Do Rabbits Blink?


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If you’re an animal lover looking for the purrfect pet, then a bunny may be ideal! Rabbits have various intriguing characteristics, one of which is their seemingly absent blinking. Don’t fret – this trait isn’t uncommon among rabbits, and there’s much more to learn about them! This article takes a closer look at bunnies’ eyes and how they operate. So buckle up as we dive into the world of these fuzzy critters!

The Physiology of Rabbits

When you come across a wild rabbit, it is clear to see why they are so fast at fleeing from danger. Each physical trait of a rabbit has been carefully developed over time to ensure their survival as prey animals, particularly those large ears that allow them extraordinary hearing capabilities and alertness in times of potential threats.

Rabbits are anatomically designed to breathe exclusively through their noses, allowing them to forever savor the scents of their environment as they enjoy a meal. Not only does this sharp sense of smell grant rabbits insight into the tastes and smells around them, but it also helps keep predators at bay by alerting them to possible dangers in advance. With exceptionally large eyes situated on either side of their head, these furry creatures can look out for potential risks with an impressive panoramic view – all without having to blink!

Rabbits have an extraordinary view of the world; they can see everything within their line of sight with only a minuscule hidden area. Rabbits are far-sighted, giving them the ability to spot potential danger from afar and protect themselves. They boast impressive peripheral vision that allows them to observe predators such as wild dogs, wolves, and coyotes without having to move their heads. Moreover, rabbits’ eyes come in several colors–brown, blue, red marbled, or blue-grey–with each color becoming darker as they grow older.

Do Rabbits Blink?

Who would have thought that the average human blinks twenty times a minute? That’s approximately one blink every two to three seconds! But now, it begs to ask – do rabbits even blink at all? Before we go any further exploring this fascinating question, it is important to recognize how much more human eyes are blinking in comparison.

While rabbits may seem to always be wide-eyed, these cuddly creatures do blink — just not as often as humans. Humans typically blink 50 times more than a rabbit does: usually about ten or twelve blinks per hour. That’s only once every five or six minutes! You might wonder how they keep their eyes lubricated with such little blinking, but fortunately, bunnies have an extra third eyelid called the nictating membrane that helps them stay moist and healthy.

What is a Rabbit’s Third Eyelid?

Blinking is a natural and instinctive way for us to keep our vision crisp and our eyes moisturized. Interestingly, rabbits have three eyelids: the top, bottom, and unique third eyelid located on their cornea – this thin transparent membrane protects them from dust particles or other debris so they can remain ever-watchful!

The nictitating membrane plays a crucial role in safeguarding the expansive eyes of rabbits. Not only does it keep their eyeballs moist and reduce frequent blinking, but also shields them from dust, dirt, or any other possible irritants that could enter their eyes. If your rabbit is frequently blinking its eyelids, then you should check if there are foreign objects stuck to its eye surfaces or signs of infection present. Not doing so may result in severe consequences for your bunny’s health!

Why Do Rabbits Blink?

Similarly to humans, rabbits may blink their eyes for an assortment of motivations:

  • To keep their eyes moist and infection-free: Rabbits with larger than average peepers are more susceptible to debris and contamination. They use blinking as a means of maintaining eye hydration, enabling them to stay clean, safe, and healthy!
  • Blinking is a rabbit’s natural defense against foreign objects entering their delicate eyes. By reflexively fluttering their eyelids, bunnies are able to keep out harmful particles like dust or twigs and preserve the integrity of their vision. This simple yet powerful act helps protect rabbits from any potential irritants that may cause eye damage in the long run.
  • To maintain clear vision, bunnies rely on a thin tear film that coats the entire eye. This protective layer helps keep their eyes lubricated and healthy by blocking out dirt, dust particles, and other contaminants. Without this crucial defense system, bunnies would struggle to see clearly.
  • Rabbits communicate through a variety of means, one of which is blinking. When startled or scared, bunnies may rapidly blink their eyes as an expression of fear and apprehension. Rabbits also use blinking to express joy when interacting with other animals or people they trust, such as by submitting in some way.

Why Do Rabbits Blink Less Often Than Other Animals?

The biology of rabbits is a marvel, perfectly tailored to their requirements. Being hunted creatures, they must be cognizant of all that surrounds them and remain in an atmosphere of alertness. In addition to swift movements, the eyes on these little critters are essential for shrewdly evading predators. Wild rabbits possess astounding far-sighted vision, and rarely do they blink due to their constant vigilance against predators. To keep their eyes moistened, a third eyelid ensures that bunnies’ sight remains sharp all the time; this allows them to easily recognize any possible danger. This remarkable sense of vision, combined with an exceptional capacity for hearing and smelling protects these creatures from potential threats.

