Do Rabbits Like Belly Rubs?

I’ve labored to assist socialize tons of of rescue rabbits over the previous 5-10 years. Nearly all the rabbits I’ve interacted with have come to like being petted as soon as they begin to belief people. When you’re a canine lover, you might instantly leap in and attempt to give your rabbit a pleasant stomach rub, however this isn’t one of the best place to pet most rabbits.

Most rabbits don’t like stomach rubs. They are usually delicate on this space, inflicting them to alter place or hop away should you attempt to give them a stomach rub. Some might be fairly offended should you attempt to contact their stomach, and can maintain a grudge for a short while afterward.

There are all the time exceptions. Sometimes, you’ll discover a rabbit who loves (or no less than tolerates) stomach rubs. In case your rabbit is mendacity on their facet, you possibly can see how they react to stomach rubs. Nonetheless, should you’re attempting to befriend a brand new pet rabbit, you must most likely go away this space alone till your rabbit has had time to belief you a bit of extra.

Why rabbits don’t like stomach rubs

For many animals, the abdomen is a weak space that must be protected. For that reason, it’s really unusual for animals, together with rabbits, to get pleasure from being pet on their abdomen. Canines are the principle exception to this rule, however since they’re so widespread as pets, folks usually suppose different animals will behave equally.

Fortunately, rabbits don’t normally assault arms that attempt to contact their stomach like some animals do (cats, I’m taking a look at you), however most rabbits will rapidly rise up and stroll away. Some will flick their toes at you within the course of, which is a approach for rabbits to say they’re very upset with you (I all the time say it’s a rabbit’s approach of flipping folks off).

The principle causes rabbits normally don’t like stomach rubs embrace:

  • They’re delicate on their abdomen: Rabbits are merely extra delicate on their underside inflicting them to hop away. It’s just like the best way you instinctively transfer away when somebody tries to tickle you.
  • They’re afraid you’ll decide them up: Many rabbits (particularly rescue rabbits) have discovered that human arms that come near the stomach imply somebody is attempting to choose them up. Since most rabbits hate being held, they attempt to keep away from letting anybody contact them on this space.
  • Defending the abdomen is a vital survival intuition: Most animals have the intuition to guard their torso and abdomen since there are a lot of very important organs on this space. Rabbits aren’t any exception.
  • You’re rubbing too onerous: Rabbits are pretty delicate animals, so when petting them, it’s important to be sure you are fairly light.

Do some rabbits like stomach rubs?

After all, each rabbit is exclusive. I’ve interacted with a handful of rabbits who didn’t thoughts if I touched their stomach (out of some hundred). Typically, bigger rabbits usually tend to tolerate their stomach being touched since in addition they are likely to have extra laid-back personalities.

Rabbits usually tend to tolerate stomach rubs in the event that they’ve flopped over on their sides, or in any other case relaxed. It additionally actually helps in case your rabbit already is aware of and trusts you.

You may also desensitize your rabbit to being touched on their stomach over time. As you’re petting your rabbit alongside their again, you possibly can sometimes pet them alongside their sides and transfer nearer and nearer to the stomach. Don’t do that too incessantly at first, since your rabbit will most likely rise up and stroll away. However slowly (over a number of weeks and even months) you possibly can rub your rabbit’s stomach extra usually and see in the event that they begin to prefer it extra.

Find out how to know in case your rabbit hates stomach rubs

It’s typically fairly straightforward to inform in case your rabbit doesn’t like stomach rubs. Most rabbits will instantly flip over so you possibly can’t contact their stomach, after which rise up and hop away. Sometimes, you’ll get a rabbit who growls at you and even tries to chunk your hand. That is why it’s all the time greatest to know your rabbit and their persona earlier than ever attempting to the touch their abdomen.

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.

What different locations to keep away from petting a rabbit

The stomach isn’t the one delicate space for rabbits. When you discover your rabbit is all the time operating away once you attempt to pet them, it could be that you’re simply petting them within the improper locations. Rabbits are completely different from cats and canine and usually don’t like being petted in the identical locations.

Along with the stomach, rabbits typically don’t like being petted within the following methods:

  • Butt: Most rabbits will get aggravated should you attempt to contact their butt. In case your hand travels too far down when stroking the rabbit’s again, they might rise up and go away as a result of they’re uncomfortable.
  • Toes (particularly hind paws): Rabbit toes are fairly delicate and most rabbits desire it should you go away them alone. The again legs, specifically, are areas that rabbits don’t like.
  • Chin: Not like most different varieties of animals that I work together with, rabbits don’t like their chin being scratched. 

Some rabbits desire it should you don’t contact their sides too. When you’re petting your rabbit alongside their again and your hand goes too far to the facet, some rabbits will rise up and hop away. You’ll additionally sometimes discover a rabbit who prefers it should you don’t contact their ears, however most rabbits gained’t thoughts. The ears aren’t a spot that they’ll discover enjoyable to pet, however in addition they normally don’t run away simply since you touched them on the ears.

The place do rabbits like to be petted?

Regardless of their many sensitivities, most rabbits that I work together with do get pleasure from being pet after they’ve time to belief somebody. This even contains rabbits who’ve come from neglectful and dangerous situations that go away them fearful people once I first meet them. The trick is to be sure you’re petting your rabbit in a approach that they discover satisfying and enjoyable.

One of the best areas to begin petting your rabbit are on their brow and behind the ears. These are usually candy spots for rabbits and really feel like a pleasant therapeutic massage. As soon as your rabbit is comfy with you petting them in these locations, attempt stroking them on the again and rubbing their cheeks. 

Suggestions and Methods Publication

In case you are new to caring for rabbits, try the Bunny Girl bimonthly publication. Proper after you join, you’ll obtain a FREE pdf rabbit care guidebook. I put collectively a information that goes over all of the fundamentals of rabbit care so you could have it multi functional place. Then you’ll obtain suggestions and tips about rabbit care straight to your inbox in order that you already know you’ll be taking wonderful care of your new rabbit.

Really useful Merchandise and Manufacturers

Necessary: These are Affiliate hyperlinks. As an affiliate to Amazon, Small Pet Choose, and Chewy.com, I could obtain a small fee from qualifying purchases.

The 2 manufacturers that I take advantage of when shopping for meals for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Choose. These each have top quality rabbit merchandise and are firms that care concerning the well being of our small animals. In case you are buying something from Small Pet Choose use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.