Are Rabbits Scared Of The Dark?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged
Rabbit sleeping in the dark. Are rabbits scared of the dark

Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Rei

While rabbits can’t see in the dark because they do not have a tapetum lucidum, which helps animals see in the dark, rabbits are not scared of the dark. Wild rabbits live in the dark all of the time, their other senses usually compensate for their lack of sight at night.

Rabbits at night would use their ears and nose to spot potential predators. Rabbits’ ears and noses are extremely good at picking up movements even before the rabbit sees them.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits are scared of the dark:

Do rabbits like to be in the dark?

Because rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dawn and dusk, they see better in dim lights. So yes and no, rabbits like dim lights but not total darkness.

If your rabbit is indoors, it should be fine to turn the lights off as long as your rabbit is comfortable enough in your home. If your rabbit lives in a hutch outdoors, it’s better to keep some lights on so your rabbit doesn’t feel too exposed.

Can rabbits see in the dark?

Contrary to popular beliefs, rabbits are not nocturnal, they are in fact crepuscular which means they are most active at dusk and dawn.

So no, rabbits cant see in the dark because they don’t have a layer of tissue that sits behind the retina which helps nocturnal animals hunt in darkness which is called tapetum lucidum.

Rabbit’s vision is actually comparable to us humans. They can see in dim environments while totally blind in pure darkness.

Should you turn off the lights for your rabbits at night?

As long as the room is not pitch black dark, then you can turn the light off for your rabbits. As long as your rabbit is inside your home, they would likely feel safe even if it’s dark.

If your rabbit’s hutch is outdoors, it’s best to keep some lights on because rabbits outdoors would feel totally exposed while being in total darkness unable to escape their hutch if some kind of predator enters their perimeter.

Do rabbits need a night light?

As long as the night light is not too bright that it would simulate natural lights, then night lights should be fine. Rabbits need patterns of natural lights to moderate their body clock.

If your rabbit is seeing artificial lights all day long, it could ruin its body clock and in turn, its overall health. Rabbits could even become depressed if they’re not seeing natural lights.

Summary

Total darkness and being outside would likely scare a rabbit. Rabbits cannot see in total darkness, they can however see in dim lights just like us humans.

You can give your rabbits night lights. Just make sure that it’s not too bright and your rabbit is still getting enough natural lights in the morning.