In contrast, pet rabbits tend to blink slightly more than their wild counterparts since they feel a greater sense of security in their environment. Even if your furry friend doesn’t require these survival tactics, it still impacts how he or she converses with the world around them.

Do Different Rabbit Breeds Blink Differently?

Blinking is a behavior that varies among different rabbit breeds. For example, the English Lop Rabbit, Dutch Lop Rabbit, and Mini Lops tend to blink more often than other breeds—and their blinks are bolder when they’re contented. If you have one of these rabbits as your companion pet, it’s comforting to know that the more frequent blinking means they’re feeling calm and relaxed!

By comparison, Flemish Giant rabbit breeds possess a more peaceful demeanor and blink less in relaxed environments. American Fuzzy Lops, on the other hand, are generally livelier; consequently, they will frequently wink their eyes. Conversely, Havana rabbits exhibit slower blinking when contented or at ease.

Note that when a rabbit blinks its eyes, it can signal both positive and negative emotions; thus, to gain an accurate understanding of the bunny’s sentiment in any given situation, one needs to consider multiple indicators.

Why is My Rabbit Blinking Excessively?

As previously mentioned, rabbits usually do not blink frequently; however, if your rabbit is blinking more than usual, this can be an indication of something amiss. They could have dirt in their eyes or catch a contagious illness. Therefore, it’s important to keep watch over your pet and look for any changes that may suggest sickness or injury.

If your bunny is blinking frequently, it might be caused by excess lighting. Bunnies are quite sensitive to bright lights, and that might result in excessive blinking. Try reducing the light intensity around them if possible. Additionally, when checking for foreign objects, such as dirt or debris near their eyes, try not to use a direct torchlight which may frighten or even blind your rabbit; instead, use a clean damp cloth to sweep away any residue nearby. Lastly, in case of eye infections like conjunctivitis or glaucoma, ensure you seek veterinary help immediately since antibiotics can work wonders against these issues!

Do Rabbits See at Night?

Compared to humans, rabbits possess an advantage in their eye anatomy with more rods than cones. This gives them the aptitude to better sight objects and details under low-light or dim conditions; they are crepuscular animals, after all – predominantly active during dawn and dusk. With this adaptation of vision that is not too attuned for a particularly bright or dark period, rabbits can clearly perceive their surroundings at any point throughout those times!

Why Do Rabbits Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Rabbits may surprise you with their uncanny ability to sleep while keeping one eye open. This remarkable feat is made possible by a small, transparent membrane located on the inner corner of each eye called the third eyelid. While this mechanism leaves them partially alert and able to detect potential threats, it can also provide rabbits with beneficial protection against predators in the wild—a crucial adaptation acquired over time for those living among us today! There are two primary advantages that sleeping with peepers wide open affords:

  • A sleeping rabbit with open eyes appears to be alert and awake, which acts as a deterrent for predators. Due to the lack of movement and awareness, docile bunnies are more vulnerable when asleep; however, having their eyes open keeps them safe from potential harm.
  • Bright rays of light entered opened eyes quickly, informing them if something was drawing near.

So the next time you see your rabbit sleeping with its eyes open, do not worry, as this is a natural trait.

Do Rabbits Close Their Eyes?

Although it is uncommon to view your mature rabbit with its eyes fully shut, there are several situations when this might occur, namely:

  • Exhaustion has set in and they have fallen into a deep, peaceful slumber.
  • They feel totally secure in their surroundings.
  • Thoroughly delighting in their petting and grooming experience, they bask in the calming effects of the session.

When it comes to bunnies, let them sleep and leave them be. Petting your bunny when it is sleeping may cause irritation or fear that leads to nipping, lunging, or fleeing from the perceived danger of a predator. But how can you tell if your rabbit is actually asleep? Here are some signs to look for:

  • When resting, rabbits maintain their noses still and refrain from twitching.
  • While asleep, their face may involuntarily spasm, especially if they are in the midst of a vivid dream.
  • Your tiny, fluffy companion may make a little bit of noise such as snoring throughout the night.
  • Rabbits fold their ears downwards when in deep sleep
  • The rabbit may scurry to its cozy corner or hide beneath furniture when feeling threatened.

If your bunny exhibits any of these indications, regardless if its eyes are open or not, it is actually in a deep sleep, and you must construct an optimal sleeping setup. To ensure their wellness and bolster their immunity against illnesses, bunnies need sufficient sleep every day.

Common Conditions That Affect Rabbit Eyes

Rabbits, although endowed with eyes that are among the most important parts of their anatomy, face a variety of eye-related issues. Due to their position on the head, they have an inherent blind spot in front of them, and these big and delicate organs also render them vulnerable to harm from injuries, diseases as well as infections. Fortunately, though, most conditions can be remedied – here are 5 common eye disorders rabbits suffer from, together with how to treat them:


An encounter of the rabbit’s eye with a sharp object can lead to an eye injury. In such a case, self-medication is not recommended. It would be best if you visited a professional vet to examine the extent of the damage and prescribe a suitable treatment.

