Advice on Rabbits

Are you a rabbit fanatic? Find out how to make sure yours is a happy bunny.

Rabbits are sociable and live in large groups in the wild. They need company but sometimes fight when kept together as pets.


Food and Water

Rabbits eat a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as other specially made rabbit foods. Check that:

  • your rabbit can always get to water
  • your rabbit is eating grass or hay as it's an important part of its diet
  • your rabbit eats fresh grass rather than cut grass



A rabbit can live inside or out, but it needs a hutch big enough to move around and stand upright in. Sawdust, straw, hay and shredded paper can all be used as bedding. Make sure that:

  • if your rabbit lives inside it can't chew electrical wires and furniture
  • your rabbit's hutch is kept away from dogs, cats, foxes and other animals
  • the hutch is waterproof and kept off the ground so that it doesn't get damp, cold or draughty
  • the hutch has two compartments (one for sleeping and another that's lighter and more airy)



Rabbits need daily exercise or they may become bored and destructive. Remember to check that:

  • your garden is safe or you have a special run for your rabbit to exercise in
  • your rabbit has water and somewhere to shelter from the sun and rain
  • your rabbit can't burrow out of a run or garden
  • the rabbit is not in danger from other animals like cats and foxes



Your rabbit will keep itself clean up to a point but it may need some help. Make sure you:

  • clean your rabbit's hutch regularly and replace its bedding
  • groom your rabbit regularly, especially if it has long hair that can become matted



Rabbits are used to being close to or under the ground so your rabbit may not like being picked up. To pick your rabbit up:

  • with one hand, gently hold the scruff of its neck
  • put your other arm around the rabbit's back legs and take the weight as you lift it up
  • hold the rabbit against your body with its head on your chest or shoulder
  • never pick a rabbit up by its ears or just by the scruff of its neck



It's a good idea to have your rabbit neutered so that it can't breed (female rabbits can have many litters a year). Having your rabbit neutered may also make it less aggressive. Your rabbit needs:

  • to have its teeth and claws checked and trimmed by a vet if they're overgrown
  • something to gnaw on so that its teeth are worn down naturally



If you want to litter train your rabbit because it lives in the house:

  • it's usually easier to train an older rabbit
  • you could get your rabbit neutered (un-neutered rabbits can be harder to toilet train)