While not a meat that pet owners are used to seeing on the shelves of their grocery or pet food stores, Rabbit meat is a viable option for use in cat food recipes.
There is a small selection of cat food brands that use Rabbit meat as a major ingredient in some of their recipes, and several of these recipes are surprisingly popular among cats and cat owners.
Rabbit meat is considered by many to be Novel Meat and so is often fed to cats with severe dietary allergies or sensitivities. Other popular examples of Novel Meats utilized in cat food could be Kangaroo, Venison, and Aligator.
The primary Logic behind feeding cats a novel meat diet, such as Rabbit meat, is that the majority of cats will not have eaten rabbit meat previously and so are less likely to experience an adverse allergic reaction to the rabbit meat. This contrasts with more traditional meat ingredients such as Chicken or Beef, where previous exposure is almost certain.
For those who’d like to learn more about food allergies for pets, we’d recommend reading this short summary by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
While novel meat diets or hypoallergenic cat food may be Rabbit Meat’s primary use, Rabbit meat can also be fed to cats without any allergies or sensitivities, as if it were any of the other common meat ingredients. Rabbit has a distinct taste that may be appealing to your cat either as a treat or on a regular basis.
Rabbit Meat Nutrition For Cats
Rabbit meat is relatively low in fat and contains less fat per pound than popular red meats such as Beef or Pork. While animal fat is an important component of a cat’s diet, cats do not need an excessive proportion of fat and can excel on a high protein diet. This is especially true for indoor cats or senior cats that are less active than younger cats or those that spend long periods outdoors.
Given its lower fat content, Rabbit meat has a generous proportion of protein. Protein from animal and fish ingredients is advantageous when compared to plant-based protein as it contains the full range of amino acids that a cat requires. Also, protein from animal sources is more easily absorbed by a cat’s digestive system than plant-based protein.
Regarding the nutritional content outside of protein and fat, Vitamin B12 is one of the most abundant vitamins in Rabbit meat. Vitamin B12 is a vital component of a cat’s diet and is important for the health of a cat’s nervous system.
If a cat suffered from a lack of Vitamin B12, this could negatively affect its senses, such as its sight, hearing, and smell. Other common sources of Vitamin B12 are organ meat ingredients and fish like Trout.
Rabbit meat is also high in some beneficial minerals such as Phosphorous. Phosphorous can play an important role in a cat’s diet as it aids in the repair and maintenance of the body’s cells, especially a cat’s bones and teeth.
Lastly, Selenium is another notable mineral to mention that Rabbit meat has high levels of. Two of Selenium’s known benefits for cats its ability to aid the body’s immune system, which is critical to avoid sickness and fight off dangerous infections.
Secondly, Selenium can be critical in the body’s efforts to maintain proper thyroid function, and therefore, a sufficient level of Selenium in a cat’s diet can help prevent thyroid-related conditions.
Is Rabbit Meat Cat Food Expensive?
The cost of Rabbit meat varies significantly and is primarily dependant on where in the world you are located. For example, in many European countries such as Spain, rabbit meat is relatively inexpensive.
Whereas in other countries such as the United States of America, fresh rabbit meat is more difficult to come across and can often be quite costly in comparison to other meats.
Unbeknownst to many, Rabbits can be farmed in a very similar way to other traditional farm animals such as chickens, cows, or pigs. This is a necessity for Rabbit meat to be cost-effective as modern farming techniques significantly decrease the cost of meat production.
Most, if not all, Rabbit meat found in the cat food recipes discussed in this article will be from Rabbit farms as they need a large scale and consistent source in order to maintain regular production.
We have found that many of the cat food formulas that contain Rabbit meat are not noticeably more expensive than recipes that include traditional meat ingredients.
Because of this, we do not believe you should become overly concerned about Rabbit-based cat food being more costly unless you are attempting to buy fresh Rabbit to create your own homemade cat food.
Best Cat Food With Rabbit
Nature’s Logic Feline Rabbit Meal Feast Review
Nature’s Logic is a pet food brand we find ourselves returning to, time and time again. Their consistency and variety are relatively unmatched, and most importantly, for this discussion, they make extensive use of uncommon meat and fish ingredients.