Debris in the Eyes

Rabbits often find themselves with something irritating their eyes, whether it be dust, dirt or grass. Thankfully the solution is simple: a soft cloth dampened in clean water can easily remove the debris and bring them relief.


Epiphora is an indicator of a possible eye injury, disorder, or obstruction and typically presents itself in the form of excessive tear production. If your rabbit exhibits this symptom, you must identify the cause promptly to ensure they are given proper treatment. With swift action on your part, you can help keep your bunny healthy and happy!

Pink Eye

Pink eye, also referred to as conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious inflammation of the eyes accompanied by discharge and discomfort. If your bunny has been diagnosed with this condition, it’s critical that you consult with a veterinarian for treatment options. Additionally, be sure to quarantine the affected rabbit in order to stop contamination from spreading to other bunnies.

Duct Obstructions

Rabbits can often acquire nasal infections due to eye-duct blockages. These symptoms mimic the classic cold, such as sneezing and discharge from the nose. To ensure your rabbit’s health is restored, immediate treatment should be pursued through a knowledgeable veterinarian.

Cherry Eye

A prolapsed gland in the third eyelid can bring about an unmistakable symptom of a swollen, red eye. Thankfully, this condition is inclined to resolve itself with no intervention; however, to guarantee your pet’s well-being and speedy healing process, we vigorously suggest you seek out veterinary help at once.


If your pet’s eye appears swollen and is producing tears, it could indicate inflammation. Don’t delay; get them to the vet right away to address this issue swiftly!

How to Prevent Rabbit Eye Issues?

Although it’s impossible to completely avoid rabbit eye problems, you can still take measures to promote the overall health of your bunny’s vision.

  • To preserve their health, you must be vigilant in maintaining a pristine living environment for your pet. Even the most minuscule trace of dirt can rapidly turn into bacteria-ridden havens when left unchecked –– and if any of these contaminants make contact with the eye or body through cuts or abrasions, it could lead to a serious infection. So remember: always keep their food bowl, water dish, and cage clean!
  • Ensure that you take the necessary safety measures when handling your bunny, both inside and outside of its cage. Additionally, make sure to provide extra protection for their eyes at all times!
  • When playing or bonding with your children, avoid activities involving sticks and other sharp objects to prevent any potential harm to their eyes.
  • It’s important to keep an eye out for changes in your bunny’s behavior. When you notice excessive blinking or rubbing of the eyes, look around and make sure there aren’t any foreign objects present before getting professional veterinary assistance right away.

My Rabbit is Not Opening His Eyes

If your bunny isn’t opening its eyes, it is likely due to an inability to do so. The lack of vision often comes with heightened reactions in the ears and nose as they attempt to compensate for what can be lost without sight. Despite being able to survive without vision, this issue should not be taken lightly and requires immediate medical attention from a qualified professional.

If you notice a layer of crust forming around the eyes, it could be an indication that your eyes aren’t producing enough moisture. To rectify this problem, you can begin by cleaning the affected eye by following these steps:

  • Soak a cotton pad or soft cloth with warm water for maximum moisture.
  • Make the bunny feel secure by gently placing it on your lap and reassuringly stroking its fur.
  • Place the damp cloth beneath your sore eye. Soften the crusted matter palpably but with no pressure applied.
  • Allow the crust to soften until it may be easily wiped away.

If you are able to clean off the build-up, your pet rabbit should be able to open his eyes as normal. However, he may still struggle with generating enough tears to moist the eye and may have the eyes become welded closed after a short while. To prevent this, look for rabbit-safe eye drops specifically formulated to generate tears. In the meantime, incorporate eye cleaning into your rabbit’s regular hygiene and grooming routine.


Do Rabbits Have Good Night Vision?

Despite being a prey animals, rabbits do not have the best night vision. Their sight is superior to humans in darkness; however, it does not match up with other preys’ since they lack tapetum – an eye component that serves as a reflective layer for animals’ nocturnal capabilities. But their dusk vision should still be sufficient enough to keep them out of harm’s way from predators!

Do Baby Rabbits Blink?

Yes. Baby rabbits blink their eyes, just like adult rabbits do. However, when they are born, they are not able to open their eyes for the first few days of their lives. As soon as they open their eyes, they start blinking.

Do Rabbits See Color?

Indeed, rabbits can discern colors; however, their eyes are believed to be only receptive to blue and green light waves, which could imply that they may be partially color blind.