Rabbits are prey animals, that means, they get hunted by other animals. Therefore, the rabbit’s first instinct when frightened, is to run away.
Sometimes, when the rabbit is not used to you, it will be fearful and run away from you. It is therefore important that you handle the rabbit often and properly so as not to induce fear and to ensure your rabbit does not get injured when handled.
How to hold a rabbit
The rabbit should be handled by grasping the skin at the back of the neck, with the weight of the body (hold under the stomach) or hindquarters supported by the other hand. This way, the rabbit will feel secure and protected.
Do not suddenly move or make jerky movements in front of your rabbit when trying to handle them, they may get frightened. Rabbits on the other hand love being stroked on their forehead and if they are feeling snug and comfortable, they may grind their teeth — it’s like purring in cats!
Important – unlike what you see in TV cartoons, the rabbit should never be picked up by its ears!
Remember to also keep your rabbit’s toenails trimmed, or it may scratch you if it should struggle while being handled. It can be trimmed using hand trimmers for pets or humans. Be careful not to cut too close to the quick until it bleeds.