Cats and rabbits are not much different when it comes to catnip. The herb attracts both these animals. However, it has different effects on a cat and rabbits. Cats tend to become hyper and act crazy when they eat catnip. It is a fun and energetic sight to see.
People love giving catnip to their cats because of the funny things a cat may do when on catnip. Many pet owners wish to give their rabbits some catnip to observe the same effects. However, giving any edible item to a rabbit can be risky unless you know it is safe for your rabbit. So, can rabbits eat catnip?
Catnip is safe for rabbits to enjoy in moderate amounts. Only some parts of the catnip will be suitable for your bunny. Catnip can provide many benefits for your precious rabbit. However, overfeeding catnip to your rabbit can have severe consequences.
Rabbits are fragile animals and love to eat all the time. Your rabbit will munch on anything that comes in the way. Bunnies are unaware of what is good and bad for them.
It is a pet owner’s responsibility to make that decision for the precious animal. You can only decide on healthy food for your rabbit if you are aware enough about your rabbit. So, keep scrolling to learn more about your pet’s needs and catnip effects.
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What Parts of Catnip Can A Rabbit Eat?
There is a misconception that catnip is only favorable to cats. Catnip is an herb that most animals like. Rabbits would love to eat catnip, but only some parts of the plant are suitable for your bunny.
When feeding any plant to your bunny, always research it to ensure your rabbit only eats what is nontoxic for its digestive system. Catnip has a couple of parts:
Leaves of Catnip
Catnip leaves are suitable for your rabbit. The leaves of the catnip plant do not have toxic elements in them. However, checking for molt and pests before feeding the leaves to your precious furry friend is best.
Feeding your rabbit too many catnip leaves can have disastrous consequences, making your poor bunny suffer from various gastrointestinal discomfort and disorders.
Rabbits have sensitive organs that can get hurt by sharp food. Seeds are small and sharp objects that your bunny will swallow without chewing.
It can cause a choking hazard and cut your precious furry baby’s digestive organs. Furthermore, it will make your rabbit’s stool harder than usual, causing immense gas and painful defecation.
Only Feed Fresh Catnip To Your Rabbit
Rabbits are grazing animals and love to eat fresh greens and fruits. It is best to avoid getting canned or dried food for your rabbit as it can cause trouble for your rabbit’s health. Furthermore, bunnies are snobbish living beings. Your bunny will refuse to eat dried catnip because it will disapprove of the texture.
Apart from being healthy, fresh catnip can also be an economic investment. You can grow this plant quickly in your home and save the cost of store-bought catnip. Knowing the source of the catnip plant will eliminate many fears regarding your bunny’s health and allergies.
Can Rabbits Get Addicted To Catnip?
Catnip does not have the same effects on a bunny rabbit as on cats. Cats tend to get hyperactive, crazy, and high on catnip. Rabbits have an opposite reaction to this herb. Catnip will make your rabbit relax and calm.
As catnip does not give a high to a bunny, rabbits do not get addicted to the herb. You can feed your bunny rabbit some catnip once in a while without worrying about addiction. Instead, catnip will ease your rabbit’s innate anxious personality and give the poor animal a sense of calmness.
Feeding too much catnip to your pet can be harmful even if it calms your rabbit. It can have neurological effects on your rabbit and deteriorate its overall health. It is best to feed your precious furry friend any food other than hay in moderate quantity.
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Benefits Of Eating Catnip for Your Bunny Rabbit
All food has benefits for your rabbit, even the poisonous ones. It is wise to weigh the benefits against the disadvantages of any food before giving it to your rabbit. If the benefits of any item are heavier than the cons, and the cons are not life-threatening, you can feed your rabbit that food item in moderate amounts.
Here are a few benefits of catnip that your rabbit can enjoy:
It Relaxes the Rabbit
Catnip works as an anti-anxiety herb for your furry friends. For cats, catnip is an exciting herb. On the other hand, catnip will relax and calm down a rabbit’s anxiety. If you are having trouble keeping your precious furry baby stress-free, give it some catnip to calm the poor pet’s nerves.
It is a Superb Mint
Rabbits love to chew on mints. Catnip is also called catmint due to its minty taste. Some rabbits dislike the smell of mints, as they are strongly scented greens. If your rabbit has an acute sense of smell, it might avoid eating catnip. However, once your bunny chews on this relaxing herb, it will love the minty taste and texture and as for more.
Risks of Feeding Catnip To Your Precious Bunny Rabbit
Catnip has plenty of benefits for your precious rabbit but has some risks. Every plant in the world has risks when it comes to feeding your rabbit. Bunnies have sensitive and fragile organs, bodies, and systems that require optimal nutrients.
If you feed your rabbit something with toxic or harmful substances, it will affect your rabbit severely and increase stress in your life. Rabbits not only become physically ill. These creatures are emotionally intelligent and get depressed when they are in physical discomfort.
So, before feeding your rabbit catnip, beware of the following risks to avoid any unwanted mishaps in your rabbit’s life:
Catnip is not a high-fiber food item. Rabbits require a high amount of fiber in their diet for balanced digestion. If rabbits do not get the optimal amount of fiber daily, they suffer from a blockage in their digestive tract. It is known as GI stasis. The disease can cause discomfort in your rabbit’s intestines and painful gas.
When rabbits eat anything in large quantities, they can experience diarrhea. Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems that cannot break down complex food. Catnip can cause turmoil in your rabbit’s stomach and cause diarrhea. If you notice a soft and watery stool in your bunny’s litter box, the catnip is not suiting the poor fellow.
Cecotropes are essential fecal matter that your rabbit defecates to eat. They carry vital nutrients that are necessary for your rabbit’s health.
Usually, you will not know what cecotropes are because your rabbit will make and eat these when you are sleeping. So, if you see any soft fecal matter around your rabbit, chances are your bunny’s not eating cecotropes due to an upset stomach.
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What To Do If Your Rabbit Gets Sick From Catnip?
There is a high chance that catnip might not suit your rabbit’s fragile stomach. To prevent your rabbit from getting sick, you must watch your pet to catch signs before it gets out of hand. If you notice your bunny exhibiting any disease or symptoms mentioned above, stop giving your rabbit catnip.
Call your vet and book an appointment. While waiting for your vet’s visit, try calming down your precious furry friend. You can stroke its head and rub its back to show your bunny rabbit that they are not alone.
Rabbits get emotionally disturbed when they are going through physical discomfort. The animal will look at you for comfort and strength. Stay calm and take your bunny to the vet. Once at the vet, tell the professional every detail of catnip consumption and trust your rabbit’s doctor.
Rabbits are delicate animals and require loads of care and attention. As a pet owner, you are responsible for providing the best life for your precious furry friend. Give your innocent pet tons of love, care, attention, and playtime.
Feed the helpless animal unlimited hay, greens, and a moderate amount of fruits. A happy bunny will keep your house light, content, and peaceful. When your house is happy, you will also feel happy.