Are Rabbits Scared Of The Dark?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged

Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Rei Garnet

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, but their other senses usually compensate for their lack of sight at night.

Rabbits at night 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 being 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 best to keep some lights on so it doesn’t feel too exposed.

Can rabbits see in the dark?

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

So no, rabbits can’t see in the dark. They don’t have a layer of tissue that sits behind the retina that helps nocturnal animals hunt in the dark (tapetum lucidum).

Rabbit’s vision is actually comparable to ours. They can see in dim environments while being 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, then you can turn the light off for your rabbits. As long as your rabbit is inside your home, they will likely feel safe, even if it’s dark.

If your rabbit’s hutch is outdoors, it’s best to keep some lights on. Outdoor rabbits would feel totally exposed while being in total darkness.

They will feel that they’re 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 simulates natural light, then night lights should be fine. Rabbits need patterns of natural light to moderate their body clocks.

If your rabbit is seeing artificial light 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 light.

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 that your rabbit is still getting enough natural light in the morning.

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.