When you adopt a new rabbit, you may have visions of fluffy, warm cuddles and bunny kisses. You’ll have to learn about good rabbit care and what rabbits love and don’t love. This new relationship is a learning curve for you both.
So do rabbits like to cuddle?
Rabbits typically don’t like to cuddle, as they’re prey animals and don’t enjoy being picked up or squeezed. However, rabbits that have bonded with their owners and feel safe enjoy cuddling. This has to do more with the rabbits’ personality and age than with the breed.
If your bunny is refusing your cuddles, and you would like to learn more about cuddling a rabbit the right way, this guide will help you make a lasting bond with your floppy-eared friend.
Can You Cuddle With a Bunny?
In general, you can’t cuddle with a bunny, and this is because rabbits are prey animals. The act of cuddling goes against every survival instinct that’s ingrained in them.
Even though your bun looks cuddly, fuzzy, and warm, your bun is quite the opposite.
Let’s take a look at some of the typical (and normal) reactions you’ll receive when trying to cuddle a bunny:
- They may become anxious and run away when you make a move to pick them up.
- If they feel cornered, they’ll lie flat with their ears tightly against their head and sometimes growl as a warning.
- Once you’ve picked your bun up, they’ll try everything to escape from you. This includes biting, scratching, kicking, and wriggling.
- Your bun may become frightened, as being lifted into the air is not a normal experience for them.
On the other hand, some bunnies enjoy receiving attention from their owners through cuddles. A bun that allows its owner to cuddle with them is a rabbit that has bonded with its owner (the rabbit trusts the owner).
Larger rabbit breeds, such as the Rex rabbit, enjoy cuddles more, whereas smaller bunnies like the Netherland Dwarf aren’t fond of being picked up and cuddled. This has to do with the size of the rabbit.
A larger rabbit feels safer with humans, and a small rabbit feels more threatened because they are so small (and easily overpowered).
Best Way To Cuddle Your Rabbit
As a rule, you should never rush in and force your bun to cuddle with you. You must respect your floppy-eared friends’ boundaries and make them feel safe. No rabbit likes to be picked up and caught off-guard.
Here are some tips on the best way to cuddle your rabbit:
Take It Slow
Taking the time to know what your bun likes are worth it. Start by sitting or lying on the ground next to them (get on their level).
Gently massage your bun’s head and talk softly to them. This is a great place to start, as your bun may reciprocate your affection by licking or nudging you.
Gain Their Trust
If your bun is happy to receive a gentle massage, try sitting next to them. If your rabbit feels comfortable (and enjoys the massage), it’ll flop down next to you or jump into your lap. Offer your lap rather than spooking your bun by trying to pick them up.
Remember, when you lift your bun up, it may feel like a predator is carrying them off to their lair or nest.
Commence Cuddling (Slowly)
Once you have gained your buns’ trust, they’ll start jumping into your lap or nudging you for more cuddles. This kind of attention shows that your bunny is comfortable with you and trusts you.
Expect your bun to shy away or jump off your lap the first couple of times. This is perfectly normal. Keep talking in a soothing tone and petting your bun gently. They’ll soon be asking for more cuddles.
Can You Cuddle A Rabbit With Babies?
Again, this depends on your bun’s personality and if they trust you. It’s not advisable to cuddle a rabbit with babies, as she may feel protective over her kits (baby rabbits).
Your usually sweet bun can become aggressive and try to nip you if she feels your affection is threatening her kits.
Some doe’s (female rabbits) don’t mind their owners petting them or their babies.
Approach your bun slowly and quietly (but make sure she knows you’re there, so you don’t frighten her) and read her body language. If she becomes aggressive, respect her boundaries and move away.
Do Rabbits Get Attached To Their Owners?
Rabbits do get attached to their owners. Your bun can become very attached to you and your family. If your rabbit is free to roam your house, you may notice they look for you, as they enjoy your company.
Rabbits that have bonded with their owners will also be binky (jump for happiness) when they see their owners approaching their enclosure or the room.
Bunnies are sensitive animals, and they enjoy having you around.
Do Bunnies Like to Sleep with Their Owners?
Some rabbits like to sleep with their owners, as they like your bed’s soft comfort and scent.
However, although this seems like a cute idea, it’s not always the safest. Your bun is delicate, and you could easily roll over in your sleep and suffocate or seriously injure them by accident.
Here are some safety tips on how to correctly sleep with your bun (if your rabbit is happy with that):
1. Keep the bedroom door closed, as rabbits are nocturnal and will go wandering around the house unsupervised.
2. Set your aircon at a comfortable temperature, as rabbits don’t like too cold or hot temperatures.
3. Place pillows on the floor in case your bun falls out of the bed while sleeping.
4. Give your bun a blanket to snuggle up in (preferably away from where you sleep), so the chances of rolling over them are less.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
As with any relationship (in the human or animal world), it’s always best to take things slow and respect one another’s boundaries. Try not to take it personally if your floppy-eared friend refuses your cuddles initially.
Most bunnies are anxious and scared when a person tries to cuddle them. This makes them feel out of control and trapped.
Take your time getting to know your fluffy little friend and learn to read their body language.
These small pets like to receive attention from their owners, and before you know it, your bun may even come to you asking for some cuddles. The truth is not all bunnies love to cuddle, and that’s okay.