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How To Care For Your Baby Rabbit: Do’s And Don’ts

baby rabbit

Congratulations on becoming a new paw parent to an adorable baby rabbit! You're about to embark on a wonderful rabbit care journey for your fluffy new friend. Because you now have a big responsibility to provide your little bun with everything they need to thrive. 

We’re adding some knowledge and tools to your pet parent tool belt today so you'll be all set to create a great life together. From diet, grooming, socializing, and safety - we’re covering it all

Check out Sara on Youtube where she's talking all about caring for baby rabbits!

Caring for a baby rabbit is different from caring for an adult bunny, and it's important to be prepared with the right information. So, let's hop to it and make sure your baby bunny grows into a happy and healthy adult rabbit.

Preparing For Your New Baby Rabbit

Before you bring home your bunny, get their space set up and have everything ready to go so they can start acclimating to their new environment. The sooner they become familiar with where everything is the sooner they will feel at home!

baby rabbit

A Safe Enclosure

You may have already noticed but the rabbit cages at the pet store are much too small for your growing bun. If you want to buy something at a pet store you and your rabbit will do best with a large dog crate. 

There are plenty of ways to create your rabbit's enclosure. Many people use storage panels and connect them together with zip ties. This gives you lots of freedom with size and shape. 

30’’ by 36’’ is the smallest you should use for a rabbit. Truly, the bigger the better. A rabbit's enclosure has a big impact on their overall health and happiness. 

You will also need to let them out for exercise every day but we will talk more about that later! 

Check out Sara and her rabbit set-up tips on Youtube!

Litter Box and Bedding

It’s very easy for a rabbit to learn to use a litterbox. However, baby rabbits don’t have control of their bladder just yet. By four months old, your rabbit will be ready to use a litterbox. But you can certainly start them out in a setup that encourages the use of the litter box. 

Putting a pile of hay in front of the litter box actually encourages them to go there! Because they like to snack while they poop. Quite a different setup from the hooman’s house. 

Once your rabbit uses a litter box then you may only want to have bedding in the box. But until then you’re going to need more ground coverings. You may want enough bedding to cover the floor of their enclosure. 

In my experience, baby rabbits do catch on to the litter box fairly quickly. But in those early days, be ready, and don’t get discouraged if your baby bun is acting, well… like a baby bun!

Sara is sharing some great house training tips on Youtube!


Wild rabbits are prey animals. Which means they survive by keeping themselves hidden from danger. While your baby bun won’t be coming up against much danger, their instincts are to be hyper-alert to any threats. 

Noisy guests, the dishwasher suddenly starting, or the doorbell ringing could all lead them to look for shelter. Even in a very peaceful house, many rabbits want to sleep in a hideout.

baby rabbit

So a hideout is essential for keeping your bun calm, relaxed, and well-rested! The less stress the better.

Water Bowl

Your rabbit needs access to water 24/7. Water bowls allow your rabbit to drink more naturally. They also give your bun an opportunity to splash their paws if they want. 

Natural Toys For Your Baby Rabbit

You are about to discover just how playful a baby rabbit can be! Rabbits are very curious animals. They want to spend their days exploring new tastes and textures

Wild rabbits spend their day pulling and tugging on grass and other plants. So the best toys will get your bun up and moving in similar ways!

It’s also important to keep the materials in their enclosure natural and safe for chewing because anything in their cage will get chewed. Rabbits are always chewing… and for good reason! 

Let’s talk about that while we dive into mealtime. 

What To Feed Your Baby Rabbit

When a rabbit is first born it will nurse from its mother. You shouldn’t get your rabbit from its mother until at least 8 weeks. This helps set them up for a healthy life!

baby rabbit

At around 2-3 weeks old baby rabbits will start to nibble on hay. By 6-8 weeks their digestion system has matured and they’re all set for digesting solids. 


Hay is the staple of any rabbit's diet. It should be offered 24/7 as a free choice food. It’s the most important part of their day! Young rabbits should be fed alfalfa hay. This gives them extra protein and calcium that they need as they grow

Hay provides rabbits with the fiber they need to keep their digestive system moving and the roughage they need to wear down their teeth. Because their teeth are always growing!

At around 7-8 months old they should be transitioned to a low-calcium hay like Timothy hay or Orchard grass.

An adult rabbit shouldn’t be fed alfalfa hay as their free-choice food as it is too high in calcium and can cause problems with their kidneys


For adult rabbits, pellets are more of a supplement to their diet of mostly hay. But for young rabbits, pellets are actually very important! Young rabbits should get an alfalfa-based pellet blend to help them grow.

Make sure you have a quality pellet without any fillers. They should look pretty boring without any colorful pieces. 


