Did you know that rabbits are the third most abandoned animals in shelters, according to PETA? That sounds pretty difficult to believe, considering how absolutely adorable bunnies are.
As popular as rabbits are as pets, the truth is, many people aren’t entirely sure what to expect when they bring a bunny home. Additionally, there’s not a lot of viable info on bunny behavior out there.
So, why does your rabbit climb on you? Your bunny may be climbing on you for one of two reasons. Either it’s trying to bond with you, or it’s scared. If you’re sitting on the floor and your rabbit hops into your lap, that’s a good sign. That means your pet trusts you.
If you want to learn to be able to tell the difference when your furry little pal is frightened or in a trusting mood, stick with me as I walk you through the intricacies of bunny behavior.
Rabbit Climbing on You – What Does It Mean?
You already know that your bunny may try climbing on your if it’s feeling anxious or is beginning to bond with you. But, how can you tell the difference between the two? That’s simple. All you have to do is watch out for certain signs.
Your Bunny Trusts You
If your rabbit likes to climb on you while you’re sitting on the floor in its enclosure, chances are it wants to get to know you better. Your pet’s cage is where it feels the safest, and it will only ever approach you in such a manner if there’s already a level of trust.
Additionally, you can also watch out for behavior like licking or nudging. If your bunny hops on over to you and nudges you with its head just like a cat might, it’s asking you to pay attention to it.
That means your rabbit is in the mood to play or cuddle. You’ll know your rabbit has had enough when it simply hops back from whence it came.
If the fates smile on you, your rabbit may also lick you. That may not sound very lucky, but it’s your pet’s way of telling you that you’re family and that it would like to be groomed. But you don’t want to hold your breath for the occurrence of this bunny action because it’s pretty rare.
Your Bunny Is Scared
Picture this. You’ve picked up your bunny, and everything is going fine when suddenly your rabbit gets a bad attack of the wriggles and is climbing all over you to get out of your grip.
Rabbits are cautious creatures and don’t like being picked up as a rule because they equate it to being carried away by a predator. Yikes. However, your furry pal’s anxiety can reach new heights if you pick it up wrong.
Never try to scoop your bunny up too quickly or with just one hand. Instead, lift your pet by placing one underneath its front paws and scoop it up by placing your other hand under its hind legs. Be sure to tuck your rabbit close to your body to give it a sense of security.
Experts don’t recommend picking up your rabbit when you’re standing because they’re easy to scare and can be difficult to control while trying to get away. Not to mention, rabbit bones are fragile, and falling from any height can seriously injure your pet.
Safe Ways to Handle Your Rabbit
Now that you’re aware of how jittery your furbaby can be and why this is the case, it’s time to talk about how you can safely bond with your pet.
It may take your bunny some time to get used to its surroundings and you, but if you play your cards right, you can not only get your pet to trust you but also ensure its safety when you handle it.
Speaking to Your Bunny
A rabbit’s sense of hearing is extraordinary, and you can be sure your bunny relies on its hearing for a lot of things. That’s why one of the best ways of familiarizing yourself with your pet bunny is by speaking to it in soft tones.
Do this enough times, and your pet will recognize you through your voice alone and be at ease in your presence. Try to make sure that your rabbit’s enclosure is far away from loud noises and that even if you move them from their enclosure, you choose a spot equally as quiet and peaceful.
Loud or unexpected noises will stress your bunny out and will make bonding far more difficult when all your fluffy pal is thinking about is that he needs to hide away as soon as possible.
Holding Your Bunny
As tempting as it is to lift your bunny in your arms for a cuddle, try spending some time in your pet’s indoor enclosure or on the ground in a quiet, enclosed space instead. It’s best to help your bunny bond with you in a space that your pet considers safe.
Rather than lifting your pet, try petting or stroking your rabbit gently when it hops close to you. Bunnies are social creatures and like mingling, once their initial hesitance is over. However, don’t let this fact make you impatient for them to start trusting you all of a sudden.
Rushing your rabbit or picking them up too soon will only undo all the progress you’ve made so far. Earning a rabbit’s trust takes time and effort and it won’t just develop overnight. But once your little fluffball does decide to trust you, it’s all well worth the work!
Treating Your Bunny
Another guaranteed method of bonding with your rabbit is giving them small treats every time there’s a positive interaction. We all know rabbits love food, so treats are a surefire way to help you gain your pet’s trust faster and eliminate your bunny’s fear and anxiety.