Can Rabbits Have Catnip? Here’s What You Need to Know

Catnip is a plant that contains a chemical called nepetalactone. This chemical is what makes cats attracted to it, and rabbits seem to love it too! 

In fact, they’ll go out of their way to get a taste of it.

While there’s no real reason why rabbits like catnip so much, some people believe that the scent might make them more active or playful. 

Regardless of why they like it, all rabbits will go crazy for a dose of this stuff once they find out about it!

Can rabbits have catnip?

Can rabbits have catnip? The answer is yes! While there isn’t much scientific research on the matter, anecdotal evidence suggests that rabbits do indeed enjoy the scent of catnip. 

Some rabbit owners even keep a small amount of catnip in their gardens for their furry friends to enjoy. So why does this herb seem to have such an effect on rabbits?

The science behind it!

Catnip is a member of the mint family containing a compound called nepetalactone. 

This chemical seems to make rabbits go crazy for the stuff – they become hyperactive and spend hours chasing each other around while rubbing their bodies against objects covered in catnip. 

While it’s unknown exactly why this happens, some experts theorize that it may be due to endorphins (happy hormones) release.

Benefits of giving rabbits catnip

Rabbits love catnip, and it’s a great way to keep them entertained. Not only will they get a treat, but they will also be content and relaxed. 

Here are some of the benefits of giving your rabbit catnip:

  1. It helps keep your rabbit mentally stimulated.
  2. It can help reduce anxiety in rabbits.
  3. It can help reduce boredom in rabbits, leading to longer periods of stimulation and better health overall.
  4. Catnip is an excellent way to bond with your rabbit and makes them feel special.
  5. Catnip is also an effective pesticide for rodents, so it’s a valuable addition to any bunny owner’s arsenal of tools!

By providing your rabbits with catnip, you can help them stay healthy and active for years to come.

Risks of giving rabbits catnip

Giving your rabbits catnip can be risky. The herb can cause a rabbit to act out uncontrolled, potentially injuring itself or others. 

The effects of catnip vary depending on the rabbit’s personality, so you should never give it to a particularly excitable or aggressive animal. 

Additionally, some cats may be attracted to the smell of catnip and become overexcited, potentially attacking your rabbit.

How do I know that my rabbit enjoys catnip?

You can do a few things to test whether your rabbit enjoys catnip. One way is to place a small amount of the herb in its food dish and watch to see if your rabbit starts to play or act unusually.

 If your rabbit likes the herb, you can try giving it a small amount directly from a fresh stem.

There are also some ways to test whether catnip affects rabbits neurologically. 

One way is to give them an injection of naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine and heroin. 

If a rabbit reacts positively to catnip after being injected with naloxone, it likely enjoys the herb’s narcotic effects.

How to give my rabbits catnip safely

Giving your rabbits a catnip can be a fun and safe activity for you and your pet rabbits. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved:

  1. Start by getting a small amount of the herb and adding it to the desired location.
  2. Make sure it is enough for the rabbit to consume, but be careful not to overdo it.
  3. Monitor your rabbit’s reaction carefully; stop providing the catnip immediately if they become overexcited or aggressive.
  4. If everything goes according to plan, your bunny will enjoy receiving their favorite treat from you!

Please Be aware that cats can become attracted to the smell of catnip, even if they haven’t been given any before. 

If you’re worried about this happening in your home, keep an eye on your cats when giving your rabbit access to the plant.


Catnip will likely be a big hit if you have a rabbit who loves to play with toys and is generally active. 

However, just because your rabbit enjoys catnip doesn’t mean it is safe to give them access to a whole bunch of it – moderation is key! 

As long as you know the potential dangers associated with over-indulgence in catnip, you can have a lot of fun playing with your furry friend.

If you provide your rabbit with catnip, be sure only to give a little at a time and ensure they don’t eat too much.

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