Can Rabbits Eat Oats?

Categorized as Bunny Diet
A jar of spilled oats. Can rabbits eat oats

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Rei

While it’s true that oats are not toxic to rabbits, you should still avoid giving your rabbits one because there are better foods to feed your rabbits than oats. Hay and leafy greens should be the main priority when it comes to your rabbit’s diet.

Although oats have a lot of fiber in them, it’s simply not enough. If you accidentally fed your rabbits large amounts of oats, observe your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency then bring them to a veterinarian if you notice any changes.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the different risks and alternatives to oats:

Risk of overfeeding oats to rabbits.

While oats have a lot of fiber in them, it’s still better if you don’t feed your rabbits any oats. Hay and leafy greens should still be the majority of your rabbit’s diet.

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

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 oats would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of oats, which are high in carbs and starch.

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.

Healthy alternative to oats as treats.

If you planning on giving your bunnies oats 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 amount of oats?

No. As long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet and you are not giving them a ton of oats to snack on, then your rabbit should be fine.

Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally consumes oats.

What to do if your rabbit ate oats?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. If you do notice any changes in their poop, bring them to a veterinarian.

Conclusion

A rabbit eating small amounts of oats is not a concern as long as the rabbit is on a fiber-rich diet. Just make sure that you monitor their stool for any changes both in consistency and size.

A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of high starch/carbs foods like oats could lead to digestive distress like GI stasis and diarrhea. It could also lead to obesity, especially to rabbits who are confined in small cages all day without access to regular exercise.

If your rabbit is exhibiting signs of digestive distress, immediately bring them to a veterinarian.