Rabbits get often stressed and beginner rabbit owners should be aware of the situation which may intrigue the stress in their pets. As rabbits are often attacked by various predators in the wilderness they have a very alert nature and they try to keep themselves safe from any adverse situation by means of hiding or running.
They get tensed soon and that needs only a few reasons to be stressed. So here we will be discussing how to keep the rabbit calm in adverse situations in this guide.
- 1 Why do rabbits get stressed?
- 2 Why is my rabbit upset?
- 3 Is stress fatal for rabbits?
- 4 Why my rabbit is stressed in its shelter?
- 5 Can the rabbit become stressed if fed irregularly?
- 6 Will my rabbit get stressed if I travel with it?
- 7 Are rabbits stressed in the dark?
- 8 Is my lonely rabbit stressed?
- 9 How do you know when the rabbit is stressed?
- 10 How can you calm down the stressed rabbit?
Why do rabbits get stressed?
Rabbits are quite playful creatures but they get tensed or anxious the slight provocation. This is their general nature in the wilderness and that also happens when they are domesticated too. Their temperament is quite vulnerable and thus, the owners need to be extra cautious when they are adopting rabbits.
Rabbits get nervous when they hear a loud noise, sudden harsh sound or light, or even the presence of some huge-sized other creature. If you have adopted another new rabbit recently then also the previous one may get nervous and stressed. Sometimes the kids at the house can make the rabbit nervous, especially if they are brought new to the house.
Why is my rabbit upset?
Rabbits can get nervous or excited when there are too many people around them. They do not like to be held by unknown people. Also, they want to avoid loud music and harsh light, which makes them tense. Do not try to catch a rabbit from the back as that reminds them of their predators, and they get scared like death.
So rabbits like to be near their owners, but that needs some time. They are playful but not as playful to play with unknown humans. Also, they are not easy with other pets, be they small or big. They take time to get adjusted to the house dog or cat.
Is stress fatal for rabbits?
Yes, stress can be really threatening for rabbits. Rabbits are fearful of predators or large animals which can attack them in the forest. When they are domesticated, they still bear that fear in their mind. They will not act easily in the presence of the other bigger creatures around them.
They act differently and individualistically to the stress. Some may get anxious while some can act indignantly or bossy. They try to save themselves from possible threats by acting in different ways. If you have a couple of rabbits, then it will be rather difficult for the other rabbits to manage the situation. The stressed one will make it difficult for other rabbits too as it will dominate others or shy away from others in a corner of the shelter.
Why my rabbit is stressed in its shelter?
If the rabbit is not given enough space to move around then it may get stressed. Rabbits need a wide area to roam as they do in the wilderness. They want to run and jump in a wide space but it should not be high. They roam in the ground or backyard and that is their favorite pastime. They also like the open area and that is also good for exercise purposes.
While housing the rabbits, if you do not keep adequate space inside the cage or keep the rabbits caged all the time, then it will stress the pet. Do not keep the pet always caged as they love to run and jump freely.
Can the rabbit become stressed if fed irregularly?
Yes, rabbits like to have a routine life. They want to have a feeling of safety and security. As in the wilderness, they do not get ample food, they always seek that surety of getting food at the right time when they are domesticated. They need to know that they will get their daily food at regular times. If the schedule breaks they can get stressed as they become tensed about the uncertainty of the situation.
Will my rabbit get stressed if I travel with it?
Rabbits can get stressed when they are taken for traveling. Rabbits should not be taken for long trips as that can make them feel threatened. The change in the weather and the atmosphere is not easy for the rabbits and they do not like the experience of traveling for hours taken in a crate.
So if possible avoid such trips with the pet. If unavoidable, you can take the rabbit for trips but later you should take care of the stressed pet in a proper way.
Are rabbits stressed in the dark?
It may seem quite unusual but rabbits are pretty much afraid of the dark, unlike many other forest creatures. They have a fear of the darkness and thus, if your rabbit happens to be in some place that is dark then you should take it out immediately.
The fear of darkness affects the rabbit mostly because in the darkness it only has to depend upon the ears. It can hear sounds and smells but cannot see the actual condition. This scares them from the predators and they are also unable to hide from them as they are not sure about the position of the enemy.
Is my lonely rabbit stressed?
Loneliness is a cause of stress for rabbits. If you plan to adopt rabbits then adopt a pair of them, if not a few. Rabbits are pretty social in nature and they do not like to be alienated. They like to be with the other creatures or with some other rabbits.
In case you have only a single rabbit, as the owner it is your responsibility to be friends with it, play with it and spend some quality time with it. Or it will not feel comfortable and fall sick after getting stressed.
How do you know when the rabbit is stressed?
There are certain symptoms that will tell you that your rabbit is getting stressed. If you find that the rabbit is hiding all the time or is not coming out of the hutch when you are paying it a visit, then it has got stressed. Also, excessive grooming can be a symptom of stress, when the rabbit is seen self-licking or self-soothing for too long; then it has some problems with stress.
Lack of appetite and not drinking water is another symptom of getting stressed; also you can add the lack of energy with it. The rabbits that are stressed will be eating less which in turn will make them weak. Thus stress may lead to severe health issues related to weakness.
Jumping and thumping are other symptoms of stress. While some rabbits like to stay calm and inactive during a stressful period, others chose to be hyperactive. If you see your rabbit moving around the house and thumping its back foot quite often then it can be that the rabbit is getting nervous and stressed due to some reason. On the other hand when the rabbit is jumping suddenly after hearing some sound then it is actually nervous and overreacting to small provocations.
Panting excessively is another indication of stress. The rabbit feels restless when it is stressed and as a result, it is unable to breathe at normal speed.
How can you calm down the stressed rabbit?
In order to pacify the stressed rodent you need to come close to it, but not very close to threatening it. You can keep the rabbit on the floor and sit near it. Talking with the rabbit in a calm voice for some minutes will soothe it. You do not have to be very specific about the matter of talking but just the calm voice from the owner will help it to get settled.
Use small sentences like calm down, it’s me, sit down will be perfect. These words, when repeated after the rabbit gets stressed, will help the rabbit understand that it is the direction to become composed. Your pet will soothe down and it will make the pet understand that the situation is normal.
It can be that the rabbit is seeing something that is terrifying it. You need to follow the direction where it looks and you can cover its eyes with your palm. When there is some loud noise coming from and you have no option to stop that, you can cover the ears of the rabbit in the same way. The external indicators can be shut off and the rabbit will regain its normal mood.
When the rabbit seems to be more composed, you can give it some toy to play with or some treat to sidetrack its mind. But remember, offering a treat or toy at the first instance when the rabbit is feeling stressed is not a good idea. The pet may not even look at those things and that will not calm it down as well.
Give it some time to get composed. The rabbit will become normal after you start interacting with it. Soon it will get back to its normal mood and the stressful period will be over.