Understanding the various rabbit behaviors, their body language, as well as the various vocal cues, is very important in knowing what is wrong with it and how to best socialize with this pet well. One such behavior is hiding or sitting in one place for a long time.
Why do rabbits hide?
This is an instinct in rabbits because they are prey animals. While in the wild, they often hide in warrens that they dig. Some of the ‘messages’ or reasons why these pets may show this behavior include the following:
They are afraid or feel threatened
When threatened or afraid, these pets tend to hide. Various things could make them afraid including sight, noise or scent of their predators. A new pet, person or environment can also make you furry friend to be scared and want to run and be alone.
Expect your bunny to rapidly move to its hiding place in case it is scared, and the place should allow it to do so.
Also, always investigate what is causing the fear. Excessive fear can make these pets so stressed or even die out of fright.
They want privacy or stressed
Sometimes, the behavior is shown when a bunny wants to be alone i.e., have his or her own privacy away from social contacts of other pets or human beings.
Also, when stressed, this critter may want to be alone. Try to always find out what caused the stress and manage it.
Unwell if its hiding or sitting in one place
If you notice your rabbit hiding in a corner or sitting in one place for a long time. He or she is unwell. This behavior may be accompanied with them not eating among other symptoms. They hide because they feel vulnerable while unwell being prey animals.
Various illnesses including those that cause pain such as arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases, bloating, gas, among others may be the cause. Look for signs of pain such as hunched position, teeth grinding, aggressiveness among others.
Finally, call your vet for diagnosis and treatment. These animals are always active and sitting in one place indicates something is not well.
Note – some bunnies might hide during cecotrophy, and this is perfectly normal and it should not worry you.
Provide a hiding place
As we have noticed, this behavior is significant to this pet. We recommend you provide it with a hiding place where it can go and have its privacy.
Therefore, consider a small enclosed compartment in your hutch, hiding boxes, hideaway toys or tunnels. It should be large enough for your bunny to fit inside.
In case you house two or several bunnies together, provide several places they can escape to (each for a rabbit) as well as one large one where they can all fit inside.
Also, this place should have two entrances to avoid your bunny feeling trapped or prevent the dominant one from being aggressive or territorial to any subordinate that may be inside. The entrances and hideaways should be large enough to allow the largest rabbit you have to go through them.
Finally, this place should be away from the scent, noise or sight of predators as well as fast movements and other noises or distractions.
Any of the above reasons can make a bunny want to escape to a place where he or she can be alone. If you cannot figure out what is causing this habit, enlist the help of a vet.