One of my passions is gardening, and I like to add a new succulent every now and again to spruce up the place.
But I also want to keep my pet rabbit safe. So this led me to wonder whether succulents are poisonous to rabbits, and if rabbits should even be eating succulents.
I paid my vet and local garden center a visit to find some answers.
Are Succulents Poisonous To Rabbits?
Not all succulents are poisonous to rabbits.
Some poisonous succulents to keep your rabbit away from are aloe vera, pencil cactus, panda plant, ZZ plant, crown of thorns, mother of thousands, mother of millions, silver jade plant, jade plant, snake plant, and the string of pearls.
What if I told you there’s a way to keep poisonous succulents away from your pet bunny, as well as what steps you need to take if your bunny accidentally ingested some poisonous plants?
You’ll learn all about the poisonous succulents you should keep away from your rabbit here, and more.
Pet Rabbits and Succulents: Yay or Nay
When I think of bunnies, succulents aren’t the first kind of plant that comes to mind. Or the fifth for that matter.
I feed my rabbit their regular diet of good-quality Timothy hay, low-calorie veggies, leafy greens, herbs, some fresh grass (after a slow introduction), pellets, high-calorie veggies, fruit, and other treats.
I’ve seen my rabbit nibbling on the plants in my garden when Ms. Fluffles can roam freely (I supervise this time because I don’t want a predator to prey on my beloved bun).
Keep in mind that rabbits are avid foragers – in the wild.
But this is a skill and need that even domestic rabbits still have.
So are succulents good or bad for rabbits?
Should Rabbits Eat Succulents as Part of Their Diet?
Succulents aren’t a normal part of a rabbit’s diet.
It’s also recommended to not make succulents part of your bun’s diet.
In the wild, rabbits don’t generally eat succulents.
In your garden, however, anything green and juicy deserves a nibble or three – according to your pet bunny who is curious and loves to explore its world.
Besides, how can your bunny resist the call of a bright green juicy leaf?
20 Safe Succulents for Rabbits
If you happen to have any of these succulents in your home or garden, and your bun nibbles away, then you don’t need to worry.
These are rabbit-safe succulents!
However, there are reasons you may not want your rabbit to eat your succulents – I’ll share these shortly.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of succulents your rabbit can safely nibble on:
- Aeoniums: kiwi, Zwartkop (black rose), and giant velvet rose
- Blue echeveria
- Burro’s tail, donkey’s tail, or lamb’s tail
- Dragon fruit
- Firecracker plant (echeveria Setosa var. Deminuta)
- Ghost plant (graptopetalum Paraguayense)
- Haworthia Cymbiformis
- Haworthia Retusa
- Holiday cacti (Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, or Easter cactus)
- Horse’s Teeth (haworthia Truncata)
- Lithops (living stones)
- Mexican snowballs (echeveria Elegans)
- Opuntia species (prickly pear cactus)
- Painted lady (copper rose or maroon)
- Ponytail palm tree (beaucarnea Recurvata)
- Ruby blush or plush plant (echeveria Pulvinata)
- Sempervivum ruby heart
- Sempervivum pacific blue ice
- Zebra plant (haworthia Attenuata)
3 Reasons a Rabbit Shouldn’t Eat Succulents
There are various reasons why rabbits shouldn’t eat succulents – from protecting your bunny to protecting your garden.
Let’s see what they are.
Reason 1: Some Succulents Are Poisonous for Bunnies
Not all succulents are poisonous, but there are quite a few that are highly poisonous to rabbits.
If your rabbit ingests part of a poisonous succulent and doesn’t get help early enough, it could be fatal.
Not only can the sap or juice from the leaf poison your bun, but the white sap from some succulents can also irritate your rabbit’s skin.
The white sap can even irritate your human skin if you come into contact with it.
Some plants are poisonous as a survival strategy.
If it isn’t for thorns or sharp spines to keep animals away, then a horrid taste, toxicity, or an awful repelling smell can deter animals from eating the leaves, stems, flowers, and more.
So it’s best to be safe and keep your rabbit away from succulents and all other plants that are poisonous.
Reason 2: Nibbling on Succulents and Digging Destroys Your Garden
While eating poisonous succulents isn’t good for your rabbit, it isn’t good for your succulents and garden either.
Rabbits are by nature diggers.
So while nibbling away at a juicy succulent leaf, your bun may also dig in the potting container or your garden bed.
While this digging will disrupt the soil or potting mix in the container and leave a mess, your rabbit may even uproot the succulent.