The brand’s dog food range includes meat ingredients such as Venison, Pork, and Sardine, which are all relatively uncommon or novel.
While they don’t produce all of these recipes for cats, they do have a rabbit-based cat food recipe. This recipe includes a large portion of Rabbit, which is big enough to be the recipe’s largest ingredient.
This Rabbit meat is joined by a smaller portion of Turkey Meal to provide a very satisfactory proportion of protein and fat coming in at a minimum of 38% protein and 16% fat.
This nutritional profile is well above average when compared to most other dry cat food recipes and is well suited to cats of all activity levels.
The Rabbit and Turkey are joined by a portion of Millet which is used throughout Nature’s Logic’s range. Millet is an unusual grain ingredient that does not see extensive use in pet food but pet owners who feed Nature’s Logic recipes swear by it.
If the above Rabbit dry cat food recipe doesn’t appeal to you, Nature’s Logic also produces a wet cat food equivalent which you can find here.
This wet cat food recipe doesn’t rely upon another meat ingredient like Turkey Meal and is majority rabbit meat which could make it more appealing to cats that need a strict, single meat diet.
Lastly, if you’d like to read more about Nature’s Logic, we have an in-depth discussion on the brand, which you can find here.
Hound & Gatos 98% Rabbit Review
While relatively unknown, especially to pet owners who only shop at large retail pet food stores like PetSmart or Petco, Hound & Gatos are an extremely high-quality pet food brand and appeal to cat owners who want to spare no expense for their feline friends.
Hound & Gatos wet pet food recipes contain 98% meat content which is unprecedented and ensures that there is an insignificant portion of plant matter present.
You can read more about Hound & Gatos, including other steps they take to be one of the highest quality pet food brands available in our Hound & Gatos Brand Review.
This is critical to cats, given that they are obligate carnivores and thrive best on a diet high in animal or fish-based content without large portions of vegetables or grains.
The above Rabbit recipe from Hound & Gatos only contains two notable ingredients, the first and most obvious being Rabbit.
Thanks to this huge portion of rabbit, the recipe offers a minimum of 11% protein and 7% fat which is extremely high for a wet cat food formula.
Outside of this Rabbit, the formula contains a small portion of Agar-Agar, which is commonly found in wet pet food recipes and is used as a binding agent to give the food a consistent texture and appearance.
It is also worth noting that Hound & Gatos have another recipe that contains Rabbit which is their Paleolithic
Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe With Real Rabbit Review
Instinct may be a more familiar face for those who are regular shoppers at large pet food stores like PetSmart which it can often take up a large portion of one of their aisles.
While the brand has several unique product range’s including raw and semi-raw offerings, their Original range is an extremely reliable choice and one which we regularly recommend.
You can see the full Original range as well as their Raw offerings in our Instinct Brand Review.
The above Rabbit recipe from this Original range contains an extremely impressive proportion of protein and fat coming in at a minimum of 40.5% and 22.5%, respectively.
This incredible nutritional profile is significantly above-average and is one of the best we’ve seen from a dry cat food utilizing an uncommon meat ingredient like Rabbit.
While Rabbit is the most abundant meat ingredient present, the recipe includes several more, including Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat, White Fish Meal, and Salmon Meal.
While all of these meat and fish ingredients are high-quality additions packed with protein and fat, this large range may make this recipe unsuitable for cats with delicate stomachs and allergies. Instead, it would be well-suited to cats without serious dietary issues.
Outside of this huge portion of meat and fish, the recipe from Instinct includes a portion of Peas and Tapioca. These two ingredients are regular additions to dry pet food recipes and can provide a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber.
Ziwi Peak Rabbit & Lamb Recipe Review
Ziwi Peak is well-known in the ultra-premium pet food space as the world leader in the air-dried/freeze-dried niche. These products are eye-wateringly expensive but are second to none when it comes to nutrition and simplicity.
You can learn more about Ziwki Peak and air-dried cat food in our Ziwi Peak Brand Review.
However, many neglect to learn more about the brand, including the fact that Ziwi Peak also has a large and varied range of wet/canned pet food. This wet food range includes some recipes that use less common meat ingredients like Rabbit.
