Can Rabbits Have Cat Food?
Can Rabbits Eat Cat Food?
Answer: No, but it is not toxic. If you find your rabbit nibbling on some cat food, it is no reason to rush to the vet. However, if you are considering giving them some of your cat’s food as a meal, there are certainly better options even if you are in a pinch. At a biological level, cats and rabbits have very different diets and needs.
A cat’s diet needs to be rich in protein. It is normal for a can to consume chicken, tuna or beef. A rabbits diet is going to look drastically different. Consider rabbits in the wild. A rabbit is never going to hunt for cow or fish, so their systems have never been equipped to handle the nutrients that come with eating these protein-rich meals.
Cat food certainly has benefits – for cats. When it comes to rabbits, they are going to receive those same nutrients and some will be good for them, sure. But then their balanced diet will become imbalanced leading to even worse problems.
Take fiber for example. If you were to consume some fiber-rich veggies or take fiber supplements, you would be fine. However, if you only had that for a meal or two meals, it may start to affect your digestive system in painful ways or at least give you some terrible gas. It is the same thing with rabbits. Those extra nutrients don’t help a rabbit grow strong or become super healthy. Their digestive system breaks down because it does not know what to do.
If your rabbit were to consume cat food regularly, it could lead to kidney damage or obesity. A result of a high protein and high-fat diet. Rather than cat food encourage other nutritious foods your rabbit will surely enjoy. Like parsnips, tomatoes, or strawberries.
Instead, focus on providing your rabbit with a balanced diet that is designed for them.
Hay – Hay should make up about 80% – 85% of your rabbits diet. It is packed with fiber and helps push out hair so they do not develop any hairballs in their system. This should be available to them at all times of the day.
Fruits & Veggies – Fruits and vegetable should make up 15% – 20% of your rabbit’s diet. Dark leafy greens and fiber are excellent ways to supplement your rabbit’s diet. Be sure to remember that rabbits cannot consume all fruits and vegetables freely. Some need to be monitored. Broccoli and brussel sprouts, for example, should be kept in moderation due to their ability to give your rabbit painful gas.
Things to keep in mind
It is common for rabbits to find something like cat food at random and begin eating away. So if you have a cat and rabbit, it may be a good idea to either keep your rabbit away from your cat bowl or only bring the bowl out when your cat is eating.
Without a doubt, cats and rabbits are very different creatures. They may move different, play different, and even have different thoughts on the best way to spend an afternoon, but one of the biggest differences is their diet. Cat’s are natural hunters that want to attack their prey, go in for the kill, then eat the whole animal, including the bones. Bunnies are gentle creatures that want to hop over to a plant and munch on some produce happily in the sun.
Their biology is simply different and rabbits are not equipped to hunt for prey any more than they are able to digest some. If your rabbit nibbles on a bit they are probably fine, if it becomes a habit you should work to eliminate it quickly. By continuing you allow your rabbit to consume high amounts of protein and fat, obesity and kidney damage are almost inevitable. Take care of your rabbit and substitute cat food with some veggies or hay.