I love animals, and I’ve owned quite a few in my day. 

But rabbits were a new experience for me, and I know how important getting the proper diet is for a long and healthy life. 

When I heard about how many owners give them as much food as they want, I started to wonder if it was possible for rabbits to overeat.

As a general rule, rabbits cannot overeat their grassy hay or timothy hay. They need to be given as much as they want of this food. With fiber pellets, leafy greens, and treats, you will want to limit their intake. 

Allowing your pet to overeat is a dangerous thing; you may even shorten the life of your furry friend! 

Let’s dig into this topic a little deeper and make sure we have all of our ducks (or bunnies!) in a row. 

can rabbits overeat

Can Rabbits Overeat?

Many animals will “overeat” if given the opportunity. 

Overeating is when an animal will continue to eat and eat until they get sick. 

This is often a survival instinct for critters used to going for a long time between meals. 

It also depends on the personality of the pet too. 

I’ve had dogs that will eat until they throw up, though our dog now is really good about stopping when he’s full. 

Rabbits are in a weird place on this topic, and the answer isn’t so clear. 

When it comes to grassy hay or timothy hay, there is no such thing as a rabbit overeating. 

They need to graze as much as they want for several reasons: 

  • Eating hay pushes droppings out.
  • It provides required nutrients for their bodies.
  • Chewing tough hay keeps their teeth growth under control.
  • Constantly available grass matches their natural environment. 

When it comes to this, they can’t overeat. 

With the other parts of a rabbit diet (more on this later), they will overeat. 

Rabbits are animals in the category of eating as much as possible. It’s excellent with hay, but not the others. 

Fiber pellets and leafy greens need to be controlled. 

Too many fiber pellets will affect the digestive system. 

Too many leafy greens may make their poops too loose (and stinky!). 

You may want to check out our guide to if rabbits stink

Treats need to be watched and provided sparingly. 

Will Rabbits Stop Eating When Full?

Bunnies are a category of animal called “grazers.” 

I’m not talking about what happens when I go to a family get-together and graze on chips and salsa all day (though the phrase comes from animals like rabbits). 

Our furry friends are used to eating whenever they need to. The constant chewing and swallowing is a regular and necessary part of their life. 

But when they’re in captivity, it’s possible to give them too much of the non-hay items. 

Rabbits won’t turn it away; they’ll keep eating and eating. 

Some rabbits seem to show a “full point” when eating. 

They slow down and seem to be more reluctant to eat, but the instincts are too strong. 

They’ll keep eating as long as you put greens or pellets or treats in front of them. 

Learn if rabbits are omnivores (including one surprising answer!).

What Happens If A Rabbit Eats Too Much?

Again, I hate to repeat myself, but there is no such thing as overeating timothy hay. 

Alfalfa hay is higher in calcium and fat, making it perfect for baby and young bunnies but not so good as grazing hay for adults. 

If your rabbit overeats of the other parts of the diet, it’ll have some issues. 

In rare cases, they’ll throw up. This almost never happens, but it does if they choke on the food without digesting it. 

It’s more common with large treats in this instance. 

Don’t let them overeat non-leafy items, and make sure they’re small when you do feed them to your friend. 

Most likely, they’ll become obese with too many treats. 

As with humans, obesity shortens lifespans and causes a whole other host of issues. 

It’ll even wear your rabbit’s poor little feet down and cause sores! 

Did you know rabbits don’t have paw pads? Learn more at the link. 

Regular vet checkups will let you know when you need to limit pellets and treats, so make sure they go in once or twice per year. 

They’ll have loose stool. 

Overeating fiber and treats and even healthy leafy greens will loosen the stool and cause diarrhea. 

For rabbits, this is a severe condition. 

It causes dehydration, malnutrition and compounds stress on their digestive tracts. 

In the short term, this is the most dangerous part of overfeeding, and it takes a few days for their stomachs to recover. 

How Much Food Should A Rabbit Eat Per Day?

A healthy rabbit diet should consist of grassy hay, leafy greens, fiber pellets, and possibly treats. 

The exact amount of each one depends on the age, size, and breed of your bunny. 

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Grassy Hay/ Timothy Hay

Grassy hay should be available as much as the bunny wants. I check to make sure there is an ample amount in my Oreo’s cage (name because of the black and white pattern) twice per day. 

Timothy hay is the stape most rabbit owners go with. 

I recommend getting some from a pet supplier to make sure it’s safe and free of bugs as much as possible. 

If you order online, we’ve had a lot of success with the bulk order by Small Pet Select on Amazon.

This one is high in fiber and shows up right to your door (plus, it’s good quality, every time!).

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are just like the name says. It’s the green leaves from plants your bunny would find around in nature. 

As a general rule, assume that one cup of greens per day is a good amount for your bunny. 

I offer a half cup twice per day, and I like to spread it around my bunny’s hutch to make him work for it. 

It’s cute to watch him hop around for it, and it’s great for their mental stimulation. 

Good leafy greens include: 

  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Beet greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Radish tops
  • Sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Carrot tops
  • Cucumber leaves
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Frisee Lettuce
  • Kale (all types)
  • Mache
  • Red or green lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spring greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mint (any kind)
  • Basil (any kind)
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass
  • Chicory
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Radicchio
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel 
  • Borage leaves
  • Dill leaves
  • Yu Choy

Fiber Pellets

Fiber pellets aren’t strictly necessary for your rabbit’s diet, but a lot of owners (including us) add them in small amounts. 

They’re just a little extra vitamin boost, and they really seem to enjoy eating them. 

Follow the directions on the package about how much to give, but I only provide around 1/4 cup to my pet once per day. 

The Oxbow Essentials Rabbit Pellets are made from natural materials and will last you a pretty long time. 


In small amounts, it’s fun to offer treats to your pet. 

Sure, commercial treats are in this category too, but it’s always better to give natural treats such as veggies or fruits. 

You may want to check out if rabbits can eat star fruit

Yes, even the non-leaf parts of veggies are considered treats. 

Whatever you feed them, make sure you check to make sure it’s safe for your bunny friend (and don’t give them much!).