Can You Keep A Wild Rabbit As A Pet? All You Need To Know

Did you ever come across a wild Rabbit and wanted to take it home really badly but were stuck with the question Can You Keep A Wild Rabbit As A Pet?

If you come across a wild newborn rabbit, you may need to intervene to ensure its survival. Because only around 10% of orphaned bunnies survive more than a week, saving them frequently necessitates quick intervention. Thus, I understand your dilemma. Today I will brief you about all possible doubts about the idea of keeping a wild rabbit at home as a pet animal.

Can You Keep A Wild Rabbit As A Pet?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem. One can keep a wild rabbit. However, it is advisable not to. This is so because the cons outnumber the pros of owning a wild rabbit as a pet by a huge margin.

can you keep a wild rabbit as a pet

In confinement, wild newborn rabbits do not thrive. They are not only unsuitable pets due to their innate survival instincts, but they also spread harmful infections.

In tiny cabinets and cages, most bunnies get nervous and discouraged. In captivity, their food is also less diversified than in the wild.

You must first learn the regulations of your state before attempting rehabilitation. In many regions, keeping wild rabbits is prohibited. Whether you come upon an orphaned rabbit or simply want to get a new pet, there are repercussions.

Wild rabbits are notoriously difficult to tame. Rabbits between the age of a few weeks or a month are more difficult to domesticate than newborn bunnies.

Humans are seen as predators by young rabbits. They have nearly 360 degree eyesight, allowing them to notice predators from any direction.

They will flee as you approach and seek refuge somewhere secure. Unless a rabbit is injured and unable to run, catching one is nearly difficult.

It is dangerous to separate a newborn rabbit from its mother. Until they are roughly eight weeks old, bunnies require their mother’s milk. When a young rabbit’s milk supply is cut off, it is deprived of the nutrition it needs to survive and flourish.

Aside from the aforementioned considerations, there are a number of other factors to consider before deciding to maintain a young rabbit in captivity, including:

Illnesses

There are a number of diseases that may infect wild rabbits. Myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic illness are two major infectious diseases and viruses that are infrequently observed in indoor dogs, according to VCA Hospitals.

Myxomatosis

The myxoma virus causes myxomatosis. It’s generally severe, and it spreads swiftly to other rabbits, with the majority of them dying within two weeks of exhibiting symptoms.

Wild rabbits are the most susceptible to sickness. When introducing one into your house, make sure that all rabbits have been vaccinated before coming into touch with one another.

Hemorrhagic illness caused by a virus

According to Calder Vets, Viral hemorrhagic illness is a highly contagious, frequently lethal disease that affects wild rabbits. It can, however, spread to other domestic pets like dogs and cats.

Internal organs of the rabbit are attacked, resulting in lethal hemorrhaging. Viral hemorrhagic illness is communicated by direct touch or by an infected rabbit’s droppings. Rabbits living in the same cabinet are almost guaranteed to catch the disease.

When adopting a wild baby rabbit and bringing it into your house, ensure it has had all of its vaccines and has been examined by a veterinarian for any signs of illness or sickness. All animals must be separated if there are any health concerns.

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Investing Time and Effort

Wild newborn rabbits in captivity require just as much, if not more, attention than domesticated pets. When you bring them into your house, they will still be reliant on their moms to survive. Therefore they will lack the basic abilities to care for themselves.

Instead, you’ll need to build a good nest, maintain a comfortable temperature, and prepare a kitten milk replacer with the nutrients that a newborn rabbit needs on a regular basis.

It takes time and effort to do all of this. For the first few weeks, wild newborn bunnies demand round-the-clock care, so consider if you have the time to devote to domesticating the animal.

What is the Difference Between A Wild Rabbit And A Domesticated Rabbit?

Yes, there are several distinctions between the two, some of which are rather substantial.

The appearance of wild and domestic rabbits is similar, yet they are not the same. In the United States, there are fourteen kinds of wild rabbits, the most well-known of which is the cottontail.

Rabbits, Ear, Rabbit, Easter, Ears

Wild rabbits are classified as either Sylvilagus or Lepus. The domesticated rabbits are members of the Oryctolagus cuniculus genus, which originated in Europe.

One area where there are noticeable variances is life span. A tamed rabbit that lives inside can live for 8 to 12 years if properly cared for. Domesticated rabbits have a half-life if they dwell outside. The typical lifespan of a wild rabbit is two years.

Unfortunately, they seldom survive more than a year in far too many cases. This is due to a combination of severe weather and an abundance of predators.

