What is rabbit anorexia and how to treat it?

Rabbit anorexia is a sign of serious problem. You should take it seriously and take your bunny to the Vet as soon as you notice any kind of eating disorder. Keep in mind that a rabbit who’s not eating is in danger of DEATH. In fact, the digestive system of a rabbit should be operational 24 hours a day. If the bunny does not eat, his digestive system slows down and gets blocked eventually.

Rabbit anorexia causes


A suffering rabbit does not moan and avoids showing his weakness. This is because rabbits are preys by nature and the slightest illness sign would attract predators. Anorexia is a sign of pain. The bunny can become anorexic after a chirurgical intervention. In this case, it is important to provide him with appropriate pain killers before leaving the hospital so that his eating and intestinal transit could go back to normal.


A change in place or in habits may cause some temporary anorexia. In general, the rabbit doesn’t stop eating completely and his transit does not block. Stress can also be caused by a visit to the veterinary or by a chirurgical operation.

Diet change

Rabbits like to keep the same diet over long periods of time. Every new food should be given in small quantities at first. An abrupt change in their diet can cause anorexia. When you change your rabbit’s diet, make sure you keep control over the situation. If you notice that your rabbit doesn’t like certain foods, do not hesitate to take them back.


Certain medicines can take away your bunny’s appetite. Consult your veterinary.

More often, anorexia is a sign of diseases.

Dental problems

Rabbit’s teeth grow continuously. If they are misaligned, they might hurt his cheek or his tongue which may ultimately cause abscess. In this case, the rabbit is hungry but cannot eat. You will notice how he dives into the bowl but suddenly stops and does not eat.

Digestive problems

If the rabbit’ diet is lacking enough fiber, his transit becomes slower which gives him a false sensation of satiety. This vicious cycle causes further slowdown in transit and may transform ultimately into a complete intestinal blockage. This becomes even more serious as the rabbit is unable to get rid of the fur he normally swallows. Do not try auto medication as the matter needs urgent intervention from the Vet.

Kidney problems

Pain and severe kidney illnesses can also cause anorexia and anemia.

Allergic rhinitis and respiratory problems

If your bunny has an encumbered nose, he certainly will find it difficult to eat. You will notice that he eats while standing tall and opening wide his nostrils.


Severe infections like Pasteurellosis and Myxomatosis

What to do about your rabbit’s anorexia?

If the anorexia lasts more than 24 hours, you should urgently take your rabbit to the vet especially if he is showing signs of apathy.

You may also be obliged to force-feed him in order to maintain his digestive system alert. For that, you should provide for a small jar of carrots and a syringe to intervene in the case of an emergency.

Also, your rabbit deserves special care in these moments: install him in a calm and warm area, offer him his preferred food and give him lots of hay.

Learn more about your rabbit’s food and health care through our articles on most popular rabbit breeds and giant rabbit breeds.