Can You Domesticate A Wild Rabbit?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged , ,

Last Updated on April 13, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Domesticating a wild rabbit should be a last-ditch effort to save the rabbit. Wild rabbits are hard to take care of because their natural instinct to survive makes them hard to keep as pets.

Not to mention, it might be illegal to keep wild rabbits as pets depending on where you live. Also, wild rabbits could carry and spread dangerous diseases.

If you happen to find a wild baby rabbit, you should always call the proper authorities and let them handle it.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail if you can domesticate a wild rabbit:

Can you raise a wild rabbit?

A person holding a brown wild baby rabbit.
Mike Perry, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

Raising wild rabbits should be a last-ditch effort to save them. The first thing you need to do when you happen to find a wild rabbit is to call your local wildlife rescue group and let them handle it.

Is it legal to raise a wild rabbit?

Some states outright ban people from raising or keeping wild rabbits, while others would require you to get special permits to keep one.

If you live in one of the following states, check your local laws before raising wild rabbits:

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • The District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware

Most of these states require you to get special permits before owning a wild rabbit, and some outright ban keeping one as a pet.

You can check if your state allows you to keep wild rabbits here.

What to do if you found a baby wild rabbit?

If you happen to find a wild rabbit’s nest and it’s still intact or not disturbed, then you should leave it alone. Wild rabbits would only feed their kits 1-2 times per day and would leave the nest to not invite predators to it.

If the kits are injured, you should call your local wildlife authorities and report them. As I said earlier, some states have banned taking care of wild rabbits.

If you find that the nest has been disturbed, you can try to fix the nest as neatly as possible and then leave it alone.

Reasons why you shouldn’t raise a wild rabbit.

A brown wild rabbit in a field. Can You Domesticate A Wild Rabbit?

It may be tempting to keep wild rabbits as pets due to how cute they are and how friendly they seem from a distance. But, before doing so, keep these reasons in mind as to why you shouldn’t do it.

Here are the different reasons why you should never try to raise wild rabbits as pets:

Wild rabbits could be dangerous.

Wild rabbits, being prey animals, have the instinct to not trust anyone in order to survive. It could be dangerous to try to catch one or try to domesticate it.

Rabbits have sharp claws that could easily injure you if they deemed it necessary in order to break free.

Wild rabbits could bite you.

Wild rabbits also bite as a last-ditch effort to escape. While rabbits don’t have sharp teeth, their bite could still draw blood if they try hard enough.

Not to mention, their saliva could contain bacteria that could be dangerous to humans.

Wild rabbits could carry diseases.

Wild rabbits could also be carrying diseases that can be passed on to humans. That’s why most states outright banned keeping wild rabbits as pets to contain the possibility of an outbreak.

Here are some diseases that wild rabbits could be carrying that can be passed to humans:

Wild rabbits could be illegal to keep as pets.

Most states require you to get special permits to keep wild rabbits as pets. You can check if your state allows you to keep wild rabbits here.

The reason for this is the fact that wild rabbits often carry diseases that can be passed on to humans. Also, some states are banned from keeping wild rabbits as pets because some species of rabbit are endangered.

Wild rabbits are hard to tame.

Wild rabbits are nothing like domesticated pet rabbits. They are much more skittish than pet rabbits and will always try to break free from captivity. Some wild rabbits could even die of a heart attack or from GI stasis due to the stress of being in captivity.

It’s also much harder to keep wild rabbits alive due to how untrusting they are of humans. Most would refuse to eat due to the stress of being in captivity. So it’s inhumane and cruel to try to tame them.

Welcome to Bunnyhorde x
Welcome to Bunnyhorde

Conclusion

Domesticating wild rabbits is illegal in most states. It could also be dangerous to domesticate a wild rabbit because wild rabbits could carry dangerous diseases that could be passed on to humans.

Not to mention, wild rabbits are so untrusting of humans that they would do anything to break free from captivity. Wild rabbits could bite and scratch you if you are not careful.

Finally, it’s hard to keep a wild rabbit alive because most would refuse to eat due to the stress of being in captivity. A rabbit that’s not eating for long periods of time could develop digestive problems that are often fatal to rabbits.


By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.