Their capacity to survive distinguishes them as well. If a domestic rabbit is let outside, it will not be able to live.

Our beloved pet rabbits are unable to fend for themselves and will succumb to a predator, harsh weather, or the consumption of harmful plants that a wild rabbit would intuitively avoid.

The two’s diets differ as well. Wildflowers, grasses, clover, and field or garden foods are the staples of a wild rabbit’s diet.

Domesticated rabbits have unique requirements. They demand high-quality pellets, fresh vegetables, and unrestricted access to clean water and Timothy hay 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Finally, there are behavioral distinctions. Digging is a favorite pastime of domestic rabbits. Dark areas, like cardboard boxes or dome houses, provide them with protection and warmth.

Wild rabbits create tunnels in which to sleep and rear their young. They always have several entrances and exits, which helps to keep predators at bay.

Can one Befriend A Wild Rabbit?

Time, patience, and a few tricks under your sleeve are the only ways to befriend a wild rabbit effectively. You may be forced to do so for various reasons: they may be injured, abandoned, or you have decided to try to maintain one.

Bunny, Rabbit, Spring, Baby Bunny

You may have even noticed a wild rabbit in your yard or on your land and wish to assist them. Because they are afraid of people, their initial inclination will likely be to flee. Their survival instinct is also kicking in at this point. Allow it to run away; it will ultimately return.

Keep a safe distance from the rabbit and lie down on the ground if you encounter it again. When you’re not as tall, you seem less dangerous. Keep your body still. When it eventually gets close, don’t react at all.

Remember that this might take several days or weeks. Make sure you don’t smell anything like Fido or Fluffy. Both regard rabbits to be a prey, and if you smell like the adversary, they will never trust you.

Begin by laying a trail of bunny-favorite delectable snacks, such as carrot pieces or apple slices, where the rabbit is most likely to arrive. Allow the path to guide you to your current location on the ground.

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When the rabbit gets close enough, start chatting to it. Maintain a quiet, kind, and peaceful tone in your speech. This will aid in the rabbit’s relaxation.

If you startle the rabbit, it may go into a bizarre catatonic state. Despite the fact that you could probably accomplish it, resist the desire.

Fear and shock have rendered the rabbit immobile, and death is a distinct possibility. Ignore it till it returns to normal. Rabbits prefer to live on the ground.

When they are hoisted off the ground, they get afraid. The most humane option is to employ a trap. They’re available at most co-ops and pet shops.

Place the trap on the rabbit’s route and bait it. The door will close after the furry little rabbit has taken the bait. She will be terrified after the rabbit has been trapped.

To help her relax, cover the trap with a blanket or towel. Before bringing her into your house and placing her in a rabbit cage, leave her alone for at least 30 minutes.

A word of advice: don’t expect the rabbit to be grateful. You will have to spend a lot of time convincing her to trust you. Simply said, don’t give up. You may create a semblance of a friendship with her, even though she will never be your greatest friend.

How Long Can A Wild Rabbit Survive In Captivity?

Bunny, Rabbit, Grass, Ears, Teeth

This question can’t be answered with a specific number. It varies and is determined by a variety of things. What can be said is that rabbits will undoubtedly survive longer in the wild than the average of two years.

Of course, this assumes that their dietary requirements are covered and that they are not in danger from other family pets.

Can Wild Rabbits Have Diseases?

Yes, wild rabbits can get infections and pass them on to other rabbits in your home. Bacteria and parasites are frequently found in the illnesses carried by wild rabbits. As a result, it is prudent to use caution when handling one.

Adorable, Rabbit, Bunny, Animal, Cute

Rabbit bites and scratches can spread bacteria. Pasteurella multocida, a bacteria found in rabbits’ oral cavity and upper respiratory system, is one of the most prevalent agents implicated.

Rabbits infected with this bacteria normally show no symptoms; however, some may have nasal and ocular discharge. It can impair rabbits’ respiratory and reproductive systems and their skin in more acute cases.

Local inflammation with abscess development and ascending infection are common features of human disease.

Dermatophytosis

This disease is sometimes known as “ringworm.” It is a fungal skin condition that causes scaly circular regions of hair loss in both animals and humans. Ringworm gets circulated by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected animal.

Cheyletiella parasitovorax and similar species are non-borrowing rabbit skin mites that can be spread to humans through handling and touching afflicted animals, resulting in transitory dermatitis.

