Love and Care
The Complicated Bunny Relationship
If you haven’t figured it out by now… bunnies can be complex little critters. I mean, never have I seen such a small animal carry such a BIG attitude. They can get moody, grumpy, testy, cranky, neurotic and all sorts of other difficult bunny moods.
But when you’re finally able to break through that furry emotional shell of theirs, you may find one of the sweetest, cuddliest and most lovable little buns that you’ve ever seen. It’s the ultimate reward for a bunny parent — to finally cuddle with your little baby… where everything in the world just seems right.
But getting to enjoy those small moments (if you’re not already there) can take some work. Make no mistake, a bunny isn’t a dog. You could say that a rabbit’s temperament is like a cat, but a little warmer once you reach that happy bonding place.
So, how do I get here?
You Need To Start With The Right Setting
Put some tea on… light a few candles… turn on some Michael Bublè…
Ok, Ok, I’m kidding.
What I’m talking about here is setting a friendly environment for your bun. Or let me ask this… Have you set up an environment that your bun wants to be in? Have you thought about what the environment looks like from her point of view?
Let’s go with a brief checklist here…
Does Your Bun Feel Safe?
Are you providing a safe, secure surrounding for you to bond with your bunny? Make sure the area is calm… not too much noise… not too much activity going on. And as few people as possible.
I don’t want to say that you have to keep your kids away at first… but maybe some healthy distance to get started. Remember, your bun is a prey animal. She’s always looking for a threat.
Are you getting too much all up in your bun’s “mix”. If you haven’t bonded with your bunny yet, maybe you should take it slow. I know you want to hug, kiss and cuddle with your cute little bundle of fur. Believe me… I get it.
But maybe your bun is still scoping you out. If you adopted your bunny, she may even have “people issues” depending on her previous owners.
Take Lulu, for example… She DID NOT like human hands. After we adopted her, she lunged at our hand for about the first month. But we kept in mind that her previous owner abandoned her outside… but thankfully someone found her, and turned her into the local rabbit shelter.
So, it took some time for Lulu to bond with us. And it may be the case for your bun too.
Take it slow, if need be. Give her a treat. Let her know you’re friendly, and willing to respect her space… and her need to feel secure. In time, your bun will start warming up to you.
A Bunny Play Area
Here’s a great one. Do you have a designated area (either in or out of your bun’s enclosure) where your little one can play? Do you have hay and toys in that area?
Here’s a great thing you can do. Set out a big (bunny safe) blanket or piece of fabric to create a designated play area. Put out a little pile of hay for your bun to graze on at her leisure. Scatter around a few toys for her to play with. Maybe put a secondary water dish close by.
Here’s what we do…
We have a big piece of fabric out in the middle of our living room. We set Doodle’s tunnel right next to it (where he sleeps during the day). We put out fresh hay for them daily. We have a few toys scattered around and a water dish within 4 feet of the play area (placed so that us humans won’t trip over it).
And it works! During their active hours, they’re always hanging out in that area. We can sit there and watch them from the couch, or we can get down on the floor and play with them. It’s so much fun! This setup has literally integrated our buns into our life in a big way.
Seriously, try that out. It works.
But When Will the Bunny Bond Happen?
Well, let’s say you’ve created the perfect setting. Your bun feels safe, secure and even playful. What next?
It may take some time. Ohhh… I felt that groan within you. But understand, bunnies have a long memory. It really does take time to develop the trust, especially if your bun had a previous owner that broke that trust (I know, that’s really sad).
But it’s like any other relationship. Day by day. And one day, you’ll experience…
The Ultimate Bunny Parent Reward
It’s weird. One day I realized that I could just pet Lulu without being as cautious, and she accepted me. She finally saw me as her bunny parent!
Eventually, I was able to get down on the floor and cuddle with her. She didn’t react… she embraced. One day, she started giving me cute little head nudges, and she even started licking me. It was surreal!
And see, your bun will eventually accept you too. You’ll be in her pack. And she will trust you at a level you never even thought possible.
And knowing that you have the love, trust and affection of a cute little, adorable bunny is one of the biggest rewards you can experience. You’ll have those small moments where everything just seems right.
Good luck on your bunny parent journey. And don’t forget to subscribe below to get frequent bunny parenting tips directly to your inbox. This will help you always be aware of new posts we put out for bunny parents like you.