View Full Version : Do you think Rabbits become attached to their Owner/s

24-09-2015, 10:39 AM
And if they do, does it make it more difficult for them to adjust to a new home/owner.

24-09-2015, 10:52 AM
In my opinion I'd say yes they do. Rabbit, like all other beings really, have feelings, so I do believe they do get attached. I know when I come in the room of my two babies, Bunbuns is always right there wanting to play or just a cuddle, and it's not because of food, she often still got stuff, she just wants to be close, and often it's followed by her licking my arm and hand for ages. I also have her laying under my desk most of the day, right on top of my feet, so I cant move (I work from home, so always in the room with them). Fluffy took a lot longer to adjust, I believe he got attached to his former home, but as he loves Bunbuns so much he is following her around all the time, therefore started to trust me a lot more. Now when I clean their stuff out, he's always next to me watching what I do, or when I sit on the sofa reading a book or so, he comes up to sit next to me. Furthermore, my partner who never feeds then, they always run over for a cuddle, and look out when they hear the voice, cause they know cuddles are coming. Looking at how they are, and how stroppy, especially Bunbuns gets when I don't spend as much time with her, I would say they do become attached.
With Fluffy, it was harder than with Bunbuns, as he already had a home before, but since he's not even a year yet... actually me may just have his birthday any day now, need to look at his papers... anyway, with him it took some time, but I do think if they feel loved, they love back. so harder probably yeah, but I do think they all do get attached. Just my opinion of course, but I think all beings are feeling, one whatever level, so I do think they feel, love and get attached.

24-09-2015, 10:59 AM
I think some rabbits can form a deep bond with their owners, but I think adjusting to a new home or owner more depends on their own personalities.

Out of our 4 bunnies, George, Harry and Hershel are just friendly loving bunnies and go to anyone for attention and cuddles, but Maggie is very much my rabbit. She is very shy and reserved with other people, it has taken my sister ages to get her to come to her.
So it would be easier to re-home George, Harry and Hershel than Maggie but I think if someone had the time to gain her trust she would be okay in the long run.

24-09-2015, 11:23 AM
In my experience, not really to be honest.

I get it with a lot of my boarders, their families really worried about them missing home etc.

Usually the family has barely driven away and the bunnies are tucking into hay and begging me for food, they certainly don't miss home as much as we would think they do.

When I recently took my 3 to boarding they were too busy investigating their new space and seeing what noms were on offer, they didn't even realise I had gone :roll:

24-09-2015, 11:24 AM
Yes, some Rabbits do form a very strong bond with a particular human care giver. Yes, in such a situation it would be especially stressful for that Rabbit to be rehomed. I know of three of my previous/current Rabbits who would not cope at all well with a 'stranger'.

24-09-2015, 11:32 AM
I can only speak of my own experiences, when I go to feed Milo and Finn in the morning they run up to the front of the enclosure and scratch and go crazy.

If for whatever reason it isn't me, for example the OH or my mam when we were in Florida, they always seem 'suspicious' that something isn't quite right and will sort of look and then run away before deciding if that person is ''ok''

I think that my two aren't so much ''attached'' to me, but do know who their main carer is and notice if the routine is different. x

24-09-2015, 11:40 AM
Having kept rabbits for over 30 years I believe they do become attached to their care givers. It also depends on the rabbit's personality. I have had the occasional ones who do not seem happy whatever you do for them, however you approach them. The majority have become very trusting and loving towards me. I had a Belgian Hare, Teak, who behaved like a dog. He would follow me around and look at me lovingly. Apparently when I went on hols and my friend came in to feed the buns, she said he looked so depressed all the time and ignored her. He was thrilled when I got home. Loved him so much. Bless him.

24-09-2015, 12:14 PM
Mine certainly keep away from anyone else feeding them for the first few days but I don't think that they are especially attached to me.

They like their routine.

I havent seen them for a few days as I am laid up with anxiety ... but I am told they are all fine (phew).

24-09-2015, 12:37 PM
Seems the general feeling is that it depends on the rabbit - and I do agree. As much as Bobo and Harley are not particualy human friendly towards us - I think they would not do well if re-homed as neither like strangers. And I think Cheyenne and Lenny would pine as well. Sheldon however is such a friendly and outgoing lad he'd have no problems settling into a new home. Holly settled in very well as did Prudhoe and both came from other homes as adults - the other buns came as babies so hadn't time to bond with anyone.

