If you are a rabbit owner, you probably have experienced this and wondered “Why does my rabbit stare at me?”.
Before you think it’s because there’s some dirt on your face, you might consider that it has something to do with the rabbit’s behavior. If you are curious, then find out what their staring means!
Look At Me, Look At You: Rabbit Edition
Rabbits have their own way of expressing themselves through their own body language. So it’s not unusual to see them doing something like staring at you.
If you do find them staring at you, there might be something they want to convey or get across. Not every stare means the same thing. It can also depend on some factors like the following:
Hello New Bunny
If you are new to handling a rabbit, you might find their staring unusual. For some, it might be a little awkward. However, this is just totally normal.
Since you and your rabbit have just been acquainted, they might be getting a feel of things, including your presence. They are probably trying to figure out who you are. Consider this as the “getting to know” stage. It’s also like a period of adjustment.
If you catch your rabbit staring at you, don’t drive them away. If you want your rabbit to feel comfortable around you, then they need to get used to you.
And in turn, you should also feel comfortable with having them around. Building a bond with your rabbit has to start somewhere.
Since not all rabbits are the same, it might take others some time to get accustomed to a new environment and person. It could take days or weeks. It depends on your rabbit’s personality.
Some rabbits might be nervous or scared upon meeting their owner, hence they can’t help but stare at you. If you just took the rabbit home and they keep staring, just leave them be.
They will get accustomed to you and the things around them once they get settled. Just be patient, and all will be fine between you and your new rabbit! While you might have a rocky start, the relationship will flourish as soon as the rabbit feels secured.
Not A Predator
A rabbit’s vision was designed to detect incoming predators. Rabbits can see from all directions. And they can detect if there is incoming danger even from far away. Since rabbits are born cautious of peril, they won’t hesitate to assess you.
If you see them staring at you, they might be evaluating if you are a predator or not. They will observe and study you and determine if you are a threat or not. Rabbits won’t hesitate to get away from you if they think you are preying on them.
Since it’s in their nature to always be on high alert, you should just give the rabbits time to figure things out. Once they have concluded that you are not a predator, they will learn to gravitate toward you.
They will find ways to get closer to you. You shouldn’t force your rabbit to look away from you or do something. You have to let them do their thing and wait until they feel safer. Once they are comfortable and develop a sense of trust, they will no longer consider you a threat.
Love And Affection
If you are a rabbit owner, forming a solid bond with your pet is one of the best things ever. Once they get to know you, they will feel safe and sound around you. If you show them a lot of love and care through the various things that you do for them, they will know and feel that.
If you catch them staring at you, especially with their legs tucked under their bodies, then it’s a sign that they are content, comfortable, and loved. They know that you are not a threat to them whatsoever.
When your rabbit is relaxed, they can keep their guards down and just stare at you with nothing but love in their eyes. If this happens, savor the moment!
It’s a way for rabbits to express just how much they have bonded with you! Consider yourself lucky if your rabbit has ways to let you know just how much they value you.
Rabbits would probably stare at you if they want you to pet them. They would do this if they want you to cuddle or play with them.
If staring does not work, they would nudge or touch you to let you know they want you to do something. If you aren’t busy, take time to hang out and chill with your rabbit. You will surely cherish the memories you have with them!
If a rabbit is hungry, it might find ways to let you know. One of the things that they would do is stare at you. When rabbits stare at you, that’s their own way of begging.
Some rabbits would stare and then touch your leg using their paw. If you haven’t fed them for a hot minute, then you should take their staring as a sign to feed them.
Rabbits should not be left hungry or wanting food for a long period. Leaving them without food might be harmful to their health and well-being, especially given the fact that they have a sensitive digestive system.
If you want to ensure that your rabbit’s hunger is satiated, you should have food ready for them anytime. You should have a good supply of hay, pellets, and vegetables. For rabbits, hay is a staple in their diet. Since hay contains a lot of fiber, it’s good for the rabbit’s digestion.
If the rabbits are not getting enough fiber, it can lead to serious gastrointestinal issues. If the rabbit needs more nutrients in their bodies, you should treat them to some leafy green vegetables too!
Rabbits sleep with their eyes open. And when they do this right in front of you, you might think they are staring. It’s actually not the case. They are getting some serious shut-eye.
While invisible to the human eye, the rabbit’s eyes have clear inner eyelids called Nictitating membranes. With this membrane, they can still sense incoming danger.
Even if they are snoozing, they are still on the lookout for predators. It’s one of their defense mechanisms against dangerous elements.
If you see your rabbit staring at you for quite some time, do not disturb them. If the rabbit is not moving that much, just let it sleep and rest.
If you make sudden movements, don’t be surprised if the rabbit, who is supposedly sleeping, moves as well. It’s their instinct trying to work overtime!
Rabbits are cautious but curious animals. While they are always on the lookout for danger, they are also inquisitive. They are interested in a lot of things.
If you see them staring with their eyes pointed upwards, then something catches their attention, and they want to know what it is.
If they see you doing something you have not done before, they might look at you and figure out what’s up! Don’t drive them away. Just let them see what you are doing.
If you are doing something that affects them, they should see you working on it. They won’t feel intimidated or threatened the next time they see you do the same thing. They will be more familiar with your actions, and they won’t see them as threats to their safety.
Intense Staring With Noises
There might be moments when you catch your rabbit intensely staring while making noises. Whenever a rabbit makes noise, it means something.
It might be a call for help or attention. So the best course of action is to observe the kind of noise they make and the reason behind it.
If they stare and whimper at the same time, they must be feeling something painful or uncomfortable. The same thing can be said if they are screaming and staring. You should check if they are physically hurt.
If you can’t see any wound or something like that, the pain must be coming from inside their body. You might want to take them to the vet for a check-up.
If you just leave them while they whimper or scream, their condition might just get worse. They could be going through something serious like Gastrointestinal Statis. A condition such as GI Statis needs immediate attention.
Let Your Rabbit Stare At You
When someone stares at you for an extended period, you might get a little uncomfortable or conscious. However, it’s a different story with rabbits.
When a rabbit stares, it’s without reason at all, so just let them! The more you know your rabbit, the better you will be able to interpret their actions!