Why Do Rabbits Like To Hide In Dark Places?

Why Do Rabbits Like To Hide In Dark Places?

Nov 22, 2021
12 min

Ever wondered why your rabbit hides in dark places? Is it because they enjoy dark places? Is it because your pet rabbit is feeling emo? In this article, we’ll expand on the possible reasons your pet bunny hides in the dark!

Like every other animal, the rabbit has a very peculiar and unique temperament. As a rabbit owner, you need to understand the needs and instincts of your pets in order to find out the reasons behind their behaviors.

Rabbits as Docile Animals

Perceived as docile and non-aggressive animals, many pet owners have found rabbits to be pleasant pets that are easy to handle. By nature, rabbits are extremely social, intelligent, and affectionate. However, from time to time, these lovely creatures could also be willful, bratty, vengeful, and destructive.

They can sometimes be a difficult bunch to understand, especially when they showcase confusing behavior such as hiding in dark areas, leaving many new rabbit owners scratching their heads.

How Often do Rabbits Hide in Dark Places

Hiding is a very common habit for rabbits. Every prey animals reacts differently to external stimuli. Some have a more prominent flight response, while the fight response is more prominent for others. Prey animals lean towards flight response more, even when stimuli or factors making them feel afraid or anxious may be internal.

Reasons Rabbits Hide in Dark Places

Seeing your rabbits always going into hiding in the dark may be for worrisome reasons or good signs.

Worrisome reasons

Here’s why you might be worried about your rabbit’s peculiar behavior:


1. Fear response as a prey

Don’t be surprised to see your bunny hiding because of fear. Feeling unsafe, which triggers fear, is the most common reason rabbits stay within their enclosure. Since they are delicate and vulnerable, rabbits don’t feel safe outside. Their act of hiding indicates that there is a certain environmental factor that is making them stressed out.


2. Feeling pain or discomfort

Common rabbit illnesses can lead to pain, discomfort, bloating, appetite loss, and dizziness. Your rabbits may run into hiding if they have any of these symptoms.


3. Stressed (rabbits are easily stressed)

Your rabbits may be stressed because they have experienced a big traumatic event such as being attacked by other pets or stepped on accidentally. It could also be because of smaller stressful elements such as noisy construction work.


Good signs

Your rabbit hiding in the dark is not necessarily always a bad sign!


1. Catching up on sleep

One of the reasons your rabbit could be hiding in the dark is because, like many of us, it needs its sleep! Due to their insecurity, they see themselves as vulnerable when resting. As a result, they tend to sleep with their eyes open (bunnies stay alert even during rest), causing them to be sleep deprived.


2. Relax

As your bunny might feel uneasy while outside due to how unsafe the environment may be, hiding in an enclosure could help them feel relaxed.


3. Need some time alone

Just like many of us humans, rabbits need their personal space, where they feel comfortable and secure too. This is why you may need to provide them with shelters or places to retreat when they feel tired, frightened, unwell, or in need of some quality alone time.

Is it a Worrying thing for Rabbits to do so? Is my rabbit feeling emo?

There are other signs you need to look for to determine the specific reason your rabbit likes to hide in the dark. Here are some guiding questions that could help you determine the reason for your rabbit’s desire to hide.



1. Are there any changes to the environment?

As prey animals, rabbits are extremely sensitive to even the smallest change in the environment. They’re easily stressed by external stimuli and also any changes in those stimuli, which could be a sign of danger when they’re in the wild.


2. Has your rabbit been around other rabbits recently?

Your rabbit’s peculiar behavior of hiding in the dark could be one of the signs that your rabbit is sick. You should know that being around other rabbits could lead to transmitted diseases. The three main diseases that can be transmitted from rabbit to rabbit include Myxomatosis (an illness caused by the myxoma virus), Viral hemorrhagic disease (a disease caused by a calicivirus), and Encephalitozoonosis (an infection caused by an organism called Encephalitozoon cuniculi or E. cuniculi).


3. Have there been new people or animals around your rabbit?

Rabbits can greatly be affected by new pets and people. They may feel insecure around new pets and people, and even see them as threats.


Is there a Need to Stop this Behavior?

Once you’ve identified the reason behind your rabbit’s behavior, here’s how you can proceed:


1. If your pet is stressed:

You can help your rabbit destress by keeping her occupied with treats and tricks which can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Learning new tricks can also boost your rabbit’s confidence. You should also keep tabs on your rabbit to see how it’s doing.

2. If your pet is sick:

Ensure that you seek immediate veterinary attention when you identify that your bunny is sick


3. If you are unsure:

It would be advisable to arrange for a visit to the vet. Even if it’s not a health issue, a visit to the vet could give you more insight into rabbit behavioral actions.


Here are some products you could get for your rabbit: 

Jolly Hay Mat for Small Pets (2 Sizes)
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Oxbow Pure Comfort White Bedding for Small Pets (2 Sizes)
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Nature’s Eco Recycled Paper Small Animal Bedding (2 Sizes)
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Mini Animan Tropical Fruits Mango For Small Pet 100g
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Alice Picnic Veggie Hay Cakes for Small Pets
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Oxbow Essential Adult Rabbit Food (2 Sizes)
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Oxbow Essential Young Rabbit Food (2 Sizes)
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To wrap it up, it’s important that you observe your pet. Seeing your bunny hiding in the darkness is a key sign your rabbit is unwell. So, it is up to you as an owner to observe and make the right decision for the next step

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