Do Rabbits Know When Their Owners Are Sad?

Pets are great emotional support animals, and the most common types that people keep are dogs and cats. However, any type of domesticated animal can be a source of comfort for its owner, including rabbits. Rabbits are good pets that require minimal care regarding their diets, exercise, and grooming, and in return, they prove to be loving and supportive animals. All of that is great, but do rabbits actually know when their owner is sad?

Rabbits can detect their owner’s sadness by sensing changes in body language and tone. They often respond to emotional and physical cues and mirror their owner’s attitudes and emotions. Consequently, it’s advisable to control one’s emotions when around rabbits.

Like dogs, rabbits also have keen senses. Even though rabbits are emotionally supportive, they also mirror emotions; therefore, sometimes, it is likely that your rabbit may become anxious when you are anxious or become sad when you are sad. Because of this reason, it is important to make sure your rabbit doesn’t absorb too many negative emotions from your side.

How Rabbits Recognize Sadness in Their Owners

Because rabbits can detect sadness in their owners, they may also become sad because of them. They recognize their owner`s words and tones and respond accordingly. For instance, when you use a singsong and happy tone with your rabbit, it would know that it is associated with positivity and pleasure. Similarly, an angry tone will make your rabbit fearful and still. Just like that, rabbits recognize sadness in their owner`s tone and may respond with affection or sadness.

There are several ways rabbits show recognition of sadness and depression in their owners, which include:

  • A decrease in activity. Rabbits are active animals, and when they are sad, they will show less energy and will spend more time sitting around in lethargy.
  • They will stop grooming themselves. When rabbits are depressed, they stop caring about self-grooming, and they may be found with dull, tangled coats of hair.
  • They will stop eating like they usually do.

It is fine to find comfort in your pet rabbit when sad, but it is also important to stay calm and act normal after a while because otherwise, your rabbit may experience depression, which can be hazardous it its health. 

These signs may mean that your rabbit is emotionally disturbed; however, they can also be signs of a more serious health issue. It is always best to contact your vet in the event you see drastic changes in your rabbit”s behavior and physical appearance. 

How Rabbits Support Their Sad or Depressed Owners

Rabbits can be a godsend for their owners if they have emotional problems of any kind. They have this magical ability to turn even the darkest day around for their owners. Many factors attached to living with a rabbit can help one feel less lonely or sad and keep their mind off negative thoughts.

Rabbits provide emotional support for their owners because:

1. Rabbits are Loving and Gentle Animals

Rabbits are docile and loving creatures. They don’t take a lot of time to bond with their owners and recognize their cues when trained. Rabbits enjoy cuddling but also do require some time before they are comfortable being hugged. This is because sometimes they might feel trapped in an embrace, and their prey instincts may put them off. Also, it is good to house more than one rabbit at the same time to keep them company and from getting lonely.

2. Rabbits Are Very Quiet

Rabbits are quiet animals and preferable when it comes to complaining neighbors.

Unlike barking dogs or meowing cats, rabbits only make a few squeaky sounds that are barely audible outside the confines of a room.

Also, if you like peace and quiet around you instead of hustle, these bunnies will not be a disturbance to your quiet lifestyle.

3. Rabbits Provide Long Term Emotional Support

Unlike other pets, including rats and cats, rabbits live for more than ten years, and it is easy to establish a long term relationship with them without despairing about their life spans. The additional benefit of rabbits being emotionally supportive means that one is able to have a cuddly therapist for a long period. 

4. Rabbits Don’t Require a Huge Time Commitment

Rabbits can live inside your home comfortably and do not require visits or walks outside like dogs. Since rabbits are small in size, hopping around is not a hassle for owners, and playtime is not a huge time commitment. 

5. Rabbits Don’t Take Up a lot of Space

Housing a rabbit is not difficult in terms of space. Their small size allows the owner to keep them easily in a small living space and carry them around too if they want to. Another advantage of a rabbit`s size is that unlike rats, they can`t go missing or become unable to be found. 

6. Rabbits are Easy to Train

Rabbits take between a few days and two weeks to learn how to properly use a litter box and are generally clean animals. Regular positive reinforcement can help them quickly learn the cues you want them to understand.

Because rabbits are low maintenance when compared to other pets. Rabbits make a good choice for individuals who like to have quiet company around and otherwise feel lonely. Caring for a rabbit may also put aside negative emotions as they would be engaged and busy dealing with their pet. 

Rabbits Show Affection When They Recognize Sadness

Rabbits are social animals, and if they aren’t given enough attention and time, they may become depressed. Therefore, an owner being depressed and unattached for long periods may cause despair for their pet rabbit. Your rabbit will be more attached to you if it perceives your time together is pleasurable.

Rabbits may demonstrate its affection towards a sad or depressed owner in the following ways:

  • He or she may nibble at you, but you will have to differentiate between a bite and a gentle nip. 
  • Like dogs, rabbits also enjoy scratching, and if they demand to be scratched, it means they love you and want to be treated the same way. 
  • If your rabbit lies down next to you and does it often, it means it likes you. Because being sprawled out delays running away from danger as it has to get up first, it means the rabbit trusts you and feels safe around you. 
  • If your rabbit licks you, it is a sign that it trusts and loves you. Licking is a part of grooming, and the rabbit believes you are part of its family, and it is its way of keeping you clean and well.
  • A rabbit may demonstrate affection when it circles around you or hops in the air when you are near along with flicking its ears. 

Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with your pet may bring about healthier changes in your daily life as well. Positive vibes attract more positivity; therefore, if you have had a bad day and don’t feel happy on a certain day, you may engage with your rabbit in playful and loving behaviors to uplift your mood. 


Rabbits are loving pets and can be therapeutic for their owners. They become more affectionate when they notice their owners being depressed or sad and will want to cheer them up. However, if they are exposed to sadness for too long, they may absorb it and become miserable themselves. Therefore, it is wise to find solace in your pet rabbit to a certain limit and trying to remain calm to keep a balance. 

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