Are Succulents Toxic to Rabbits? Safety Tips for Pet Owners

If you’ve got a pet rabbit, you know it’s super important to make sure they’re eating stuff that’s good for them and safe, too.

Succulents are a big hit in home decor – they’re easy to look after and look pretty cool, right? But here’s the thing: not every succulent is bunny-friendly. While loads of them are perfectly fine and your rabbit can happily munch on them, there are a few you’ve got to watch out for.

An up close photo of a rabbit standing next to a succulent

So, as a savvy rabbit owner and a proud succulent parent, it’s important to do your homework. You’ve got to know which succulents are a no-go for your bunnies.

Stick with us to learn all about those risky succulents and how to keep things safe and harmonious in your bunny-and-succulent-filled world.

Understanding Rabbit Dietary Needs

Rabbits naturally need a diet rich in fiber to keep their digestion on track. They usually feast on a variety of hay, like timothy or oat hay, which are perfect for their dietary needs.

Fresh foods are more like occasional treats for them, adding a bit of variety but only making up a small portion of their overall diet. A balanced mix of leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs that are safe for rabbits. These should include:

  • Leafy Greens, such as romaine lettuce, kale, and parsley, are high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Vegetables—rabbit-safe veggies like bell peppers and zucchinis offer additional vitamins and variety.
  • Herbs, like basil or cilantro, can be added sparingly to provide more flavor and nutrients.

Now, about rabbits and succulents. If you’ve got both in your home, you might have noticed your bunny showing interest in those succulents.

Again, while some are safe, others can be harmful, so it’s important to know which succulents your furry friend can nibble on without any trouble. We’re going to dive into exactly that in just a bit!

Common Toxic Succulents to Avoid

As a rabbit owner, you need to be careful with succulents. Some are toxic and can really mess with your rabbit’s health if they take a bite.

Euphorbia

Bright small red flowers of a Euphorbia plant

Members of this genus, including the pencil cactus, secrete a milky sap that can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

Jade Plant

Blooming green leaves of a Jade plant

While popular in homes, it can cause lethargy and incoordination when ingested.

Aloe Vera

A small plantation of wild aloe vera

While you may have heard some aloe vera varieties are safe for pets, it’s important to know that it’s a big no-no and can cause diarrhea and tremors in rabbits.

Kalanchoe

Bright blooming yellow flowers of a Kalanchoe plant

Kalanchoe plants contain compounds that can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, tremors, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Crown of Thorns

Stems of a Euphorbia filled with thorns

Similar to other euphorbias, this succulent has a toxic sap that is dangerous if ingested or comes into contact with the skin.

Mother of Thousands

Tiny leaves of a Mother of Thousands plant

The Mother of Thousands is known to contain daigremontianin, which can cause heart problems for rabbits.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Bright green leaves of a Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

This succulent contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal distress.

Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Peas Plant)

Pea shaped leaves of a Senecio Rowleyanus


Senecio rowleyanus, commonly known as the String of Pearls plant, contains a toxic compound known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which may cause liver damage and respiratory failure if ingested. Its sap can also cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal upset when ingested.

Sansevieria Trifasciata

Bright green leaves with yellow outlines of a Sansevieria Trifasciata plant

With its natural presence of saponins, this plant, known as Sansevieria Trifasciata or the Snake Plant, has been identified as a source of gastrointestinal discomfort in rabbits.

Symptoms of Succulent Poisoning in Rabbits

If rabbits consume a toxic succulent, symptoms can develop rapidly. Watch for:

  • Salivation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Tremors, incoordination, seizures.
  • Less energy or trouble moving.
  • Drinking or peeing more or less than usual.

Getting to a vet quickly is crucial if you think your rabbit has eaten a poisonous plant.

Non-Toxic Succulents and Rabbit Safety

You don’t necessarily need to part ways with all your succulents. As it turns out, not all succulents pose a threat to your bunny.

As we’ve said, several varieties are safe and can coexist peacefully with your bunny. Here’s a list of some rabbit-friendly succulents that you can comfortably keep around:

  • Echeveria: A rosette-forming succulent that’s entirely safe for rabbits.
  • Sempervivum: Known as ‘Hens and Chicks,’ this succulent is also non-toxic.
  • Haworthia Retusa: A small, rosette-forming plant that is safe for rabbits.

Preventing Accidental Ingestion

It’s always best to prevent accidental ingestion, and so wise placement of plants is key. Be sure to:

  • Keep succulents out of rabbits’ reach to avoid digging and nibbling.
  • Use physical barriers or elevated planters to keep rabbits away.

Watch for signs of digging or nibbling, and rearrange plants to keep your rabbit safe. Giving them their own rabbit-safe greens might also stop them from going after your succulents.

What to Do When Your Rabbit Eats a Succulent

If your rabbit eats a succulent, determine if it’s toxic and watch for any bad reactions.

First Aid and Immediate Actions

  • Identify the Plant: If your bunny ate a succulent, first identify the plant. Use an app or consult a book on succulents to ascertain if it’s a toxic variety.
  • Remove Access: Prevent further consumption by removing succulent pieces from your rabbit’s reach.
  • Monitor Their Behavior: Watch for any signs of distress or poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea, lethargy, or changes in appetite.
  • Offer Supportive Care: Give fresh water and hay to help with irritation.
  • Prepare for a Vet Visit: Collect a succulent sample to take to the vet for identification and analysis if symptoms develop.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

  • If you notice symptoms of poisoning or illness, such as diarrhea or lethargy, it’s time to seek professional help.
  • If you’re unsure if the succulent is toxic, it’s best to consult a vet.
  • If your rabbit’s condition gets worse.

Always be ready to tell the vet about your pet’s health history and what happened. Having a plan can really help your rabbit’s health and well-being.