11 Reasons Your Rabbit is Scared of You

Rabbits are naturally skittish creatures. It’s regular for them to be afraid of individuals till they get to know you. Even after you’ve befriended a rabbit, one thing is usually a little bit off and trigger your rabbit to be afraid once more. You’ll want to determine what the reason for your rabbit’s worry is, so you may educate your rabbit to not be afraid of you anymore.

Rabbits will probably be afraid of you when you’ve got an uncommon scent, if you’re loud, or should you persistently make your rabbit really feel trapped. Keep away from sporting perfumes and you should definitely speak softly till your rabbit trusts you. It’s additionally finest to keep away from holding your rabbit too ceaselessly and chasing them.

Generally your rabbit is skittish and terrified of you from the beginning, however different instances, they’ll instantly begin being scared of you after they beforehand have been very pleasant with you. I’ll go over some potential causes of each of those conditions so you may diagnose the conduct and attempt to assist your rabbit overcome their worry and nervousness.

When your rabbit is instantly terrified of you

In case your rabbit has at all times been comfy and pleasant with you, it may come as a shock after they instantly begin lashing out and working away whenever you go close to them. You’ll be able to really feel confused and damage, worrying that your rabbit won’t ever be cuddly with you once more. 

The excellent news is that that is often not a long-term drawback. Usually, your rabbit will heat as much as you once more inside a few days even with out you doing something. Nevertheless, chances are you’ll must be aware of any modifications that you just’ve made not too long ago that would have triggered your rabbit’s worry and tackle these earlier than your rabbit will belief you once more.

1. You odor like one other animal

One of the crucial frequent causes a beforehand pleasant rabbit will probably be afraid of you is whenever you odor like one other animal. For me, this used to occur on a regular basis after coming dwelling from volunteering on the animal shelter. One among my rabbits could be curious and sniff me throughout, whereas the opposite simply ran away from me. I obtained into the behavior of fixing and showering instantly in order that I wouldn’t scare my rabbit anymore.

This might be what’s inflicting your rabbit to be afraid should you not too long ago went to a good friend’s home they usually had a canine or a cat (or different predator pet, comparable to a ferret). It may even occur should you went out for a stroll and got here into contact with one in all your neighbor’s canines, or went for a hike and obtained the scent of a wild animal on you.

The answer to that is clearly to take a bathe and clear your garments so you may take away the odor of the opposite animal. It’s most likely finest to clean the soiled laundry instantly too (or no less than take away it from the rabbit space).

2. You began utilizing a brand new lotion or fragrance

Rabbits are much more delicate to odor than people are. An enormous a part of how they establish one another and other people is thru their scent. This implies your rabbit is attending to know you based mostly in your distinctive mixture of smells. When you instantly change the way in which you odor by utilizing a brand new lotion or fragrance, your rabbit won’t acknowledge you. They’ll run away, pondering you’re a stranger as a result of you will have a brand new odor.

That is particularly frequent if the lotion or fragrance is on (or round) your fingers since that is the place the place most rabbits sniff us probably the most. I figured this out when my bunny Teddy Bear growled, thumped, and ran away from me once I tried to pet him after I’d utilized a hand lotion.

In terms of these scented hygiene merchandise, often your rabbit will change into much less afraid of you because the scent wears off. So should you keep away from petting your rabbit for an hour or two after making use of your lotion or fragrance, it’s much less probably your rabbit will run away. You may need to take into account solely making use of lotions proper earlier than mattress or simply earlier than you’ll be heading out of your private home so that you just received’t be tempted to work together together with your rabbit and scare them.

rabbit hears a loud sound
Loud or unfamiliar sounds can startle a rabbit and trigger them to start out thumping.

3. You’re making new or uncommon sounds

Along with being delicate to scents, rabbits are additionally simply scared of recent or uncommon sounds. The issue is, they don’t seem to be at all times sounds that we people consider as uncommon.  Your rabbit might be terrified of you as a result of your chair is squeaking, you’re shuffling by papers, the sound is leaking out of your headphones, otherwise you began hiccuping (one in all my rabbits is legitimately afraid of hiccups). 

One other frequent sound that I’ve seen scared rabbits is the noise that puff coats make when the material rubs towards itself. In case you have different clothes with that kind of plastic material, it is perhaps making a swooshing sound that scares loads of rabbits.

