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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Purple Cabbage? (Serving Size, Risks & More)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: August 7, 2021

Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means that their main source of food is herbs, shrubs, and grasses. However, not all leafy greens and other types of vegetables and fruits are equally beneficial and safe for guinea pigs and human beings. People can consume many produces that are dangerous and even lethal for guinea pigs. Can guinea pigs eat purple cabbage? Is it safe for these small animals?

Guinea pigs can eat all types of cabbages but should only be fed in moderation because certain nutrients in cabbage can be dangerous for guinea pigs when eaten in larger quantities. Cabbage contains a lot of calcium that is responsible for the formation of kidney and bladder stones in guinea pigs. However, it also contains beneficial vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A) and minerals that are important for the healthy functioning of their bodies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Purple Cabbage?

Purple cabbage is a high-nutrient, cruciferous vegetable related to kale and cauliflower but with dark purple-reddish leaves. That’s why people also call it red cabbage.

Red cabbage is smaller and denser than green cabbage and has a peppery flavor.

Purple cabbage is the best type of cabbage for guinea pigs because of the balance of different nutrients contained in this vegetable.

So yes, guinea pigs eat red cabbage and some even love it.

Let’s learn more about the nutrition facts of green and red cabbage. 

What Are the Different Types of Cabbage?

There are different types of cabbage, each with healthy nutrients.

  • Green cabbage
  • White cabbage
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Purple (red) cabbage
  • Sweetheart cabbage
  • Chinese cabbage

Green Cabbage

Green cabbage has countless pale green thick leaves and has many health benefits.

The presence of powerful nutrients in green cabbage such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins are all beneficial for your guinea pig’s health.

Green cabbage also contains potassium and folate, minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

It is also an abundant source of polyphenols and sulfur compounds.

Guinea pigs eat both green and red cabbage but you should feed guinea pigs cabbage only in moderate quantities to avoid bloating and indigestion.

White Cabbage

White cabbage is also called Dutch Cabbages.

It is a type of green cabbage with very pale colored leaves.

However, it’s healthier and tastier.

It contains a lot of vitamin C, dietary fiber as well as vitamin K, selenium, potassium, and magnesium.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage is curly with deeply ridged deep green leaves.

It’s crispy and crunchier when compared to other types of cabbages.

Savoy cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.

It’s also a great source of manganese, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Purple Cabbage (or Red Cabbage)

Purple cabbage has dark red, purple-colored leaves.

It is identical to green cabbage except for its color and moist-looking leaves.

Its dark leaves signify the presence of a higher level of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that is specifically found in red cabbage and has extraordinary health benefits.

For guinea pigs, purple cabbage is the healthiest of all types of cabbage as it is high in fiber, vitamin C, and anthocyanins.

It helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and also lessen the risk of heart and liver damage.

Purple cabbage is a great addition to a healthy guinea pig’s diet because of its impressive nutrients.

Sweetheart Cabbage

Sweetheart cabbage is sweeter and softer compared to green cabbage.

It is a leafy green vegetable that’s rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and folates.

Guinea pigs eat cabbage but they should consume it only in small quantities because the surplus presence of Vitamin K can have a detrimental effect on their health.

Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage has a large head with tightly packed green leaves.

It is low in calories and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients such as folic acid, and vitamin B.

For these reasons, it is a perfect choice for your guinea pig diet but you should feed your guinea pig Chinese cabbage only in minimum quantities.

There are two other types of Chinese Cabbage namely Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy Cabbage.

Is Cabbage Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, guinea pigs eat cabbage and it is perfectly safe for these small animals, as it is low in calories but rich in nutrients such as fiber and powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals.

Lowers Risk Of Cancers

We all know about the benefits of Vitamin C that it can protect us against cancers so its existence in cabbage makes it a great supplementary vegetable.

A diet that is rich in Vitamin C can lower the risk of certain cancers.

Helps Digestion

Cabbage helps in improving digestion because it contains insoluble fiber.

It also helps to release constipation.

Likewise, it helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

The presence of fiber enables the release of toxins through stool.

As a low-calorie vegetable, it contains many nutrients that are of great health benefits, so the cabbage should have a great part in our everyday meals.

Brain Health

Cabbage is also beneficial for keeping the brain of your guinea pig healthy.

It helps in enhancing memory and also optimize blood flow to the brain.

Heart Health

The anthocyanins in red cabbage that help protect against cancer assist to prevent the inflammation that may lead to heart disease.

