If you’ve ever seen an adorable, fuzzy little baby rabbit hopping around, you may have wondered: what exactly do you call a baby rabbit? Is there a specific name for a newborn bunny? There are actually a few common terms used to refer to infant rabbits, which we’ll cover in detail below.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: baby rabbits are most commonly referred to as kits, kittens or bunnies.
The Most Common Names for Baby Rabbits
One of the most common terms used to refer to baby rabbits is “kits”. This term is derived from the word “kitten”, which is typically used to describe baby cats. The use of “kits” for baby rabbits may have originated from the similarities in size and cuteness between baby rabbits and kittens.
It is a widely recognized term and is often used by rabbit enthusiasts and breeders.
Another commonly used term for baby rabbits is “kittens”. While this term is traditionally associated with baby cats, it has also been adopted to refer to baby rabbits in some contexts. The use of “kittens” for baby rabbits may be attributed to their small size and adorable features, reminiscent of baby cats.
However, it is important to note that the term “kittens” is not as widely used as “kits” when referring to baby rabbits.
The term “bunnies” is often used to refer to baby rabbits, and it is perhaps the most well-known and widely used term. “Bunnies” is a diminutive form of the word “bunny” and is commonly used to describe young rabbits.
This term is often used in a more casual or affectionate context, as it evokes a sense of playfulness and cuteness. It is worth noting that “bunnies” can also be used to refer to adult rabbits in certain contexts, but it is most commonly associated with baby rabbits.
When it comes to naming baby rabbits, these three terms – “kits”, “kittens”, and “bunnies” – are the most commonly used. Each term carries its own charm and connotations, but ultimately, they all refer to the adorable and lovable offspring of rabbits.
So whether you call them kits, kittens, or bunnies, these little creatures will undoubtedly bring joy and delight to anyone lucky enough to encounter them.
Differences Between Wild and Domesticated Baby Rabbits
Wild Baby Rabbits
Wild baby rabbits, also known as leverets, are born in underground burrows or nests created by their mothers. These burrows provide protection from predators and the harsh elements of nature. Leverets are born blind and hairless, completely dependent on their mothers for survival.
Unlike domesticated baby rabbits, wild leverets have a higher chance of survival due to their natural instincts and the care provided by their mothers. They are born with the ability to hop within a few days and start exploring their surroundings shortly after.
They rely on their excellent sense of smell and hearing to navigate and find food.
Wild baby rabbits have a diet consisting mainly of grass, leaves, and other plant materials. They are herbivores and have a specialized digestive system that allows them to efficiently extract nutrients from their plant-based diet.
Domesticated Baby Rabbits
Domesticated baby rabbits, often referred to as kits or bunnies, are typically born in controlled environments such as cages or hutches. They are usually bred by rabbit enthusiasts or professional breeders for various purposes, including companionship, showmanship, or meat production.
Compared to wild leverets, domesticated baby rabbits are more reliant on human care and intervention for their survival. They are often handled from a young age to ensure they become accustomed to human interaction and are easier to manage as pets.
The diet of domesticated baby rabbits differs slightly from their wild counterparts. While they still consume a significant amount of hay and fresh vegetables, they may also be provided with commercial rabbit pellets to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.
It’s important to note that while domesticated baby rabbits may share certain characteristics with their wild counterparts, they have been selectively bred over generations to exhibit specific traits desirable for their intended purpose.
Developmental Stages and Timeline of Baby Rabbits
Newborn (0-2 weeks)
When baby rabbits are born, they are called kits. At this stage, they are completely dependent on their mother for survival. Newborn kits are blind, hairless, and helpless. They rely on their mother’s milk for nutrition and warmth.
During the first two weeks of their lives, the kits stay in the nest, which is made by the mother rabbit using her own fur and soft materials she finds in the environment. The mother rabbit only visits the nest a few times a day to feed her babies, as she wants to keep the nest clean and free from predators.
As the kits reach two weeks of age, their eyes start to open, and they become more active. They begin to grow fur, and their bodies become stronger. At this stage, they start exploring the nest and taking their first wobbly steps.
The mother rabbit continues to nurse her kits but also introduces them to solid food, such as hay and pellets. It is important for the kits to start eating solid food to develop their digestive system properly.
Between four and eight weeks of age, the kits start to venture out of the nest and explore their surroundings. They become more independent and start to eat more solid food. At around five weeks, the kits are weaned off their mother’s milk completely.
This is also the time when they start to exhibit their natural behaviors, such as hopping and digging. It is crucial for the kits to have enough space to move around and exercise during this stage.
By the time the kits reach eight weeks of age, they are considered juveniles. They are fully weaned and can survive on their own. At this stage, they resemble miniature adult rabbits and have developed most of their physical and behavioral characteristics.
It is recommended to separate male and female juveniles at this stage to prevent unwanted breeding. Juvenile rabbits continue to grow and mature until they reach adulthood at around six months of age.
Understanding the different developmental stages of baby rabbits is important for rabbit owners and enthusiasts. It allows them to provide the appropriate care and support needed for the kits to grow into healthy adult rabbits.
Caring for a Baby Rabbit
Housing and Environment
Creating a suitable housing and environment for a baby rabbit is crucial for its well-being. A spacious and secure cage or hutch is essential to provide the rabbit with enough room to move around and stretch its legs.
The cage should be lined with soft bedding materials such as hay or straw to ensure comfort. It’s important to keep the housing clean and hygienic, as baby rabbits are susceptible to infections and diseases.
Regularly clean the cage and replace the bedding to maintain a healthy living environment for your furry friend.
Feeding and Nutrition
Proper nutrition is vital for the healthy growth and development of a baby rabbit. The diet should primarily consist of fresh hay, as it provides essential fiber for their digestive system. Alongside hay, introduce a variety of fresh vegetables and a small amount of pellets specifically formulated for young rabbits.
It’s important to avoid giving them foods that are high in sugar or artificial additives, as these can be harmful to their delicate digestive system. Always provide fresh water in a clean bowl or water bottle to keep your baby rabbit hydrated.
Grooming and Health
Grooming plays a significant role in maintaining the health and well-being of a baby rabbit. Regularly brush their fur to remove any loose hairs and prevent matting. It’s essential to keep their nails trimmed to avoid overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort and injury.
Additionally, check their ears and eyes for any signs of infection or discharge. If you notice any abnormalities or changes in behavior, it’s important to consult a veterinarian to ensure your baby rabbit’s health is not compromised.
Vaccinations and regular check-ups are also recommended to prevent any potential health issues.
Remember, caring for a baby rabbit requires time, attention, and patience. Providing a suitable housing, a balanced diet, and regular grooming will go a long way in ensuring the well-being of your fluffy companion.
Enjoy the journey of raising a baby rabbit and cherish the special bond you’ll develop along the way!
In summary, some of the most common names for baby rabbits include kits, kittens and bunnies. While wild and domesticated infants have some differences, all baby rabbits go through similar developmental stages in their first 12 weeks of life.
Caring for a baby bunny requires providing proper housing, nutrition and health maintenance. We hope this outline has helped shed some light on what these delightful little furballs are called as they grow!