You may have watched Bugs Bunny, an animated cartoon character created in the late 1930s. The rabbit is pretty confident. But, real-life rabbits are shy. They can be scared of their surroundings and even their owners.
If your rabbit is often scared of you, you’re surely wondering, “Why is my rabbit scared of me?” Your rabbit may be afraid of you due to some past negative experiences and memories, and that’s why it doesn’t trust you. It could also be because of a sudden change in the environment, or a new noise or smell from you can make them feel scared of you.
Apart from that, there are some other reasons why your rabbit may be afraid of you. In this article, we’re going to talk about the possible causes of fear in your rabbit and how to calm it down. Here is another article for you: why father rabbits eat their offspring.
Related Blog: Why Do Male Rabbits Eat Their Babies? Read here
What Are the Reasons Why Your Rabbit Is Scared of You?
Here are the reasons at a glance:
- Because of an illness
- Because of stress
- Trust issues
- A new smell of you
- An unknown noise
- A sudden change in weather, etc.
01. Because of an Illness
Your bunny seems to be scared of you because of an illness. For example, a small wound hurts your bunny. When you try to take it in your arms, it hides from you. Maybe, the rabbit has a stomachache. That’s because it might be running away from you.
If you notice something like that in your rabbit, we would recommend seeing a professional vet. Just be calm and take patient if your bunny has a small injury. Once it’s healed, it will forget the fear and come back to you.
02. Because of Stress
Stress can be another reason why your bunny avoids you. This usually occurs due to loneliness. If this happens to your bunny, you will notice a few stress symptoms, like curling up in one of the corners of the cage, falling off ears, looking black in the eyes, etc.
In order to reduce your bunny’s stress, talk to it in a soft voice. Next, offer him a treat and wait until it comes towards you. Once it comes closer to you, take it in your arms or shoulder. Put your hands on his eyes in a gentle way.
03. Trust Issues
Is your rabbit so afraid of you? Maybe, it doesn’t trust you anymore. You may have done anything negative with it without realizing how it felt. For example, you may have shouted at it or caught it by its ears or legs.
Besides, you may have surprised your bunny, coming from behind, and your bunny jumped with fear. These incidents are really serious, especially at night. If you lose your rabbit’s trust, try to gain that again. Don’t wake it up all of a sudden when it’s sleeping.
04. A New Smell of You
A new smell could be a reason why your little feathered friend is suddenly scared of you. Typically, rabbits have a strong sense of smell to protect themselves from predators. If you smell unknown to your bunny, it may consider you a threat.
The smell may come from different sources. You may have put some perfume on your hand in a store. Maybe, you have used a new detergent, shampoo, conditioner, or air freshener. You may also carry your neighbor’s dog or cat, and smell comes with you.
05. An Unknown Noise
Typically, rabbits are pretty sensitive to noise. If your bunny fears you, it could be that an unknown noise from you may disturb it. They can also remember the sounds of their predators. If you sound like a dog in front of your bunny, it will get scared.
So, you shouldn’t make loud noises in front of your bunny. Don’t mimic their predators, like wild dogs, feral cats, and prey birds, such as eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. If your bunny is frightened by any noise, try to calm it down.
06. A Sudden Change in Weather
As you know that rabbits are pretty sensitive to noise, your rabbit may not come to you because of lightning, thunder, or the sound of a heavy downpour. Maybe, your bunny feels an earthquake of very small amplitude.
Once your bunny feels something like this, it will hide in its cage and not come to you for a long time. To keep the fear out of your rabbit, stay right next to it and gently talk to it. Keep in mind that your bunny needs your support.
07. Additional Causes
There could be some other reasons why your bunny is so afraid of you. Here are a few possible causes out there.
- Once you’re scared of something, your bunny will feel that. Therefore, it gets scared of you and moves away from you.
- Rabbits can feel diseases in other rabbits and humans as well. Your bunny may be scared of you because you may have any disease like flu.