Your rabbit may additionally be terrified of you should you not too long ago made a sudden loud sound. For instance, should you simply slammed the door when getting into the room, or by accident dropped one thing, it may quickly scare your rabbit. Sudden actions, that are often accompanied by a sudden sound, may also trigger a rabbit to thump and run away from you for a bit.

As you might need guessed, one of the simplest ways to get your rabbit to cease being afraid of you is to cease making the bizarre sounds. When you’re not precisely certain what sound is scaring your rabbit. Be quiet for a minute and actually hear. Attempt to open your notion to listen to the sounds that your mind usually sees as background and unimportant and see how your rabbit reacts to them so you may determine the trigger.

4. Your rabbit had a nasty expertise

Generally one unhealthy expertise can have a serious impression in your rabbit. Perhaps you needed to clip your rabbit’s nails not too long ago or deliver them to the vet and your rabbit didn’t prefer it. Perhaps you had a visitor over who wished to play with the bunny, however they didn’t know the right way to work together and ended up scaring your rabbit. Your rabbit simply had a scary expertise and is afraid of you as a result of they don’t need it to occur once more.

When you beforehand had an excellent relationship together with your rabbit, they’ll often bounce again from these conditions fairly rapidly. When I’ve to clip my rabbit’s nails, they’ll often keep away from me for a number of hours, however by night they’ve stopped working away and are pleasant with me once more. When you’re affected person together with your rabbit and present them that you just’re not going to select them up once more or put them right into a scary state of affairs, they’ll belief you once more inside a day or two.

Some rabbits may maintain a grudge for somewhat longer, however should you apologize by bribing them with treats and leafy greens, and ensure to respect their house, they’ll come round fairly rapidly.

5. Your rabbit goes by puberty

In case you have a younger rabbit who’s simply reaching the age of maturity, the change in conduct might be because of a change of their hormones. It’s extra frequent for rabbits to change into instantly aggressive than instantly fearful, however a change in conduct throughout this time interval isn’t unusual. One of the simplest ways to assist on this case is to make an appointment with a rabbit veterinarian and get your rabbit spayed or neutered.

Alternatively, some rabbits will probably be extra fearful if they don’t seem to be feeling effectively. Once more, it’s extra frequent for rabbits to be instantly aggressive than instantly afraid if that is so, however should you completely can’t determine why your rabbit is terrified of you, chances are you’ll need to take into account taking them to the vet to see if there are any underlying sickness that might be inflicting the change in your rabbit’s conduct.

fearful rabbit behaviors
When your rabbit is afraid they could thump the again legs, flatten to the bottom, or have a inflexible and alert posture.

When your rabbit is terrified of you on a regular basis (or virtually on a regular basis)

In case your rabbit has been working away and hiding from the beginning or they’ve been exhibiting constant worry of you for some time now, the issue is extra probably your conduct in the direction of your rabbit or your rabbit has a extremely skittish disposition that makes it tougher for them to belief folks. 

On this case, it’s often not small modifications that you might want to make. As a substitute, you’ll must rethink the way in which you work together together with your rabbit to attempt to achieve (or regain) their belief. It would take rather a lot longer to see outcomes, however with persistence, you may educate your bunny to not be afraid of you anymore.

6. You’re at all times loud round your rabbit

Basically, rabbits don’t like loud noises. In case you are continuously speaking loudly, slamming doorways, taking part in loud music, or something comparable, you’re more likely to make your rabbit terrified of you. Some rabbits are naturally extra assured and can finally get used to the noise, however many won’t and can as a substitute change into terrified everytime you enter the room.

To achieve your rabbit’s belief, you’ll want to start out being aware of the quantity of noise you make. Take into consideration talking in a quieter voice, utilizing headphones, and being cautious about closing doorways and drawers. The extra quiet time you may spend together with your rabbit, the extra they’ll be prepared to return as much as you and be your good friend.

Don't pick up your rabbit
Most rabbits don’t wish to be held, so that you shouldn’t decide them up on a regular basis.

7. You at all times attempt to decide up your rabbit

Although folks like to consider bunnies as cuddly pets, most rabbits hate being picked up. As prey animals, working away as quick as potential is a rabbit’s finest type of protection. When they’re being held, rabbits don’t have any technique to escape if hazard comes, in order that they really feel trapped and scared whenever you decide them up. 

