Do Rabbits Eat Lilies? Please read the full article. As a vet and nature freak, I love planting varieties of flowers around the house. I have a bouquet on my bookshelf and kitchen. I did not know that some of these flowers are very toxic for rabbits until I got a new bunny. Tim just nibbles on anything his teeth can sink into! This wasn’t how some of the bunnies I raised do. Tim’s feeding habit was completely different.

Do Rabbits Eat Lilies
Do Rabbits Eat Lilies?

I always allow Tim to roam about the house but did not realize that it was a fatal mistake. I couldn’t suspect that Tim was fond of nibbling on the flowers around the house. This kept on for some time until he became very sick. As an expert vet, I ran some tests on him and discovered that he was suffering from food poisoning. Tim survived this death trap because treatment was precise and immediate.

As a bunny parent, you have to be careful about the flowers you plant around the house if you want your rabbit’s well-being. Do thorough research before planting any flower. I guess that’s why you’re here! In this article, we will uncover everything you need to know about lilies. And other related plants that could cause harm to your bunny.

What You Need To Know About Lilies

Lilies are one of the most colorful, sweet-smelling flowers! That is commonly grown as houseplants, in gardens, or bouquets. There are more than 2000 species of lilies with varying features. Common species are oriental lilies, trumpet lilies, oriental lilies, Canada lilies, longiflorium lilies, and many more. The Lily flowers exist in different colors like pink, yellow, red, and orange. Some are more colorful inside their petals.

Lily flowers are used to treat diseases in humans. According to, lilies are rich sources of fiber, sodium, protein, and starch. And have some traces of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C. It is used as medicine to treat fever, stomach upset, sores, cough,  skin burns, spider bites, heart problems, diarrhea, weak contractions during childbirth, eye defects, and oral problems. Its soothing effects help to cure depression and sleep problems.

But, there’s something weird about the effect of these lilies on rabbits! More details about the effect of lily consumption on rabbits and other mammals will shock you.

Are Lilies Harmful To My Rabbits Eat?

Do Rabbits Eat Lilies?

It’s strange to know that the same lilies that are healthy for human consumption are poisonous to rabbits. And other animals like cats and dogs! Studies revealed that most varieties of lilies are harmful to rabbits at varying toxicity degrees. Cable lily, peace lily, Lily of the valley, day lilies, aquatic lilies, and the like of them. Has chemical compounds that can upset the digestive tract and irritate the mouth of your furry friend.

It can also cause drooling, mouth sores, and difficulty when swallowing food.

Just a  little bite of lilies can cause toxic reactions such as stomach upset. However, chewing more lilies can lead to serious problems like gastrointestinal disorders and death in very extreme cases.

Cats tend to suffer more fatal effects from the consumption of lilies than rabbits. It was revealed that cats suffer kidney failure from eating lilies. But there has been no substantial evidence that rabbits suffer similar kidney issues. However, rabbits suffer similar allergies to lilies the way cats do!

That’s why you should avoid all varieties of lilies and never serve any part of the plants to your bunnies.

Do Rabbits Eat Lilies?

Rabbits are curious eaters and love to eat anything that tastes crunchy. They can nibble on anything! You might think that they will have a good sense to avoid things that will harm them. But, that’s not always the case! They may be attracted to the beautiful bunches of lily flowers in your house. And might even love the crunchy feel of the lily plants on their teeth!

Nonetheless, rabbits’ teeth are always growing and they want to chew things that will keep their teeth in good shape. That’s why some rabbits can bite on any object—including furniture scraps and wires!

That’s why it’s important to know foods that could harm their health, as a bit parents. And put it away from them.

Are Lily Pollens Poisonous To Rabbits?

Just a bite of lily pollen can shut down the kidney and important body metabolism in cats. But, rabbits do not suffer similar extreme reactions. Moreover, it’s okay if you assume that just a nibble of lily pollen could harm your rabbits. Put away all lily pollens from your rabbits as it can cause stomach and digestive upset.

Which Part Of Lily Plants Are More Poisonous Rabbits?

