Do Rabbits Like To Be Petted, Cuddled And To Be Held?

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by

Who wouldn’t want to cuddle up to their lovely, fluffy bunny? People love to hold their pets. But, do rabbits like to be petted, held or to cuddle? Well, rabbit petting is what we are going to talk about on this page!

Rabbits Do Love To Be Petted and Cuddled … But Not All Of Them

Most rabbits do love to be cuddled. You will need to do it the ‘right’ way (more on that soon), but they absolutely love to be picked up, petted and cuddled. However, do bear in mind that rabbits are individuals.

They each have their own personality. As a result, some of them will absolutely loathe being cuddled. Many people seem to forget that rabbits are prey animals. If they are not used to being picked up, or you do it the wrong way, then they are going to get scared.

do rabbits like to be held and cuddle

The vast majority of rabbits who enjoy being cuddled will have been picked up by their owners from a very young age. You may find that an older rabbit may be a bit timid and you can’t ever hold them properly.

You may also find that some rabbits do not like to be held by strangers. This is down to the whole being prey thing. However, as we said before; whether a rabbit likes to cuddle will be down to the individual personality of your animal. This is something that you will need to learn.

Rabbit Petting -Do Not Cuddle Too Tightly

This is something which children tend to do. It is important that you do not squeeze the rabbit when you are holding them. This will make them scared. It will make it less likely that they will want to be held.

See also: Are Rabbits Good Pets For Kids?.

Make Sure That You Stroke Them Properly

This is important. The only place that you should be putting your hands on the rabbit will be the forehead and on their back. You will also want to ensure that you are stroking along the fur. Do not stroke against it. This is going to cause pain for your rabbit.

You will also very quickly discover that there are certain parts of your rabbit which they hate being touched. For example; the vast majority of rabbits will not be fans of people who stroke underneath the chin or on their feet (more on that soon) .

However, as we have stated several times on this page; rabbits are individual. It is up to you to determine what your rabbit likes or hates. You will learn very quickly. If your rabbit doesn’t like something, then it will make sure that you know.

How To Approach Your Rabbit

If you want to ensure that your rabbit is comfortable with the idea of being held, then you need to learn how to approach them properly. Always make sure that you approach the rabbit from the side.

Do not approach them from behind. This will terrify them. Make sure that you support the rabbit as you lift them up. You will need to have a firm grip. Sometimes, the rabbit will be scared, and if you do not have a firm grip you could injure their spine, or drop them.

rabbit petting - do rabbits like to be held and cuddle

Rabbits May Not Want To Be Held When Shedding

It is worth noting that when a rabbit is shedding, it is unlikely that they will want to be held. They tend to get a little bit feisty. This is because their skin is going to be incredibly sensitive. The best thing you can do when a rabbit is shedding is to not touch them.

The only time that you should be touching them is if you are grooming them with a soft brush (they love this!). This does mean a week or two without cuddling up to your rabbit, but we are sure that this is going to be fine for you.

Do Rabbits Like To Be Picked Up?

Rabbits don’t trust easily, and none of them like being lifted as they equate this with being caught by a predator. Being picked up can vary significantly from one bunny to the next. In other words, there’s no single “best” way to go about picking up an uncooperative rabbit.

Most rabbits don’t like being picked up. I had this same issue with my bunny as well. However there are things that you can do to make your rabbit love being picked up.

How To Pick Up A Rabbit And How To Hold It

Rabbits can be handled generally the same way as cats, just more gently. Never pick up a rabbit by the ears. You need to deal with them fairly and with much love. They do not like being lifted out by the ears or the skin behind their neck. You should do it with one hand below the lower body part and the other under the breast.

They must always have a support beneath them, because they need to feel confident. Support their stomach with one hand, and their bottom with another. You can put their bottom in your elbow, and some of them like to nestle their head in to the area between your arm and your side. That is what my Lionhead rabbit wants to do. Once you get comfortable, there are many ways to pick up the rabbits.

Petting my Rabbit

Petting a Rabbit – Where Do Bunnies Like To Be Petted?

Over time, especially if you spend time on the floor, on the rabbit’s level, the bunny will likely allow you to pet him.

  • Areas they like: Forehead, back over the ears, the sides of the head.
  • Stay away from: the back, stomach, paws and tail.
Rabbit Petting Spots do rabbits like to be held
Rabbit Petting Spots

Most of the rabbits don’t like having their tails or the undersides of their chins touched. Their feet and bellies are also pretty sensitive, so should as a rule only be handled or touched when necessary. Of course, there will always be the exceptional rabbit who loves being stroked on her tummy!

So, there you have it. If you were looking for the answer to the question “do pet rabbits like to be cuddled?“, the answer is a resounding “yes“. Although, do make sure that you take precautions when you are cuddling the rabbit. Also, do remember that not every rabbit will like to be cuddled. You will need to learn the temperament of your pet rabbit to know what it likes.

See also: Things TO Know Before Getting a Pet Rabbit.