Rabbits like to socialize, but do they only like to socialize with other rabbits such as when you bond a pair of rabbits? Or can you, the rabbit owner, form a close and trusting bond with your rabbit?
How can you bond with your rabbit? One of the first things when bonding with your rabbit is to build trust. A rabbit that’s familiar with you and feels safe is more likely to bond with you. To bond with your rabbit, sit on the floor and let your bunny come to you. Offer treats, pet or massage your rabbit, and stick to a daily routine.
Let’s look at how exactly you can bond with your rabbit in more detail.
Why Is Bonding With Your Rabbit Essential?
Creating a bond with your rabbit is about more than just having an affectionate relationship.
It is about creating a healthy relationship between you and your pet rabbit, and one where your rabbit is familiar with you and trusts you to take care of them.
Like people, rabbits are social animals. There are two main reasons you need to bond with your rabbit. Bonding prevents your rabbit from:
- Getting lonely and depressed
- Engaging in destructive behavior like digging holes in your carpet
How to Help Your Pet Rabbit Trust You
One of the key tenets of a healthy relationship is trust. As prey animals, rabbits don’t trust easily, and this is for good reason. They also don’t easily interact with new people.
So you need to win your rabbit over and show them they can trust and rely on you.
Follow these steps to get your pet bunny to trust you:
Step 1: Book One-on-One Time
When you bond with your rabbit, do it one-on-one with no other people or pets around that can disrupt the time with your rabbit.
Turn off the radio and TV. Close the door. Just enjoy the bonding session with your bunny.
Step 2: Speak in a Soothing Tone
Rabbits scare easily and loud noises around bunnies are a big no-no. When you talk to your bunny, use a soft, soothing voice/tone.
Be chilled. Anything rushed, overly excited, and jarring will only scare your bunny off and disrupt the trust-building process.
Step 3: Start With Yummy Treats
Rabbits are just like men: the way to their heart (and winning their trust) is via their stomach.
Have a few rabbit-friendly treats ready. For now, hide these in your hand.
Get down on the floor on your tummy, making yourself as small as possible so your bunny doesn’t feel threatened. Open the rabbit cage and let your rabbit come out.
Gently encourage Ms. Fluffles to come to you, but don’t push it. When your rabbit is close enough and starts sniffing at you, hold your hand filled with the treats closer to your bunny. Keep the treats in your hand as your rabbit munches away.
Repeat this daily so your rabbit associates you with yummy food.
Signs of Anxious Rabbit
A rabbit will be happy in a safe environment, but it takes time and patience, and effort to build trust with Mr Fluffles.
These are the signs to look out for if your rabbit is scared or anxious. Your rabbit:
- Runs away from you
- Cowers and hides
- Thumps their feet
- Wriggles when you pick them up
- Scratches you when you handle your rabbit
- Turns their back on you
- Has a tense body
If you spot these anxiety signs, go back a few steps and, with patience in hand, (re)build trust with your rabbit so they feel safe around you.
5 Ways to Bond With Your Rabbit
There are various ways in which you can bond and interact with your rabbit:
Method 1: Sit or Lay With Your Rabbit
An easy way to bond with your rabbit is to simply lay or sit on the floor so you can be on your rabbit’s level. You aren’t forcing interaction. You can chill with Facebook and let your bunny come to you on their own.
If you are just starting the bonding process, don’t worry if your bunny doesn’t come and interact with you the first few times. Just relax and wait. Your pet rabbit will learn that you aren’t anything to fear.
Do this bonding method daily so your bunny can get used to you.
Method 2: Have a Routine
Rabbits love routine because its predictability of it makes them feel safe. A rabbit that feels safe in your care will trust you and bond easier with you than if they are scared and on edge the whole time.
So stick to the same feeding routine, daily interaction time, and exercise schedule so your rabbit knows what’s coming.
Method 3: Teach Your Rabbit Tricks
Rabbits are intelligent animals, so just like with dogs, you can teach them tricks.
The value of training your rabbit is the time you get to spend with Ms. Fluffles.
Plus, you get to learn your rabbit’s body language and what they are communicating to you. This makes you a better fur parent when you can meet your rabbit’s needs according to what their body language tells you.
Method 4: Pet Your Rabbit
Rabbits love being petted so while you watch Netflix, pet your bunny on your lap or next to you on the couch. Some rabbits even enjoy a massage, so see what your bunny likes.
Method 5: Spay or Neuter Your Rabbit
Neutering bucks and spaying does help eliminate a lot of behavior issues like urine spraying, acting territorial, and behaving aggressively. If your rabbit is spayed or neutered, it makes the bonding process a lot easier.
Plus, your rabbit will be healthier if they are spayed or neutered.
How Long Does It Take to Bond With Your Rabbit?
Bonding with your rabbit will take anything from a few weeks to a few months.
Think if you moved to a new place. You won’t feel comfortable right away, right? It will take time.
It’s the same for your bunny. They need to learn to trust you, form an attachment, and feel comfortable. With time and patience, your bunny will be your new best friend.
Rabbits like company, and if this isn’t another rabbit or a chicken, then you can bond with your rabbit.
The first thing is to establish trust so your bunny feels safe around you. Then you can start bonding with your rabbit so you can be besties.