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Rabbit Kitten
Rabbit Kitten  
This morning we woke up to our household cat attacking a wild baby rabbit. He had brought it inside and we have no idea where it came from. It appears to be unharmed besides a cut on its ear. It walks and jumps fine. We live in a rural area in New Zealand, but have no idea where the nest is. Should we keep it, or return it to the wild? If so, how should we return it?

Hi Adam

A tricky one! The best place for this little one is back in the wild. It looks old enough to tough it out, just didn't run fast enough for the cat! Have you got any ideas where a warren might be? It won't have come from far away.

Keeping wild rabbits isn't advised, they always remain a bit wild and more skittish than the average domestic rabbit. I have been around a few hand raised wildies, they become too humanised to ever be released and have to be kept in extra bunny proofed housing as they keep their very good burrowing skills!! Handling wildies can cause stress related problems in itself, the shock can lead to all sorts of health problems. Might be worth seeing if you have any wildlife rehabbers in the area (don't know if rabbits are viewed the same way in NZ as Australia though!).

If you have some scrub with cover nearby and you want to release it back, go for that. Some scrub near some open grassland. Best released at early dusk - wildies will be most active at dawn, dusk and during the night. Fingers crossed he'll be fine!

Good luck!


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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue. If your rabbit is in distress, has any blood, isn't moving, has breathing issues or isn't eating, my answer will be, go to the vet!


I have two 10 year old rescue rabbits and have volunteered in rabbit rescue.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and have volunteered for a rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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