How to Catch a Bunny: A 4 Step Guide

An escaped bunny in a garden

Key takeaways

When your bunny escapes from your backyard or your home, it's natural to panic and wonder if you'll ever get them back.

Unfortunately, our pesky fluffy friends are expert escape artists, but this doesn't mean you can't catch them again!

In this guide, we'll explore our top tips for catching bunnies, before setting out four important steps to get them home and detailed advice on how to find a lost rabbit.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. Top tips
  3. 4 Steps to catch a pet rabbit
  4. How to find a lost rabbit
  5. FAQs
  6. Final thoughts

Top tips

Bunnies can be very smart when it comes to escaping! Their intelligence and speed mean it can feel almost impossible to catch them and get them back safely. But don't worry. With our expert tips and a few key steps, they'll be back in their hutch in no time!

Don't chase them

As tempting as it is to chase them when we see our fluffy little friends running away from us, it's essential you stay calm. Chasing a domestic rabbit may initiate a game of tag, and your bunny will always win!
Aside from this, if they suspect that you are angry or frustrated when chasing them, they may become scared. Their fight-or-flight instinct can kick in, causing them to run further away and making them even more reluctant to return home.

Chasing a domestic rabbit may initiate a game of tag, and your bunny will always win!

A bunny in the garden after escaping

Don't grab them

The majority of domestic rabbits don't necessarily enjoy being handled or cuddled, especially when they're in escape mode. For this reason, it's important you don't grab them.
Again, it can be a pet parent's instinct to grab our furry friends when they're in a dangerous situation. However, this cannot only scare your rabbit and encourage them to run away further, but it can also injure them.

Act calmly

Rabbits, like other animals, can pick up on the emotions of their owners. This can influence their own:




This is why it's essential you stay as calm as possible. If you call their name or shout 'treats', or 'dinner', make sure you keep your voice light and friendly. If they can hear your anger or frustration, they won't want to return to you.
Top Tip: Instead of chasing, grabbing, and acting erratically, try to stay still and sit on the ground near them.
A bunny being chased by its owner

4 Steps to catch a pet rabbit

Now you know some expert tips, it's time to try to catch your rabbit! Following these steps will help increase your chances of successfully getting your bunny to safety, but if you still have no luck, it may be worth calling a professional to help!

1. Block escape routes

If you aren't in a secure area, you will need to create a pen around your rabbit to block any escape routes. You can do this by using chicken wire or deer fencing and wrapping it around trees or any other objects to create a makeshift secure area.
If you are in a relatively safe place, like a garden, then you'll need to make sure there are no places where they could escape and become lost. Look out for:

Low walls or fences they can jump over

Holes under fences or walls

Routes and paths to outside the garden

This will make it a lot easier to trap your bunny and also ensure they stay safe during the process.
A bunny in a cage

2. Make the environment calm

It's essential the environment is also as calm as possible. Anything that could frighten, confuse, or aggravate your furry friend could cause them to run further away. Try to:

Limit the number of people in the area

Keep noise levels low

Encourage the rabbit to move away from dangerous or busy areas

Once the area is secure, you can spend as much time as you want trying to calm your bunny down so they can return to you safely.

3. Lure them to you

We know our bunnies are hungry little animals, and it's unlikely they'll be able to resist the temptation of a crunchy carrot or some juicy lettuce. So, once you've ensured you're both safe, sit down and try to lure them to you by:

Scattering their favorite food around you

Offering treats

Keep talking to them gently (their hearing is better than their eyesight)

Top Tip: Try crunching on a carrot. They'll recognize the sound and want a carrot of their own!

4. Consider using a trap

A humane or live trap can be useful when nothing else is working. These work by luring your pet into a box or metal crate. When your bunny has entered it, usually to get a tasty treat, a wall will come down, shutting the rabbit inside.
This doesn't harm your furry friend at all and will keep them safe and secure. However, do not leave your trap for long periods of time. This can leave your bunny in a vulnerable position. Instead, check up on it every hour or so.

How to find a lost rabbit

If your bunny has managed to escape completely and you have lost track of them, don't panic. We know this feels like a nightmare situation, but stay hopeful! Use these steps to get them home.

