Yes, rabbits do watch TV and can grow to enjoy watching it! They’ll like watching the moving images and listening to the sound (as long as it isn’t too loud). A TV set can provide mental stimulation and company for your rabbit – but it isn’t a substitute for human interaction and attention.
Is Watching TV Good for Rabbits?
Watching TV can be good for rabbits. Though there are benefits and drawbacks, finding a middle ground is a perfect way to enjoy some TV time with your pet.
There are numerous benefits to you and your rabbit of watching TV, as long as it’s in moderation and the volume is kept low.
- Bonding: Doing an activity like watching TV with your rabbit will build and strengthen your bond. If your rabbit is comfortable lying by you or on your lap, gently stroking them while you watch is a lovely way to spend time together.
- Mental stimulation: Watching the colorful images and listening will mentally stimulate your rabbit.
- Company: Hearing voices and having background noise can provide comfort to rabbits, especially if they’re feeling lonely. However, it is no comparison to spending quality time with their owner.
- Routine: Rabbits are creatures of habit, so if you watch a show together at the same time of day every day, they’ll find comfort in the routine. This will help them to feel secure as they know what to expect from the next day.
There are a few parts of watching TV that show the negative side of spending time in front of the screen.
- Getting scared: Rabbits won’t understand that the moving images on the screen are static. If they see something they perceive as a threat (like a predator running on a nature show) then the rabbit might become frightened and react.
- Hearing damage: Having the TV turned up too loud could damage a rabbit’s ears. They have extra sensitive hearing so what’s normal volume to us sounds louder to them. Sudden and high-pitched noises will also upset them (e.g. gunfire or explosions).
- Becoming addicted: If a rabbit develops an unhealthy addiction to watching TV, it means they’re spending too much time sitting and watching instead of being active. This can lead to weight gain and a bunch of other health issues.
What TV Shows Will Rabbits Like?
Rabbits will generally enjoy seeing movement and bright colors that catch their attention. Some genres that your rabbit might like watching include cartoons, music videos (on low volume), sports, and action movies.
If your rabbit gets bored of watching, they’ll usually hop away and find something else to occupy their time. Generally, rabbits don’t seem as interested in watching the news, soap operas, and chat shows.
If your rabbit wants to leave, let them go. Forcing them to stay and watch will be more harmful than good.
How Much TV Can My Rabbit Watch?
There isn’t a specific guideline for how many minutes or hours of TV your rabbit can watch.
If your rabbit is seeking out the TV screen doing the day and spending the whole time sitting still and watching then it’s a concern.
Rabbits should be active animals – staring at a screen all day is a red flag that something is wrong. This could be an underlying health condition or depression.
Why Doesn’t My Rabbit Want to Watch TV?
Not all rabbits like watching TV. Some will get anxious from the sounds and sudden movements and dread watching it.
Other rabbits will resent the TV taking your attention away from them. They might show this by turning their back to the screen and holding their ears down.
To help your rabbit overcome their fear of the TV, you can try introducing this routine:
- In the evening, feed your rabbit.
- Let them out once they’ve finished eating.
- Get comfortable in front of the TV and invite your rabbit to come over.
- Pet your rabbit until they’re comfortable and content.
- Turn the TV on (keeping the volume low) while you continue to pet your rabbit. You could even give them a tasty treat.
Soon your rabbit will relax around the TV, and might even look forward to the new evening routine.
Why Does My Rabbit Bite Me When I Watch TV?
If your rabbit is acting aggressively to you when you’re watching TV, there’s a high chance that they’re upset that you aren’t paying them attention. Biting is a way to grab your attention.
Biting is usually a last resort after they’ve tried nudging, nipping, circling your feet, and digging on you. If your rabbit’s problem isn’t lack of attention, it might be because the TV is scaring them, in which case you should turn it off and soothe your rabbit.
One way to avoid this problem is by petting and grooming your rabbit while you watch.
Does the Size of the TV Screen Matter When My Rabbit Is Watching?
The bigger the TV screen is, the better for rabbits to watch TV. Something small like a phone or tablet screen is unlikely to be big enough to hold your rabbit’s interest. But a large flatscreen TV makes it a lot easier for the rabbit to follow what’s going on.
Can Rabbits Learn From Watching TV?
No, rabbits can’t learn from watching TV. There is no evidence to indicate that a rabbit can visually learn from a screen. For example, showing your rabbit a video of another rabbit doing a trick won’t mean your rabbit can copy it.
Do Rabbits Like Listening to Music?
Yes, most rabbits like listening to music, as long as the volume is low. Some will recognize songs and react when they hear the music.