Rabbits Won’t Eat Critical Care. (All You Need To Know)

Rabbits are very adorable animals. They love to eat, run and hop. But, sometimes, their sudden behavioral changes make their owners worry. For example, most rabbit stops pooping and eating their regular diet, which may require a visit to the vet. 

Sudden behavior change can cause infection or illness, which may require medication or surgery. And due to this, rabbits do not eat enough nutrients that they need. Therefore, some vets recommend buying critical care for sick or recovering rabbits. But why does my rabbit don’t eat critical care? How can I feed critical care to rabbits? Let’s find it out in this article.

Rabbit won’t eat critical care because of stress, internal pain, and gastrointestinal issues. Provide critical care food mixture to sick rabbits in a bowl or a spoon. However, if a rabbit refuses to eat it, you can add mashed fruits like banana, apple, or pear to add flavor to the critical care.

In this article, we will discuss critical care; when should we feed critical care to rabbits? Why do rabbits need it? And many more. So, let’s find it out.

What is critical care?

Critical care is powder-based food formula for rabbits who are ill, sick or recovering from surgery. If your rabbit is not eating their regular diet and drinking water, then you can feed critical care food to your rabbit with the help of a syringe after consulting your vet.

Critical care food is used as an emergency feeding ground with alfalfa and timothy-based meals containing enough calories and water to feed your sick rabbit. It treats a rabbit’s digestive system to function normally after surgery or medical diagnosis. 

Critical care(TM) is a powder-based food formula mixed with water to make a consistency like pudding which is fed to those rabbits who are sick, ill, or recovering from surgery. After making the formula, you can provide it to your rabbit with the help of a syringe.

Why do rabbits need critical care?

If your rabbit is sick or recovering from surgery, you may require to feed them critical care food to help them get enough nutrients they need after consulting your vet.

Feeding Critical care formula to rabbits is like a medication, which includes pain relief, fluids, and other medicines to treat the primary cause of the problem.

Most rabbits do not eat or drink when suffering from pain or undergoing surgery. Therefore, you may require emergency critical care for your rabbit to feed them at that moment. 

However, before providing critical care to your rabbit, take them to your vet to ensure they do not have blockages or bloating problems.

Your rabbit might not be eating food because it may have stomach blockages, liver diseases, dehydration, or gastrointestinal stasis.

Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Not Eating?

Why is my rabbit not eating critical care?

Rabbits are prey animals. They can get easily stressed or frightened if we forcefully feed them critical care. 

Usually, rabbits do not eat or drink due to their digestive problems. However, your rabbit needs a proper diet to recover if they have a medical diagnosis or surgery. At that moment, it is essential to feed critical care to rabbits to give them enough nutrients that they require. 

However, before providing critical care, you may take your rabbit to the vet to find the possible reasons for not eating and drinking. 

When should I give my rabbit critical care?

If your rabbit has a loss in appetite, changes in its behavior, or any symptoms of infection or diseases, then you may require a trip to your vet. In addition, if your rabbit shows these signs, it may suffer from some illness or pain requiring quick medication.

Before providing critical care to your rabbit, you may first need to detect its weight, age, and clinical condition. For example, if your rabbit is weak, ill, dehydrated, and not eating ( loss of appetite), it may require additional fluids after being determined by your vet.

Some vets suggest putting a critical care bag in your house for emergencies if your rabbit is ill, dehydrated, and not eating its regular diet. You can find critical care food for your rabbit from amazon.

What can I mix with critical care for rabbits?

It is effortless to make your critical care formula for your rabbit. You can mix warm water with fresh critical care powder to make the consistency like yogurt or thick gravy. Also, you can store the premixed critical care food for 24 hours in the refrigerator. 

Critical care is always should be fed at room temperature. Also, if the consistency of the premixed formula is too thick, you can add more water to make it at your desirable consistency anytime. Otherwise, it would be tough for your rabbit to swallow the premixed critical care formula. And if the consistency is too thin, your rabbit will not get enough fiber content. 

Also, if your rabbit is underweight, you can mix the critical care powder with a small slice of banana and a few weight gain pellets. For that, you need to grind the weight gain pellets in the coffee mixture and then mix the powder in critical care powder. In addition, you can serve this premixed mixture in a bowl or balls. 

However, if your rabbit is still not eating critical care food, add a thin slice of fruit or vegetable like a banana, apple, carrot, or pear and mash it in the mixture. Also, feed the premixed formula in small doses to your rabbit.

Also, read: Can Rabbits Eat Bananas?

How long does critical care last?

If you have a premixed critical care formula ( mixed with warm water), you can store it for 24 hours in a refrigerator.

However, when feeding premixed formula, please take out the mixture and wait until it becomes room temperature. 

Also, if you have opened the critical care bag, you can store it at room temperature by sealing it for 30 days.

How to feed critical care food to rabbits?

Feeding critical care to rabbits depends on their weight, age, and clinical illness. So, before providing critical care to your rabbit, it is essential to consult the veterinarian.

Feeding critical care can be typical because rabbits are prey animals. They can get easily frightened or become stressed if we try force-feeding. 

However, it is essential to feed emergency food if your rabbit is recovering from surgery or disease. 

To feed critical care, you may need to follow these steps:

  1. Make the mixture: Add 3 tbsp of critical care powder with 6 tbsp of warm water to make a consistency like pudding or yogurt so that it can easily pass out from the syringe or lapped from a spoon or bowl. 
  2. Syringe: If your rabbit is not eating from the bowl or spoon, you may take a clean 1ml long nozzle syringe and fill it with a premixed mixture to feed your rabbit. After that, push the plunger to make the mix reaches the syringe tip.
  3. Place your rabbit: Now, place your rabbit either on a table or the floor. And try to pet them so that they will become less stressed. At this point, you need to stay calm and relaxed to feed your rabbit with the help of a syringe.
  4. Feed: In this step, you must lightly hold your rabbit’s head and pull its lips back. After that, insert only the syringe tip inside your rabbit’s mouth from the cheeks side, not the front teeth, and hold your rabbit’s head down to avoid choking. 
  5. Insert the mixture: Be calm and gentle to insert 1/2ml or less mixture in your rabbit’s mouth. After inserting, remove the syringe to give breaks to your rabbit to swallow. Then again, insert a small dose (1ml) of the mixture and wait for them to chew. Repeat the process until they eat it all.

How often should I feed critical care to rabbits?

You can feed a critical care mixture to your rabbit every three to four hours. However, if your rabbit becomes stressed, you should provide it only three times a day. 

You can feed 50mls of critical care per kg of your rabbit’s body weight daily ( in 24 hours). 

Also, before feeding critical care, ensure that your rabbit does not have any blockages, and your vet allows you to provide critical care.


  1. Critical care is given to rabbits who are sick, dehydrated, stressed, or recovering from surgery.
  2. Critical care is a powder that can be fed with warm water.
  3. Some rabbits may not eat critical care mixture because of stomach blockages, stress, or gastrointestinal problems.
  4. You can store the premixed mixture in a refrigerator for 24 hours, and a critical care bag can be stored for a month ( 30 days) at room temperature after being perfectly sealed. 
  5. If your rabbit does not eat critical care formula, you can mash any small piece of fruit or vegetable like banana, pear, apple, or carrot with water for flavor. 

Reference: NCBI, ResearchGate

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