The simple answer is yes! Guinea pigs can eat cabbage, and there are so many health benefits for them when they do. There are four main kinds of cabbage, and all are edible to your guinea pig. These varieties include green, napa, red/purple, and savoy! All of them have varying amounts of the same nutrients, so it’s important to look into those to see which kind is best for your guinea pig.
We've also got a Vegetable Master List that lists common veggies that your piggy can and can't eat!
What vitamins and other nutrients does cabbage contain?
This vitamin helps with boosting the immune system to fight off illnesses and infection! Guinea pigs are susceptible to different infections, especially if their immune systems are weak.
To prevent this, we need to boost their immune systems as much as we can. It also helps with organ tissue repair and growth. In 100 g portions, green cabbage has 36.6 mg, napa has 45 mg, red/purple has 57 mg, and savoy has 31 mg.
For maintaining digestion! You may have noticed that your guinea pig eats their own poop, and they do this for a reason! By doing this, they’re able to fully absorb all the vitamins and minerals from their food the second time around. It’s also useful for lowering cholesterol levels and controlling blood sugar levels.
If you’re feeding your guinea pigs fruit, controlling blood sugar is very important to ensure that they’re not having too much! Fruits generally are high in sugar and that’s not good for them in large amounts. In 100 g portions, green cabbage has 2.5 g, napa has 1 g, red/purple has 2.1 g, and savoy has 3.1 g.
For maintaining bone growth and keeping them strong! Young guinea pigs, elderly guinea pigs, and pregnant guinea pigs usually have higher calcium needs than the average guinea pig! This is because they need more of it to help strengthen their bones, and young guinea pigs need it to grow.
Other organs in the body also need calcium to function normally for overall health. In 100 g portions, green cabbage has 40 mg, napa has 105 mg, red/purple has 45 mg, and savoy has 35 mg.
What other benefits does cabbage provide for your guinea pig?
One great thing is that cabbage is low in calories, and it’s great for guinea pigs to get the nutrients they need without the risk of becoming overweight.
Red/purple cabbage in particular has a compound called anthocyanins, which gives it that red/purple pigment. Studies have shown that this pigment could help reduce the risk of heart disease. Cabbage is also a water-rich veggie, and can help with keeping your guinea pig hydrated!
What are the downsides about cabbage for guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks of feeding your guinea pig cabbage. Bloating and diarrhea can occur from overfeeding them cabbage because of the excess fiber. This can create some pain in discomfort in their digestive system.
Urinary infections and kidney stones can also occur because of the calcium content. While napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, is edible for your guinea pigs, it's best to stay away from it if you can, because it has so much more calcium than the other kinds!
Guinea pigs can eat cabbage, but do they like it?
They do! And the fact that it provides so many benefits is another plus.
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig cabbage?
It’s best to limit feeding your piggy cabbage to around once or twice a week to prevent the occurence of any unwanted side effects. We recommended slowly and carefully introducing this leafy veggie to your guinea pig. Start off with half a leaf to see how their body responds, and if it goes well, you can increase it to a full leaf.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs cabbage!
In moderation, cabbage of all colors is good for your guinea pig! Keep in mind that guinea pigs need a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet in addition to their regular hay and pellets. Just make sure to test the waters first with a small portion of cabbage to make sure they respond well to it before regularly including it into their meals.
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Vegetable Master List for an extensive list of vegetables for guinea pigs!