All parts of lilies are harmful to your rabbits. The leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and bulbs should be completely avoided.

Why Are Lilies Harmful To Rabbits?

The wide species of lily plants make it hard to know the exact toxins in lilies. But generally, it is discovered that the different varieties of lilies have varying toxicity levels. Toxins like cardiac glycosides and insoluble calcium oxalates contained in lilies are what make them poisonous to your rabbits. That’s why it’s recommended you stay away from plants that have lily attached to their names.

What Other Flowering Plants Are Poisonous For Rabbits?

Do Rabbits Eat Lilies
Do Rabbits Eat Lilies

The following are some of the plants that are dangerous for your rabbit’s consumption.

  • Hemlock: this is one of the toxic plants that could harm your rabbits. And may lead to death in a very short while—within half an hour. A little bit of its plant can set off adverse reactions in a rabbit’s body. Such as bulged eyes, drooling, convulsions, and coma. There is also a probability that your rabbit’s hind legs may be paralyzed for life, even after survival and recovery. Avoid all parts of hemlock plants if you mean well to your little friend.
  • Hyacinth: this plant has alkaloid compounds which are mildly poisonous when eaten in a little quantities. But can harm your rabbit if it is consumed in large amounts. The flowers, roots, stem, and leaves of this plant have toxic effects on rabbits. And should be put away from the reach of your bunny.
  • Buttercup: All buttercup species secrete a juice that is very poisonous to rabbits. However, the plants are not very dangerous for your rabbits unless it is eaten in bulk amounts. They may cause upset in the digestive tracts and mouth sores in rabbits.
  • Iris: Iris plants have different species that produce juices that may cause some irritation in the gut system of your rabbits. But, the yellow iris is more poisonous and should be avoided.
  • Ivy: the berries and leaves of this plant have large amounts of saponins. High amounts of saponins can damage red blood cells. Thus, causing anemia in your rabbits. Ivy is mildly toxic but can be very harmful when taken in large amounts. It can cause convulsions and paralysis in very extreme cases.
  • Hydrangea: this plant has a high concentration of amygdalin which disintegrate to form cyanide. This substance is very poisonous to most animals. Considering the small size of your rabbit, even a nibble can cause serious problems like diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorder.
  • Christmas Rose: The leaves, stems, flowers, and roots of the Crosestmas rose are all harmful to your rabbits. And can lead to adverse reactions in your rabbit’s body.
  • Foxglove: these plants have cardiac glycosides. This compound can cause heart and kidney problems in your rabbits. Even a small bite can trigger negative reactions in your rabbits. Such as stomach ache, diarrhea, general weakness, unstable heartbeat, and dehydration. Worst cases can lead to convulsions!
  • Rhubarb: the leaves of the rhubarb plant have a large concentration of oxalic acids that are very dangerous to the health of your rabbits. Other parts of rhubarb can only irritate rabbits but have mild poisonous effects.
  • Yew: Yew has chemical substances that can cause unexpected death in rabbits. In some cases, difficulty in breathing, stomach inflammation, and shivering may be seen in rabbits.

What Are The Symptoms Of Food Poisoning in Rabbits?

It may be difficult to notice when your rabbits are suffering from food poisoning. Because they always tend to conceal their pain and may not vomit like other pet animals.

The following signs will help you know when your rabbit is poisoned:

