Can Rabbits Vomit? (Facts, Reasons & Disadvantages)

Can Rabbits Vomit?

For most animals, one of the clinical signs that you know your pet is sick is when they start vomiting. According to an NHS Inform article, this typically happens in response to a toxic chemical that enters the body. The body will try to force out the food because of the irritation in the gut. 

However, when it comes to rabbits, you might wonder, can this animal vomit? The answer is no. Rabbits are not capable of vomiting because they have a unique digestive system to other species.

In this article, we will tackle why rabbits are incapable of throwing up. And what are the disadvantages it can do to your pet? If you want to know more about this topic, continue scrolling. 

Rabbits Digestive System 

The digestive system’s role in rabbits is to absorb all the nutrients they get from the food and remove unwanted waste from their body. According to reports, rabbits digest their nourishment twice. One is when they eat their regular meal. Second is consuming their poop, called cecotropes

That is why sometimes you will notice that your rabbit is fodder on their stool, and you must know that it is only natural for them. Your pet gets additional nutrients from this poop because it is formed inside its body to be edible and healthy. 

Although rabbits’ digestion does amazing work like this, one of the disadvantages it can do to them is one-way metabolism. This means that when your rabbit starts eating something, there is only one path for the food: to exit through its body by pooping. Hence, that is why rabbits are incapable of vomiting.

Why is my rabbit vomiting?

Again rabbits cannot physically vomit, so if you see your rabbit exhibit vomiting behavior, there must be another reason behind it. One of the closest things to your rabbit is probably coughing. 

If your pet has snuffles, their respiratory system is irritated, so the rabbits will cough or sneeze continuously. Or, on some occasions, you might need to be careful of possible choking in rabbits. Choking is a dangerous threat that can occur in rabbits because of food or things stuck in their throat. You must remove that thing immediately if this happens because it can lead to suffocation and death.

Reasons Why Rabbit Cannot Vomit

Rabbits Do Not Have a Gag Reflex

The National Institution of Health stated that the gag reflex is a muscle that helps the body vomit. It can happen because of involuntary contraction, which prevents the body’s waste from going up in the mouth. However, rabbits lack a gag reflex in their system, so technically, their body doesn’t have the strength to vomit. 

Rabbits Have a Weak Diaphragm 

Vomiting requires a lot of muscle contraction. But since your rabbit has a weak diaphragm, throwing up will be painful for them. If your rabbit wanted to force a compound out of their body, it would exit through the anus as poop. 

Disadvantages of Rabbits’ Inability to Vomit

Not having the ability to vomit brings some disadvantages to your pet. That is why rabbits are also considered vulnerable, especially regarding their digestive health. Here are some of the dangers and risks that can happen to your pet. 


One health concern you should always keep an eye on your pet is diarrhea. This illness often happens to rabbits because of improper diet and consuming the toxic compound. Since rabbits have a one-way digestive function, all waste inside their bodies will affect their poop. 

That is why you will notice they have diarrhea if their poop appears soft and watery in texture. A normal stool that rabbits excrete is usually in pellet shape and firm, so if you see a poor texture, kindly visit their veterinarian immediately. 


Not all kinds of foods are safe for your rabbit to eat. That is why planning their diet is crucial to maintain healthy digestive function. One of the usual effects of ingesting harmful foods is toxicity in your rabbits. It can lead to several stomach complications and cause great pain. 

To guide you better, here is the list of food you should avoid giving to rabbits;

Read More: The Definitive Guide To What Foods Rabbits Can & Cannot Eat & Definitive Guide to Your Rabbit’s Health

Key Takeaways

  • Rabbits are incapable of vomiting because their digestive system is a one-way function.
  • One-way digestive system means that once food enters the rabbit’s body, the only exit is through the anus, which is excreting poop. 
  • Rabbits occasionally digest their nourishment twice. First is when they eat their daily food. The second is foddering on their poop called cecotropes. 
  • If you see your rabbit exhibiting vomiting behavior, it does not mean they are throwing up. The rabbit is probably coughing because of snuffles or choking. 
  • Other reasons why rabbits cannot vomit are; 1. Rabbits do not have a gag reflex, and 2. Rabbits have a weak diaphragm. 
  • Being unable to vomit gives health disadvantages to rabbits, such as they are prone to diarrhea and toxicity.
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