Moderate hair loss and scaly skin are symptoms in both rabbits and humans. Fleas, ticks, and lice are external parasites that can be transferred through intimate contact with an afflicted rabbit or handling contaminated bedding.

Cryptosporidiosis

It’s an intestinal protozoal illness spread by contact and inadvertent intake of infected animals’ feces. Rabbits with this disease usually have diarrhea.

However, other animals may not show any signs of illness. A zoonotic disease should be suspected in any animal that has diarrhea. Abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and fever are common symptoms in persons.

Brachylagus idahoensis

Mycobacterium avium complex can infect pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) (MAC). The most common way for MAC to infect people is by aerosolization and inhalation of the agent in contaminated soil.

However, direct contact and unintentional consumption of infected pygmy rabbit pee and feces is also a possibility. MAC infection can cause lymphadenitis and lung illness comparable to TB and more severe disseminated disease.

Immunocompromised individuals are more susceptible to disseminated MAC infection and should seek medical advice before dealing with pygmy rabbits.

Can A Wild Rabbit Bite You?

Rabbit, Grass, Cliff, Hare, Bunny

A wild rabbit will almost certainly bite you. However, they bite for a variety of reasons. It’s also worth noting that a tamed rabbit will bite for similar reasons. The first reason is that wild rabbits have become a member of your household.

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Biting for Attention

When your furry little friend decides that it wants you to play with it or offer it some other form of attention, it bites you. These bites aren’t supposed to be painful.

Biting out of fear

Fear biting is not a combative behavior. It is not my aim to harm you. Rather, something in the area may be frightening her. If you’re holding Bugs and the dog begins barking furiously, she can bite you just because she’s terrified of the dog.

Biting due to boredom

Boredom biting is something that happens every now and again. Getting your rabbit some new toys to gnaw on and play with will solve this problem.

Biting due to Emotions

Emotional biting can occur, and the causes are sometimes difficult to determine. Consider your rabbits to be kids that need to be soothed after a tantrum or a screaming fit. Pet carefully and speak softly.

Biting due to aggression

Bunny, Cute, Grass, Animal, Outdoors

The most difficult tendencies to overcome are aggression and territorial biting. A lack of trust frequently causes aggression biting. Getting a rabbit to trust you takes time and effort.

Don’t forget about the power of sweets. The more a rabbit identifies you with pleasure, the faster you’ll gain confidence.

Biting due to territorial reasons

Having your rabbit tweaked, whether male or female, may typically cease territorial biting. Spayed ladies are also less prone to acquire cancer later in life.

Conclusion

It is possible to keep a wild rabbit as a pet, but there are several factors to consider in order to domesticate and bring them into your house effectively.

With local rules, infections, biting, a shorter lifespan, and moral considerations to consider, it’s sometimes best to bite the bullet and buy a domesticated species from a reputable pet store.

Most rabbit owners acquire their bunnies from certain locations for a purpose. Remember that all rabbits sold in a store have been raised specifically for domestication; they have not gathered a herd of wild rabbits to sell!

Of course, domesticating a wild rabbit is doable, and with enough thinking, attention, care, and best practices, you may successfully introduce one into your house. You should also have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Bringing a wild rabbit home and adopting it as a pet is not suggested in any case.

FAQs

What happens if a rabbit bites you?

Rabbit bites can be rather painful, although they seldom result in any health or medical consequences. Pet rabbit bites are painful and often bleed. Bite wounds can get infected, necessitating antibiotic treatment. If you haven’t gotten a tetanus vaccine in the previous ten years, you should get one.

What is the memory span of a rabbit?

A rabbit’s short-term memory span is four minutes! Rabbits, like other animals, have excellent long-term memory, but they lack the ability to keep track of time and special events in the same way that people can.

What can I feed a wild rabbit?

The majority of the wild rabbit’s diet consists of various types of dried and fresh grasses and plants with leaves. Rabbits will also consume modest amounts of tree bark, fragile twigs and sprouts, fruits, seeds, and other healthy items.

How much do cottontail rabbits cost?

A cottontail rabbit from a pet store will cost $20-$40, whereas a rabbit from a rescue, fair, will cost $50-$100. Reputed Breeders charge different prices for their particular rabbit breed. Some are less expensive than pet stores, while others with unique species demand upwards of $100 for a rabbit.

How can I deodorize a rabbit cage?

Calcium salts in rabbit urine tend to precipitate and produce a hard substance that adheres to cages and litter boxes. Because vinegar dissolves calcium salts, store it in a spray bottle to quickly clean the cage’s litter pans and filthy portions.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.