Can Rabbits Eat Buttercups?

Buttercups are bright yellow flowers that can be found in many grassy areas. Even though they look nice, rabbits should not eat them. Buttercups contain a chemical that can be toxic to rabbits if eaten. The chemical is called ranunculin.

When rabbits chew on buttercups, ranunculin breaks down into another chemical called protoanemonin. This new chemical can make rabbits very sick. Eating buttercups may cause drooling, stomach upset, diarrhea, and sores in a rabbit’s mouth. While not usually fatal, it’s best to keep rabbits away from buttercups.

Are Buttercups poisonous to rabbits? 

Yes, Buttercups are toxic for the bunny. Although your bunny will not die from eating a few Buttercups, you should better avoid it. It may cause digestive upset and contact blistering to the lips/mouth. Dried buttercup is very common in hay as it grows everywhere. For safety reasons, you should not allow your bunny to graze on the buttercups. 

Buttercups are commonly known as crowfoots. It is from the family Ranunculaceae and the genus Ranunculus. Flowers are usually yellow (sometimes white) with five petals. Buttercups are mostly found in the spring.  

Buttercups contain a chemical compound called ranunculin. Protoanemonin is an acrid, toxic oil that is formed when ranunculin is broken down by the crushing or bruising of the leaves. It causes dermatitis when it comes into contact with the skin. That is why Buttercups are toxic for the bunny as well as other animals. 

buttercup flower
Buttercup flower

Can rabbits eat creeping buttercups?

No, rabbits cannot eat creeping buttercups. There is no difference between buttercups and creeping buttercups. There are a few types of Buttercups available in North America. All of the types are toxic for rabbits. Let’s have a look. 

  • Tall buttercup (R. acris)
  • Cursed buttercup (R. sceleratus)
  • Creeping buttercup (R. repens)
  • Littleleaf buttercup (R. arbortivus)
  • Sagebrush buttercup (R. glaberrimus)

Can rabbits eat buttercup flowers? 

No rabbit should not eat the buttercup flower. Although a few of the resources ensure that eating a small number of buttercups will not harm your bunny, you should not feed or allow your bunny to eat the buttercup flowers. 

Can rabbits eat buttercup leaves?

No, like the flower, buttercup leaves are not safe for the bunny. If you notice buttercups in your garden or lawn, please don’t allow your bunny to eat the flowers or leaves of the buttercups. Although, rabbits don’t like buttercups. 

Do wild rabbits eat buttercups?

No, wild rabbits don’t eat buttercups usually. There is a huge difference in the distinction power of the house rabbit and the wild rabbits. Most of the house rabbits eat whatever is available to them. Sometimes you may notice they chew solid material like wood.

buttercup leaf
buttercup leaf & flower

What kind of flowers do rabbits eat?

Probably you are now a bit disappointed because there are a lot of restrictions on rabbit food. Rabbits need great care like dogs and cats. For your convenience, I have a deed list of rabbit-safe plants lists. 

  • Roses
  • Daisies
  • Mints
  • Willow
  • Dandelions
  • Sunflowers
  • Pot marigolds
  • Bellflowers
  • Lavender
  • Pansies
  • Jasmine
  • Clover
  • Violets
  • Nasturtium
  • Hollyhock
  • Nettle
  • Chamomile
  • Sweet pea

Final Thoughts 

Rabbits are sensitive pets. So, you should take special care. Don’t allow your bun to eat risky types of plants or vegetables. You could use a rabbit X-Pen or enclosure to graze on the fresh grass Apart from eating unhygienic foodstuffs, your bunny will be safe from predators. 


Alex is a full-time rabbit lover and part-time Biologist. He is a proud parent of two rabbits. It's his childhood dream to rescue endangered animals and make the world better for living.

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