The above NZ Rabbit & Lamb Recipe contains a mix of Rabbit and Lamb meat as well as a range of organ meat ingredients such as Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, and Lamb Kidney.
These organ meat ingredients are excellent additions to a cat’s diet and can greatly enhance the flavor of the recipe, as well as provide several beneficial vitamins and minerals that may not be present in traditional meat cuts.
Outside of this Rabbit and Lamb content, the recipe contains no other notable ingredients, especially plant-based ingredients. This ensures the proportion of protein and fat is vast and more than sufficient for even the most active cats.
Halo Rabbit & Garden Greens Recipe Review
Halo is a cat food brand that is best known for being associated with the celebrity Ellen DeGeneres. The popular talk show host took partial ownership of the brand in recent years, but they have been producing pet food for far longer than that and were first founded in 1986.
You can discover the full history of the Halo Brand in our Halo Brand Review.
While many cat food brands tend to make their recipes generic, Halo has many different specialty recipes, including some for Kittens, Senior Cats, and cats with allergies and sensitivities.
The above Rabbit recipe is a prime example of this and is designed for cats with Sensitive Stomachs, which an increasingly common issue.
A large portion of Rabbit is joined by a smaller portion of Chicken and Chicken Liver. As we mentioned earlier, organ meat ingredients such as the Liver can improve palatability and provide additional nutrition.
Another notable addition in this recipe is a small portion of Eggs. Eggs are extremely nutritious and underutilized in pet food. One of their best traits is that they are extremely bioavailable, which means a cat’s digestive system will waste very little of the nutrition value.
Like most of the other wet cat food recipes mentioned here, this recipe from Halo does not contain a notable quantity of plant-based content which closely aligns it to a cat’s natural diet.
Freely Limited Ingredient Rabbit Recipe Review
Freely are one of several smaller brands to introduce vegetarian dog food into the market. While we won’t get into that controversial topic in this article, the brand also produces some impressive and simple pet food recipes that are not vegetarian.
Given that they only have three dry cat food recipes, it will come as somewhat of a surprise that one of them is rabbit-based, as most other brands with small product ranges would tend to stick to more traditional ingredients like Chicken or Salmon.
Unlike several other recipes mentioned here, Freely does not make use of additional meat ingredients beyond its core Rabbit content which is a mix of Rabbit and Rabbit Meal.
While this means the proportion of protein and fat is somewhat lower in this recipe, at 31% protein and 18% fat, it means it could be an ideal choice for cats looking for a limited ingredient cat food recipe with Rabbit.
This proportion of protein and fat is still sufficient for many cats, especially those that are based indoors or are less active.
Outside of this Rabbit content, the recipe makes extensive use of legume and starch ingredients such as Peas, Sweet Potatoes, and Lentils.
These ingredients are dense sources of nutrition, including carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber. In an ideal world, cats would not consume these in high quantities; it is a necessary evil for affordable dry pet food.
Tiki Cat After Dark Rabbit & Chicken Liver Pate Review
Tiki Cat is one of our favorite wet cat food brands and one that we could not leave out once we learned that they had a rabbit-based cat food recipe.
Tiki Cat’s product range is huge, and its recipes can regularly be found on the shelves of independent and smaller pet food stores across the United States and Canada.
You can read more about Tiki Cat and discover their full product range in our Tiki Brand Review.
Tiki’s After Dark range includes organ meat ingredients and is available in Pate or whole food forms. They are well-known amongst cat owners as being extremely appealing to cats as if wet cat food was not appealing enough by itself.
The primary ingredient in the recipe is Rabbit which is not surprising, but the recipe also includes a portion of Duck and Chicken Liver. Duck is another less common meat ingredient and has a similar taste to Rabbit.
This combination of meat ingredients provides an extremely impressive proportion of protein and fat coming in at 15% and 6%, which is extremely high for a wet cat food recipe.
Outside of this meat content, the recipe contains no other notable ingredients, let alone plant-based ingredients. As we mentioned earlier, this kind of diet closely aligns with what cats would eat naturally.