Bunnies are loving animals. Since they are naturally shy animals, they may take a while to warm up to you before showing you love. However, much like cats and dogs, they will show affection and love towards you if you’ve given them the time and love they deserve.
In fact, our experience with Grooty is that she is just as affectionate as a puppy dog! But how do you know if your bunny loves you? What are the signs?
A bunny shows their affection towards their human’s in many different ways. They will let you pet them, follow you around the house, bink with joy, kiss you, and even fall asleep next to you. Your bunny is trying to let you know they love you and they know you care for them.
But there are more ways that your bunny shows affection than just these examples. Can you recognise any of these behaviours from your bunny?
They Kiss You
It may seem like your bunny is just licking the leftover food on your hands. But a bunny licking you is their equivalent of giving you a kiss. It’s also their process of grooming. They see you as part of their family and want to make sure you are also clean.
You may also see your bunny licking your clothes. Again, this is your bun making sure you are clean and showing you they love you and are a part of the bunny family.
They Let You Pet Them
It takes time for your bunny to trust you and to learn you are not a threat or predator. As they get comfortable being in their new environment with their humans, they will come to love being petted and getting the attention from their owners.
As they get more comfortable, your bunny will even come to you to be petted. They’ll either lick you to pet them or put their head under your hand which is their way to communicating with you letting you know that they want to be petted.
They Follow You
Bunnies are social animals and love having plenty of interaction. But usually, only with humans and bunnies they trust and are comfortable with. If your bunny follows you around the house, it’s a good sign they enjoy being with you and want your attention.
Our Grooty loves to be in the same room as us. She has learned to climb the stairs so when we walk up to get ready for bed, we often find a furry surprise on our bed when we’ve come back from the bathroom.
They Bink Around The House
A bink is when your bunny jumps in the ear, flips their ears around and does funny turns in the process. This is often accompanied by crazy running up and down your furniture or even over humans! This is a prominent sign of your bunny’s happiness and excitement and that they aren’t afraid to show it.
They Nip and Dig At You
It can feel like your bunny is mad at you when they nip and dig at you. But this is actually a sign that they love and care for you. When they nip, it’s like they are trying to matted fur off for you, especially when they do this to the seam of your clothing.
They Lay and Flop Near You With Their Feet Out
This is our favourite thing our bunny Groot does and the cutest. Flopping and laying near or against us. It’s a sign that they are comfortable around you and trust you.
Laying with their feet out is a very vulnerable position for a bunny. Usually, they will have their feet under them so if any predator sneaks up on them, they can quickly run and jump away.
As soon as your bunny starts putting their feet out when lying around your home, then you can be sure your bun is feeling comfortable and safe with you.
They Eat Food From Your Hands
In the beginning, your bunny likely won’t eat any food that is being fed out of your hands. They don’t trust you or feel comfortable enough yet.
As time goes on and they warm up to you, you can feed them all sorts of treats from your hands. They are also very careful when they eat from your fingers and won’t bite you.
They Nudge You and Look For Attention
Just like when a bunny wants to be petted, a bunny nudging you is part of them wanting interaction with you and love from you. It may seem like a nudge is them trying to move you out of the way. Sometimes it is!
If we are trying to stop Grooty chewing something, she’ll sometimes try to nudge our hand out of the way.
But that’s not the only reason they nudge. They want attention and affection from their humans because they love you.
They Put Their Chin On You
Sometimes when your bunny is being extra cute, they’ll rest their chin on your lap or hand while you are petting them. This is a sign of submission and an expression of love towards you. It shows how comfortable they feel around you.
They Put Their Nose On You
If you move close enough to your bunny with your face, a bunny that loves you will move their nose towards you and just rest their nose below yours.
This is one of the ultimate signs of affection and love as you’re so close to each other, face to face. We even give our bunny kisses on her head and you can see her reaching up for more and more kisses.
If you haven’t tried this, you should start kissing your bunny on the head to show even greater affection towards her.
They Are Calm
Bunnies are prey animals. Meaning they are generally always on alert for predators. This means sitting in a position where they can escape quickly or sleeping with their eyes open.
A calm bunny means they feel comfortable with you in the environment and have no need to be on high alert for predators since they can trust you.
They Fall Asleep Next To You
If they fall asleep next to you, they are incredibly comfortable being with you. This is one of the cutest ways a bunny shows their human love.
Snuggling up next to their human and dozing off. They’ll often be stretched out while they are being petted and sometimes if they are extra trusting and comfortable, they will be on their side.
They Click Their Teeth
You may think your bunny is having a tooth problem. But this is actually a sign of love and contentment. Just like a cat purrs when they are happy, a bunny will softly click their teeth. When you are petting your bunny next, make sure the room is quiet and you will be able to hear it.
They Sit On Your Lap
This is not something a bunny would normally do. Most bunnies do not like being cuddled or held as they have a prey like response. However, if a bunny really loves and trusts you, they will climb onto your lap while you pet them.
Sometimes, they’ll even reciprocate and groom you at the same time showing you affection in the process.
How Do You Get Your Bunny To Love You?
This takes patience and a lot of care towards your bunny. It can take months for a bunny to trust their human and become comfortable in their home environment.
Some may only take a few weeks. It all depends on the bunny’s personality. However, here are a few tips that can help the process of building trust and love with your bunny.
- Don’t keep them in a cage – bunnies need space to bink, stretch, and explore. Not only that, but it also allows them to get exercise and reduce the risk of obesity. Keeping them in a cage can make them feel trapped and cornered.
- Don’t frighten them – it’s important to not create any sudden loud noises as this will scare the bunny.
- Don’t pick them up – the vast majority of bunnies do not enjoy being picked up. They like having all four paws on the ground. Picking them up can cause unnecessary stress and make it seem like you are the predator.
- Talk and play on the floor – bunnies are much more likely to interact and come to you if you are playing with them on their level. Meaning lying on the floor.
- Give them treats – something we all know is the go-to method with all kinds of pets. Just make sure the treats you feed your bunny are safe. See a full list HERE.
- Give them toys – bunnies love to play and can get bored easily. Provide them with some fun and they will love you for it.
- Spend time with them – one of the most important aspects of owning a bunny. Interact and play with your bunny like you would a puppy.
If you recognise any of these signs, it shows that your bunny loves and cares for you. If your bunny isn’t showing these signs, it may take a little longer for them to warm up to you. Keep interacting and offering treats to show them you are not a predator and do care for them.