diarrhea, GI stasis, and soft uneaten cecotropes.

While it’s unlikely that your rabbits would die from taking a small bite of meat, you should never make this a habit. Observe your rabbit for signs of a digestive problem or any changes in their behavior or poop after accidentally eating meat.

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

Risk of feeding meat to rabbits.

Because rabbits are herbivores, they are not really designed to digest large amounts of meat. Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of meat:

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 meat would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of meat, which is high in protein, fat, and carbs.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted due to a high-carb, low-fiber diet. 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.

Soft uneaten cecotropes

Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of meat instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the high-fat/protein content and the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little amount of meat?

While it’s true that rabbits should not eat meat, taking a small bite of meat is not a problem. Rabbits in the wild would even eat their own kits as a survival tactic to raise the probability of their offspring.

The same case for domesticated rabbits, as long as you’re not feeding a lot of meat then you should be fine. Just observe your rabbit for any behavioral changes or any changes in their poop.

If you’re still worried, feed them lots of hay. The extra fiber would help flush out those remaining meat.

What to do if your rabbit ate meat?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes. If you did notice something after your rabbit accidentally ate meat, call a veterinarian for proper advice.

Feeding lots of hay would help to mitigate any adverse effects from eating meat because the extra fiber would help flush out that meat in their system.

Conclusion

Meat should never be fed to rabbits intentionally because rabbits are not designed to digest meat because they are herbivores. If your rabbits took a bite of meat, just observe their poop and behavior for any changes.

Wild rabbits are known to eat meat(their kits) in the wild as a survival tactic. So your rabbit should be fine if they accidentally took a bite of meat while you’re not looking.

If you did notice some behavioral/poop changes, call a veterinarian for proper advice.

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.