Contrary to what pop culture would have you believe, rabbits don’t like to cuddle all that much. In fact, it goes against all their instincts. But just because it’s not their favorite activity doesn’t mean you can’t ever get them to cuddle up in your lap. You just need to know how to get them comfortable with it and meet them on their level.
But if your rabbit is never all that cuddly, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you, they just show their affection in different ways, and we’ll tell you all about it below.
Training Your Rabbit to Cuddle
While rabbits aren’t naturally cuddly, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get a rabbit to settle down on your lap. The key is to get them to trust you, get comfortable around you, and to cuddle them the right way.
For that to happen, you need to know what you’re doing, which is why we decided to walk you through everything you need to know to get your rabbit to cuddle you here:
When you want to cuddle your rabbit, this can be the most challenging part, but it’s also the most important. You need to earn their trust, and this takes time. Simply hanging out with them, meeting their needs, and showing them that you’re safe is all you need to do.
Give Them Treats
If you want to speed up the process a bit, a great way to do it is by giving them some of their favorite treats. If you want them to approach you, then you should give them treats anytime they come up to you. Before long, they’ll keep coming around hoping for another treat.
Start by Petting Them
Before you try to pick up your rabbit, you need to start slowly. Start by slowly petting them, and don’t chase after them if they run away because they’ll get scared. Let them warm up to you on their own time and, eventually, they’ll let you start petting them for longer periods.
Join Them on the Floor
While you might want to cuddle your rabbit on the couch, it’s best to join them on their level first. Lay next to them on the floor, and if they don’t run away, that’s a good start! Once your rabbit starts to trust you more, they’ll naturally move on to the next step.
Let Them Hop Onto You
To truly cuddle your rabbit, you need to let them hop onto your lap instead of picking them up and putting them there. If they hop onto your lap all on their own, it means they’re comfortable and they trust you, and it also increases the chances they’ll settle down and relax with you.
Don’t Hold Tight!
No matter how much time and patience you spend getting your rabbit to like and trust you, they won’t like it when you hold them tight. Rabbits like being able to move around, and if you’re holding them too firmly, it will make them uncomfortable.
Give it some time and patience and they’ll settle onto your lap before too long and start to cuddle with you.
Ways Rabbits Show Affection
While rabbits aren’t natural cuddlers, they do show their affection in other ways. Below, we’ve highlighted five different ways your rabbit will show you that they like you.
Rabbits spread their scent by nudging and rubbing up against you, and it’s a sure sign that they like you. They’re trying to show off that you’re theirs, and what better way to show someone that they care about them?
While headbutting might seem a little unpleasant at first, the truth is that it’s just another way they’re trying to spread their scent to you. If they’re doing this, it means they like you, and they shouldn’t be headbutting you so hard that it hurts either one of you.
They Lick You
In the wild, rabbits live in groups and participate in social grooming to keep everyone clean. If they’re trying to groom you, it means they’ve accepted you as one of the pack, which also means they care about you. It’s up to you to let them lick you, but they are just trying to say they like you!
They Come Up to You
Rabbits tend to avoid anyone and everything they’re not comfortable with, so if they’re comfortable coming up to you, it means they like you. This is especially true if they’re coming out whenever they see you, even if it is just because they want a treat or a pet.
While we normally think about purring when we think of cats, did you know rabbits can purr too? It won’t sound like a cat purr though. Instead, it happens when rabbits grind their teeth together. If they’re doing this when you’re around, they’re showing that they’re content and happy.
While you’re not likely to get a super cuddly rabbit that enjoys having you pick them up so you can carry them around your home, that doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of time to pet them and love on them! Once you earn their trust, they’ll be all over you, and that’s what everyone wants when they get a pet rabbit, isn’t it?
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock