Indoor Pregnant Rabbit
I got my doe the other day which is pregnant. Trying to pick her up, I feel nervous that I might hurt her! How do I pick her up? Also I keep her indoors but do let her have her exercise outside, is this wrong? What should I place into the hutch as a nesting place? I have 2 cats, do I split them? Will they get on? Thank you. First timer of rabbit owner x
***** Karen Sez *****
Probably the best way to pick up a pregnant rabbit is to scoop one hand under her butt supporting most of her weight and the other under the chest. This is good for medium to large rabbits, and is very easy for little rabbits, too.
But, there's plenty of other ways too, for example, by the scruff of the neck while supporting the butt...whatever is easiest for the angle you're approaching the rabbit at, whether it's coming or going, etc. Just don't use the ears as handles, and don't grip her around the belly, and all will be well.
Indoors and outdoors is all fine, no worries if no predators around. Though, you should know that a pregnant rabbit will be soon driven by instinct to burrow. Unless you want her to tunnel under your yard over to the neighbors, you might keep an eye out, or keep her outdoor time on a patio, or in a space with wire underneath the rabbit.
Your hutch is solid-floored, correct? So take a look at our Rabbit Nest Box page, where you'll see exactly the nesting materials we use to fill our nest boxes. As to a nest itself, something as easy as a cookie tin can be used to keep the kits in one place until their eyes open.
Lots of cats get on fine with rabbits, especially when the rabbits aren't tiny, and the cats are somewhat out of touch with their wild predator instincts. You'll have to be the judge of your own situation, which is easiest when introductions are made slowly and with adequate supervision....
Lastly, rabbits are animals, not people. Enjoy your rabbit, but no need to overstress about anything. Your rabbit is there to serve you, and you are there to be kind to it, since you've agreed to extend 'pethood' to it. Make sense?