Start a PetRadar search

When you report your bunny missing with PetRadar, we'll alert over 4000 of your neighbors. We do this using sponsored posts and advertisements on social media.
This means when people in your area are scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram feeds, a digital poster of your missing rabbit will pop up. From the post, they'll be able to report a sighting, send it to a friend, or save it for later. As soon as any sightings are reported, we'll notify you instantly so you can stay proactive in your search.
We'll also:

Send you a free, printable poster: A few minutes after signing up for free, we'll send you a personalized and expertly-designed missing rabbit poster that you can print and distribute around your neighborhood.

Offer constant support and guidance: Our team of pet lovers will be with you every step of the. way, giving you the advice and guidance you need to stay calm and get your bunny back.

List your pet on our website: We'll create a page on our website dedicated to your furry friend, so if someone finds them in the area and searches for them online, they can report a sighting from our site so you'll get instantly notified.

PetRadar's expert team

Spread the message

Trying to find your fluffy friend on your own can be a daunting task. It can feel nearly impossible when you consider just how far they may have traveled. This is why notifying as many people as possible and recruiting neighbors to help your search can be very effective.
To do this, try:

Posting on social media groups: It's likely that your neighborhood has specific groups on WhatsApp and Facebook dedicated to pet owners in the area. Post on these sites to let as many people as possible know about your missing fluffy friend.

Distributing missing pet posters: Printing PetRadar's poster or creating your own and pinning them up in areas with a high footfall can be effective in spreading the message far and wide. Be sure to make it as eye-catching as possible and include high-quality color photos.

Knocking door-to-door: If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, it may be worth going door-to-door and asking for their help. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to support you and help get your bunny back.

photo of a lost rabbit

Report them missing

Reporting your pet missing will make your search more effective. This will increase the number of people aware of your bunny and will mean that if your rabbit is found by someone else and handed in somewhere, you will be contacted to come and collect them.
Report them missing to:

Animal shelters: Many people will hand stray bunnies in to animal shelters, or report a sighting to local shelters. By notifying the organizations in your area, they can contact you as soon as any rabbits matching the description of yours are handed in.

Veterinarians: It's likely someone will bring your bunny in for a checkup if they find them. Ensuring the local clinics are aware of your pet will mean you can rest assured knowing you'll be notified if your bunny is found.

Animal control: Agencies and organizations like animal control will have resources and expert advice that can help you track down your pet.

A busy animal shelter


Is it difficult to catch a rabbit?

Yes, it can be very difficult to catch a rabbit. They can be very quick and skittish, meaning when you approach them, they can run even further away. The best way to catch them is to sit down patiently and lure them to you with food.

How do you catch a pet rabbit that escaped?

In order to successfully catch a pet rabbit that has escaped, you need to secure the area they are in as soon as possible. Once it is secured, sit down and lure the rabbit to you with their favorite foods. When they are close enough, you can gently pick them up, but be sure not to grab them.

What to do if a pet rabbit escapes?

If your pet rabbit escapes, try to secure the area they are in straight away. If you can't find them, spread the message to your neighbors as soon as possible and report them missing to local animal shelters and vets.

Can pet rabbits run away?

Yes, pet rabbits can run away. In fact they are some of the best escape artists! To prevent this from happening, make sure all fences around their area are high enough and there are no holes or tunnels dug under them.

Do pet rabbits come back if they escape?

It's unlikely a pet rabbit will come back on their own if they escape. This is why it's essential you find them as soon as possible.

Will a rabbit survive in the wild if it escapes?

No, most pet rabbits will not survive for long in the wild if it escapes. They don't have the experience and survival instincts of wild rabbits. This is why you must find them as soon as possible and get them home safely.

Final thoughts

While catching a domestic rabbit can feel like an impossible task, it's definitely doable. With our practical advice, we hope you've been successful!
If your bunny is still missing, remember to start a PetRadar search. We'll be with you every step of the way and will do all we can to get your fluffy friend home safely. We've already found over 12,000 pets, so you'll be in good hands.

Written by

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Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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