- Maybe, your bunny is afraid of your other pets, like dogs, cats, and other rabbits that could be aggressive while you’re out of your home.
- If you’re a girl, new makeup or a haircut can make your bunny afraid of you. This is because your bunny may not recognize you.
How to Tell If Your Rabbit Is Scared of You
If your rabbit behaves abnormally, it could be a sign of fear. There are many signs out there to check in your rabbit to identify if it’s scared of you or not. Here we’re going to talk about the most common signs of fear in rabbits.
01. Hiding or Running Away
If your rabbit is scared of you, it will hide into its little house or enough hay or run away from you. Your bunny may make a little den and hide inside. In order to keep itself away from you, your bunny may prefer the farthest and the darkest corner.
02. Not Allowing You to Touch
If your bunny is afraid of you, it may not allow you to touch itself. It won’t also let you carry it easily in your arms. Maybe, it will bite or scratch you. Besides, it may turn its back while sleeping next to you.
03. Screaming or Refusing to Eat
Another sign of fear in your rabbit could be it screams until you release it. Your bunny may not also be willing to eat its favorite treat. However, this might occur when a baby rabbit is so afraid of its own parents.
04. Looking Tensed
If your bunny is looking tense, this might be because it’s fearful to you. In this case, your bunny will keep its hind legs ready for running away from you. As an extreme sign of fear, it may show you its front teeth.
What Should You Do If Your Rabbit Is Scared Of You?
Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your rabbit out of fear and trust you again. Besides our recommendations, you have to find out what causes the sudden fear in your rabbit. Avoid them in the future.
01. Interact with Your Bunny
To make your bunny calm down, you have to interact with it. Get yourself down at ground level. Be face to face with your rabbit. If possible, touch its head with your head. Create a deeper bond with your bunny by gently stroking its forehead.
Your bunny probably feels good. You can also give it an Eskimo Kiss by pressing your nose gently against its nose. Keep in mind that rabbits consider hands more threatening than other parts of your body.
02. Talk to Your Rabbit Gently
If your bunny is scared of you, talk to it gently in a serene, measured, and controlled voice. Avoid shouting at it. Don’t be harsh or shrill to your bunny. Tell your feathered friend how much you love and nothing to fear from you.
If you talk to your rabbit in a soothing voice, it will be effective for it to trust you. Don’t do anything quickly or abruptly while chatting. Otherwise, your rabbit can be shocked or extremely jarred.
03. Treat Your Bunny in the Right Way
Regardless of whether your bunny is scared of you or not, you have to treat it in the right way. For example, let it come to you once it’s ready. Don’t force it to pick it up or invade its space. Always keep its needs and feelings in mind.
There are different types of rabbits out there. Some rabbits love being petted but others don’t. While some bunnies allow their owners to take them in their arms, others are merely satisfied with their stroking while lying next to their owners.
04. Don’t Give Your Bunny a Sudden Surprise
As we already stated before, your rabbit may be so afraid of you if you give it a sudden surprise, like making loud noises, running straight it, or trying to fear it. Your sudden movements can make your bunny scared of you.
So, don’t surprise your bunny because rabbits are pretty sensitive. Never run towards your bunny. Always stand either the left or right of your bunny so that it can clearly see you. FYI, rabbits have eyes on two sides of their face.
05. Offer Its Favorite Treats
If you would like to gain your bunny’s trust and make it fearless, you should offer its favorite treats like fresh fruits, such as apples (no seeds), bananas, grapes, melons, oranges, and different types of berries.
Apart from fruits, rabbits also like a wide variety of vegetables, including romaine lettuce, mustard greens, carrot tops, watercress, cilantro, basil, beet greens, and broccoli greens. Besides, they consume fresh hay, grass, and freshwater.
Keep in mind that rabbits are pretty sensitive, fearful, and shy. They usually prefer to stay alone. If your bunny is afraid of you all of the sudden, don’t feel guilty. This is the character of your bunny itself. Just try to regain your bunny’s trust.