Are Rabbits Afraid of the Dark?

Are Rabbits Afraid Of The Dark

Rabbits can get distressed because of a lot of things. But the question is, are they also afraid of the dark?

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), rabbits are crepuscular animals. So to answer your question, rabbits are not afraid of the dark. This type of animal is most active during the dawn to help them hunt freely without attracting a predator.   

When it comes to domesticated rabbits, you can also notice that they are active during this time. They will also love to sleep in dark areas of their cage because they feel safer there. But before we go deeper into the discussion, you must first know your pet’s background.  

Rabbits in the Natural Habitat

Rabbits have been with humans for years now. They are one of the pet animals with good characteristics such as playfulness and affection. But before they become domesticated, rabbits live freely in the wilds. The University of Oxford says that wild rabbits were first tamed back in 600 A.D. by French monks. 

They are also originally hunted by humans to serve as livestock for people. But over the years they discovered that there is more to rabbits than their meat. These animals are very intelligent and lovable. Because of this they started to get curious and study more about rabbits. 

Rabbits are naturally herbivorous. Their diet is only rotating with the different grass and hays. In the wild rabbits will eat tree barks, crops, and plants. If they eat foods unsuitable in their body, they will experience digestive-related problems like diarrhea

Now it might seem easy for them to find this because plants are scattered all over the forests. However, one pitfall on being a rabbit is them being a prey. Rabbit’s life is in constant danger because predators are always hunting them. 

But for over a thousand years of existence of rabbits they have learned to adapt to their status as prey.  It allows them to survive in the wild even though they are usually some of the top choices for different predators. One way of doing so is to ensure they avoid going out when predators are often active.

Rabbits are Crepuscular  

One of the rabbit facts is that these animals are known to be more active when their predators are not. That time is during dusk and dawn or before the sun’s setting. This helps the rabbits to hunt for their food to survive every day. That is why they are also classified as crepuscular animals. Crepuscular animals have a better chance of survival because predators are mostly nocturnal or daytime hunters.

Due to their crepuscular behavior, rabbits also come out of their burrows to play and socialize with other group members during such times. However, when the sun is already high or set, rabbits quickly retreat to their burrows underground to sleep and rest or to eat whatever food they have in store.

Some people think that rabbits are nocturnal animals. But they are not. However, they do have great vision and senses during the dark. Unlike humans, who can have a total blackout, rabbits’ eyes can see a minimal shadow that moves in their surroundings. 

Rabbits can also sleep with their eyes open. They can do that because they have third eyelids that guide them to see any movement even if they are asleep. 

Your Rabbit Pet is Crepuscular Too!

Domesticated rabbits may not have been exposed to the constant danger of predators, but they still developed habits similar to their crepuscular ancestors. However, instead of staying active during dusk and dawn, they are more likely to be active during the early mornings and evenings.

They also love to roam around other than their cage. When you start to own a rabbit, you must consider its lifestyle. Even if they can survive by eating and sleeping, they need daily exercise like walking and jumping freely. 

The typical time for pet rabbits to wake up is dawn. They will stay active until the mid-morning.  During this time they should play with you or their mates because of how much energy they have. They may try to play with their toys or even run around the room shortly after eating to try to burn off whatever energy they have.  

Around the middle of the morning, this is where you will notice them becoming tired. It means it’s time for them to return to their cage or for food preparation.  Your pet will then sleep and rest soon after and will do so until early in the evening.   

More On Rabbit Facts: Rabbits Facts: The Common Question About Your Rabbits

How To Avoid Scaring Rabbits

Rabbits are not scared of the darks. However, they can also get distressed by this because of several reasons. 

Like in humans, your rabbit can get surprised if you try to spook them. If you also have other animals like dogs and cats, the rabbits can feel threatened by them if not introduced well. It’s inevitable for rabbits to get spooked, especially if their cage is placed in a dark area.    

Here are the things you can do to prevent this from happening:

  • Find a perfect area for the shelter of the rabbits. It’s ideal for putting it in a quiet place because rabbits are sensitive to loud noises. But do not seclude them because your pet will feel isolated. Ensure that they still have access to what is happening in their surroundings.
  • At night, to prevent your pet from suddenly getting spooked by you when you go near them, put a light bulb near the cage. Choosing dim light to mimic the natural light of the twilight sky is also advisable. 
  • Call their name while you approach them to let your pet know you are near them.
  • Give a chew toy to distract your pet from its surroundings. However, ensure that the toy you choose doesn’t contain plastic or other toxic content to avoid problems in your gut. You can also opt for natural chews like carrots and treats
  • Put a cover on their shelter at night to block your pet’s vision from noticing different things outside. Covering the hutch also protects them from harsh outdoor conditions such as the cold or during a storm where lightning flashes can scare them.

Key Takeaways

  • Rabbits are not afraid of the dark. They have a good vision of the dark, unlike humans. But not as good as nocturnal animals. 
  • Rabbits were first tamed in 600 A.D. by French monks. But before that, they are living in the wild as prey animals.
  • Rabbits are prey animals, which is why predators are always hunting them. But over the years, they developed behaviors to help them survive in the wild.
  • Rabbits are crepuscular animals, which is why they are active most during dawn and dusk. This also helps them find food daily.  
  • Rabbits can get spooked at night, especially if you surprise them. You must prevent this from happening because they can get easily distressed.
  • Here are the things to help you prevent spooking your rabbits; find a perfect place for their cage (quiet and safe), put a dim light near their shelter and turn this on at night, and call their name when you plan to go near them, give a chew toy to distract and put a cover in their cage at night. 
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