You’ve had your cute little bunny for a while now, but you’ve started to notice them following you around – that soft little hopping behind you giving them away. You’ve gotten curious and think, why do they do this? Should I be worried? After some burrowing, I’ve figured out just why pet rabbits follow their owners and what that means. So, keep reading to find out for yourself!
So, why does my rabbit follow me? Rabbits typically follow their owners when they want some of your undivided attention. They may want to play or just get some of your affection. Other times they may have recognized you as a source of treats and want to see what you might have in store for them. Either way, it’s a sign of trust and safety for them, so there’s no need to worry!
That being said, keeping a watchful eye on your rabbit’s body language when they follow as it can indicate different things in certain contexts.
So let’s see what each could mean…
- 1 What Does It Mean If Your Rabbit Follows You?
- 2 Should You Allow Your Rabbit to Follow You?
- 3 Can You Stop Your Rabbit from Following You?
- 4 How Do You Tell If Your Rabbit Likes You?
- 5 Other Similar Behaviors In Rabbits
- 6 Can You Let Your Rabbit Run Free In Your House?
- 7 Finally
What Does It Mean If Your Rabbit Follows You?
Having your soft and lovable rabbit following you is a normal thing. Think of them like a lovestruck puppy, eager to see what you’re doing and just wanting to be close to you. They follow when they’re excited too!
You might notice them following you more at certain times than others.
Learning when their feeding times will have your No. 1 fan following you for sure, hoping to nibble up any fallen scraps of food (sorry to burst your bubble!).
If your rabbit has reached sexual maturity, following you could be a sign that they want to make bunny babies, especially if they’re grunting or oinking at you while they’re circling your feet. This is their love dance, and their sights are set on you, you gorgeous creature!
Watching their body language will help you figure out what mood your rabbit is in when they decide to follow you. If their ears are up and facing you, you’re in luck; they want to be close to you.
If their ears are down or facing backward, that’s usually a sign that they’re annoyed or irritated. (Hmm… maybe they’re a little hangry?)
Overall, it’s a sign that your furry friend is trusting you and thinks you’re a good egg. And animal instincts are never wrong!
Should You Allow Your Rabbit to Follow You?
Rabbits are intelligent so letting yours follow you as you go about your day keeps their mind stimulated with all the different sounds and surfaces they come across. They can get easily bored and stressed without it, so this is something you should promote, if possible.
Letting your rabbit follow you is also a handy way of getting their daily exercise.
Rabbits, like many animals, including us, can easily gain weight leading to obesity. (Resisting the urge to sneak a second cookie is hard, or is that just me?).
Hopping around after you is a great way to help keep their body healthy and happy.
Biology lesson time!
Rabbits are species that rid themselves of excess calcium through their kidneys.
Unfortunately, this means they are prone to getting stones in their bladders.
Keeping your rabbit hopping behind you will help prevent that from happening because the calcium won’t have the time to settle into stones.
Happy fur, baby!
Can You Stop Your Rabbit from Following You?
Luckily, it is possible to stop your rabbit from following you. With some patience and rabbit know-how, you’ll have your little stalker keeping to themselves in no time!
I get it; sometimes, you want a minute of peace without your beloved fluffball following you around like a lost puppy.
Or you’re worried that you’ll accidentally step on them when you’re not paying attention.
Maybe you don’t want to restrict them to their hutch all day long. An active bunny is a happy bunny, after all.
Neverthless, stopping your rabbit from following you is certainly possible.
Rabbits are quite intelligent, so they can be trained to follow certain commands.
Simple training methods such as saying ‘no’ with their name may be the trick to curb them following.
Thumping your foot like a rabbit to signal displeasure is another one. (Anyone else think of Bambi’s Thumper after reading that?).
If these methods don’t work, though, don’t give up!
You know how when a toddler is being naughty, so you put them on a naughty step or into a room by themselves to cool off?
You can do the same with your rabbit!
Rabbits are very social creatures, so isolating them from everyone else will let them know that you’re not happy with their behavior.
Just 10-15 minutes should be enough to get your bunny behaving!
If your stubborn little furball still isn’t behaving and following you around, you can try using a spray bottle of water.
Only on the mist setting, though.
Don’t use any other setting and never aim the water at their eyes or ears.
If these tactics still aren’t working, using positive reinforcement may be the key to training your rabbit to stop following you.
Giving them lots of toys to play within their pen to keep them mentally stimulated may help your Pied Piper problem!
The important thing to take away here is that stopping any unwanted behavior, including following, will take time and patience.
