Debunking Myths about Baby Rabbits

Many people want a baby bunny because they mistakenly believe several myths. Let’s examine some of the myths about baby rabbits and debunk them.

Rabbits are considered babies from 0-3 months, adolescents or teenagers from 3mo—1 year, and adults after 1 year.

Myth: A pet store or breeder will correctly identify sex

Fact: It can be very difficult to correctly identify the sex of young rabbits. Incorrect identification is extremely common and regularly results in unwanted litters. Never trust a pet store or breeder to correctly sex young rabbits. Trust a rabbit savvy veterinarian or an animal shelter working with a rabbit savvy veterinarian.

Myth: Babies stay docile and cuddly into adulthood

Fact: Like all creatures rabbits go through stages of development. It’s hard to know what a baby’s adult personality will be. Babies are generally fearless and don’t really mind what you do with them. At puberty (around 3½ months) their self preservation instincts kick in and behavior changes. Teenage rabbits are like (some) teenage humans: messy, amorous, and not cuddly. It doesn’t last forever but it’s when many rabbits are surrendered to an animal shelter. An adult’s personality is more settled and reliable.

Myth: Getting a baby is important so the rabbit will bond with you

Fact: Babies are high energy and insatiably curious. They also have an incredibly short attention span. Baby rabbits will adorably fall asleep in your hand. But when awake they are much more interested in exploring their environment and racing around than bonding with you.

Myth: I want my young child to grow up alongside a baby rabbit

Fact: Baby rabbits are even more fragile than adult rabbits. A child may unintentionally hurt or kill a baby rabbit when trying to pick up, carry, or cuddle them. After 3½ months most rabbits will struggle, hurting your child or themselves. A large sized, adult rabbit is a much better choice for a child’s companion. An adult must always be the rabbit’s primary caregiver.

Myth: It’s easier to litter train a baby

Fact: Just like puppies and toddlers baby rabbits have accidents. When rabbits start developing sexually they will mark territory with both urine and feces (s/n takes care of this). Rabbits who are spayed/neutered are the easiest to litter train.

Dispelling these myths is vital for potential rabbit adopters. Having factual information helps make informed decisions.

©Copyright Amy Ramnaraine. All Rights Reserved. Republished with the permission of the author.

  • Amy Ramnaraine

    Since 2001 my life has been filled with my own beloved, free-roaming house rabbits. They fueled my desire to help other people and their rabbits live happily and healthfully together. I began as a local educator for the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society (2008 — 2015). I then became a licensed educator for the national House Rabbit Society (2016 — 2023). I have expanded my own rabbit knowledge through many conferences and seminars on rabbit care, behavior, and health. As a rabbit advocate I’ve organized transports, campaigned, fostered, and provided hospice care. As an educator I’ve done my best to create easily accessible information to improve the lives of rabbits and the humans who care for them. My beloved bunnies were: Mouse & Duchess, Captain BlackOak & Pixel, Fluffston, Guinevere, Joy & Magnus.

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