24-09-2015, 12:45 PM
Imo yes - me and Flo definitely have a bond! She is pretty wary of strangers. Whenever I go out into the garden she runs up to edge of the run to say hello! Anyone else and she is a bit cautious. She is slowly getting used to my house mates however, particularly when they have some carrot peelings to offer :lol:

24-09-2015, 04:09 PM
My two know that Matt's more likely to give them yummy food than me, so tend to follow him everywhere...! They'll come and see what I'm up to but soon get bored when I'm just trying to fuss them or do mundane jobs like clean out!

24-09-2015, 04:17 PM
In my experience, not really to be honest.

I get it with a lot of my boarders, their families really worried about them missing home etc.

Usually the family has barely driven away and the bunnies are tucking into hay and begging me for food, they certainly don't miss home as much as we would think they do.

When I recently took my 3 to boarding they were too busy investigating their new space and seeing what noms were on offer, they didn't even realise I had gone :roll:

I think this is a good point Catherine.

We like to think that our rabbits would not cope well if they were to be rehomed, but perhaps there is a lot of 'wishful thinking' here ;) I too have boarded and fostered hundreds of bunnies. They adapt remarkably well to caring owners, and once you get to know them, they get attached to you.

It's a case of we need them more than they need us, maybe?

26-09-2015, 02:49 AM
I think some rabbits may very well form a close bond with people.
Ive only ever had Poppy, and she has only been with me for 6 months but so far she is very much my bunny in action as well as in theory.
She seems to love me. She waits for me to come home from work, she is always sat by the babygate. She waits for me in a morning and runs to me for snuggles and food.
Initially i thought it was just food orientated, but when my fiancÚ wakes her up she runs away. When he tried to feed her she hides until he leaves. If he offers her a treat she won't come to him to take it! He's tried sitting in there with her and laying on the floor and has had no joy, she just sits in the farthest corner and stares at him til he goes away!
She runs away and hides from anyone but me.
She runs from my friends, she runs from gas men and builders and anyone else who comes in the house. No one has ever harmed her, tbh ive stepped on her more than anyone (accidentally)!
She loves me the most and the dog second... And that is about it with her lol

26-09-2015, 04:29 AM
I think they can get attached to humans, but not in the same way they can form bonds with other rabbits.

26-09-2015, 05:02 AM
I think it depends on the individual. Some do get very attached to their owners, some are fond of their owners but wouldn't be heartbroken if they got new ones, some just aren't people rabbits really but may tolerate people in order to get treats.

And then there's the fact that animals are usually pretty good at adjusting to changes - adapting is like the most important survival skill. Even rabbits that have lost a bonded partner usually bounce back to normal quickly, sometimes they don't even show any outward signs of sadness. So I don't think it necessarily means that they wouldn't miss us or prefer to stay with us.

I think they can get attached to humans, but not in the same way they can form bonds with other rabbits.

Makes me think that it's kinda the same with us. We can get attached to animals/our pets, but not in the same way that we form bonds with other humans. Nothing really replaces having your own species for companionship etc I guess. Although, I think having both other humans and animals is most ideal for us and other rabbits and humans is most ideal for rabbits.

26-09-2015, 09:12 AM
I don't think my four are attached to me. I think they recognise me and they like the food I bring them. I'm sure they are capable of attachment, though.

26-09-2015, 09:30 AM
Until I had my lovely Harry(my first bun)I didn't realise how deep a bond could be between a rabbit and human.When I brought food to him he wanted love,nose rubs and fuss first before tucking into his food even though he was bonded.My other buns are happy to see me especially when I have food but love their rabbit company first and apart from Brucie,wouldnt mind too much if someone else was feeding them and giving them fuss.
Having said that,when theyre at the vets they all snuggle up to me because theyre worried about being there!

26-09-2015, 10:37 AM
I think bunnies do become attached to their keeper/s and form rabbit/human bonds and as long as they go to equally caring new owners they will make new bonds. This is where the problem lies though - finding new owners who will care for them.

