Why Does My Rabbit Follow Me?

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Just a heads up for those of you looking for a rabbit.

Some rabbits love nothing more than to spend the day following their human about.

So pick one that contrasts sharply with your flooring/blankets.

I’m not joking.

My mum has a black cat and had to get rid of her black blankets because the cat was regularly getting sat on.

Your rabbit loves you

They’re just exhibiting normal pet behaviour. A lot of pets (especially dogs, but some cats too) just love to be with their owners.

Is it because we have warm laps, and pocketfuls of treats, or do they just love being with us. I guess we’ll never know, but it all boils down to the same thing. They like to spend time with us.

Feel honoured if your bunny follows you around and sits with you. I honestly think mine would prefer it if they only saw me at mealtimes.

Your rabbit…fancies you

Is your rabbit circling your feet and honking at you?

If so, this is a common mating behaviour.

You should always have your rabbit spayed or neutered, but the circling and following don’t always stop after this.

Another thing to consider is getting a single bunny a friend.

If you’re happy to have your bunny follow you around all day, and you spend a lot of time interacting with them, it’s possible they get all their required social interaction from you BUT a bunny companion is almost always better company (I’m sorry) than a human.

I will warn you though: getting your bunny a bunny friend may mean they spend all their time with the other bunny, and aren’t as devoted to you. I know, I know, it’s super sad, but it’s better for rabbits to be with their own kind.

By the way, some rabbits are perfectly happy by themselves, or can’t be bonded because, ahem, they’re not fans of their own kind.

Your rabbit is playing with you

Holly likes to lie in the walkway between the sofa and her pen. If we’re in the living room and need to go upstairs, we have to step over her.

When we go to step over her, she does this thing where she pretends to be scared, jumps up, and then runs away.

You might be thinking, ‘how do you know she’s pretending to be scared?’ and to be honest we don’t. The only reason we suspect as much is that when we first got her, she’d jump whenever we got up and run and hide in her box, eyes bulging.

Nowadays, she does more of a bouncy jump and doesn’t even run into her pen. Sometimes she’ll even hunker down as soon as we get up, and then the second my foot lifts of the group to step over her she jumps up and runs away, shaking her tail.

The shaking tail seems to be sign that she’s playing, and we often get a head shake too. She clearly thinks it’s a very fun game, but we’re a bit worried about stepping on her.

Your rabbit is mad at you

I’ve never experienced this in rabbits, but I have in dogs. There seems to be plenty of people that have moody rabbits though.

You know when someone’s in a mood with you, and they don’t want to tell you, so they show you by hanging around you with a face like a slapped arse? Same with rabbits. My mum’s dog does it too – she’s an Italian greyhound, and those things are MOODY.

Your rabbit is nosey

This is, I believe, pretty common in more extroverted rabbits. Our rex was VERY nosy, and followed us everywhere (until she discovered the joys of going under the bed and making friends with the dust bunnies, which became her only aim in life).

It got to the point where we couldn’t have a drink without her wanting to drink out of our glass to.

When we went away for a few days my dad thought it was hilarious that we’d left a request in the care note that Molly be offered a glass of water, despite having water bottle and bowl in her pen.

Your rabbit is excited

This usually happens if you’re holding food. Not necessarily rabbit food. Not necessarily even, food, just something that made a noise that makes your rabbit think it might possibly be food.

Be careful when you’re walking when your rabbit is around your feet and thinks you have food. They’re actively trying (I assume) to trip you up so that they have have whatever delicious treat you’re holding.

Do they care that you’re actually holding a new packet of sellotape? They do not.

Your rabbit is trying to beg for something

Related to the point above.

This is more common if you have food.

Speaking as a vegan, I feel like I need to point out the difference between vegans and herbivores/plant based diets.

I am a vegan. I CHOOSE not to eat animal products, even though I can.

My rabbits are herbivores. They CAN’T eat animal products, even though they want to. They don’t give a shit about cows.

I will not eat a bit of beefburger that gets dropped on the floor. My rabbits will, and they’ll probably enjoy it too.

(NB whilst obviously discouraged, a rabbit eating a small piece of dropped burger is unlikely to hurt them – I mean, they’re known to eat their own babies).

Rabbits learn surprisingly quickly about when humans are likely to be carrying food. Ours understand the sound of the toaster and the oven (though they’re VERY suspicious of the microwave *bing*, hilariously enough). They certainly know what plates are.

Can you discourage them from begging.

Er, no, but I haven’t tried very hard. Ours have never actually jumped on our knee and taken anything, though I once lost a piece of precariously balanced toast to a rabbit that saw her chance and took it.

If your rabbit is following you round, it likely isn’t for any malicious reason (unless you have a biter!) but it also isn’t great to encourage this behaviour, because having rabbits underfoot isn’t always very safe.

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