Just stay consistent, and you’ll have an obedient rabbit and free space to wander around worry-free.
Note: Never hit or use loud noises to train your bunny boo. They are a prey species, after all, so easily stressed out. And too much stress can be fatal!
How Do You Tell If Your Rabbit Likes You?
Luckily, there are a few signs that will tell you whether you’ve won over your rabbit’s heart and trust or not.
Trying to figure out if your beautiful bun likes you or not can be a struggle.
They can’t talk (if only!).
So, look for these tell-tale signs to see if you’ve made the cut:
Just Plain Chilling Out
Know that you’re in good standing with your rabbit when they flake out around you.
You know you’ve hit the jackpot when they lie on their back or side, exposing their belly.
An exposed belly is incredibly vulnerable, so you know they feel safe around you.
At the same time, a rabbit willing to be held is a clear sign they trust you.
Licks And Nibbles
Licks and nibbles are usually a good sign across most animals, and rabbits are no different.
Like monkeys, rabbits display affection and increase bonding by grooming.
And that’s exactly what your rabbit is doing when they lick, nibble at you, and nuzzle you.
It’s also a sign of submission too. They know who rules the roost in your house, and rightly so.
If you’ve noticed them doing licking/nibbling at clothing or fabric near you, it can be a sign of affection but an unwillingness to submit.
Or it could be a simple confusion of where your comfy sweater ends and you begin!
Tooth-clicking is a rabbit’s version of purring, where they rub their teeth together.
They usually do it when they’re being petted or stroked gently.
It’s a very quiet sound, so keep your ears peeled to know how happy your fluffball is!
Binkying is such a cute word and the perfect match to how cute rabbits look when they are binkying!
When your rabbit leaps into the air, it turns and twists while flicking its ears – that’s binkying.
It’ll get a smile and a laugh out of you when you see it; I have no doubt!
Circling Your Feet
As we’ve seen, when your rabbit circles your feet, it can be more than them telling you they like you.
They want to make cute babies, and they’ve picked you. Cute, right?… On second thought, maybe not.
Spaying/neutering is your best bet to stop this and other amorous behavior if it becomes more annoying than cute.
Demanding Head Pets
Ever feel a soft bump against your leg only to look down and see your cute friend sitting there giving you puppy dog eyes?
This is your rabbit’s way of asking for head rubs. Well, not so much asking as telling you!
They’re telling you that they are in charge too, but we both know who’s the real boss here…
Other Similar Behaviors In Rabbits
Now that you know what some of a good rabbit’s behavior signs are let’s look at other behaviors that’ll tell you if your rabbit is happy or in a huff!
- Grunting. Your rabbit is annoyed with a human (uh oh) or another rabbit. Usually followed by some scratching and biting, so watch out!
- Teeth grinding. Another sign of an unhappy fuzzball. They’re in distress or in a lot of pain.
- Tail Signs. Although it can look cute if your rabbit’s tail is wagging, it’s a sign of backtalk (aka sassiness). If their tail is erect, an angry bunny is bounding around.
- Chinning. Rabbits have scent glands under their chins. All your rabbit is doing when they rub their chin off things is marking their territory. Just like a dog peeing to mark theirs but much less messy!
- Showing their third eyelid: Rabbits have three eyelids. Creepy, I know. This third one is called a nictating membrane and is another barrier to protect the eye. If your fluffball is showing theirs, they’re in distress or extremely frightened.
Can You Let Your Rabbit Run Free In Your House?
You can but letting your rabbit roam freely in your house depends on how rabbit-safe you can make your home and how much space you’re willing to give them.
If you’re thinking of letting them run free, watch your rabbit and see where they go so you know what needs to be tucked away or closed off entirely.
Rabbits are quite inquisitive, so they can get easily stuck in places you wouldn’t think of.
Rabbits love chewing, so protecting exposed wood floors, particularly in corners (they love to dig there), is essential.
Throw down a soft rug to help prevent digging!
Letting your pet have complete freedom may be too much for you and your rabbit to handle.
Consider restricting your bunny to certain areas of the house but make sure to use fencing taller than your hopping Hercules!
If you plan to leave them alone in the house, build up their free-roaming lifestyle slowly at first and then introduce small chunks of alone time.
Rabbits are sensitive to change, so slow and steady wins the race.
Having a rabbit hopping behind you is normal and is usually a good sign so long as their body language matches up to it.
After all, who doesn’t want a little fluffy friend keeping you company as you wander about your house?
It’s much better than them running away, at least.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.