Skip to main content

Is my rabbit pregnant? 5 telltale signs you should know

Look for these signs to confirm your rabbit will soon have babies

Two rabbits sit happily outside in their hutch
Christophe Papke/Alamy

What’s better than one pet rabbit? An entire litter of bunnies (as long as you’re prepared for them, of course). If you’ve been wondering, “Is my rabbit pregnant?” now is the time to find out for sure. After all, you don’t want to be caught unaware and suddenly have a whole new colony of animals in your hutch.

Sometimes, lady bunnies can take on the behaviors of expectant mamas, but it’s actually a false pregnancy. The best way to find out if your rabbit is pregnant is to take her to the vet and have them confirm it. However, when you’re figuring it out yourself, you should look for the signs that a rabbit is pregnant. If you spot these behaviors, be sure to call your animal doctor.

A bunny sits on a bed
Jennifer Chen/Unsplash

She’s recently been with an intact male

It’s certainly one of the most obvious pregnant rabbit signs, but the bunny gestation period is surprisingly short. The babies will remain in utero only for about a month before the mother gives birth, so if she hasn’t been near a mate in that time, she’s probably not pregnant. When you see pregnancy symptoms and she’s not carrying offspring, take her to the vet to find out what else might be the issue. If she is carrying a litter, your vet might do an ultrasound to check that everything’s going well. 

Veterinarian weighing rabbit
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Your rabbit’s gaining weight

Just like with humans and other mammals, your little animal will get bigger when she’s expecting. However, it may be tricky to notice a difference with the naked eye. Take your doe’s weight before pregnancy (but after she’s reached sexual maturity) and weigh her each week after she’s been bred. She might gain only a few ounces, but a digital scale will track her increase. For consistency, always weigh her before feeding. If you discover she’s pregnant, increase her daily food intake, especially the alfalfa, as she needs more nutrients during this time.

Baby rabbit being held by owner
Daan Stevens/Unsplash

You feel her babies

Surprisingly, you’ll be able to feel the tiny creatures on the way by stroking her belly. You’ll notice these pea-sized infants at around 10 days. Be careful with them, though, as pushing too hard can hurt the not-fully-formed bunnies. After two weeks, you shouldn’t try this at all, and a vet will always be your safest bet if you don’t have much experience handling pregnant rabbits.

Rabbit sits outside with a carrot
Jupiter World/Shutterstock

Her mood changes

Your seemingly loving rabbit suddenly doesn’t like you. Did you do something wrong? Probably not. If she’s pregnant, she may become aggressive, even growling at you and her friends. Be extra careful around her during this time as moms sometimes bite and often don’t want to be handled. It’s best to give her space for now. She’ll be back to normal soon enough. While moodiness isn’t a clear sign on its own to prove that she’s bringing you little ones, coupled with other factors, it can indicate that her due date is approaching.

Five brown baby bunnies
Michael Shimkus/Shutterstock

She starts nesting

One of the most obvious signs before a rabbit gives birth is nesting. The mom-to-be will begin to create her roost about a week before she gives birth, which can help you set a timeline if you weren’t quite sure when she conceived. Your rabbit will stack bedding into a corner or dig to make a small den. If there isn’t sufficient material to suit her, she might even rip out her own hair to enlarge the nest and make a blanket for her bunnies. This means that your new pets will be here any day now.

Give her plenty of hay to finish her building and a box to help her along. You’ll want to begin to monitor her for signs of labor at about 28 days, though 31 is typical. If it’s been more than 35 days, she needs to be induced by a specialist.

Pet rabbit in litter box with side cut out
Mike Procario/Flickr

Can you touch a pregnant rabbit?

In addition to becoming aggressive, rabbits tend to shy away from others toward the end of their pregnancies. It might seem like a hard time to stay away, but mama bunnies know exactly how to do this on their own. Let her have space for her birth and then check on the newborns when she’s done. While you’re at it, try to give her a hutch to herself for the home stretch — she doesn’t want the company of her own kind either. The most important part is to reduce her stress (and temptation to turn mean) during this time. One option: Put up a camera in an out-of-the-way spot where it won’t bug her, but allows you to keep an eye on both mom and the babies.

When you finally do enter the mother’s house, you could find up to 15 babies, as rabbit litters can be quite large. We hope all the babies make it, but you should remove any kits that don’t survive. Then retreat while she nurses and bonds with her new family. Keep her away from mates for a while so you don’t have too many little guys at once, and spay or neuter when you’re ready to stop breeding. 

Editors' Recommendations

Rebekkah Adams
Rebekkah’s been a writer and editor for more than 10 years, both in print and digital. In addition to writing about pets…
Why do guinea pigs chatter their teeth? It’s not a good thing
Sounds guinea pigs make with their teeth and what each means
Guinea pig bares her teeth

Anyone who adopts a rodent should know they'll be overwhelmed by the teeth. Guinea pigs in particular have lots of dental needs and often use their chompers to communicate as well. Sadly, you won't see a happy piggy smile, so instead, you'll have to spend some time studying your piggy to decipher the mouth movements.

Oral health can also indicate bigger issues, which means you should keep a close eye on those pearly whites when you hear your pet grind, chatter, bare, or click them. So why do guinea pigs chatter their teeth? There are a few reasons, but none of them are particularly good.

Read more
Why is my hamster trying to escape? These are the 3 reasons
Hamsters are known for being little escape artists, but here's why
White hamster peeks out of his enclosure

Ever opened the door and had your dog or cat make a break for it? Even though they love us, lots of pets try to escape if given the chance. It's not a very well-thought-out plan though: They have no idea how good they have it in a temperature-controlled, safe, and cozy environment with unlimited access to good food. Yet somehow, they always seem to go for it when the opportunity presents itself.

Nearly all animals realize pretty quickly that they wish to return to their homes the second trouble presents itself. It's best, therefore, to prevent them from ever getting out in the first place. With that in mind, you might be wondering, why is my hamster trying to escape? Learning the reasons can help you prevent it from happening. 

Read more
How to tell if your guinea pig loves you – some ways may surprise you
These are the signs your guinea pig loves you as much as you love him
A happy guinea pig hangs out in the grass

We know how much we love our pets. The question is if they love us, too. It can be tricky to tell how animals feel since they can't tell us about their moods. But that doesn't mean we can't ever figure out what's in the minds of our furry friends.

Guinea pigs in particular make a lot of interesting noises and show postures that help us decipher their thoughts and feelings. By paying close attention to your little guy and learning a bit about how he thinks, you can get a pretty good sense of his inner goings-on. And you won't have to watch very long to confirm that your guinea pig loves you.

Read more