The increased amount of polyphenol in cabbage might also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by prohibiting platelet buildup and also reducing blood pressure.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cabbage is anti-inflammatory as it contains a compound named Sulforaphane, which helps in reducing inflammation.

Consuming cabbage helps to reduce irritation, allergies, and various skin disorders.

Healthy Bones

Cabbage is also a great source of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium as other cruciferous vegetables.

The above three fundamental minerals are vital in the safety of bones from degradation.

It also helps in preventing the conditions like osteoporosis and the weakening of the bones.

Cabbage has a good amount of vitamins present in it.

Vitamin K-rich foods help to strengthen bones, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles.

Are There Risks When Feeding Cabbage to Guinea Pigs?

Cabbage contains a lot of nutrients that can be harmful to your guinea pig if it’s a regular part of their daily diet.

For that reason, you should always feed your guinea pig cabbage in moderate quantities (a leaf or two) and only one to two times a week.

Otherwise, your guinea pig can develop a series of health problems.


Calcium helps in the development of teeth and bones in young and baby guinea pigs, but it can become risky for adult guinea pigs.

When adult guinea pigs eat cabbage in excess, it can contribute to bladder stones due to the high calcium content, so keep this in mind while feeding cabbage to guinea pigs.

Another downside is that cabbage can cause bloating and diarrhea in guinea pigs.

So, when giving your guinea pigs to eat cabbage, make sure to combine it with other fresh vegetables that are rich in other nutrients and low in calcium.

Bladder Stones

Calcium in cabbage can lead to kidney and bladder stones in guinea pigs when fed in an abundant amount.

Guinea pigs cannot regulate calcium and they absorb it.

When there’s too much of this mineral in their bodies it can form painful kidney and bladder stones.

For that reason, guinea pigs can eat cabbage only in moderation.

Bloating And Indigestion

Cabbage can also result in stomach upsets in guinea pigs.

When guinea pigs eat cabbage often, they may suffer from indigestion and bloating.

The sensitive digestive system of a guinea pig can suffer greatly due to calcium.

So, feeding guinea pigs too much cabbage can put them at risk.

Guinea pigs eat cabbage, but they should eat it only in moderation to prevent bloating and digestion problems.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Red Cabbage Every Day?

Cabbage can be a part of a guinea pig diet once or twice a week but don’t feed your guinea pigs daily with this vegetable

According to experts, you should feed your guinea pig cabbage one to two small leaves, which provides sufficient nutrients, especially when combined with other types of fruits and vegetables.

Moderation and balance are key to a healthy guinea pig.

How Much Purple Cabbage Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Be careful about the serving size and the frequency of feeding red cabbage to your guinea pigs.

Feed One or Two Times a Week

Guinea pigs should be fed purple cabbages one or two times a week.

You can give your guinea pig purple cabbages but not in large amounts.

Much cabbage in your guinea pig’s diet can cause gas, indigestion, and bloating.

Both young and older guinea pigs can eat cabbage in moderation to avoid urinary stones.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cabbage Core?

Absolutely yes, guinea pigs can eat cabbage core. It is just as healthy for them as leaves are.

When your guinea pigs eat purple cabbage, make sure to chop the cabbage core or leaves into smaller pieces.

Even if a guinea pig enjoys eating cabbage, keep the serving size small to avoid any possible side effects and risks to your guinea pig’s health.

Which One Is Healthier for Guinea Pigs: Green Cabbage or Purple Cabbage?

Nutritional value of green and red cabbage compared

The color of cabbages varies from green to red and purple.

Firstly, we have to emphasize that different types of cabbage are all safe for guinea pigs to eat in moderation.

The main reason for this is the amount of calcium found in cabbage.

Secondly, when feeding cabbage to your guinea pigs, make sure to vary it with other types of vegetables and fruits that have different nutritional values.

For example, never combine cabbage with other collard greens such as broccoli or kale because they are all high in calcium.

Instead, opt for apples, tomatoes, strawberries, and similar foods that are rich in other nutrients.

Nutritional Facts of Red Cabbage

Cabbages are rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.

Manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin B1, folate, copper, phosphorus, Vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, pantothenic acid, protein, and niacin are also contained in this vegetable.

Red cabbage is slightly higher in vitamin C and total carbohydrates, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

However, it is also a bit higher in sodium, which makes green cabbage a better option.

Still, you won’t make a mistake if you feed your guinea pigs cabbage of any kind in moderation. 