26-09-2015, 11:45 AM
I think the level of bond depends on the bunny. My Levi is definitely attached to me, he will give me licks on demand and he won't do this for everyone. Currently the bunnies are living at my parents with my dad being their main carer and he will also lick him so I think it's to do with who is the person that he sees the most (as you would expect, everyone forms bonds with people they spend a lot of time with) Daisy has never been a licker but I have seen how both bunnies behave when on the sofa with my friend sat at one end and me at the other. My intention was that it gave my friend a chance to have cuddles. But they were most definitely not interested in her. They spend their entire time at my end of the sofa climbing over/sitting on/sitting next to me. There was no food involved so it wasn't to do with food. Having said all that I also think they are fine when I am not there. I have no worries at all about leaving them in boarding and I don't think they miss me. But some weeks now I'll not see them for a week and a half and I was originally worried they would forget me with them being at my parents, and they definitely haven't. Levi will lick me no matter how long it is since I've seen them. I was quite surprised their memory lasts that long!!

Beau Belle
27-09-2015, 01:46 PM
My little Cookie is very attached to me - I think this is because she was very small when we got her, and I spent a lot of time with her just sitting on my chest and snuggling. I think she's grown up to see me as "mammy". I occasionally go to Sweden to see my family and she's left with OH, and we have noticed that she gets anxious/little bit stressed when I'm not around. The others couldn't care less 😃

28-09-2015, 02:26 AM
I think it depends on the bunny. My old bunnies I didn't really have a bond with but I've had Petra since birth and shes like my shadow when I'm at home. She's an only bun and an indoor rabbit and she loves humans (and the tortoise). My parents are both retired but when i get in at night she runs to the door to greet me and doesn't leave my side after that until bedtime regardless of whether i have food for her or not.

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28-09-2015, 03:46 AM
Thats a good question :?

My Stu my first bun has a very close bond with me as he was in the house for about 9 months and i was home off work for this time so he was with me literally 24/7 thru this time and he will seek me out if i am in the garden to say hello and not just for food :roll::lol: he would never go see what husband was up to unless he had the treat tub ;)

Rosie came to me after 2 years with Luna and whilst it has taken nearly 12 months with her inside for 6 of those but me at full time work, she is now outside with the boys and Pie, even she will now come to me in the garden and ask for head rubs without me having to bribe her with treats but it may be conditioning as when ever i go out i will rattle the box and call them all over for treat and fuss

everyone now comes to see what i have but only Stu sticks around if the treat tub isnt involved :love:

To this end i say Rabbits are like Cats - completely Fickle

28-09-2015, 11:17 AM
Both are very excited to see me after staying at the vets :lol: or once I leave them for a long period of time

Binky isn't really a people rabbit so she doesn't like snuggles etc and when she was at the vets she ate almost instantly so she would settle into a new home after a while aslong as she had the same amount of interaction, it would take her Atleast a year to get confident with a new person though as it took me ages to gain her trust, the only people she doesn't run from is me and the dog :lol:

Bella has such a strong bond with me, she was at the vets all day and refused to eat and she really wouldn't settle well with another owner (when we go on holiday they stay at home and we have family come in to feed & clean)
As a baby she was in the house with me all day keeping me company and I'd say she's more like a puppy than a rabbit!
She loves snuggles and giving kisses to me and like Binky she only likes me and the dog :lol:

Neither of them are ever going to new homes though, they're living their lives out here so they don't have to worry about new owners!

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28-09-2015, 04:58 PM
I have 3 buns staying here currently that belong to a friend who is on holiday. They've stayed before -but one is really hard work. He doesn't settle & getting him to eat is effort. He's actually better this time round than last time round, so maybe he remembers me from last time, but he was clearly stressed on Day 1. He's running to me now for treats - he didn't do that all week last time, so hopefully he'll settle quicker. His partner, is less concerned. I'm not trusted, but I feed her so she's accepted me to a certain extent.

The third is lovely & I'm trusted straight away:love:

Angie B
28-09-2015, 10:06 PM
I guess they do as ours don't like strangers - when the window cleaner goes to the run to say hi, they run off into the shed, and they do that when my sister visits as well and yet when we go to the run to say hi, they stay put. So I guess they know us and trust us, yes. Until I get the carrier down off the top of the hutch which is in the shed and then they run a mile from me ... :lol:

28-09-2015, 10:21 PM
Yes.. A 100% when it comes to our two!! I think it Really does depend on the rabbit and how much you interact with them! xx