Treats! Now we’re talking. Treats are a great way to bond with your rabbit and get them excited about searching around their space. But it’s important to remember that a baby rabbit has a sensitive digestive system. 

More advanced food should be saved for when they’re older. This includes sugary fruits. They will have many years to try different treats.

However, hay cubes are a good option for baby rabbits because they’re just made of hay! They get all the nutritional goodness of hay but with a new shape to explore. 

Fresh Foods

When your rabbit is at least 3 months old you can start to introduce small amounts of leafy greens into their diet.

 When introducing foods you need to start very small and make sure your rabbit is feeling okay digesting the new food. 

Check out this list for ideas of foods you can let your bun nibble on! 

Grooming Your Baby Rabbit

You don’t need to give your baby rabbit a bath. Doing so strips their fur of the natural oils that they need to keep their fur and skin healthy! You can help clean off their feet or bum if they need it but a full bath is not healthy for rabbits. 


Brushing your rabbit is very helpful in removing loose fur. Rabbits will lick themselves but it’s not good for them to get too much fur in their mouth or digestive system. The fur can cause a blockage.

Unlike cats who can throw up a hairball, rabbits don’t throw up! Anything that goes in must go all the way through. So if you can prevent fur from ending up in their stomach that's a good thing.

Brushing also helps remove debris from their fur and gives you an opportunity to check their skin for any parasites or infections. 

Clipping Their Nails

A rabbit’s nails need to be trimmed at least every 1-2 months. Be very careful that you don’t cut the quick of the nail as this is painful and can bleed. 

When a rabbit’s nails get too long, so does the quick. If your rabbit's nails have gotten too long you will need to trim their nails more frequently (even a few times a week) where you just cut a tiny bit off every time to help the quick and nail get back to a comfortable length. 

A baby rabbit usually doesn't need their nails clipped till they are older so just keep an eye on your specific rabbit and start clipping when they need it!

Interacting With Your Baby Rabbit

When you first bring your rabbit home they’ll be overwhelmed. Don’t try to force interactions right away. Slow and steady wins the race. Give your bunny time to settle in and feel comfortable with their new space. Let them get used to just seeing you around!

baby rabbit

Never trap your rabbit. If it looks like they are stressed and trying to get some space, let them! Give them time to get curious and come to you. They will soon learn that you are a great friend!

A lot of the ways that dogs and cats like to play come from their hunting instincts. With rabbits, their play comes from their instincts to explore and forage

Hide treats for them to find. Tunnels are great for play time. Get down on their level with them and see how the world looks! 

Rabbits need time outside of their cage every day. This needs to be supervised time in a safe space. This is where you will really see their personality come out! You’ll see them zoom around and get curious about you and everything in the room. 

Keeping Your Baby Rabbit In Good Health

Spaying and neutering rabbits help keep your rabbit happy and healthy. It reduces hormonal behaviors and smells which is great for you as well.

Males are usually altered at 4 months old and females at 6 months old. You should keep any unaltered rabbits away from the opposite sex before that as they can get pregnant sooner. 

It’s important to have an exotic vet picked out before you ever need one. When a rabbit gets sick, they often hide how they are feeling until it’s closer to an emergency. You don’t want to be scrambling to find a vet at that point. 

If you notice any of these symptoms then you need to get your baby rabbit checked out by an exotic vet:

  • diarrhea

  • low appetite

  • limping or acting lethargic

  • hunching in the corner

  • sneezing multiple times throughout the day

  • constipation

  • holding their head sideways 

The more time you spend with your new rabbit the more you will get to know them. Any  behavior out of the norm could be something to ask your vet about.

A proper diet and exercise go a long way in keeping your rabbit healthy. Prevention is the way to go. 

Common Mistakes With Rabbit Care

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when caring for a baby rabbit. 

  • Not feeding enough hay. Hay is the most important part of a rabbit's world. Make sure your baby rabbit knows that!

  • Small housing. Again, don’t let the pet store fool you. These animals need lots of space.

  • Not letting your bun out to run enough. Rabbits need lots of exercise. Get them out and let them show you how they hop and binkie with excitement!

  • Not giving enough toys. Rabbits have a lot they need to do! They need to tug, pull, and explore. Make sure you’re providing them with an enriching environment that gets them hopping out of bed in the morning. 

Bringing home a baby rabbit is an exciting time. And watching them grow will be an adventure (for both of you!) Since you're here, we already know you’re going to be great at this rabbit parent gig. 

Good luck little hooman! You’ve got this!


We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.


Before adding any new product, please consult your exotic veterinarian. If your pet is acting unwell and you have concerns for their well being, please contact your vet immediately.

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