We have said this before and we will say it again…rabbits are greedy little things! The typical diet of a rabbit is more than enough to keep it happy, healthy, and satisfied. However, this doesn’t stop them (and you) from being interested in human food.
We often get asked what kind of human foods rabbits can safely eat (if any). One of these things is cereal, particularly the wholegrain kind. After all, it is touted as being healthy for us, so why not for rabbits?
In this article, we will be exploring whether or not rabbits can eat a specific kind of cereal that is much loved in American households. It is, of course, the humble Cheerio! Keep on reading to see if you can feed your hoppy little pal some Cheerios…
Are Cheerios safe for rabbits?
Cheerios can be safe to feed rabbits, but only if you feed them one or two of them. As well as this, they should only be plain kind! Do not be tempted to feed them Honey Nut or any of the other varieties (more on this later).
As well as this, you should only give them these treats occasionally. This is because you should be careful when feeding too many grains to your rabbit! This is especially true of cereals like Cheerios which also contain high levels of carbohydrates, as well as sugar!
Of course, cereals like Cheerios are highly processed foods. Sure, they do contain grains, but they are not just made of whole grains as they also contain processed ingredients and additives to make them tasty and sweet!.
With this in mind, Cheerios are fine as a once-off in very small amounts, but you may want to consider feeding them some other treats instead. If you really want to feed your rabbit some cereal then we would suggest that you feed them something such as rolled oats as a treat, in moderation of course!
How many Cheerios can my rabbit eat?
So, as we mentioned in the previous section, whilst Cheerios are far from ideal for your rabbit to snack on, they can indeed be a delicious occasional treat. One thing is for sure and that is that they will gobble them down like there is no tomorrow.
As we have mentioned, small amounts fed very occasionally is best. Think of it this way, it is the equivalent of us eating a full pizza from a takeout place. We don’t do that every day, and neither should rabbits.
With this in mind, you should not feed your rabbit Cheerios on a daily basis. In fact, even on a weekly basis may be too much. Keep them as a rare treat. You may find it works well to feed them around five pieces of Cheerios at a time.
Bear in mind that that is 5 pieces, not bowls. Even one bowl or half a bowl can have very unpleasant side effects on your rabbit! Cheerios should be served to them sparingly and in very small, 5 piece portions only.
Besides, there are so many other nutritional snacks that you can feed your rabbit instead that they will enjoy more, and will not have the risk of making them sick. We will be exploring these in more detail a little later in the article.
Can I feed my rabbit Honey Nut Cheerios?
No! You should definitely avoid Honey Nut Cheerios, as well as any other varieties of Cheerios when it comes to giving them to your rabbit. Only plain, original Cheerios are suitable, and even then they should only be fed sparingly and on rare occasions.
Honey Nut Cheerios especially are super high in sugar and will be too calorific for your rabbit. This can lead to obesity, and even gastrointestinal stasis which can cause diarrhea, and even death in the worst cases!
Can my rabbit eat any cereal?
Ideally, rabbits should get the bulk of their diets from commercial rabbit food, hay, alfalfa, timothy hay, and fresh fruit and veggies. Cereal such as plain Cheerios can be fed sparingly, as can other wholegrain cereals. Rolled oats are a particular favorite and are totally natural.
That being said, even natural cereal such as rolled oats that are free of sugar and other additives should only be fed in small amounts and as an occasional treat,
What are some good alternatives to Cheerios for my rabbit?
As you know, whilst Cheerios are ok in very small portions, they should not really be relied upon as a snack for your rabbit. Especially when there are so many other options out there that are much better!
If you want to feed your rabbit a grain-based snack like Cheerios but without the sugar, you may want to try wheat berries, the aforementioned rolled oats, and even wheat crackers. Of course, these should, again, be served sparingly because of the high carbohydrate content of them all!
Of course, there are plenty of alternatives to high carbohydrates foods that would be even better again for your rabbit. For example, you should always opt to give your pet rabbit some pellets! These can be bought from pet stores, as well as rabbit specialty stores! You can almost guarantee that your pet rabbit will love chewing on it.
If you are still set on human treats that you can give to your pet rabbit instead of Cheerios, you should choose something natural and tasty like fruit and veggies. Fruits and vegetables, as you know, have all the nutrients that your pet rabbit needs and will enjoy!
In an ideal world, fresh fruit and veg from your own garden will be perfect as you can be sure that it is grown without the use of harmful and toxic pesticides and growth hormones.
Some of the best fruits and veggies that you can serve to your rabbit are spinach, apples, celery, blueberries, parsley, bananas, radicchio, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, peaches, and plums. There are more than this, of course, but these are just some of the favorites.