Are Rabbits Jealous?

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Rabbits are very sensitive creatures and show a wide range of complex emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, aggression, and jealousy. Domestic rabbits show more emotions than wild rabbits. Wild breeds are most of the time concerned about their safety from predators, while pet bunnies are afraid of their owners abandoning them.

Pet bunnies are very friendly and get attached to human companions easily. Bonded bunnies get more emotional at times than newly bought pets. Let’s get into the details of a jealous rabbit.

What Makes a Rabbit Jealous?

A rabbit being jealous has a simple, straightforward reason for it. Although bunnies may seem very adorable, cuddly, and innocent, these are quite bossy in nature. It can be unpleasant for them if they believe that they are no more at the top of your priority.

You are your bunny’s world, and he can’t stand seeing you ignoring him or giving importance to any other individual besides him.

Other Bunnies

Rabbits are hierarchical animals. The wild rabbits set up a hierarchy among themselves to keep Warren at peace. In this hierarchy, one rabbit is given superiority over the other rabbit, or the hierarchy may be set up among the group of rabbits rather than the individual rabbits.

Due to their wild instinct, pet rabbits also have a sense of hierarchy. When they see another rabbit, the first thing that comes to their mind is, “Am I superior or inferior to the person in front of me?”

Domestic rabbits like to live in neutered male and female pairs and nevertheless maintain a strict hierarchy. The female is superior to the male in this system. Therefore, it is not a good idea to keep two rabbits of same-sex as pets at a time.

One will be jealous of you for giving attention to the other. Even when you have a male/female pair, never do something to make one bunny jealous of the other. If the female bunny realizes that you are giving too much attention to her subordinate, she may get jealous, affecting their relationship.

Other Pets

It would not be wrong to call the rabbits attention seekers. They are always in search of their owner’s attention and affection. If you have another pet animal that is not a rabbit, your bunny can get jealous of him easily.

Of course, your bunny and the other pet have different nutritional requirements; when you give them different treats, the innocent bunny might get jealous, thinking that the other pet’s treat is tastier. Similarly, if you show the other pet more attention, he will be jealous for sure.

The Person You Are Close to

Your bunny might not be happy with your relationship with your spouse. You can find him thumping around. He will stand with his ears alert and thump his rear foot on the ground. Usually, when a rabbit doesn’t feel safe, he shows this sign.

But you can also notice this thumping behavior when you are not giving him enough attention due to the presence of your beloved person as it’s one of their signs showing disapproval of something.

Children

Rabbits are always happy around humans till they are the center of attention. The same is the case with newborn babies. You can see child-friendly rabbits licking the babies, circling their feet, and showing them love by all their means.

But if your bunny sees that you do care for your baby more than him, there are great chances of him showing jealous behavior. Rabbit feels like he has been abandoned, and no one takes care of him anymore.

Signs That Your Rabbit Is Jealous

Rabbits are prey animals that are always at the lower levels of food chains. They are born with a sharp mind that enables them to trick their predators or to inform other fellows when one rabbit senses danger.

Well! Apart from survival, the pet rabbits show a number of cute bunny gestures to express their feelings to the owners. Their body language differs from that of dogs and cats, and therefore it may be hard to interpret at first.

For example, Rabbits grind their teeth and pur to show you that they are relaxed; another behavior is binkying to show that they are extremely happy or excited; growling is usually the sign of anger or sexual frustration.

In the same way, there are some particular signs which show you that your rabbit is jealous. Here are a few of them:

Follows You Everywhere

When rabbits get jealous, they follow you constantly. Whatever room you go in the house, you will find your bunny at your back. First, he wants you to cuddle him. Then, he will start nudging his nose on you. For example, if you are on a sofa or a chair, he will nudge his nose on your legs, and when he is at your level, he might try to nudge on your face or abdomen.

Nudging is a sign of demanding attention. He wants to say, “look, I am here,” and if he nudges you when you are playing with another pet, he probably wants to say, “look, I am here TOO.”

Though rabbits can use this sign to say something else, it’s a commonly observed behavior of these pets.

He Turns His Back at You

When rabbits get jealous, they do every possible action to get your attention. But when they feel that you are continuously ignoring them, they will turn their back on you. They might show up from time to time but will not come near.

They will disappear as soon as you notice them coming back. Emotions of jealousy might have overflowed, and they probably are playing hard to get. Apart from this, it is clear that he is mad at you.

Put Himself Between You and the Other Pet

If you get a new pet and are spending more time with him to make a strong bond, your bond with your innocent rabbit might be at stake. You can feel the soft-furred bunny trying to insert himself between you and the new pet. He can easily get jealous of other animals and try to distance them from you.

Acts Aggressively

When other rabbits or other animals are getting more affection, and your bunny is feeling ignored, he will get aggressive for sure. He will try to dominate the other pets by fighting with them.

Isolate Himself

When rabbits get jealous, they undergo depression. They isolate themselves and won’t come out of their cage. They can even starve themselves. Depression and anxiety are very common in rabbits. Among other factors, stress can be the cause of sudden death in rabbits.

Though seeing a jealous rabbit asking for love and getting angry is fun, don’t treat your bunny that way for a long time. Instead, notify the signs of stress due to jealousy as soon as your rabbit starts acting weird and treat him the right way.

Related Content:

How to Reassure a Jealous Rabbit That You Love Him?

A rabbit’s head is always full of insecurity; he may feel the same from your side. Rabbits are usually not shy of expressing their emotions. If you find any behavioral issues unusual to his normal activities, you must assure your bunny that you love him more than anything.

Prepare Them a Tasty Treat

Food is the ultimate solution to all temper problems in your rabbit. If you notice any signs of jealousy in your bunny, give him a food bowl full of his favorite snacks, and you will feel the change in his mood.

The rabbits will surely become familiar with your affection if you serve them tasty foods on a routine basis. You can notice their contentment when they start binkying at high speed.

Create a Comfy Space for Them

Bunnies need enough space to make themselves relax. Unlike a cat or dog, your rabbit can go into extreme anxiety when left alone or kept in a cage for long.

If you want to assure your rabbit that you truly care for him, create a relaxing atmosphere that appeals to your bunny’s needs. You can make a fun and interactive space full of toys for all your bunnies.

Reach Them at Their Level

The best way to approach your rabbit is to play with him on his level. All you need to do is bring his favorite toys, lay on the ground, play, and cuddle with him. This small act can make him gratified and happy at the same time.

Pet Rabbits

Most rabbits love being pet. If your rabbit is sitting passively there for long, it means he wants you to pet him more. Petting is a great solution for jealousy and to make your angry rabbit calm down. Even shy rabbits can be taught to love petting. After all, who doesn’t like such a nice and comfy massage!

Play With Them

Playing with the rabbit works well when he is feeling jealousy. It can make him forget all your previous behaviors and restore the relationship. Never again make him angry by not playing with him.

The best sign that your rabbit wants to play with you is when he circles around your feet.

Respond to a Rabbit’s Body Language

As an owner, you must know how your rabbit act at different events. You must be aware of your rabbit’s body language to better understand him and bond with him. You must be aware of the signs of jealousy, happiness, loneliness, and other emotions so that you can do all the things to assure them that no matter what, you are always there for them.

Conclusion

Rabbits get jealous of pets, people, children, and other rabbits as well. They show different signs of being angry. If you don’t assure him that you love him too, he can get depressed, which is not good for his health.

Leave a Comment