What’s a Baby Rabbit Called + 4 More Amazing Facts!

baby rabbit in a flower field
© iStock.com/Drakuliren

Written by Sadie Dunlap

Updated: September 20, 2023

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There are few things as adorable as a tiny baby rabbit. But what if we told you this wasn’t the coolest thing about rabbit kits? Rabbit babies are astounding, complex creatures with many cool things about them. Let’s learn all about the baby rabbit! 

#1: A Baby Rabbit is Called a Kit!

baby rabbit pups



are called kits!


Contrary to popular belief, the baby rabbit is not called a bunny. Instead, they share their scientific baby name with animals like cats and foxes. That’s right! Baby rabbits are called kits, kittens, or kitties. Female rabbits are called does and males are called bucks, just like baby deer! Who knew?

#2: European Brown Hares can Get Pregnant Twice!

baby rabbit portrait

European Brown


can get pregnant with new babies at the end of their pregnancies.


You probably already knew that rabbits are notorious for reproducing rapidly and having large litters. But did you know that the European Brown Hare can conceive new baby rabbit kits near the end of a current pregnancy? It’s true! Let’s find out more about this amazing ability.

When European Brown Hares are near the end of their pregnancies, they have the astounding ability to ovulate again. When they mate and the released eggs are fertilized, embryos grow in their place. Instead of going on to develop in the womb, though, these embryos remain in the rabbit’s oviduct until the current litter is born.

Once a European Brown Hare has her babies, the waiting embryos in her oviduct then move to her womb. Embryos normally remain in the oviduct for about four days before the current litter is born. This means that the female rabbit’s gestation period can be shortened from 42 to 38 days. The result? Up to 35.4% more baby rabbit kits yearly – that’s a lot of bunnies!

#3: Female Rabbits are Fiercely Protective

baby rabbit friend

Mother rabbits stop at nothing to protect their young!


It requires no stretch of the imagination to believe that mothers are protective. After all, most baby animals are born completely defenseless. Mother rabbits are no exception. In fact, they take some pretty cool measures to keep their young safe from predators. Since these fluffy kits have more predators than prey, it’s a good thing their mothers have their backs!

Keeping baby rabbit kits safe from predators starts from the moment they’re born. Rabbits are den animals, which means they tunnel underground to stay warm and safe. Normally, the opening to a rabbit’s den is easy to spot. However, when a litter is born, mother rabbits bury the opening of their den. This makes it more difficult for predators to spot.

Mother rabbits are also extremely careful when it comes to approaching their nests. Since lingering around her babies or returning too often would draw attention, they prefer to stay away. This means that they only return to tend to their kits about one to three times a day. Some mother rabbits are so protective that they will even eat their babies before letting a predator do so! 

#4: Baby Rabbit Kits Don’t Eat Much

baby rabbit closeup

Rabbit kits only eat for about five minutes a day.


For many baby animals, growing up is some serious stuff. While it’s true that many young animals nurse frequently throughout the day, the same is not true for baby rabbit kittens. Since they have so many predators, their mothers must stay away from the nest for most of the day. When she returns, she can’t stay long.

So what does this mean for baby rabbit kits? The answer is simple: they only feed once a day, for about five minutes. These adorable bunnies are mammals, which means they survive solely on their mother’s milk while they are young. On average, it takes a baby rabbit kit about five minutes to gorge themselves on their mother’s milk. 

The astounding thing about baby rabbit kits is that five minutes of feeding sustains them for the entire day. Their mothers won’t return to the nest for about 24 hours. However, rabbits’ milk is rich in fat and protein, which helps keep the babies full until their mother’s return. The Eastern Cottontail rabbit, for example, has milk made up of about 15% protein.

#5: Baby Rabbit Kittens are Social Animals

baby rabbit in a flower field

Rabbit kits love to socialize and play.


There’s strength in numbers, and rabbit kits seem to live by this rule. Did you know that rabbits live in groups? It’s true! Both adult and baby rabbits are extremely social animals and spend most of their lives living in groups. However, this isn’t just for social interaction.

It probably comes as no surprise that rabbits have a laundry list of predators. After all, they are small, weak, and lack sharp teeth or talons to protect themselves. This means that living and traveling in groups allows them safety in numbers. Despite this defense mechanism, though, most rabbits never live to see their first birthday.

Bonus: Do Rabbits Sleep at Night?

Sleeping newborn baby bunny rabbit, Holland lop, cuteness

Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning, they are most active during the hours of dawn and dusk.

©Ellethwen Rue/Shutterstock.com

The times that rabbits sleep vary somewhat based on whether the rabbit is wild or domesticated. Domestic rabbits have fewer worries (such as predators), so can sleep as much as 12-14 hours a day.

Many people think that wild rabbits are nocturnal, but it’s not actually the case. They are what is termed crepuscular–they are active in the early morning and evening hours. This characteristic aids them in avoiding predators such as owls, who don’t see as well at dusk and dawn and hunt at night. Hawks, another foe of rabbits, see best in daylight, also lacking their best eyesight at dawn and dusk. Rabbits, on the other hand, have eyes that are specialized to help them see well in these dim conditions.

Rabbits do a lot of foraging in the morning. When it gets brighter and hotter, they hide in their burrows to keep cool in the heat of the day and avoid predators. Early evening is their next time to get out and forage as well as socialize with other rabbits. Then they retreat back to their lairs again to avoid night predators.

So when do rabbits sleep? Mostly in daytime and nighttime hours. And their domestic cousins tend to have this sleep cycle even though they are safe, as it has been passed down from their ancestors.

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