Everybody who has owned a rabbit as a pet will have wondered Why does my rabbit stare at me so much? The main reason why is due to the fact that rabbits are prey animals, meaning they need to be on guard for predators all the time.
When a predator comes into sight or near the rabbit’s territory, they will stare in order to see if it’s worth running away or not. For pet rabbits, however, it can be for different reasons, and whilst it may seem a little odd at first, staring can actually be ways they try to communicate with us.
So, next time Mr. Floppy won’t take their eyes off you, stop and think about why that might be?
But don’t worry, you don’t need to work that out on your own. Below is a list of the 10 most common reasons your rabbit is staring at you. We’ll also finish with some helpful ways to stop your rabbit from staring at you if it is becoming too much.
But before all of that, let’s just answer the most pressing question you have, because really you’re wondering if this is normal, or if you’ve picked up some sort of stalker-rabbit, right?
Why Does My Rabbit Stare At Me?
It is perfectly normal for rabbits to stare and there can be a lot of reasons as to why they might be staring at you, but for the most part, it’s perfectly normal and explained away innocently.
Like we said earlier, rabbits stare at us humans because it’s the only way they can communicate with us. Every stare is an attempt to tell us what they want/need/fear/love, etc.
They have no other way of telling us, so they just look at us with dreamy eyes and hope we get the message.
Of course, we don’t speak rabbit stares, but thankfully, people who have studied rabbits before us have a good understanding of what they may be trying to say.
So read on for the 10 most common reasons your rabbit is staring at you, and see if you can spot any signs in your own pet rabbit to back up what we’re saying.
Rabbits are uncommonly clever creatures, despite the old beliefs that they’re ‘dumb bunnies’. Because of their high intelligence, they can become bored with their routine and surroundings really easily.
This is most likely to happen if they’re in their cage or pen, and haven’t had the chance to roam for a while. Rabbits, like many creatures, need stimulation to keep them active and busy.
Without it, they could easily fall back on staring at their owners just for something to do.
In these cases, they might either be trying to tell you to let them out to do something fun, or they might just be staring because you’re the most interesting thing around.
Either way, a staring rabbit could mean a bored rabbit, so get them some entertainment pronto!
2.They’re Waiting For A Response
If you’ve just picked up an older rabbit from previous owners or your new rabbit has started staring a lot more lately, think about the communication they’ve had in the past with humans.
Lots of rabbit owners accidentally teach their rabbits to stare as a sign of obedience without really knowing that they’re doing it.
For example, if you give them a treat every time they look at you after calling their name, it might be the staring they associate with treats, not the recall.
If that’s the case, they may be staring at you in expectation of treats. Not because they’re hungry, that’s something else entirely, but because they think it will give them a reward.
3.They Are Hungry
Rabbits also stare when they’re hungry though. If the staring is accompanied by them standing on their hind legs, then this is almost certainly a sign of them begging for food.
It’s a clever tactic too, because how often as owners do we reach for a little treat or remember to grab our rabbit some food when they’re staring at us on hind legs with their little paws perched expectantly? Every time, right?
Some rabbits are so clever, rabbits see this connection, so they will wait in this expectant way (similar to dogs) to show you they’re ready to eat now.
But remember, as cute as they are, you call the shots, not them. And they will try to rule the household if you let them, so be cautious about when they get their food to prevent this.
4.They Sense Predators
If their noses are twitching, and their ears are pricked, then they may sense predators. In the wild, rabbits communicate with each other by staring and twitching their noses, because any sound might draw predators to them, which, of course, they don’t want.
That’s right, if your rabbit is staring at you in this way, they might actually be trying to do you a favor by warning you of a potential predator nearby.
Of course, what they see as a predator and what we see as a predator are two very different things.
Next door’s toddler playing on the grass outside their home might be cute to you, but to your rabbit, it could spell impending doom, so their staring might be well-meant, just a little ill-placed.
5. Something Has Changed In Their surroundings
This might sound a little crazy, but your rabbit has an amazing sense of smell and their hearing is excellent, so if there is something new in the surrounding area, then they might be trying to tell you.
The staring here is probably them watching you for your reaction, to understand whether this new thing nearby is something good or something bad. So do your best to be reassuring if you think this might be the issue.
Because of their amazing sense of smell and hearing, they might actually be hearing or smelling something even you can’t identify.
So try petting your rabbit to calm them down if you can’t find any other explanation for their staring. It might just work.
6.They Feel Threatened
If your rabbit is new, then their staring is actually perfectly natural, and they might do it for a little while yet. Rabbits are so sensitive that anybody new has to be watched closely, and frankly, a little intensely from the point of view of those being stared at.
They’re basically trying to determine whether you’re somebody they can trust, or if you’re a possible threat that they need to get away from as quickly as possible.
