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What To Do If Your Rabbit Stops Eating

A rabbit that isn’t eating could be in a very dangerous scenario. Due of their sensitive digestion, many different rabbit diseases can manifest as appetite loss. This is a subtle symptom that can provide you insight into your rabbit’s general health because rabbits are adept at disguising when they’re not feeling well.

When does a lack of appetite constitute an emergency?

You should regard it as an emergency if your rabbit ever stops eating for longer than 10 hours. The digestion of a rabbit must be constantly moving in order to maintain good health. When a rabbit stops eating, its digestion stops, and they begin to enter Gastrointestinal (GI) Stasis.

The illness in rabbits can quickly lead to death if neglected. They need to visit a vet right away so they can obtain some medication to assist their digestion start working normally again. Until they are willing to eat enough on their own, you will probably need to syringe feed them a rabbit food mixture known as Critical Care.

How to care for your rabbit?

There are a few things you can do to attempt to aid your rabbit before it becomes an emergency if it has only recently started to exhibit signs of malnutrition. As you go through these stages, it’s a good idea to look out for any other non-obvious symptoms of rabbit disease. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine how ill your rabbit is and whether you should take them to the doctor right away.

Following are a few of the typical signs of disease in rabbits:

  • a modification in diet
  • a shift in the way you urinate and defecate
  • low quantities of energy
  • sitting with one’s back arched
  • Lack of equilibrium
  • clogged nose
  • abnormally violent behavior

I will keep an eye on my rabbit for the following few hours to see whether her appetite and demeanor improve after she reluctantly consumes the goodie without her usual gusto. In addition, I’ll get some lush greens to try to entice my bunny to eat.

If my rabbit completely rejects the treat, I’ll try to entice them to eat by giving them some baby gas drops and a plate of fresh greens. I’ll phone my vet and make an emergency appointment if their behavior doesn’t change within a few hours.

兔子, 兔子 - rabbit eating 個照片及圖片檔

The reasons why a rabbit refuses to eat

Any number of ailments might cause a rabbit to lose their appetite. Occasionally, they will bounce back on their own and act completely normal within a few hours. However, in many cases, you will require professional assistance to identify and address the issue. Keep in mind that your rabbit needs emergency care if they haven’t eaten in more than 10 hours.

Rabbit in a hunched-over pose

When stooped over, a rabbit will use its front paws to prevent hitting its belly against the ground. This is a typical GI stasis symptom.

Dental issues

Another frequent issue in rabbits that may make them avoid food is overgrown teeth. In many cases, rather than rejecting all food, rabbits with dental issues will merely avoid eating particular harder-to-eat foods.

For instance, rabbits might only eat the pellets you offer them and skip the harder hay. You might also notice that your rabbit partially chews food before dropping it out of their mouth. The rabbit might not be able to feed at all if its teeth are allowed to grow further without obtaining any medical care.


Rabbits may refuse to eat if they are in pain. A rabbit’s appetite can be affected by discomfort, whether it comes from an underlying sickness or a physical cut or scrape. If a rabbit’s pain is not treated, they may refuse to eat for extended periods of time, which may lead to GI stasis. Painkillers might be administered by your veterinarian to treat painful conditions, including arthritis.


Rabbits might lose their appetite as a result of stress. Because of this, it’s uncommon to observe rabbits eating while tensely riding in a moving vehicle. The most frequent cause of a temporary lack of appetite in rabbits is stress. If you notice that they temporarily cease eating, especially if there is a loud noise or ominous smell nearby, it may be due to stress. During this time, you can also notice a temporary decrease in the size of their excrement.

A rabbit with persistent worry or sadness may experience longer-lasting appetite loss, which increases the risk of GI stasis. It’s crucial to give your rabbit a comfortable and secure environment so that you can avoid this.

Change in diet

Additionally, a change in your rabbit’s diet may make them less hungry. When rabbits refuse to eat, it may be because they don’t trust the new food or because the meal is causing issues with their digestive system. To prevent upsetting a rabbit’s delicate digestive system, it’s crucial to gradually alter its food over a few weeks.

rabbit eating carrot from food bowl - rabbit eating 個照片及圖片檔

What to do if part of your rabbit’s meal isn’t being consumed

Occasionally, the issue isn’t that your rabbit won’t eat anything; rather, it’s that they only like particular kinds of food. Even though their hay is so beneficial for them, perhaps they are refusing to eat it. Maybe they quit eating their daily pellets all of a sudden. Although these habits are frequently merely indications of a finicky bunny, it is sometimes worthwhile to have the animal examined by a veterinarian in case there is an underlying health issue.

If your rabbit refuses to consume hay

We want the rabbits to eat as much of their hay as they can because it is a crucial part of their diet. Sadly, some rabbits can be very particular about their hay. They prefer eating the softer, more flavorful pellets, but eating too many pellets will upset their digestive system and hasten weight gain.

If your rabbit stops drinking, what to do

You can take several actions to encourage your bunny if they don’t appear to be drinking enough.

Instead of a bottle, give your rabbit a bowl. This fosters better hydration because it is a more natural manner for rabbits to drink.

In their water, add a few drops of unsweetened apple, carrot, or pineapple juice. It acquires a little sweet flavor as a result, making it more alluring.

To encourage your rabbit to drink more water as they eat, sprinkle extra water on their leafy greens.

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