Rabbit listening

The proper Lifting and Lowering of a Rabbit

What you should know about carrying of a rabbit


Every now and then it is necessary to pick up a rabbit. If it is to take then to another enclosure, put them in a transport basket, lift them to examine them more closely or for whatever reason. Depending on the nature of the animal (anxious, shy, aggressive), preparations may be necessary (creating a basis of trust). If the 'chemistry' between rabbit and human is right, it is possible to lift the rabbit without harming it. The following steps will shortly explain how to pick a rabbit up safely and set it down again:

As a prey creature, the rabbit is a flight-animal by nature, among its natural main-enemies are gripping-birds. If a human wants to access the rabbit from above, it will defend itself against being picked up with the danger of breaking its backbone by kicking its hind legs. Against this background one must

  • establish a basis of trust
  • carefully accustom the animal to the lift
  • first familiarise the rabbit with the touch of your hand


A rabbit must never be pulled up by the ears, legs, neck or tail. The risk of injuries of the soft tissues, dislocation of the joints, bone fractures, spinal fracture is too high. In order to be able to receive the animal properly and safely one must

  • place one hand under the chest of the rabbit, fixate the rabbit’s front legs with your thumb
  • put your other hand under the rabbit’s buttocks, and fixate the hind legs with your fingers


To carefully get used to lifting, one should

  • lift the front legs slightly
  • resettle on the ground
  • reward the rabbit
  • repeat the exercise
  • later lift the hind legs just as easily

Now the rabbit can be lifted carefully. So that it cannot flee, one must grasp it well.

In order to put the rabbit down again without danger, you must

  • continue to hold it well
  • squat or kneel down
  • lead it carefully to the ground
  • let it go carefully

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