One of the most commonly asked questions on the internet is, “Can rabbits watch TV?” If the answer is yes, what do they see on the screen?
Rabbits are social animals who need to always stay active, but when they snuggle beside us to watch TV, it defeats the purpose of what they should be doing. But don’t get this wrong, it’s nice to indulge them a little. Besides, who could ever deny them what they want?
Do you ever get curious about what your bunny sees when it joins you to watch your favorite TV show?
Luckily, we’re here to provide answers to any burning questions you may have regarding entertaining your rabbit.
Can rabbits watch TV? What do they see when watching TV?
Rabbits are far-sighted. They can’t see nearby objects but can still see in 360 degrees and they recognize a human’s voice, smell, and body movements, which means a rabbit can watch TV as long as the noise is reduced to the barest minimum because they have sensitive ears.
So what do rabbits see on the screen? Rabbits perceive colors in green and blue, and their vision is quite grainier, which is different from humans who see in different colors. To a rabbit, TV is mentally stimulating as they can perceive moving images and your attention on your show means it’s grooming time for them.
A rabbit might lie beside you even when she doesn’t understand what’s going on on the screen. Your rabbit gets bored after a while of staring at the screen and might give you a little bite—also known as nipping—if you pay no attention to her. She could also completely ignore the TV.
However, the good thing is, TV can be a great time to show your bunny that she’s adored by petting her, and if that’s what you do, she could pretend to enjoy what you’re watching for a while, because of what she’s getting from you.
So, while TV spells entertainment for you, it could mean attention or petting time for a rabbit.
Should I turn on the TV for my rabbit?
Turning on the TV should never be substituted for human attention because your rabbit needs the latter. Yes, they find these shows interesting and stimulating so much that they have a favorite one, but that doesn’t mean you leave them to it.
On another note, a rabbit who is always focused on TV needs a visit to the vet because healthy rabbits don’t just lie on the couch and watch movies. They’re not humans!
The bottom line is this: there’s nothing wrong with a rabbit watching TV, but you have to be there for them.
What content is safe for them to watch?
One thing you should never do is watch terrifying movies with a bunny. Like we always say, they’re prey and your exhibition of fear places their senses on high alert, so your rabbit might feel someone or something is out to get her.
Listen, there’s nothing wrong if you love horror movies, but not with a rabbit.
The second thing on the list of things you should never watch is wildlife documentaries. Although your rabbit could be fascinated if another rabbit shows up on the screen, remember that wildlife animals might be scary for your rabbit to watch, and anxiety is never a fun thing for a rabbit.
Finally, soap operas are boring. For one, she has no idea of what’s happening on the screen. A safer option is to watch cartoons or music videos because the scenery keeps changing and that might interest a rabbit, maybe for a few minutes.
But always remember, even when it’s safe to watch, do everything in moderation.
Can a rabbit be terrified of moving images on the screen?
A rabbit could start to develop anxiety if she sees a predator on screen. Over time, she would hate you watching TV and show her displeasure by turning back and flicking her legs at you.
What you can do here is reassure your rabbit that she’s safe, and try to watch something that wouldn’t terrify her.
What do rabbits do when bored?
If your pet is bored, what are some surefire signs to know and, if you do, how can you help her out?
- She spends most of her time eating. If your rabbit eats a lot, then she’s bored, but you can help a little here by reducing the hay because if she keeps eating too much, that could lead to obesity and can, later on, cause heart problems.
- Overly grooming themselves. We all know that rabbits are self-groomers though you need to help them with it. If your rabbit is bored, then she does this activity at an extreme level, and too much hair in the stomach can cause hairballs and affect their health.
What can you do about this? How can you make sure your rabbit stays active and lively?
Ways to help a bored rabbit:
- Make sure their hutch is big enough. A general rule of thumb is that a rabbit’s hutch should be three to four times bigger than the rabbit’s body size. The reason is this: a small hutch prevents your rabbit from moving around, and when they have a limited set of things to do, they get bored over time.
Remember what we said about a bunny who does nothing but sit in front of the TV? It means she’s bored or has health issues, so the first thing is to make sure they have space to move around. A normal bunny hops around and digs through things. Don’t place a limit on what your bunny can and cannot do.
- Toys. If you haven’t gotten your bunny toys, now is the time to do so. They need it to toss around and play with, and we’ve mentioned the health benefits of a good one: it helps in grooming their teeth.
There’s no way of escaping toys for your bunny because they need them.
- Make them dig for their food. On some days, you have to spice things up, and that’s where we have this. Create cardboard boxes in a way that resembles a cave and scatter some treats to make them move around.
Another idea is to put pellets in their hay and make them dig for them. Think about more things to get your rabbit more active than ever.
What makes rabbits happy?
- Their home. Always make sure it’s safe and spacious. Nothing makes them happier and freer than having a place to move around and a home safe from predators.
- Food. Rabbits love eating, so provide enough hay, vegetables, and water and you’re good to go. Also, don’t forget some treats or pellets to add to the mix.
- Attention. Give your rabbit enough attention without scaring her. Make her feel like she’s loved in the world and she’ll be happy.
- Spay or Neuter. This is to avoid aggression, so make sure you do this before they are a year old. It reduces health problems and also makes them happy.
- Introducing another bunny. For pet parents of more than one rabbit, we understand that this is hard and it takes time because bunnies are territorial animals and would like to prove who is the dominant one, but with time, your bunnies might start to tolerate each other, eat and play with their toys together, groom each other, stay active and happy!
If there’s anything you take away from this article, it’s this: TV is not for bunnies, and even when you allow it, it should never replace human attention.
Choose shows that are fun and less terrifying. Don’t get your rabbit too comfortable with the TV, and always strive to create a balance between that and what your rabbit does to stay active. Start thinking and creating new ideas, because this was all meant to be fun!