My Rabbit is Scared of Me All Of A Sudden: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

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my rabbit is scared of me all of a sudden

Last Updated on May 13, 2021 by Rei

Ever wonder why your rabbit is scared of you all of a sudden? Most rabbit owners can attest that even though their rabbits are with them for many years, they still get scared of them for seemingly random reasons.

The most common reason why rabbits get scared all of a sudden is that their owners move all of a sudden when they are not looking or loud noises unfamiliar to them.

The reason for this behavior is because rabbits are prey animals and need to be alert at all times because the consequence in the jungle is death.

But that’s not the only reason why your rabbits are suddenly scared. In this article, I would discuss the different reasons why your rabbit is scared and what are the ways to prevent it.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

You startled your rabbit

my rabbit is scared of me all of a sudden

Rabbits, being prey animals, developed an instinct that causes them to always be on the lookout for any potential threats around them.

As a result, even though your rabbit trust you and have been with you for a long time, they still get scared of their owners all of a sudden.

But it doesn’t mean that your rabbit doesn’t love or trust you.

It’s just their instinct kicking in, this usually happens when you suddenly move when they’re not watching or when you made any loud noises.

After the initial shock, most rabbits would usually come to their owner after they verified that what they hear/saw was not a threat.

Your rabbit is in a new environment

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Rabbits are extremely territorial and would always be cautious when they are in a new environment. This usually happens when you move your rabbit to a new location and all of a sudden your rabbit seems to stay at the corner looking scared.

Don’t worry though because this is completely normal. Your rabbits just want to make sure that the new place you moved them doesn’t have any threats and is safe.

To properly handle this situation, make sure that you don’t force your rabbit to play or do anything they don’t want. You can also give them treats to show them that the place is totally safe.

Another thing you can do is spend some time with them in the new place so that they know that they are in a safe environment and should not worry.

This behavior usually last for a couple of days up to a week.

Your rabbit doesn’t trust you yet.

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If you just got your rabbit it’s normal for them to be scared of you. This usually lasts for a few weeks up to a month depending on your rabbit’s personality.

Make sure that you’re not forcing them to play or handling them too much because doing so would just prolong the bonding process.

What you should do is give your rabbit some space and provide them some treats to show them that they can trust you. Be careful that you only give them hay-based treats if your rabbit is young or less than 7 months old.

The worst thing you can do to a new rabbit is to lift them up when they are not comfortable with you yet. A lot of injuries can happen when they suddenly thrash and you drop them.

Your rabbit could even break their back when they want to get away from you. So, make sure to be patient with your rabbit especially at the start.

Your rabbit is sick or injured.

pexels mati mango 3820495 My Rabbit is Scared of Me All Of A Sudden: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

Rabbits that are sick or injured tends to be unsocial and distant to its owners. Therefore, it’s important that rabbit owners be mindful to any sudden changes in their rabbits behavoir.

But being unsocial or distant is usually accompanied by other symptoms like:

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

If you notice any of the signs or anything that is out of the ordinary, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian because some conditions like diarrhea or gastrointestinal stasis are fatal to rabbits fast and would need immediate medical attention.

What do you do if your rabbit is scared of you?

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First, make sure that the reason your rabbit is scared of you is not medical.

Then, give them some space and limit the times you lift them up because rabbits don’t like being lift and would usually thrash. This could lead to injuries like broken feet or worse, broken back which is fatal to rabbits and most veterinarians can’t do anything about it when it happens.

After some time your rabbit might come to you on their own so be sure that you have treats to give them. This would speed up the bonding process because it shows them that your not a danger and can be trusted.

You could also try to pet them if they allow it. Focus on petting them on their head and back area. Avoid touching them in their stomach and neck because they would usually run away when you touch them there.

After some time your rabbit will show signs of affection when your petting them like laying down. Another sign that your rabbit trust you is when they run around your feet when your close.

Also, rabbits that trust their owners would get excited when they are near them and would “binky” or jump all of a sudden.

Summary

Rabbits get scared for all kinds of reasons even though you have them for a long time. The reason for this behavior is because rabbits are prey animals and can only survive in the harsh jungle when they alert and ready to run away on the first sign of danger.

That’s why rabbit owners need to be patient when their rabbits seem to be distant and unsocial to them.

Another reason why your rabbit is scared of you all of a sudden is that your rabbit might be sick or injured.

Rabbits have a lot of energy and can play for hours. Rabbits that are sick or injured tend to stay in one place and not move for hours.

Conditions like gastrointestinal stasis or diarrhea are fatal to rabbits extremely fast. That’s why if you notice any changes in their behavior it’s important to get them checked by a vet to make sure that everything is fine and your rabbit is healthy.

After making sure your rabbit is healthy you can now begin to make them trust you. Here are some tips I picked up from owning rabbits:

Limit or don’t lift your rabbits if they don’t trust you yet because it could lead to all kinds of injuries like broken bones.

Let them scout their new home and let them do whatever they want in the beginning. Don’t force them to play or cuddle because they would usually run away if they don’t trust you yet.

Let them come to you on their own and when they do, make sure that you have a treat ready. This would show them that you’re not a threat and that you can be trusted.

After some time, usually a few weeks, your rabbit would get excited to see you and would run and circle around you when you’re near.

That’s how you know your rabbit loves and trust you.

But even though your rabbit trust you, they can still get scared if you make any sudden movements when they are not looking or if you make any loud sounds that they’re not familiar with.

It’s completely normal, rabbits would usually realize that it’s just you and there’s nothing to worry about.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 18, 2021) My Rabbit is Scared of Me All Of A Sudden: 4 reasons (with proven solution). Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/my-rabbit-is-scared-of-me-all-of-a-sudden/.
"My Rabbit is Scared of Me All Of A Sudden: 4 reasons (with proven solution)." Bunny Horde - November 18, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/my-rabbit-is-scared-of-me-all-of-a-sudden/

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