Understanding Leporiphobia: Fear of Bunnies (Signs, Causes, and Treatment)

Understanding Leporiphobia

Rabbits are cute animals that most people appreciate. That is why they have also become popular pets for years, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But it’s a different case for other people who fear rabbits. This phobia is called Leporiphobia.

For someone who experiences this condition, seeing a rabbit can cause anxiety. You need to understand leporiphobia, even if you love rabbits yourself, because some of your family members might have this condition.

To know more about leporiphobia, keep reading this article.

What is Leporiphobia?

Leporiphobia is a term used to describe people who fear rabbits. It’s an uncommon condition because most people love rabbits and their characteristics. But people can develop a phobia for several reasons, such as traumatic experiences. 

Like other phobias, the fear of rabbits can be treated with the right assistance from professionals. 


What Is A Phobia? 

A phobia is a general term used to describe people afraid of certain things. It is a type of anxiety disorder, which is why when a person develops a phobia, they panic and build irrational emotions. 

You need to understand that phobias should not be overlooked. Some things might not be threatening to you, but to people with a phobia, they can cause health risks. They overthink that the things that make them afraid will harm them, which is not good for their mental health. 

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Signs of Leporiphobia

One of the most common signs you can notice in people with leporiphobia is the immediate fear reaction when they see a rabbit. Some people don’t like to be near pet animals, but overreacting to getting away from the rabbits as soon as possible indicates a phobia.

It’s not ideal to judge people who fear rabbits because it results from bad experiences, probably when they were young. Their encounter with rabbits differs from yours, so if you think they have a phobia, do not bring them near it.

Other signs to look out for:

  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Breathing Hard
  • Nervousness
  • Body Shaking
  • Hand Trembling
  • Excessive Sweat
  • Fainting

Causes of Leporiphobia

Childhood trauma

According to a Mayo Clinic article, specific phobias like the fear of rabbits develop because of a direct experience resulting from a traumatic event. The situations have a lasting effect on people, so they fear encountering the same thing again.

This commonly happens during younger years because children’s ability to absorb emotions is so strong, and they cannot handle such emotions. So when they encounter a bad experience, it can be instilled in their mind until they age.

Accidental Bites

Rabbits are friendly animals, but they can also become aggressive if they feel threatened. This is a natural response for them to defend themselves. It’s important to note that rabbits are sensitive creatures. They don’t like feeling vulnerable because they are prey animals, meaning that they are constantly at risk of being attacked by predators.

Additionally, rabbits don’t enjoy being picked up. When you have a rabbit as a pet, it’s not advisable to touch them whenever you want as they may bite you. Phobias can develop even in adults, especially if they cause a significant amount of fear. This is one of the reasons why people may fear rabbits – they may have experienced an accidental bite. To prevent this, it’s important to be cautious when around any pet, particularly if they have an aloof personality.


Some studies suggest that phobias could be genetically transmitted. Meaning if one of your family members has a phobia, there is a possibility that they can pass it down to their offspring. 

Ideally, you must know important information and the root cause of the phobia to help you handle the stress whenever you see the things that make you anxious. 

Or even if you don’t have one, if one of your family members suffers from it, you can help them understand their phobia. Although the best thing to do is go to the doctor and ask everything about the condition. 

Triggers of Leporiphobia

Just like any other phobia or anxiety, there is usually a trigger that leads to the development of fearful feelings. Each person may have different triggers and reactions, and depending on the root cause, it can pose a significant risk if not addressed immediately. To help you better understand, here are some common triggers for people with leporiphobia.

  • Seeing a picture of rabbits. Or watching movies with rabbits
  • Seeing a rabbit in person, even in a cage or captive.
  • Hearing rabbit sounds.
  • Thinking of the image of the rabbit.  

Treatment of Leporiphobia

The National Health Service states that common phobias don’t always require treatment. Exposure to what causes fear is often enough to overcome it, but the severity of anxiety can vary.

Anxiety and fear should be taken seriously, so it’s important to assess your own ability to handle them or seek guidance from an expert.

Self-medicating is not recommended, especially if you have extreme fear or anxiety related to rabbits. It’s best to seek professional help immediately.

Treating phobias can be challenging, and it usually involves multiple sessions as the phobia may resurface. The key is to keep fighting for yourself or your loved ones if they have a phobia.

Key Takeaways

  • Rabbits are some of the most popular pets today. They have nice personalities that make them a good human companion. But some people develop a fear of rabbits, and this is called leporiphobia. 
  • Leporiphobia is a term for people who fear rabbits. It is developed for several reasons and can be alarming if not treated early. It is also uncommon to occur in people, unlike other phobias. 
  • Different types of phobias exist. It is also an anxiety disorder, so it must not be overlooked. 
  • Signs of Leporiphobia: Panic, Fear, Rapid Heart Rate, Breathing Hard, Nervousness, Body Shaking, Hand Trembling, Excessive Sweat, and Faint
  • Causes of Leporiphobia: Childhood trauma, Accidental Bites, and Genetics
  • Treatment for Leporiphobia can be a challenge. You need to ask for professional advice and mediation to help you overcome the fear. But in some cases, a mild phobia can be treated by just exposing yourself to rabbits. 
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