Last week, my neighbor buddy brought his lop-eared bunny and said, “Hey Kawkab Nadim, you know my Holly, right? I brought her months ago, and she’s been showing some behaviors since then. I did my research but still can’t figure out whether she likes it here. Can you help me?” Perhaps, he was asking, “How do rabbits show affection to humans?” Well, I told this.
Licking and nibbling are the most obvious ways for rabbits to show their affection to humans close to them. They might show their confidence and trust in humans by lying down, exposing the tummy, and stretching the legs. Rubbing chin on the owner is also a sign of intimacy.
Unlike predators, prey animals are liable to calmness and wariness when it comes to interactions with others, be animals or humans. So, we should understand if rabbits are really capable of affection in the first place.
Can Rabbits Show Affection?
Yes, they can do it but not in the way we do to others. Some breeds bond really well with those who care for them. Some may be too calm or shy to be sociable quickly. With a little getting used to and time, their endearment will become clear.
Rabbits that love cuddles and are energetic are easy to bond with. Regardless of the variety you pet, you need to know their way. Keep reading.
How Do Rabbits Show Affection to Humans?
Rabbits show dozens of body language to express their emotions. It is okay if you don’t see all of them, but FOUR signs, as I mentioned above, indicate their growing feeling towards you.
Oh, I should mention that I’ll be telling things for a female rabbit, but things don’t change much when it comes to the signs of fondness between bunnies and humans. Even, some might say male rabbits are more affectionate.
How Do You Tell If Your Rabbit Loves You?
These creatures do a lot of grooming activities like licking, nuzzling, nibbling, etc. If your pet has done these to you at least a few times, she certainly loves you.
Sometimes, she might have nibbled parts of your belongings like clothing or something on your body. It may not be what we call love, but it means something as close as caring or submission.
A few months ago, one of the friends asked me this, “Why does my rabbit constantly lick me?” A few instances mean a display of togetherness, but when this happens constantly, your rabbit is perhaps expecting something in return. What can that be? Maybe, some returns from you will be good.
How to Detect Their Sense of Belongings?
I saw my rabbit rubbing chin on me a few times so far. Bunnies secrete from their scent glands located under their chins. You may not be able to smell it, but through this way, they mark their territory. So guess what yours mean when she rubs chin on you. You have her scent on you, and you are her “chinned” (marked) human.
How Do You Know a Rabbit Wants Attention?
She comes near you, nudges you, and puts her small head down, keeping both ears at her head’s sides. Did you ever notice this? When I first pet my bunny, I couldn’t know what it means. But one day, I paid him some attention by grooming him, and he made me feel (in his own way) that he got what he demanded.
Does Your Bunny Trust You?
Rabbits sometimes flop down gently and stretch out near their owners. Although you won’t see yours do it every day, you can tell that she feels safe around you. When a bunny lies on its side or back and its tummy is exposed with the legs completely stretched out, it becomes off guard.
If she does this while you are around, you certainly have her trust. But if she doesn’t do this at all, don’t worry because there are some other ways you can gain it.
How Do You Get Your Rabbit to Trust You?
- Try to understand (her personality) if she is funny, shy, scared, or aggressive.
- Speak to her softly.
- Offer her something (apples, pine branches, apricot, etc.) to chew on.
- Let her come near you and spend some time together every day.
- Hold her gently, avoiding its belly upward or ears.
- Do some cuddling on a daily basis and try nose nuzzling at times.
- Keep her living environment free of excessive crowd or excitement.
- Attend to her pains or injuries as quickly as possible.
- Don’t leave her alone for several hours, let alone days.
Andrew (my neighbor) stopped me at this point and insisted that I answer these two questions before going any further into the matter.
Why Does My Rabbit Stare at Me?
If she stares while lying down, it means that she feels relaxed. Staring while standing on the feet means she wants something from you. Sometimes, they do it just out of curiosity and nothing significant.
Why Does My Rabbit Climb on Me?
It is in the very nature of your bunny that she likes to see things from above and dislikes being picked up. It is neither a nuisance nor a bad thing, and the habit will eventually grow if you allow.
With time, you’ll see it climb onto other juxtaposed places like the furniture or anything that can be climbed. For some rabbits, it is nothing more than a playful act or an attempt to explore in a joyful mood.
