Is the rabbit an affectionate animal?
Julie Lambert, Paris, France
01 – An animal first
You have bought a rabbit and it never comes to see you. You treat him like a king, with a mountain of hay and a variety of vegetables. Despite all your efforts, you have the impression that your rabbit does not like you. This is not necessarily the case, as rabbit behaviour is very complex. First of all, you should not forget that in the wild, rabbits are prey for other animals. So even if your rabbit is a domestic animal, it is still an animal with a very strong instinct and a natural distrust.
02 – A question of character and personality
Moreover, like all animals, your rabbit has its own character and personality. A rabbit may be very curious and friendly, or on the contrary it may be distrustful and fearful. This behaviour is totally up to him and is almost impossible to change. Of course, over time, it is possible to build up a trusting relationship with your rabbit and even though he will probably not spend hours on your lap while you pet him, he will feel comfortable at your side, sharing your home and welcoming your arrival with a good meal of vegetables.
03 – Demonstration of affection
Rabbits have a habit of licking their fellows. This is both an important element of social bonding and a hygienic element of grooming. So your rabbit will probably want to lick you from time to time. You can think of it as kissing, but it is mainly to leave its scent on you and to show you that it accepts you into the pack and shows its respect and affection for you. The rabbit may also come to you when he has not seen you for several hours to show you that he has missed you. In conclusion, yes, in its own way the rabbit is an affectionate animal that will return the love you give it.