Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei
Getting your rabbit to cuddle with you can be a daunting task especially at the beginning of your relationship. Since rabbits are prey creatures, they are naturally wary of us even for owners whose relationships are in years.
As a result, many owners complain about why their rabbits are not as affectionate to them as they like them to be.
I personally can attest to this, my two babies, Tyr and Freya, who I have for many many years now are still randomly snobby at me at times.
But, in time, I learned how to recognize the pattern in their behavior and how I can use it to my advantage.
As a result, me being a cuddly person, can now trick my rabbits to cuddle with me whenever I want to. It can take time for you to get to this point especially if your rabbit is new and no bond has been created yet.
In this article, I would discuss the different steps I do to make my rabbit cuddle with me whenever I want to.
So without further ado, lets get started:
For new/young rabbits, I suggest taking it easy and just let your rabbit do whatever they want and avoid forcing them to do anything. Forcing your rabbit to do anything would just make them suspicious of you and could end up prolonging the bonding process.
In addition, avoid picking up your rabbit if they are not used to it. A lot of rabbit gets injured by their owners picking them up and dropping them.
Finally, some rabbits are naturally snobby and would run away when they detect that you want to cuddle. This is especially true for young unneutered rabbits whose hormones are all over the place.
I suggest all rabbits to be neutered to limit these behaviors.
Step by step guide on how to get your bunny to cuddle with you.
Wait for your rabbit to approach you.
As I said earlier, when your rabbit is new or you just got them, it’s important that you don’t force them to do anything they don’t want.
A lot of injuries can occur when owners try to pick up their rabbits when it doesn’t want to. Some even break their back, which is fatal.
Be patient and wait for your rabbit to come to you naturally. Rabbits, being naturally curious would likely come near you to smell you at some point.
Slowly reach out your hand to pet your rabbit.
When your rabbit is near you, slowly reach out your hand and pet them in the head or behind the ears. For now, avoid touching them on their neck or stomach area because they won’t like it and would often run away.
Finally, avoid picking them up at this point unless they are used to being picked up. Some rabbit owners think that just because their rabbit comes to them it’s an invitation to be picked up.
Which is often untrue. Rabbits are just curious creatures and like to wander and smell things.
Provide some treats to relax your rabbit.
If you have a treat in hand it’s also a great idea to give your rabbit some to settle their nerves especially if they don’t trust you yet.
Be careful with the treats though because young rabbits are prone to digestive issues when fed large amounts of sugar.
Stick to hay-based treats if your rabbit is young.
Stick to petting your rabbit in the green zone.
Rabbits don’t like being touched in their most vulnerable area, which I call the red zone. The red zone includes the neck, stomach, and hind legs.
Stick to touching or petting them in the green zone which is their head, back of the ears, and back. Rabbits love being petted behind their ears so start with that and see how it goes.
If your rabbit runs away.
If your rabbit runs away after you pet them just leave them alone for now and try again later. Or lure them with treats.
If they still won’t come near you after trying to lure them with treats, it’s best to just leave them alone for now and let them do their thing.
It would take some time for your rabbit to trust you in the beginning, so be patient. On average bonding process can take 2-4 weeks.
To get your rabbit to cuddle with you, wait for them to come near you. Then, reach out your hand and try to slowly pet them in their head, back of the ears, or back.
You could also give them treats to help calm their nerves if they’re still nervous around you. Just be careful that you only give young rabbits hay-based treats because too much sugar can cause digestive issues to young rabbits.
If your rabbit runs away from you after all this, it’s best to just leave them alone for now and try again later. In average the bonding process between humans and rabbits is anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Cite this article:
- Can Rabbits Eat Asparagus? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Grapes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Apples? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Spinach? Your Questions Answered.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Celery? What you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Radishes: Everything You Need To Know
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