Reason 3: Thorny Cacti Hurts a Rabbit
Some succulents have thousands of tiny thorns on the spines and leaves.
If your rabbit gets near the thorny cactus or even rubs up against it to get to a yummy-looking leaf, your bun may get hurt.
11 Poisonous Succulents for Rabbits to Avoid
Take note of these poisonous succulents so you should keep your rabbit away and safe:
- Euphorbia Tirucalli (pencil cactus, pencil tree plant, or firestick) has a white sap that can cause gastrointestinal issues if ingested and an itching rash on your rabbit’s skin.
- Aloe vera contains saponin that causes dehydration and severe diarrhea if your bun ingests it.
- Kalanchoe Tomentosa (panda plant) makes calcium oxalate crystals that are insoluble, and when ingested, it causes an oral irritation, difficulty swallowing, drooling, and vomiting. Even the cardiac glycosides are fatal if this plant is eaten in a small quantity.
- All parts of the ZZ plant (zamioculcas) are poisonous, so wear gloves when you need to handle it.
- Euphorbia Milii (crown of thorns) contains a sap that repels wild rabbits because it’s prickly and bitter, but if your pet rabbit ingests the milky sap, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a skin irritation will set in.
- Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (mother of thousands) contains daigremontianum, which is a toxic steroid. If your rabbit eats this plant, weakness, an abnormal heart rate, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures may set in.
- Kalanchoe Delagoensis (mother of millions, chandelier plant, or devil’s backbone) has a mild to moderate level of toxicity that causes gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and vomiting if ingested.
- Crassula Ovata (jade plant, money plant, money tree, or lucky plant) has an unknown toxic substance that causes depression, lethargy, incoordination, and vomiting.
- Crassula Arborescens (silver jade plant or Chinese jade) cause vomiting and nausea if eaten.
- Sansevieria Trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant) also contains saponin, which is toxic to rabbits and other pets.
- Seneca Rowleyanus (string of peas plant or string of pearls) has a sap that irritates your rabbit’s skin when it comes into contact with the plant. When ingested, expect symptoms like drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
How to Keep Your Rabbit From Eating Succulents
Keep your bunny from eating succulents by:
- Not planting any poisonous succulents in your garden or keeping any in your home
- Keep poisonous plant out of your rabbit’s reach
- Add lemon or orange peels to the pot to keep your rabbit away (they don’t like the smell)
What to Do If Your Rabbit Eats Poisonous Succulents
It’s best to keep your rabbit away from poisonous succulents.
But if your bun happens to get a skin rash from the milky sap from a pencil cactus or ingests some aloe vera, what should you do?
Step 1: Notice the Symptoms of Poisoning
First, know what symptoms to look out for if your rabbit has been poisoned.
If your rabbit has ingested part of a poisonous succulent, you’ll see that your rabbit is:
- Breathing abnormally
- Not eating or has a lack of appetite
- Scratching their skin or has a skin rash
- In pain – may be abdominally
Step 2: Stay Calm
You need to stay calm if you see that your rabbit is sick. It is also best to keep your rabbit calm.
Being calm is the best way you can help and save your rabbit.
Step 3: Try to See What Succulent Your Rabbit Ate
Look around and see what succulent your rabbit ingested.
If you see a 45-degree angle “bite” on the stem or leaf of the succulent, then you know the clean-cut damage is your bunny at work.
Also, check for “eaten” plant parts close to the ground since this is where rabbits forage.
Step 4: See How Much of the Succulent Your Rabbit Ate
Try to determine how much of the succulent your rabbit ate.
If a large breed rabbit ate a small amount of a jade plant and they seem fine, chances are they will be okay.
You still need to monitor your bun closely to see if symptoms of poisoning appear.
Step 5: Contact Your Vet
If your rabbit shows symptoms of being sick after ingesting poisonous succulents or plants you aren’t sure are toxic to bunnies, call your vet.
Even if your rabbit isn’t sick at this moment, but ate a large amount of the succulent in comparison to their body size, call your vet.
Give your vet all the info you can: symptoms you are noticing, what succulent(s) your rabbit ate, how much, and anything else that’s important.
You may need to take your rabbit for an emergency appointment or follow your vet’s advice if you need to care for your rabbit at home.
Final Rabbit Poisonous Succulent Thoughts
There are various succulents that are indeed poisonous to your beloved pet rabbit.
It’s best not to plant any of these poisonous succulents in pots or in your garden to ensure your bunny stays safe – no matter how beautiful these drought-tolerant plants are.
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