How To Properly Handle And Pick Up A Rabbit

Learn the proper techniques on how to handle and pick up a rabbit with ease and care. This guide provides the necessary knowledge to ensure the well-being and comfort of your furry friend.

Imagine you’re a proud new owner of a fluffy and adorable rabbit, but you’re not quite sure how to handle and pick them up without causing them any distress. Well, fear not! In this article, you will learn the proper techniques and tips on how to handle and pick up a rabbit with ease and care. Whether you’re a first-time bunny owner or simply looking to brush up on your bunny-handling skills, this guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge to ensure the well-being and comfort of your furry friend. So let’s dive in and discover the secrets to properly handling and picking up a rabbit!

How To Properly Handle And Pick Up A Rabbit


Before attempting to handle and pick up a rabbit, it is important to gather the necessary supplies. You will need a towel or blanket to hold the rabbit securely, as well as gloves if you are dealing with an aggressive rabbit. It is also crucial to create a safe environment for both you and the rabbit. Ensure that the area is free of any potential dangers or escape routes, such as open doors or sharp objects.

Approaching the Rabbit

Approaching a rabbit should be done quietly and calmly. Rabbits are naturally skittish animals, so sudden movements or loud noises can easily scare them away. Approach the rabbit slowly and speak in a soft, soothing voice. Give the rabbit time to become comfortable with your presence and allow it to approach you first. This will help build trust and make the handling process much smoother.

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Proper Lifting Techniques

When it comes to lifting a rabbit, it is crucial to support their weight adequately. Rabbits have delicate spines and can easily injure themselves if not handled properly. To lift a rabbit, place one hand under their chest and the other hand under their hind end. Be sure to hold the rabbit securely but gently, avoiding any sudden movements that may startle them.

Handling Young Rabbits

Young rabbits should not be handled until they are at least three weeks old. At this age, they are more independent and better able to handle the stress of being picked up. However, it is essential to exercise extra caution when handling them. Their bones are still developing, so avoid any rough handling or excessive pressure. It’s best to support their chest and hind end when lifting and holding them.

How To Properly Handle And Pick Up A Rabbit

Handling Adult Rabbits

When handling adult rabbits, it’s essential to start with a bonded relationship. Spend time with your rabbit every day, offering treats and positive interactions. This will create trust and make it easier to handle them when necessary. When approaching an adult rabbit, come from the side rather than from above. Rabbits have a natural prey instinct, and coming from above may trigger their flight response.

Avoiding Injury

To avoid injury while handling a rabbit, it is crucial to avoid carrying them by the scruff. Unlike cats, rabbits have a thinner and looser scruff, which can cause injury if unsupported. It is also important to be cautious with their hind legs. Rabbits have fragile bones in their hindquarters, and any sudden or excessive pressure can lead to fractures or dislocations. Always handle their hind end with care.

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How To Properly Handle And Pick Up A Rabbit

Recognizing Signs of Stress

Rabbits can exhibit several signs of stress when being handled. It is essential to watch for these cues and adjust your handling techniques accordingly. Some common body language cues include flattened ears, thumping hind legs, and a tense body posture. Rabbits may also vocalize their distress through growling, grunting, or even screaming. If you notice any signs of stress, it is best to give the rabbit some space and try again later.

Allowing Rabbit to Feel Secure

To ensure the rabbit feels secure while being handled, it is important to provide a hiding place in their environment. Rabbits naturally need a safe space to retreat to when feeling threatened or overwhelmed. This can be a simple cardboard box or a designated area in their enclosure with cozy bedding. Additionally, creating a comfortable holding position is key. Use a towel or blanket to create a soft surface for the rabbit to rest on while being held.

Handling Aggressive Rabbits

If you are dealing with an aggressive rabbit, it is crucial to understand the cause of their aggression before attempting to handle them. Aggression in rabbits can be due to fear, pain, territoriality, or hormonal changes. If necessary, use protective gloves when handling an aggressive rabbit to avoid injury. It is also essential to take a slow and patient approach, gradually building trust with the rabbit over time.

Putting Down the Rabbit

When it comes time to put the rabbit down, it is important to do so gently and safely. Lower the rabbit onto a soft surface, such as their bedding or a towel, to minimize the impact. Avoid any sudden movements or dropping the rabbit from a height, as this can cause injury or distress. Place the rabbit in a safe and familiar location, allowing them to return to their comfort zone after being handled