Rabbits are vulnerable creatures, and they like to remain alert all the time. Hence, the habit of staring comes naturally to rabbits. They also stare at other rabbits to establish dominance. Also, staring at rabbits is a significant element in bonding.
The reason for your pet rabbit staring at you could be numerous. They may be doing it out of affection, or they may be asking for food. It is also possible that they are hearing or smelling something attentively, or they could be looking out for predators. The actual reason could be found by studying their body language.
Let’s discuss the body language signs to understand the reason better.
Rabbits are expressive not in words but in their body language. Also, special attention should be paid to their ear while studying them.
A relaxed state while staring represents love, while standing on two legs represents the need for attention for food or for being petted.
The constant stomping of feet while staring means that something you are doing is bothering them. However, if the ears are erect and the nose is twitching, it means they are paying attention to something unusual.
5 Common Reasons Why Is Your Pet Rabbit Staring At You
1. Staring out of love
When two rabbits have bonded, they spend the majority of their time staring at each other. This is a sign of affection between the two bonded rabbits.
If your rabbit is staring at you in a relaxed position, this means that they are doing so out of love and affection towards you. They may not even realize that they are staring; neither do they know that you are not looking at them. They will be content and happy, staring at you and being in your company.
However, when it comes to rabbits, staring can also be associated with dominance. Two unbonded rabbits can even stare at each other to exert dominion. They will continue doing so until one of them gives up and starts grooming the other rabbit. If none of them gives up, a fight is inevitable.
A reason for your pet staring at you could also be an act of exerting dominance.
2. Staring because they are hungry.
Rabbits can also stare at humans when they are hungry. Staring is the first sign of begging for food. If the rabbit is standing on its rear legs, it is doing so to gather your attention. It means that they either want a snack or something else from you. You can give them something to eat, and they will run away, which means your rabbit was actually hungry.
If the rabbit is placing its paws on your hand or nipping and biting gently along with a frequent stare, It means they want food. All these activities are aimed at getting attention. However, do not make your rabbit wait for long as patience is a virtue that your bunnies are not aware of. They can become aggressive, and a rabbit bite can be really painful.
3. Staring because they hear or smell something unusual.
Rabbits are prey creatures, and they are always alert to an unusual sound or smell. The hearing capabilities of a rabbit are far more superior to that of a human.
Human ears can recognize sounds in the range of 64 hertz to 23,000 hertz while the rabbits can hear between 360 hertz to 42,000 hertz. This means that they can listen to sounds that normal human ears cannot.
Rabbits rely on their hearing abilities for survival and can hear sounds from far off.
When they hear something unusual, they stare at you with curiosity to ensure that you hear the same thing, and they also want to assess your reaction to the sound. Your response helps them understand whether or not the sound means potential danger.
The same is the case with an unusual smell. The smelling capabilities in a bunny are at par with its hearing.
If they smell something unusual, they become curious and stare at their humans. If you have changed soap, lotion, or perfume, your rabbit can pick on these smells and become cautious. They may be staring at you to ensure that the odor is coming from you and not from a nearby predator.
4. Staring when you are sick
Rabbits can sense it when you are feeling sick. They have an advanced smelling capability and can smell a change of pheromones.
Moreover, rabbits are emotional, and they can sense human emotion. If you are feeling sick, it is likely that your pet bunny will sense a change in your mood and emotions and will react accordingly. They will stare at you to assess what is wrong and the cause of your changed attitude.
This is also true when you are stressed or anxious. They will quickly pick up on those emotions and will stare at you with curiosity. If you have bonded well with your pet bunny, they will also try to cheer you up.
5. Sleeping with their eyes open.
It is also a possibility that your rabbit is not staring at you but is fast asleep.
Rabbits have a unique eyelid, which is also called the nictitating membrane. This third eyelid is transparent, and it may seem that your pet is staring at you.
This eyelid, like a lot of attributes of a rabbit, has generated from its survival instinct. Rabbits need to sleep for eight hours. However, they also need to remain alert from predators.
Rabbits sleep with their eyes open so that they can see a predator approaching. The brain will receive the message even when the rabbit is sleeping, and it will instantly wake them up.
The eyelid will provide the lubrication to the eyes but is transparent so that the rabbit can see.
If your rabbit is sleeping near you, it means that they trust you and want you to watch their back while they sleep.
These are some of the reasons why your rabbit is staring at you. Pay close attention to their body language to reveal important cues when your rabbit is staring.