Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Photo by Onkel Ramirez
What will you do if a rabbit doesn't like you?
Rabbits are cute, fuzzy creatures that make great pets. The problem is they are also timid, so they can be hard to bond with if they don't like you. Finding out what's making them dislike you and fixing it is the best way to help them overcome their anxieties and become more comfortable around you.
7 Ways to Make a Bunny Warm Up to You
Bonding with a bunny
Bunnies neglected in the past might have anxiety and trauma; that's why they don't want to be held. It's essential not to force your bunny to like you. You can still have a bonding but petting isn't necessary. Let your bunny explore around you but DO NOT pet it yet.
Routine is important
Your bunny has a set way of doing things that keeps them safe, so changing something in its routine can be stressful for them. Take the process slowly. Just go in the routine where your bunny is more comfortable and slowly, subtly change it.
Stay calm and still
Your bunny can sense what's about to happen or what is currently happening. Staying calm can help. Don't make your bunny feel like you're a threat. Don't try to sneak up on your bunny, too!
Let the bunny come to you
To get a bunny to come to you, there are some things that you can do. First of all, don't chase the bunny. If they see you as an enemy and run from you, then they won't want anything to do with you and will probably be scared when they see you again. If this happens, remember that running after them won't help!
Also, don't grab them like prey or trap them against their cage or wall by closing off their escape routes; this is very stressful for bunnies who are already afraid of humans! You might also consider putting some toys in your hand so that when reaching out towards the bunny, it thinks there is something fun coming instead of pain from being held by human hands.
Mark the good behavior when it happens
Marking good behavior is one of the most important parts of training a bunny. When the bunny does something you want it to do, say "Good!" or "Yes!" and give it a treat. Remember to speak gently.
In addition, when a rabbit learns that doing something will make them feel better than not doing it—even if they don't have an immediate reward—they will continue doing the right thing even when there's no reward available.
Use treats to gain trust
The most effective way to gain a rabbit's trust is through treats. Treats can reward good behavior, distract the bunny from bad behavior (such as chewing on things), and help the bunny associate you with good things. You can also use treats in a way that makes them associate you with food.
Show affection with body language
The greatest way for you to show your bunny that you love her is through body language. When she comes near, crouch in front of her so that she feels small and protected from above. Then, slowly reach out with one hand until your fingers are just an inch or two away from touching her face (but don't touch).
After doing this several times over a few days or weeks (depending on how quickly it warms up), start petting your bunny gently on top of the head with those same fingertips while making eye contact with it. This will let your bunny know it doesn't need any fear around humans.
Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits, volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, extensive pet product research, and experienced peers. The purpose of this blog is to provide information about properly taking care of rabbits. Please know that it is still best to visit the vet regularly. For medical emergencies, contact a rabbit-savvy vet. Always observe your rabbits around new products or environmental changes.
Final Thoughts on Making a Bunny to Like You
It's crucial in this process that you don't give up on your bunny and remain patient until they get used to your presence around them.
However, it's also important for you to remain calm and composed. You should not be pushy or aggressive with your bunny. This can scare it away from you even more and cause physical harm! So stay calm!
You have to understand that rabbits are very sensitive creatures who need a lot of time and attention, so if yours is still shy around people after some time has passed, then don't get frustrated or angry about it!
Don't give up if you have a bunny that doesn't seem to like you. Instead, try implementing these tips one at a time and see what works best for your situation. Most importantly, you remain patient and compassionate—your bunny will come around!