My bunny follows me around. But here’s why there is such much meaning behind that…
It’s 6 AM on a Saturday morning and I’ve just rolled out of bed to start my day. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I hear the pitter-patter of little paws hot on my heels. My devoted bunny, Dexter, is already wide awake and ready to follow me wherever I go.
As I stumble sleepily to the bathroom, he trots along next to me, occasionally darting in front to cut me off and get my attention.
His nose twitches inquisitively as he looks up at me with his big brown eyes. No matter where I turn in the house, Dexter is never far behind, shadowing my every move.
This tendency to closely follow their owners is a common behavior in domestic rabbits.
As social creatures, bunnies have an instinctual need for interaction and companionship.
They are at their happiest when they can be around loved ones. Without proper attention and bonding time, bunnies can become stressed or even depressed.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the main reasons pet rabbits follow their owners from room to room.
We’ll also provide tips on how to handle this natural but sometimes problematic behavior, so you and your bunny can happily hop along together.
Reasons Bunnies Follow Their Owners
They Crave Your Attention
Bunnies are highly social animals who need regular interaction and bonding time with their human families.
When a bunny follows you around persistently, it’s often because they are craving more of your attention and want to be petted, played with or fed.
Signs that your bunny wants attention include nudging your leg with their nose, tugging at your clothes or shoelaces, jumping up into your lap unprompted, or running figure-eights around your feet.
They know that engaging with you in these ways will get your attention and lead to pets and cuddles.
They Want To Explore
Bunnies are naturally very curious creatures who love to discover new spaces. Following you into different rooms allows them to explore new areas of the house that they can’t access on their own.
Your bunny may dart ahead of you or lag behind to thoroughly investigate each new space. Leave interior doors open when possible so they can satisfy their curiosity without needing to shadow you at every turn.
They See You As Their Mate
Once bunnies reach sexual maturity around 4-6 months old, some unspayed or unneutered rabbits may see their human owners as potential mates. Circling your feet, grunting, and chasing after you are common mating behaviors.
To curb hormonal behaviors, it’s important to get your bunny spayed or neutered. This will reduce unwanted advances and also has health benefits like preventing uterine cancer.
They Need Exercise
Following you around the house provides bunnies with physical activity and mental stimulation. As active animals, bunnies need at least a few hours per day of exercise time.
Make sure your bunny has enough space to run and play. Provide toys like tunnels, cardboard boxes, and chews to prevent boredom. Try rewarding your bunny with treats in a food puzzle or hide treats around their space to motivate movement.
What To Do If Your Bunny Follows You
If your bunny is constantly on your heels around the house, here are some tips for handling this natural but sometimes problematic behavior:
Give Them Plenty Of Attention
Set aside dedicated daily play and snuggle time to interact with your bunny one-on-one. Gently pet them, offer treats by hand, and speak softly to reassure them when they seek your attention.
Try To Ignore The Behavior
If your bunny exhibits mating behaviors like circling or grunting, ignore them and walk away to discourage this conduct. Be patient and consistent – reinforcing the behavior will make it worse.
Adjust Their Environment
Ensure your bunny has adequate space to run and play. Provide toys to keep them engaged. Let them freely and safely access bunny-proofed areas of the home so they can satisfy their natural curiosity.
Consider Getting A Bunny Companion
Bunnies are happier and less prone to attention-seeking when they have a proper bonded companion. Another bunny provides social interaction and companionship when you are away.
In summary, domestic rabbits often follow their owners around due to their social nature and desire for attention, exploration, exercise, and bonding.
While sometimes annoying, this behavior comes from a place of devotion. With proper care and training, you can redirect your bunny’s habits and strengthen your special bond.
My own bunny Dexter took some time to adjust to a proper routine with scheduled playtime and a bunny friend introduced for companionship.
Though he still shadows me on occasion, meeting his needs for social time and mental stimulation keeps unwanted trailing to a minimum.
I’ve come to find his loyalty endearing and enjoy his wiggling nose greeting me each morning.
With a little patience and understanding, you can hop happily together with your faithful bunny too!