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Yes, lilies are poisonous to rabbits BUT not to the extent that they are to cats. It’s not actually clear what it is in lilies that caused such severe (like, fatal) kidney failure in cats, but it seems pretty feline-specific.
Do NOT encourage your rabbit to eat lilies. Keep bunnies and lilies (and pretty much all flowers, just in case) apart. Lilies won’t do your rabbit any good – they can cause an upset stomach, which is never great for rabbits – so avoid them. But also don’t panic if the two accidentally meet.
What flowers are safe for rabbits to eat?
I can’t find a comprehensive list of all the flowers that are safe to eat. If you buy a bunch of flowers that your rabbit may be able to get too, I would google each plant to check.
Try to keep your rabbit away from your flowers – if they get into habit if eating them it’ll get harder and harder for you to convince them not to do so.
If you want to grow flowers for your rabbits to eat, sunflowers and lavender are good option. They’d also look pretty good in a vase together.
Do rabbits like eating flowers?
Yes. In all honesty, there aren’t many things rabbits don’t like eating. But flowers can provide a bit of variation for them.
Like I mentioned in my making gardens safe for bunnies article, it may be easier if you just…get rid of/don’t bring in flowers you’re not scared of. Rabbits are surprisingly agile climbers, especially if they think there’s something tasty in it for them.
You may wonder how wild rabbits manage to survive if they don’t have an inbuilt encyclopaedia of what’s going to kill them and what isn’t but wild rabbits and domestic rabbits aren’t the same.
In the US, pet and wild rabbits are entirely separate species in the same family – Leporidae (the higher classifcation of Lagomorph also includes pikas, whereas Leporidae is just rabbits and hares. Yes, I had to google pikas – they’re cute af, but more hamstery).
Here in the UK, wild rabbits and pet rabbits are biologically the same in many respects, and they can interbreed easily BUT there are still key differences.
Wild rabbits are pretty much impossible to tame and rarely thrive if they’re kept in captivity – pet rabbits have evolved smaller fear centres in their brains, so they’re more comfortable in domestic settings.
Wild rabbits also know what not to eat.
Domestic rabbits will have a go at eating anything and everything.
Will rabbits eat house plants?
If you weren’t aware, I also run a house plant website. I have a LOT of plants. I always make sure to put any toxic plants far out of reach of my buns (most of them are in my office or on shelving units). I made sure any plants at ground level were non-toxic, even if they weren’t technically in places the rabbits go.
Of course, the rabbits made it their mission to get to the plants. The findings were…interesting. Most plants went untouched, bar the odd nibble. A Calathea Orbifolia lost a few leaves, but she ate my Calathea Medallion right down to the soil. There was nothing left. Apparently, it was delicious.
The rabbit was 100% fine (her poops were HUGE though). Calathea are non-toxic, unlike most other house plants. They can be super fussy though (medium light, high humidity, no tap water, no drying out) so I wouldn’t advise getting one if you’re a house plant killer.
Which house plants are safe for rabbits to eat?
Calathea, like I mentioned. Spider plants are ok (though they can get cats high), and so are a lot of hoya.
I would always err on the side of caution, just in case. A lot of aroids (pothos, alocasia, monstera, anthurium) are toxic, and it’s not worth getting a mislabelled one and risking your rabbit.
Keep your plants up a height where your rabbit can’t reach them, or, ideally, in another room.
If you have a lot of house plants and you haven’t yet adopted your bunny, get a smaller one that won’t be able to jump so high.
Whilst there are many plants out there that are poisonous to rabbits, there are a few out there that are toxic to animals, but more so to cats and dogs than rabbits.
Rabbits are herbivorous and have a different digestive system from carnivores. Their bodies are better adapted to deal with plant matter. So if your dog and rabbit each have a mouthful of the same plant, and the dog is drooling and sad, the rabbit may be fine.
ALWAYS keep a close eye on them though, and call a vet if you’re worried. Rabbits can’t vomit, so it can be hard to tell when they’re ill.
As a bunny helicopter parent, I like to be over cautious when it comes to plants – even potentially problem plants like kale and parsley are only given sparingly.