What I’ve told so far is strictly about a bunny’s characteristics to show attachment to us, humans. Over the decade, I’ve learned a few things more about their emotions, which may not specifically indicate their love for you.
But these expressions signify that they have excellent rapports with their surroundings, and that obviously includes you. Now, I’m explaining some familiar aspects of rabbit body language, which will help you promote a harmonious relationship with your little bunny.
How Do Rabbits Express Contentment and Pleasure?
When bunnies rub their teeth together, you may hear a very light sound. It’s called tooth-clicking or light grinding that accounts for their comfortable and happy state in the current environment. If the pet does this with you very closely positioned, it wants to extend that sense of pleasure up to you too.
How to Spot a Joyful Bunny?
Rabbits sometimes jump straight up in the air with ears flipping around. You may notice a mid-run by the bunny as it makes a half turn and then a twist in the air.
Don’t think she has gone crazy. It’s just binkying, an action to show how happy and frank they are before you. To get the bunny to do this even more gracefully, you can flip your own hair around to make the pet understand that you are joyful too.
How Do They Greet?
On occasions, I see my bunny run around me in circles. It means either he’s greeting me or demanding something that he believes I can provide. Apart from greetings, the other action is noticeable when I have something in hand that is one of his favorite treats.
Do Rabbits Understand Kisses?
Some do enjoy and understand while others do not. You’ll understand when your bunny doesn’t accept any particular thing. You can habituate her by giving a few kisses every time before grooming. Once this action from you is perceivable to the pet, you’ll get the return, not essentially in the form of kissing but licking.
Do Rabbits Like to Be Held?
For most bunnies, keeping them in the hold is not okay. Don’t blame them just yet because they got this instinct by being a prey animal. Gentle cuddles or strokes may help you befriend them, but holding them and lifting higher won’t help you become a welcoming entity in their eyes.
What I’ve found is that enjoying their company on their level is acceptable, and the chances are that you can gradually hold them without upsetting them.
Do Rabbits Recognize Their Name?
Giving a rabbit a name and get him/her to remember and respond to it is a solid way to bond with the pet. But you have a lot to gain it.
Show her a banana, or a carrot, or just anything she likes, and then call her name calmly. Don’t hand it to her yet. Take a few steps further and do the same to see if she responds.
Keep doing this every day until she is eager to respond to the name you utter. At some point, you’ll see she doesn’t ignore your call, and that means she’s showing attentiveness.
Now that I’ve shared all my thoughts and knowledge about rabbits’ interactions with humans, I would like you to know a few things which rabbit lovers often ask.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve tried to answer these questions in a way that complements your understanding of the discussion more legibly.
01. How Do Rabbits Say Sorry?
Answer: The brains of rabbits aren’t complex and capable enough to process emotions, which may allow them to apologize or forgive. However, interactions based on emotional and social actions may help with some degree of evolution. Sometimes, they may touch heads or crouch and tuck their heads down to exhibit submission. This particular action may see some variations as they apologize to their male/female counterparts.
02. Can Rabbits Tell When You’re Sad?
Answer: Yes, some breeds are special in this sense, especially the cuddly ones. If you’re internalizing your emotions showing almost zero activity, your bunny might come up to you and sit with you.
Even, it is not uncommon to see a bunny starting to groom you if you show so much as crying before it. However, for bunnies to show these feelings to us, we need to have them love us first.
03. How to Tell If Your Rabbit Doesn’t Like You?
Answer: Just like you can tell if your rabbit likes you, you can also find out if he/she is displeased with you. Go through the following list:
- Thumping: It expresses anger or awareness that danger is imminent.
- Erect and Wagging Tail: The bunny has got aggressive and defiant.
- Lunging: When the bunny doesn’t like your attitude or actions, you may notice this.
- Eyelid in the Corner: Your presence might make the pet feel stressed or uneasy.
- Throwing: Some might take it as a sportive behavior, but it may indicate anger too.
I’ve already pointed out so many characteristics, and yet, you might see some of them missing here. Well, I did it intentionally. Let me remind you of the original question, “How do rabbits show affection to humans?” I just tried to communicate the perspective of affection/love between you and the cutie bunny.
You must have seen yours chewing, digging, or even boxing. Each of these signs means something specific, but they aren’t necessarily associated with affection to you. Hope you can get closer to your rabbit by utilizing the findings I’ve presented herein. By the way, don’t forget to share the interesting stories of your pet with me.
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