Red cabbage is great if guinea pigs eat it in limited quantities, especially combined with other fruits and vegetables.

Which Nutrients in Purple Cabbage Are Beneficial for Guinea Pigs?

Purple Cabbage is great for guinea pigs as it contains nutrients beneficial for them.

Let’s check them out.

Vitamin C

Red cabbage contains a bit higher amounts of vitamin C compared to green cabbage.

For that reason, red cabbage is a good source of vitamin C as guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own.

Vitamin C maintains the strong immune system of your pet guinea pig.

Due to vitamin C deficiency, guinea pigs develop scurvy, which is a potentially fatal disease for them. 

Adult guinea pigs need 30 mg/kg of vitamin C daily, while pregnant and lactating guinea pigs can consume more of this vitamin.

Excess vitamin C is eliminated through urine, so make sure that your guinea pigs consume enough of this vitamin.

Vitamin A

Purple cabbage has a great amount of vitamin A which is essential for guinea pigs.

It contributes to healthy eye vision and immune system, and it is also good for the skin.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in maintaining the health of guinea pigs.

Red cabbage contains more Vitamin K than other cabbages, which is why you should feed your guinea pig red cabbage only in moderation.

What Are the Health Benefits Of Purple Cabbage?

Purple cabbage has many health benefits, which is why guinea pigs can eat this vegetable more often compared to some other types of vegetables.

Helps Digestion

Guinea pigs have a hard time digesting because of their weak digestive system.

Red cabbage helps them in eliminating digestive relating issues because red cabbage is rich in fiber.

Reduces Inflammation

As red cabbage consists of antioxidants, it helps in dealing with inflammation such as infections, diseases, or injuries.

The right amount of red cabbage in guinea pigs’ diet assists in dealing with chronic inflammation.

Develops Strong Bones And Teeth

Vitamin K in red cabbage leads to stronger bones and teeth in guinea pigs.

Including red cabbage in guinea pigs’ diet can help on developing their stronger bones and teeth.

Cardiovascular Protection

The anthocyanins and antioxidants present in red cabbage provide cardiovascular protection.

It also protects red blood cells.

Boosts Immunity

Vitamin C in red cabbage ensures boosting the immunity of a guinea pig.

A healthy immune system helps in fighting diseases and infections.

Eliminates Free Radicals

Free radicals can cause cells to damage as they are created by the metabolic process in the body.

Red cabbage helps eliminate free radicals from the guinea pigs’ bodies.

Prevents Cholesterol Oxidation

When cholesterol becomes oxidized in the body, it becomes harmful.

It can cause heart diseases and other complications in the body.

An antioxidant flavonoid is present in purple cabbage that prevents the oxidation of cholesterol.

So, guinea pigs can be protected from heart diseases and other complications by adding red cabbage to your guinea pigs’ diet.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Purple cabbage is a good source of potassium, manganese, and iron.

These minerals help in regulating blood pressure at an optimum level.

If the blood pressure is not at the optimum level in guinea pigs or can create complications like stroke and many others related to the heart.

The minerals present in purple cabbage keep the blood pressure level optimum and have a good impact on the heart of your guinea pig.

Aids Weight Loss

Purple Cabbage has a great amount of dietary fiber so it helps in weight loss.

It stimuli the deterioration of calories in the body so the weight of the guinea pigs remains in control.

What Are the Risks of Feeding Guinea Pigs Purple Cabbage?

All types of cabbage are good for guinea pigs but only when given in moderation. They are high in calcium and this mineral is responsible for the creation of kidney and bladder stones.

Indigestion And Bloating

The weak digestive system of guinea pigs can cause problems for them if we overfeed them with purple cabbage.

Too much eating of purple cabbage can cause gas and bloating in them, although a small intake of purple cabbage can be easier for them to digest.

Kidney Issues

The high calcium content in purple cabbage is helpful for young guinea pigs but can be risky for your adult guinea pig.

Calcification can trigger the formation of urinary tract stones.

So, you can feed your guinea pigs cabbage, but only in small portions.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs are herbivores and that fiber and vitamin C are the most important nutrients in their daily diet.

You should feed your guinea pigs with unlimited amounts of timothy hay, some pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables in moderate quantities.

Guinea pigs can eat red cabbage and all types of cabbage as they are perfectly safe for guinea pigs.

Moreover, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is very important for your guinea pig’s health.

However, you should feed them this vegetable only in moderation and occasionally.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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