Rabbits are adorable little creatures that love giving affection in their ways. But what is essential is to make them feel like they are receiving all the love they give!
Rabbits love being in the spotlight. While physical affection such as being cuddled may not be their first preference, they enjoy a more calm, serene setting to play in. You can pamper them by letting them exercise, giving them treats, regularly brushing them, or even arranging a lovely little spa day!
You can get all the affection you want from rabbits because they are never short of it! However, you are probably trying to figure out how you can show your bunny some love. It is natural to be confused as to what form of affection your pet enjoys. Nevertheless, you’ve got nothing to worry about! Read further to learn how you can show your rabbit affection with eight simple tips.
1. Understanding How Rabbits Give Affection
Rabbits love getting out of their cages to run around and play in larger areas. So, it is not wise to coddle and not let go of them from your arms! They like to move around and explore rather than being in the same position for too long.
Once you let your rabbit out of its cage for playtime, could you wait for it to come to you? It won’t be long before it comes jumping to you for some love and affection! This shows that rabbits like to make their own choices, and holding them back may frustrate them. You may find your rabbit hanging out around you even when you’re doing something else, just so that they can smell you and have a sense of familiarity. Rabbits find comfort in being in peaceful, serene surroundings. They also prefer choosing their own time to either be fed or petted.
There are many situations you must treat your rabbit like your child, but there are a few where your rabbit will take over! You will never be short of all the love and affection you get from your bunny. They will either nuzzle or nibble on your hands which means they want you to pet them. You will often find them doing the same thing to your clothes, leaving you irritated or confused sometimes. However, they don’t do this to upset you or groom you; all they expect is to receive all the attention they give to you!
2. No Hugging
Here’s a vital DON’T to remember with rabbits: Don’t pick them up and start huffing them! It may seem a little odd for animals that love getting so much affection; however, hugging is just not their thing.
Rabbits find comfort and safety in knowing that all their four paws are in contact with the ground. The point is to ensure they feel like they are not at risk of being dropped. As rabbits are prey to many animals, they start to feel unsafe relatively fast. When they don’t feel the ground below them, they begin to get paranoid and feel at risk. So, whether your rabbit is on the ground or in your lap, make it feel secure. Hence, the best way to go about this is to wait for your rabbit to make the first move.
It is crucial to respect your rabbit’s boundaries even if their agitation looks cute. It is common for rabbits to feel suffocated or “trapped” if you are not able to let go of their adorable little selves! You can identify their distress if they have a shocked expression when you pick them. When you see this, your rabbit is uncomfortable and requires its personal space for some time. Keep in mind to treat your rabbit the way you want to be treated. Find the appropriate balance between giving them space and physical affection.
3. Keep Up with Their Level
If your rabbit doesn’t like you picking it up, it is time for you to go down on the floor to show it some love! Being at its level will help you be closer to your rabbit, allowing it to see you while it plays. You can show your rabbit affection by petting them while they move around and nudging them.
Getting down to play with your rabbit is a good idea as you can spend time with it without restricting its movement. This way, you are letting your rabbit familiarise itself with your and registering your scent. Simply walking around as they play will only allow them to get familiar with your feet!
Rabbits are energetic animals and wouldn’t miss a chance to explore their surroundings. It is essential not to hinder your bunny’s way while it tries to play. Let it come and get to know you on its own. All you need to do is make sure you are in your rabbit’s field of vision. You can lay down on the floor and allow your bunny to run around you and jump over you.
4. Treat Them to Their Favourite Food
Giving rabbits goof and treats is a sort of bonding activity for them. By feeding them by hand, your rabbit will start to trust you and feel secure. Since humans are a few times the size of a rabbit, they naturally get intimidated by us. Initially, they may see you as this gigantic creature that is a threat to their safety. Once you start feeding them directly from your hand, they will begin to trust and be comfortable around you.
