Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei
People generally have this idea that having a pet rabbit is easy, while it’s true that rabbits can be a great pet, it’s still a huge responsibility to keep them healthy and happy.
One of those responsibilities is the rabbit’s diet. Rabbit’s digestive system is extremely sensitive, so much so that even a slight mistake can cost them their life.
As a result, rabbit owners should be aware of the ins and outs of their rabbit’s diet, on what and what should be avoided.
And one of those mistakes is the topic of this article. Not feeding your rabbit for long periods or more than 12 hours could lead to GI stasis or the slowing of the passage of food in your rabbit’s GI tract.
GI stasis or gastrointestinal stasis can be caused by a number of reasons, like not eating enough fiber, too much carbohydrates in their diet, or not eating for long periods of time.
Rabbits that do not eat for long periods of time or more than 12 hours would undergo a pH change in their digestive tract which in turn promotes the growth of gas-producing bacterias. When this happens, the gas would cause the rabbit to not eat at all and eventually lead to organ failure and death.
So to answer the question, how long can a rabbit go without eating? To prevent GI stasis, your rabbit should never go more than 12 hours without eating.
Can rabbits go a day without food?
No, rabbits should not go more than 12 hours without eating anything because it could lead to a pH change in their GI tract which in turn could lead to painful gas. These painful gas would lead to decrease appetite and eventually not eating anything at all.
This condition is called GI stasis or the slowing of the passage of food. If left untreated, it could lead to organ failure and eventually, death.
If you suspect that your rabbit might be suffering from GI stasis, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
How long can a rabbit go without food before dying?
Rabbit’s being grazers, should ALWAYS have food to keep their digestive system working. If a rabbit is not eating for more than 12 hours, it could cause a shift in the pH level on your rabbit’s digestive system which leads to painful gas.
This painful gas, in turn, could lead to your rabbit not eating their food.
Providing your rabbit a constant supply of food is especially important to bunnies or rabbits that are less than 1 year old because their digestive system is extremely sensitive to changes and could even lead to death.
In summary, never leave your rabbit without access to food for more than 12 hours because it could lead to GI stasis, which could kill a rabbit extremely fast.
What can you do if your rabbit is not eating?
A rabbit that’s not eating can mean that they are sick or is in pain. If this is the case, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian because a rabbit that’s not eating is a sign that’s something is seriously wrong with them.
Rabbits, being grazers, should NEVER stop eating for long periods of time because their gut requires fiber they get from food to move. Without this constant movement, it could lead to GI stasis and eventually — organ failure.
It could also mean that they don’t like the food you’re providing. To test if it’s the food, remove any other food except high-quality alfalfa hay or timothy hay.
A rabbit should never be left alone without any food for more than 12 hours because it could lead to a condition called gastrointestinal stasis or GI stasis.
GI stasis is the slowing of the passage of food. GI stasis is a vicious cycle of your rabbit having painful gas due to the changes of pH in their GI tract which in turn leads to your rabbit not eating anything.
Cite this article:
- Can Rabbits Eat Asparagus? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Grapes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Apples? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Spinach? Your Questions Answered.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Celery? What you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Radishes: Everything You Need To Know
Sources and further reading
- Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
- Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.