Learning more about your pet’s body language and why it behaves the way it does can be both fun and empowering as a rabbit owner, and if you’ve ever asked “why does my rabbit follow me?” you are not alone. A lot of owners find that their rabbits keenly hop after their feet, as though expecting something, when they walk around the house. If your rabbit is permitted to roam free in your home, it’s quite likely that it will follow you around at times, sometimes grunting or making another noise to communicate further.
There are a few things that can contribute to this behavior, and if you aren’t sure what your rabbit is doing, you may find it helpful to read up on them and look at the rest of its body language (e.g. ear position) to try to determine what it wants and how it’s feeling. This will help you understand when your rabbit needs something, or if something is upsetting it.
It is very common for rabbits to follow their owners around, so don’t be surprised if you see your bunny doing this, but do take some time to figure out what’s going on. Recognizing your rabbit’s needs is an important part of ownership and will help you to build a close bond with your pet.
Why Does My Rabbit Follow Me?
A few different things can cause your rabbit to follow you around, but usually it will do this simply because it wants your attention and affection, and it’s trying to draw your focus onto itself by sticking close to you. It may accompany this by grunting, headbutting, or even pulling at your clothing in an attempt to get you to focus on it. Your rabbit might also do this because it is attempting to court you.
That may sound surprising, but a rabbit that has not been spayed or neutered may decide that you are a viable mate, especially if you are keeping a solo rabbit and it does not have other options. If you notice this happening a lot, you may wish to get your rabbit fixed to calm it down and stop it from behaving in this way.
Your rabbit may also follow you because it’s playing with you, and chasing around your feet or bouncing about the room when you move is fun. In some rare cases, rabbits may also follow you around because they are angry with you, or because they think you have got food that you’ll share with them. Some rabbits learn to beg for food in this way, particularly if you are holding something that they can eat or that appeals to them.
If My Rabbit Follows Me, Does It Mean There’s A Problem With My Rabbit?
No, your rabbit does not necessarily have a problem just because it is following you around; it may simply want your attention. It’s possible that it’s feeling needy or lonely, particularly if it does not have a rabbit companion or any other pets to play with. Following you persistently may also indicate that your rabbit is bored, which is something that you should try to resolve, either by spending more time cuddling and playing with your rabbit, by getting it a companion, or by finding it some enrichment activities so that it can entertain itself.
Boredom is not a major issue as long as you resolve it, but if not, following you about may show that your rabbit is unhappy. In the long-term, this could lead to depression, lethargy, and even aggressiveness or destructive behavior; rabbits are quite social creatures and they don’t like to be left without any interaction for long hours. If your rabbit is alone for most of the day, make sure that you are playing with it as much as possible when you’re at home.
If your rabbit is showing other signs that something is wrong, following you could be a further indication that something is amiss. If the rabbit seems to be in pain or is trembling, or if its ears are pressed flat against its head and it is growling or nipping, you should assume that something is wrong, and take your rabbit to a vet as soon as possible.
Should I Let My Rabbit Follow Me If It Wants To?
Yes, you should let your rabbit follow you around if it’s happy doing so; this behavior is not dangerous and won’t hurt the rabbit, and in fact, it could be beneficial. Rabbits often do not get much exercise when they live in the home and have their meals brought to them, so it’s good for your bunny to move about a bit. Doing so can help keep its digestive system moving, ensure that it doesn’t pack on too many pounds, and reduce its risk of kidney stones forming, so it’s beneficial in several ways.
The disadvantage of letting your rabbit follow you is that you may fall over it or stand on it, and this is obviously dangerous for both you and the rabbit. The simple solution is to put your bunny back in its pen when you don’t want it to follow you about, but if you would rather not do that, you can sometimes train a rabbit out of following you.
Thumping your foot can demonstrate displeasure, or you may be able to simply teach your bunny “no” with regards to following, giving it a treat when it obeys you. You may also be able to put your rabbit in a time out by itself for ten minutes. It should soon stop following you around.
So, the general answer to the question “why does my rabbit follow me?” is that your rabbit loves being near you and wants you to pay attention to it. Rabbits are extremely social animals and it is perfectly normal for one to want your time when you have been busy all day, especially if it does not have other forms of companionship. Following is almost always a sign of affection, or sometimes an indication that your rabbit wants a mate, particularly if it accompanies its actions with grunting sounds.