Yes, rabbits can miss you. Though it’ll vary depending on the rabbit’s personality and how strong their bond is, they’ll usually miss their owners and other rabbits that they’ve bonded within their absence. Rabbits will also get lonely when left by themselves for long periods.
It’s important for your rabbit to have companionship – either living with another rabbit or bonding with their owner to help fulfill their social needs. You should also make sure that your rabbit has plenty of mental stimulation, food, hay, and water throughout the day. Without meeting these basic needs, your rabbit would miss you terribly, and suffer lasting effects from it.
Signs Your Rabbit Has Missed You
If your rabbit does any of these actions when you come home and see them, there’s a good chance that they’ve missed you! (Because they’re signs of affection.)
- Grooming you (licking your clothes or skin).
- Circling your feet.
- Chinning (putting their scent on you).
- Flopping by you.
- Binkying (jumping and twisting in the air when they’re happy).
- Teeth chattering when you pet them.
- Wanting to be held and cuddled.
- Fast nose twitching from excitement.
You should give your rabbit plenty of love and attention once you’re back – and maybe a treat too. This will send a clear message to your rabbit that you’ve missed them too!
How Much Will My Rabbit Miss Me?
Exactly how much your rabbit misses you will depend on how much time you’ve put into bonding with them. A strong, trusting bond with your rabbit will mean they recognize your face and if they can remember your face, they can wonder where you are and miss you.
If you’re close to your rabbit and routinely spend a lot of time together, they’ll miss you quite soon after you leave. They’ll have become familiar with your smell, voice, and appearance meaning that they notice when you’re not around.
If you’re the main companion to your rabbit, and they don’t have a rabbit friend, they’ll feel a huge gap when alone. This can eventually lead to depression. If you work long hours or are spending the night away, it’s worth getting a sitter to look after your rabbit until you’re back.
How to Prevent My Rabbit Missing Me
If you’re worried about your rabbit when you’re not there, check out these tips on how you can distract or entertain your rabbit in your absence.
- Get another rabbit: this will play a huge part in your rabbit’s happiness. Having a bonded friend will mean someone to groom, play with, cuddle, and spend time with when you’re gone. Where possible, you should always try to keep at least two rabbits together.
- Make or buy some new toys: Providing mental stimulation for example puzzle toys, treat dispensers, or balls will keep them busy and entertained for a while.
- Let them exercise first: If you know that you’re going out for a while, make sure they have the opportunity to run around and burn some energy before leaving them in their cage.
- Ask a friend or family member to stop by: Another option is to have someone your rabbit is familiar with coming to your house and spending time with them while you’re unavailable.
- Leave something that smells of you: A blanket or article of clothing that smells of you might provide comfort to your rabbit until you come back. This can help them feel safe in place of you being there yourself.
- Create and stick to a routine: Rabbits love routine. If you follow the same pattern every day they’ll get used to being alone for a certain time and be able to trust that you’ll be coming home at the end.
If these steps don’t work and your rabbit is depressed, you might need to consider changing your routine to cut the time that your rabbit is left alone.
Can Rabbits Forget You?
It’s unlikely for a rabbit you’ve bonded with to forget you anytime soon. They store memories of you and will associate you with them. It’s unknown if a rabbit will forget you if they don’t see you for over six months – but up to this point, rabbits have been known to remember and be happy to see their owner.
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone Overnight?
No, you can’t leave your rabbit alone overnight. Rabbits need constant supplies of hay and drinking water that you need to top up regularly. Your rabbit also needs plenty of time out of their cage and will get bored without any interaction or mental stimulation. Also, consider how mischievous (and destructive) rabbits can be – they should have human supervision because left to their own devices they can get into trouble.
Do Rabbits Get Lonely?
Yes, rabbits can and do get lonely. This can be made better or worse based on factors like how long they’re left alone, if there are any other rabbits with them, and their environment (to name a few).
Do Rabbits Remember You?
Yes, rabbits do remember their owners. They learn to associate smells and feelings, so if you spend time with them and form a bond they’ll love you. So don’t worry if you have to leave them with a sitter for a few days – they’ll eagerly greet you once you’re home.