How To Pick Up A Rabbit? A-B-Cs of Picking Up!

So you’ve got yourself a fluffy, hopping bundle of joy and you’re wondering how to safely and securely scoop it up for cuddles, eh? 

Our all-encompassing guide to picking up rabbits is here to help you hop right into action. Get ready to giggle and learn simultaneously as we explore the dos and don’ts of rabbit handling in a casual, light-hearted manner!

The Bunny Basics: Getting to Know Your Rabbit

Before we dive into the world of rabbit lifting, let’s talk about the bunny basics. Did you know rabbits are “prey animals”? Yup, that’s right. 

They’re always on high alert, scanning their surroundings for potential danger. Their instincts tell them to run, hide, and avoid becoming lunch. Your job as a loving rabbit caretaker is to gain your rabbit’s trust, so they feel safe and secure in your presence.

Fun Fact: Rabbits have nearly 360-degree vision! They can see almost everything around them, except for a small blind spot right in front of their nose.

The Golden Rule: Respect Your Rabbit’s Boundaries

Rabbits are sensitive creatures, and respecting their boundaries is key to a healthy relationship. So, what does this mean? Simple! Approach your rabbit slowly and calmly. 

Give them a chance to sniff your hand and get comfortable with your scent. Remember, trust is earned, not given. Patience is a virtue, especially with our furry friends!

The Scoop Method: The A-B-Cs of Picking Up Your Rabbit

Alrighty, let’s get to the main event: picking up your rabbit! The “Scoop Method” is a tried and tested approach. Follow these easy-peasy steps, and you’ll be a rabbit-lifting pro in no time!

Approach your rabbit from the side, not from above. Remember, you don’t want to look like a giant, swooping predator!

Place one hand under your rabbit’s chest, just behind their front legs, and gently lift their front end off the ground.

With your other hand, slide it under their back end, supporting their hind legs and bottom.

Hold your rabbit close to your body, keeping them secure and comfortable. Congratulations! You’ve successfully picked up your rabbit!

Example: Imagine you’re holding a fragile, valuable item (think: antique vase or rare collectible). That’s how gently you should handle your rabbit!

The Unspoken Language: Reading Your Rabbit’s Body Language

Rabbits can’t talk, but they sure can communicate! Understanding your rabbit’s body language will help you know when they’re comfortable or stressed. Here are some signs to look for:

Happy Rabbit: Ears up, relaxed body posture, and gentle nibbling.

Nervous Rabbit: Ears flat against the head, tense body, and rapid breathing.

Annoyed Rabbit: Grunting, thumping their hind legs, and nipping.

The Safety Zone: Setting Up a Secure Environment

Your rabbit’s environment plays a crucial role in their comfort level. Set up a cozy, secure space for your bunny to call home. Here are some tips to create the perfect rabbit haven:

Provide a hiding spot

Rabbits love to hide, so give them a little den, like a cardboard box or a covered pet bed, to feel safe and secure.

Soft flooring

A soft rug or blanket can make your rabbit feel comfortable and prevent slipping when you pick them up.

Keep noise levels down

Loud noises can scare your rabbit, so try to keep the volume low in their living area.

The Don’ts: What to Avoid When Picking Up Your Rabbit

Now that you know the right way to pick up your rabbit, let’s talk about some common mistakes to avoid:

Don’t lift your rabbit by the ears or scruff: This is painful and can cause injury. Always use the Scoop Method!

Avoid sudden movements: Quick, jerky motions can startle your rabbit and cause them to panic.

Don’t force it: If your rabbit is visibly uncomfortable or trying to escape, put them down gently and try again later.

How To Pick Up A Rabbit By The Ears?

Picking up a rabbit by the ears is a big no-no, and we strongly advise against it. Handling a rabbit this way can cause them serious pain, discomfort, and potentially lead to injuries. Remember, rabbits are delicate creatures, and their ears are especially sensitive.

Instead, always use the Scoop Method, as described earlier in this article, to ensure your rabbit’s safety and comfort. 

By following the proper technique, you’ll be able to build trust and develop a loving relationship with your furry friend. Keep their well-being in mind, and treat them with the care and respect they deserve.

