How To Calm Down A Scared Bunny: 5 ways (with proven solution)

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged
rabbit hiding in hole

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

Rabbits are one of the most easily scared animals on the planet, almost anything scares them. We can’t blame them though, its the only way they can survive in the wild where there are threats in any direction.

Even my two rabbits, Tyr and Freya, who I owned for a few years now would still get scared when I suddenly moved or hear a loud unfamiliar sound.

Rabbits instinct is always on high gear.

Here are the things I do to calm my rabbits when they are scared:

Give them space

scared rabbit

If your rabbit is getting scared whenever you’re close to them, it’s better to let them be and give them some space. Forcing your rabbit to play with you would just scare them and prolong the time until they trust you.

Also, be careful not to pick up your rabbit when they are already panicking when you’re close to them. A lot of rabbits end up getting injured when they thrash and their owners dropped them.

A proper way to handle the situation when your rabbit is getting scared when you’re close to them is to give them some space and lure them with treats. Wait for them to come to you.

Provide treats and toys

feeding rabbit

As we all know rabbits are prey animals and the most common reason they get scared is when they perceive something/someone as a danger to them.

Another way to calm your rabbit down is to give them treats and/or toys to let them know that it’s safe and they can trust you. This method is especially effective when your rabbit is in a new environment or you just got them.

I do this to every rabbit I ever owned. I make sure to give them treats the first time I got them and whenever I move them to a new place.

Cuddle session

holding a rabbit

You can also try cuddling or petting your rabbit if they are scared. But you need to wait for them to come to you on their own.

Never force your rabbit to come to you when they are scared because it would just scare them even more.

When petting your rabbit stick to areas that most rabbits enjoys like behind the ear, back, and head. Most rabbits don’t like to be touched on their neck and stomach so try avoiding those areas.

No sudden movements

petting and holding a rabbit

Another thing you should remember when your rabbit is scared is to not move suddenly when they are watching you. Rabbits are always on the lookout for predators and their instinct would kick in when that predator suddenly moves.

My rabbits would often get scared whenever I suddenly move even though I have had them for many years now. At the start, they seem distant for a while after I startled them for suddenly moving.

But now they quickly realized that it’s just me and that theirs nothing to worry about. So, don’t worry too much if your rabbit is getting scared of you all of a sudden. It’s just their instinct kicking in.

Signs your rabbit is scared

scared rabbit

Unlike other animals where they would make a sound when they’re scared. Rabbits being prey animals, are one of the most silent animals on the planet.

That’s why rabbit owners would need to be mindful of the clues your rabbit gives you, which is in its body language.

Here are some signs that your rabbit is scared:

  • Wide eyes
  • Refusing to move
  • Aggression
  • Hiding
  • Not eating
  • Stomping
  • Aggressive chewing

When you notice any of this behavior there’s a good chance that your rabbit is scared and start implementing the tips I mentioned above on how to calm them down.

When to consult a vet

rabbit veterinarian

When you’ve done everything you can to calm your rabbit down with no success the last thing we recommend is that you take your rabbit to a professional for help.

Rabbits that are ill or unwell often show signs of anxiety towards their owners. If your rabbit has these additional symptoms get them checked by a vet immediately:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhea or any changes to their stool
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Changes in their fur
  • Respiratory changes

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 22, 2021) How To Calm Down A Scared Bunny: 5 ways (with proven solution). Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/how-to-calm-down-a-scared-bunny/.
"How To Calm Down A Scared Bunny: 5 ways (with proven solution)." Bunny Horde - November 22, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/how-to-calm-down-a-scared-bunny/

Sources and Further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Basic Rabbit Care