It is better to start feeding them straight from your hand after your bunny passes through the initial “new surroundings” phase. It is recommended to let them have their first few meals on their own without worrying about who to trust and who not to. You can gradually start to introduce yourself with time. This way, you will not be catching your bunny off guard and giving it time to get familiar with the new surroundings.
Rabbits love snacking on carrots, apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. Most pet stores have much fun treats that you can give your bunny for, you know, just being adorable! If you want healthier options for a treat, it is best to stick to fruits and vegetables.
5. Always Make Enough Play Time
Your rabbit must get all the exercise it needs. Being energetic animals, rabbits cannot stay in their cages all day. They need to get sufficient exercise daily to keep fit and happy. It is a good idea to allot specific times during the day for your rabbit’s playtime.
Rabbits adore playing with all the toys you bring from them. They love running around and squeezing in all the exercise they can fit. You can also build a tunnel out of cardboard or newspapers to pass through or reach their food. It is a great way to make their play space a lot more fun! Rabbits like using their senses to find things. They find it fun to make searching for things such as their treats a more challenging task.
As much as they enjoy playing with all their toys, nothing beats spending time with their owners. Make sure that you have cleared up your schedule for playtime, so you have your bunny looking forward to something!
6. There is No Such Thing as Too Much Pampering!
Now, getting attention might be their primary focus, but bunnies appreciate other forms of affection too. A great way to bond with your rabbit is to pamper them continuously. Your rabbit just wants to be the apple of your eye and expects to get your undivided attention.
Make sure you keep petting them. You can give them rabbit kisses by nudging them in the nose! You can regularly brush your rabbit’s fur to help them get rid of all the itchiness. They love this as it is super relaxing for them as well.
An instance where rabbits are not like your babies and other pets is when you try putting them on their back or holding them. Doing this makes your rabbit feel vulnerable and uneasy. Rabbits have a different love language compared to cats and dogs. While cats mostly keep to themselves and dogs like being smothered love, rabbits enjoy a good mix of both.
Pampering doesn’t necessarily have to include you bathing your rabbit. Rabbits are pretty hygienic animals and know how to clean up after themselves. They constantly pay attention to their cleanliness and ensure that they’ve been groomed. In summary, rabbits love being nudged, brushed, petted, and cuddled. All of these are excellent ideas for you to show your rabbit how much you love and care for them!
7. Say Sorry If You Must!
You are probably second-guessing this article right now, but you have to try it out! As silly as apologizing to your rabbit sounds, it really is effective. Rabbits are most definitely capable of taking offense. So, if you’ve upset, there are certain gestures you can do to let them know you’re sorry.
Touch your forehead to your bunny’s. This will comfort your rabbit and give it a sense of apology. It will make your rabbit feel good to see you addressing a situation where you have upset it. When it comes to wanting attention, rabbits are like your kids! You’ll be surprised to know that rabbits, too, can pout and are capable of throwing tantrums out of rage. You can catch on to this behavior if you see your rabbit hiding away or trudging around frustratedly. This frustration can often be confused with enthusiasm, but it’s just your bunny being upset!
There could be multiple reasons your rabbit is upset about not getting enough attention:
- There is a new pet in the household
- You are not petting them how you usually do
- It slipped your mind to feed them that particular day
There are many other reasons for this. But the best way to react is to change/stop whatever you’re doing that is upsetting them.
8. Never Ignore Your Bunny
Last but not least: Don’t ever ignore or neglect your bunny. To your surprise, rabbits have a remarkable memory. If they get upset over you ignoring them, don’t be surprised to receive some cold treatment! Your rabbit will remember it if you ever choose to ignore them. Just like humans, they get upset if you don’t acknowledge their presence.
If you ever unintentionally find yourself ignoring them, you can pick up on signs. Rabbits that feel ignored generally make squeaky little sounds and will lick or nudge you. If they still feel like you are ignoring them, they will immediately start sulking or even bite you for some attention. So, make sure to give your bunny your undivided attention to make sure you don’t upset them.