  • Loss of appetite: the first sign of food poisoning in rabbits is loss of appetite. Rabbits love to eat! Any persistent refusal to eat is a sign that all is not right.
  • Difficulty in breathing: when you see your rabbits gasping for breath, it’s a clear indication that something is wrong. Rabbits breathe with their nostrils and not with their mouths. Noisy breathing is a sign of a clogged nose. Difficult breathing can be expressed through coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and many more!
  • Color change in urine or droppings: a clear change in urine and feces may mean that your rabbit is sick. When they stop pooping, it could be a sign of gastrointestinal stasis. This is an intestinal disorder that could harm your rabbits if treatment is delayed.
  • Drooling: rabbits’ saliva excessively when they are about to die. Although it may soak their fur and may be unnoticed. A swollen mouth or face could help you see it. Check your rabbit’s gum! If it’s yellowish or bluish, it could be a sign of poisoning.
  • Seizures: when your rabbit’s body convulses violently, it could be a clear sign of poisoning. During any of the outbursts, the rabbit may knock itself against nearby objects. In cases like this, provide free space on the ground and allow your rabbit to lie down.
  • Strange noises: if your rabbit grits its teeth in pain and makes squeaky sounds continuously, it may be that your rabbit is very sick and at the point of death.
  • Fever and irregular heartbeats: a constant change in your rabbit’s temperature and heartbeat indicates that your rabbit is sick. If it persists, take your bunny to a vet immediately.
  • Weakness and inactivity: if your bunny becomes very sluggish and inactive, it could be a sign of poisoning. Rabbits love to jump and play around! If physical activities stop abruptly, it could be a warning of looming danger.
  • Shivering: if your rabbit is shaking uncontrollably even in a warm environment, it may be a sign of internal body malfunction caused by poisoning. Your rabbit needs medical attention!

What To Do In Cases Of Food Poisoning In Rabbits

Take your rabbit to a veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms. A good veterinarian would request to know the plants you grow at home, and the substances you feed to your rabbits. And the symptoms you have noticed in your rabbits. Some tests will be run on your furry friend!

A blood test or x-ray check-up is normally carried out. To identify the toxic substances that may be in your rabbit’s digestive system. Treatment will be based on the kind of plant poisoning your rabbit is suffering from. Recovery will depend on how intense the problem is.

Your veterinarian will help you choose some treatment options. Activated charcoal may be used to clog the poisons in the gastrointestinal tract of your bunny. In cases of difficult breathing, artificial respirators are used to aid your rabbit’s breathing. Other treatment methods may be followed.

Once your rabbit is discharged from the clinic, give close attention to him at home. Provide a quiet resting place and adequate water for your bunny. A proper diet guideline will be given to you by your veterinarian until your rabbit fully recovers.

How To Keep Your Rabbits Away From Your Lily Flowers At Home?

You can deter your rabbits from eating your lily flowers in many ways. Some of them include:

  • Erect a fence: putting up a fence—about 12 feet long will help to keep them away. Rabbits are good diggers and may sneak in from under the fence. In cases like this, you can bury boards underground. A wire mesh can also be used to cover the penetrable openings.
  • Apply rabbit repellents: you can use different sprays to make your lily plants less appealing. You can produce one at home by mixing crushed garlic with water. Lemon or orange juice can also serve! Using sprays entails that you will have to keep reapplying almost every day. Especially during rainy seasons. You can also splatter hot cayenne pepper on the soil of your lily plants and on the leaves too. To make your garden repelling to rabbits.
  • Scare them away: Naturally, rabbits are very timid and easily get scared. You can use that to keep them away from your plants. Aromatic products that give a false presence of near predators are a great option! There are many of them you can get from the market. You can also enclose your garden hinges with foil plates. In such a way that they clash and make rattling sounds when blown by the breeze. This can startle your rabbits and scare them away.
  • You can also consider changing the location of your rabbits to a far-away place. Where they can’t easily access your garden.
  • Another best option is to remove the bouquet of lily flowers around your house and plant flowers that are rabbit-friendly.

Do Rabbits Eat Lilies – Conclusion

Rabbits are fragile fellows with a delicate digestive system that can easily be upset with the wrong foods! Flowers with toxic substances can have a fatal effect on your rabbits if care is not taken. That’s why you must give attention to the kind of flowers you plant around your house. Lily plants may be very attractive and scented, but can be poisonous to your rabbit. Keep them away from your rabbits if you want a healthy life for your furry friends.

About the Author

Dr Esther Praag

Dr ès sc. Esther van Praag is a renowned researcher and scientist in the field of rabbit biology and diseases. She received her doctorate degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published numerous papers in top scientific journals and has received numerous awards and honors for her work.

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