By watching your every move, they’re preparing themselves to flee, so if anything should go south, then they’re prepared to get out of there fast.
If this is what’s causing them to stare, they should get over it after a few days in your company (and plenty of rabbit treats, of course).
7.They Want Grooming
This is another one of those weird but lovable reasons for staring. In the wild, rabbits actually stare at one another as a way of telling the other rabbits that they want to be groomed and need a little help.
Essentially, your rabbit might be staring at you because they see you as one of them, and would like a little help in the grooming department to get them feeling back to their old selves again.
A little diva-ish? Definitely, but who said looking after rabbits was easy? We all know they can be a little precious at times, so maybe just try helping with their grooming to see if they stop staring.
8.They’re Curious About Something
Stop and think the next time you catch your rabbit staring at you. Are you doing something different? Have you recently started working out at home, or started cooking more in the evenings?
Whatever it might be, your rabbit could be staring at you through genuine curiosity because of the new activity you’re doing.
Funnily enough, if this staring is accompanied by them stomping their feet, this is usually a sign of annoyance. Maybe that new at-home yoga program you joined is clashing with your rabbit’s chill-out time?
Even if they aren’t stomping their feet as they look at you, they might just be genuinely interested in what you are doing.
They’re such clever creatures that they need stimulation, and if watching you is providing them with that as they try to work out why you’re lay flat on your back with a yoga ball on your belly, then we say leave them to it!
Some rabbits genuinely just stare because they’re content. It’s odd to us, for sure, but to them, it’s just like zoning out in front of the TV after a long day at work. If they’re confident and comfortable in your presence, then they might just stare at you.
They usually do this type of staring as they’re lay down because that’s a significant sign of relaxation. It’s like they’re saying ‘I know I’m not threatened here, so I’m just going to chill for a while.
This is obviously more common for rabbits that have been around you and your family for a while and have gotten used to their environment, but some rabbits are just quicker to adapt than others.
So if they’re lying down and staring, they’re probably just feeling really relaxed in your company already!
This last one is usually the one that catches most owners off guard. It’s also the one where most pet owners think ‘Oh no, I’ve been staring at them, not the other way around’ because yes, some rabbits sleep with their eyes open, and they aren’t looking at you at all.
Most new owners don’t realize this though, so when they see it for the first few times they start to wonder why their new pet is so obsessed with them, but they might not even be seeing you at all, despite where their eyes are pointing.
This creates a pretty awkward moment when you realize that the fluffy little friend you thought was a stalker now has more of a reason to think that of you instead.
Still, at least you found out online through this post, so you don’t ever have to admit it to anybody else. Crisis averted. Phew!
Why Does My Rabbit Stare At Me When He Eats?
Do you notice your rabbit staring at you while they eat? You’re not imagining it – rabbits stare at their owners when eating because they are anxious and want reassurance that the owner is still there.
Rabbits in the wild will do this so they can watch out for predators as they eat. So don’t be surprised if your bunny continues to look up from his dinner bowl!
They may nibble on hay or other foods as well as scratch or chew on things nearby. Rabbits also make noises like “chomping” and “chewing” during feeding time which is again completely normal.
Is There Any Way To Stop My Rabbit Staring At Me?
Although there is not much you can do to stop your rabbit from staring at you the first thing you should to do is check if it is any of the reasons we’ve mentioned above.
If you suspect they might be hungry, grab them some food. If they might be bored, get something to stimulate their brain and distract them from being so fascinated with you.
Your first port of call should be to check that your rabbit doesn’t need or want anything because if they do, they can happily sit there and stare at you for hours until you get the hint.
Next, it might just be time to bring out a bucket load of patience.
Rabbits are incredibly sensitive creatures, and if there is something new or different, then they may feel anxious and watch you constantly because of how on edge they feel.
If you’ve recently changed the furniture, picked up some new flowers for the vase, or switched out the cushions on your sofa, then this might be what’s triggering their anxiety and causing them to stare. Seriously.
Now we’re not saying that Mr. Floppy gets to dictate your interior design, but you might just need to be patient with them until they get used to their environment again.
And finally, as much as you probably don’t want to hear this, they might not be staring for any reason at all. They might just enjoy zoning out whilst watching you do whatever you’re doing.
In these cases, try your best to see the endearing side of it.
Your pet rabbit is so amazed by you they can’t take their eyes off you. How cute is that? Heck, we could all use a little more of that adoration in our lives, right?
So next time your rabbit is staring, do all you can to help them, and if that doesn’t work, just shrug your shoulders and be flattered by the fluffy little weirdo in the corner.
So there are 10 reasons why your rabbit may be staring at you. Rabbits are also curious creatures and want to know about their surroundings so this behavior can often happen when exploring your house as well!
If you notice your bunny staring at something other than its food bowl, try looking around with them and see what has caught his attention!