How To Pick Up A Rabbit That Hates It?

Ah, the challenge of picking up a rabbit that really, really doesn’t want to be picked up. 

While some rabbits may never fully enjoy being lifted, there are ways to make the experience less stressful for both you and your bunny buddy. Here’s a step-by-step guide to handling a reluctant rabbit:

Build trust

Spend time bonding with your rabbit, so they feel comfortable around you. Sit near their enclosure, speak softly, and offer treats to create positive associations with your presence.

Approach slowly

Move calmly and deliberately when approaching your rabbit. Sudden movements can scare them and make them more resistant to being picked up.

Offer a treat

Give your rabbit a treat as a distraction while you prepare to lift them. This can help create positive reinforcement and make the process more pleasant.

Use a towel or blanket

Place a soft towel or blanket over your rabbit, leaving their head exposed. This can help calm them and make them feel more secure when being lifted.

The Scoop Method

Gently scoop your rabbit up using the method outlined earlier in this article. Remember to support their chest behind the front legs and their hind legs and bottom.

Hold them securely

Hold your rabbit close to your body to make them feel safe and secure. Maintain a firm, but gentle grip to prevent them from wiggling free and injuring themselves.

Keep it short

Limit the time you hold your rabbit, especially if they’re visibly stressed or uncomfortable. Put them down gently, and give them space to recover.

Practice patience

Working with a rabbit that dislikes being picked up can be a slow process. Be patient, and remember that consistency and positive reinforcement are key.

Final Thoughts and Tips

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of our rabbit-handling journey! By now, you should feel confident and well-equipped to pick up your furry friend safely and securely. 

Remember, patience, trust, and understanding are essential when it comes to handling rabbits. Always be gentle, respect their boundaries, and enjoy the fluffy, hoppy, cuddly moments you’ll share together!

Read: How To Stop A Rabbit Chewing Its Hutch?


Can I pick up my rabbit right after I bring them home?

It’s best to give your rabbit a few days to settle into their new environment before attempting to pick them up. They need time to adjust and feel safe in their new home.

How often should I pick up my rabbit? 

There’s no specific rule for how often you should pick up your rabbit, but try to do it regularly to help them become more comfortable with being handled. Always respect their boundaries and avoid forcing the interaction.

Is it normal for my rabbit to kick when I pick them up?

Yes, it’s normal for some rabbits to kick when picked up, especially if they’re not used to being handled. Support their hind legs and bottom to minimize kicking and prevent injury.

Can I pick up my rabbit if they’re pregnant?

It’s best to avoid picking up a pregnant rabbit unless absolutely necessary, as it can cause stress and potential harm to the mother and her unborn kits.

How can I tell if my rabbit is uncomfortable when I pick them up?

Look for signs of stress or discomfort, such as rapid breathing, tense body posture, flattened ears, or attempts to escape. If you notice these signs, gently put your rabbit down and give them space.

My rabbit hates being picked up. Is there an alternative method for handling them?

If your rabbit dislikes being picked up, try to interact with them at ground level whenever possible. Offer treats, pet them gently, and create positive experiences without lifting them off the ground.

Can I pick up my rabbit by the scruff of their neck, like a cat?

No, picking up a rabbit by the scruff is not recommended. This can cause pain and injury. Always use the Scoop Method to ensure their safety and comfort.

How can I help my rabbit become more comfortable with being picked up?

Gradually introduce your rabbit to being handled by spending time with them, offering treats, and using the Scoop Method to pick them up. Consistent, gentle interactions will help build trust and increase their comfort level.

Can I pick up two rabbits at once?

Picking up two rabbits at once can be challenging and risky. It’s best to handle them individually to ensure their safety and maintain proper control.

What should I do if my rabbit bites me when I try to pick them up?

If your rabbit bites you, calmly and gently put them down. Assess the situation to determine if they were frightened, stressed, or in pain. Work on building trust and addressing the underlying issue before attempting to pick them up again.

Also read: How To Clean A Rabbit?

Jacob Mathew

Jacob Mathew, the rabbit guy. He’s been working with those cute little buns for several years and he knows a lot of things about rabbits, if not everything. Jacob loves cats and bunnies more than any other animals. Read my full bio

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