When you attempt to decide them up each time you work together together with your rabbit, they’ll begin to affiliate you with the worry they really feel and change into afraid of you. Your rabbit will run away from you each time you come close to, pondering that you’ll attempt to decide them up once more.

To achieve your rabbit’s belief, you’ll have to cease choosing them up and begin interacting with them after they have all 4 toes on the bottom. Pet your rabbit when they’re laying on the bottom and supply them treats whereas sitting on the ground.

It would take a while to realize your rabbit’s belief (most likely a few months), however if you’re affected person and respect your rabbit’s boundaries, resisting the urge to cuddle together with your rabbit, they’ll finally be taught that you’re not so scary to be round.

8. You invade your rabbit’s house

Rabbits are territorial animals and might get defensive or scared when their house is invaded. When you attempt to clear your rabbit’s enclosure whereas they’re nonetheless inside and even simply replenish their meals and water, many rabbits will get both fearful or aggressive. That is extra frequent for rabbits which have a cage or habitat with a high on it. When you’re utilizing an train pen as an enclosure (which I like to recommend), I’ve discovered that rabbits are much less territorial of the house.

It’s finest to let your rabbit out for some train whilst you care for the cleansing and feeding in order that your rabbit doesn’t really feel like you’re invading their habitat. This may even work to your benefit as a result of your rabbit will be taught to train somewhat after which hop proper again into their enclosure since they know there will probably be meals inside.

You additionally have to be cautious about making your rabbit really feel trapped when they’re out and about. You don’t need to chase your rabbit or nook them to pressure them to work together with you. As a substitute, you need to sit down a distance away from the rabbit and ensure they at all times have a technique to hop round you so they don’t seem to be pressured into an interplay. Mockingly, this can often make the rabbit extra prepared to return as much as you since you are respecting their boundaries and never making them really feel scared or trapped.

where do rabbits like to be pet
One of the best locations to pet a rabbit are their brow and behind their ears. The cheeks and strokes down their backs are additionally good spots. However rabbits dislike being pet on their backside, toes, chin, and underside.

9. You pet your rabbit the unsuitable method

It’s necessary to keep in mind that rabbits are completely different from cats and canines so that you’re going to wish to work together with them in a different way too. The primary mistake folks make is making an attempt to pet the rabbit incorrectly. 

When petting a rabbit, particularly one who doesn’t belief you, maintain your hand above their head and let the rabbit sniff your hand. Give them scritches on the highest of their brow, and behind their ears. As soon as your rabbit trusts your fingers somewhat extra, you may give them longer strokes and scritches down their again. Keep away from touching the rabbit’s chin, butt, paws, stomach, and chest till your rabbit trusts you.

10. You’re at all times standing or sitting excessive up

Among the best issues you are able to do to realize the belief of a rabbit is to sit down or lay down on the ground. This can put you at your rabbit’s degree to allow them to work together with you as an equal. When you’re at all times standing or sitting in a chair whenever you spend time round your rabbit, they’ll see you as a large and can by no means actually have the ability to get to know you. 

When you sit on the bottom whilst you learn or simply scroll by your cellphone, you give your rabbit extra of an opportunity to get curious and are available as much as you. You’ll be able to even reward their curiosity by conserving some small treats with you and giving them to your rabbit.

person sitting with a rabbit
Attempt sitting on the ground close to your rabbit and supply them treats to realize their belief.

11. Your rabbit continues to be getting used to you

In some circumstances, you aren’t doing something unsuitable. Your rabbit simply wants extra time to get used to you and their new dwelling. When you only in the near past introduced a rabbit dwelling, they’ll want a while to heat as much as you and be taught to belief you. Some rabbits will probably be fairly assured and solely want a number of days to start to belief, however others are very shy and wish a number of months or quiet encouragement earlier than they open up.

A sudden change to the rabbit’s setting or routine may also trigger them to quickly be extra scared of every thing. This may increasingly imply they’re extra scared of you as effectively, however more often than not rabbits will heat as much as folks as they get used to their new setting (so long as you’re not doing something to scare your rabbit).
Proceed to be affected person together with your rabbit and don’t attempt to pressure an interplay. You’ll be able to strive bribing them with treats to assist educate them to belief you extra simply, however general should you respect your rabbit and their character, they’ll finally come out of their shell. If you wish to attempt to velocity up the method, strive a few of these ideas for bonding together with your rabbit.

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