Have you ever wondered, “Do rabbits get scared of thunder?”
The short answer is a resounding yes! Rabbis are notorious for getting scared easily.
Any loud or strange noise can startle a bunny and cause it to scurry away to find a safe hiding spot.
Given their naturally jumpy personalities, rabbits can be terrified of thunderstorms.
It’s why you will need to comfort them and make them feel safe, especially during their first thunderstorm.
Are Rabbits Easily Scared of Thunder?
While it’s true that adult rabbits who have experienced many thunderstorms aren’t afraid of them anymore, younger ones can easily get started by them.
Any loud, continuous noise can make rabbits feel anxious and afraid.
If your rabbit is afraid of thunder, you will need to calm them down.
Over time, you can make them immune to the loud noise by comforting them.
Why Do Bunnies Get Scared Of Thunder?
Bunnies are prey animals, i.e., as per the cycle of life, they are chased by predators in the wild.
It’s why bunnies are hardwired to be sensitive to most sounds and have a natural instinct to remain alert.
This vigilance protects them from predators in the wild as they scurry away at the sound of the slightest threat.
It’s why sudden, loud noises, such as thunder can cause bunnies to remain on high alert.
When they cannot figure out where the noise is coming from, they can become fearful and anxious.
Rabbits that are kept in outdoor hatches face this problem a lot more than indoor ones.
It’s because they are exposed to outdoor surroundings and are closer to the loud noises.
They are not protected by walls that can protect them from the loud noise of thunderstorms.
Moreover, they can develop hypothermia if they get wet since their fur doesn’t dry off quickly. It’s why you should keep your pet bunnies indoors.
You will be able to keep an eye on them, protect them, and keep them calm them down during thunderstorms.
Sign That Your Bunny Is Scared of Thunder
During a thunderstorm, you must observe your rabbit and study its body language to figure out if it’s getting sacred.
It might take you some time to understand your bunny’s behavior, but it will help you calm them down.
Here are some common signs of fear you need to look out for:
An Alert Stance
If your bunny is scared, it will maintain a rigid body, with its ears pointed forward.
It’s rabbits’ way of remaining on alert so that they can run at the first sign of danger.
Your rabbit might also hide in its enclosure. Rabbits do that when they’re scared and want to escape danger.
Your bunny might poke its head out to see if the threat has gone.
Your bunny will start thumping its back legs to display its fear.
This particular action also acts as a warning for others around them to remain vigilant.
If your bunny is grooming itself excessively, it’s because of the stress from the booming noise of thunder.
It’s your bunny’s attempt to comfort itself.
Freezing in Place
Fear might cause your rabbit to become very still or flatten its body to the ground.
On the other hand, some bunnies will make themselves appear bigger by puffing up their fur and acing tough.
They might growl or scream when you approach them.
Other signs of fear include:
- Hysterically circling their enclosure
- Chewing on its bars
- Flattering of the ears against the head
- A hunched back
What You Can Do to Comfort Your Rabbit during a Thunderstorm
If your rabbit is exhibiting any of the aforementioned signs of fear, you will need to calm it down.
The most vital step is to remain calm. Your rabbit will eventually mirror your behavior and relax.
Here are some actions you can take to comfort your bunny and make them feel safe during a thunderstorm:
Stay by Your Bunny’s Side
Depending on how comfortable your bunny is with you, it’s best to stay by its side during the storm. Your presence might comfort your rabbit.
Sit next to or near your rabbit and remain calm to show your bunny that it is perfectly safe.
Gradually, your calm demeanor will teach your bunny that thunderstorms are not a threat.
Interact with the Bunny
If your rabbit recognizes its name, make sure to address it directly and comfort them. Tell them that everything is going to be alright and it’s just noise that will pass.
Keep your tone as calm and loving as possible. If you speak in a relaxing tone, your rabbit will pick up on that and calm down.
Depending on whether your rabbit likes human touch or not, you can try interacting further with your bunny. Sit next to it and give it lots of pets.
However, it’s better to let your bunny come to you. Once it does, give it relaxing back, head, and ear scratches.
If your bunny likes being held, you can try calling it to sit with you. But make sure to respect its boundaries.
Create a Cozy Hiding Spot
Your bunny will feel safe if it has a place to hide.
Make sure to create a dark hiding spot for them, such as layers of blankets to burrow under or a tunnel, which will make your bunny feel sheltered.
Make sure to keep their enclosure open as well.
Cover Your Bunny’s Ears
If your rabbit is comfortable with it, you can try covering its ears with your hands. It will reduce the external stimulus and keep them calm.
Speak softly to your bunny while you do this to comfort them.
You can also reduce the noise by keeping all windows and curtains closed. Move your rabbit to a secure room that’s away from the noise.
Use a white noise machine to block out the sound of thunder. Alternatively, turn on the fan to cut the noise. Put some soothing music on, such as classical music or calming nature sounds.
Distract Your Bunny
Try to distract your bunny by playing with them.
Hide yummy treats inside their toys for them to find so that they can create a positive association with thunderstorms.
Give your rabbits toys to chew on to kick in their natural instinct and distract them from the sound of thunder.
If you don’t have any such toys, give them old cardboard boxes, blankets, or wooden branches.
The Bottom Line
Some rabbits, especially young ones, will get scared during a thunderstorm. Your job is to keep them as calm as possible.
Give them their space, a hiding spot, treats, and talk to them gently. However, make sure that you don’t force them to come out of hiding or pick them up forcefully.
Also, make sure that you don’t blast loud music to reduce the sound of thunder. All of these things will add to your rabbit’s stress and fear.
Instead, put on some calming music and be patient, loving, and comforting to our bunny to help it calm down.
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