Who Says Rabbits Lack Personality and Spunk?

She notes that many people try to play with a rabbit too quickly after the animal arrives, which can often frighten a rabbit even more. “This is a prey species that takes a while to settle down and learn that you are not a predator,” she says. “The best way you can convince the animal that you are not a predator is to stop acting like one — you want to be laid-back and let your rabbit come to you.”

Fabian has also found that getting down on the floor, and letting the rabbit make the first approach, can help with forming a bunny bond. “Talk gently to them, and when they are comfortable, they’ll circle you and lick your face,” she says.

When their rabbits are stressed about something, Gorman sings to them to calm them down. “They prefer low-register singing, like Elvis or Johnny Cash, because the reverberations soothe them,” he says.

“A wonderful thing to do, especially if you have children, is to sit on the floor and read to the rabbit,” says Cotter. She advises telling kids not to touch the rabbit in the beginning. Read out loud to the rabbit for the first few weeks in the new home, so the rabbit gets a feeling of calmness and connects to the sound of your voice. “If you do that for a while," she explains, "you earn the rabbit’s trust.”

And once you've earned a rabbit’s trust, that's when the fun really begins. So work on your rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” grab a copy of Pat the Bunny to read out loud — and start getting to know your new, long-eared housemate.


J.D. Biersdorfer writes about computers for The New York Times and is the author of iPad: The Missing Manual and several other books from O’Reilly Media.

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