Bunny behaviors that seem just plain weird to us usually make perfect sense to our rabbits. And to be fair, the opposite is probably true. Living with a rabbit demands adjustments from both you and your bunny and understanding the reasoning behind your rabbit’s weirder activities can make things a lot easier.
So, why does my rabbit follow me to the bathroom? If your rabbit follows you to other rooms as well, it probably just wants to be close to you and is curious about what you’re up to. A bunny that is specifically interested in the bathroom may like all of the possible hiding places there or have a territorial issue.
This article will delve briefly into the rabbit psych and lay out some of the most common reasons a rabbit may have for following you into the bathroom. We’ll discuss ways to discourage any negative issues associated with this behavior as well as whether or not your bathroom is a safe place for your bunny.
Bunny Loves You
First, take a moment to notice exactly how your rabbit follows you. Is it just a low-key, hippity-hop along, here I come? Is there excited circling or vocalizing involved? Does your rabbit always migrate to the same place in the bathroom or urinate once it’s there? These accompanying behaviors contain all the clues you’ll need to decipher your rabbit’s bathroom penchant.
The Curious Explorer
Rabbits are curious animals who want to thoroughly explore any area they can access. Your rabbit may be following you as an excuse to visit an area it doesn’t frequent, especially if the room is usually closed off or dark when you’re not using it. If your bunny just hops around checking things out once it’s in the bathroom, this is probably why it followed you there.
The Constant Companion
A rabbit may follow you around in a laid-back manner just because it wants to be near you. It likes you and may show its affection by flopping out next to your feet whenever you stop walking or sit down, inviting you to pet it.
For this bunny, the bathroom is no different than any other room. It may raise a fuss if shut out while you are inside because it thinks it needs to know everything that’s going on and doesn’t like being left out. If let in, it will do a little exploring or just sit and wait for you to be ready to leave again.
The Thwarted Suitor
Things can be a bit more complicated with an unneutered rabbit. Both male and female rabbits have a very high sexual drive. As fragile creatures near the bottom of the natural food chain, their instincts are to mate as quickly and often as possible to keep their species alive. If no other rabbits are available, a rabbit will try to court and mate with just about anything.
A hormone-driven rabbit will not only follow you everywhere, it may also hop circles around you, make excited grunting or honking sounds, and try to mount your leg or foot. This is your rabbit’s attempt to court you.
Although the instincts behind this behavior are natural, the circumstances are not, and this behavior can become increasingly obnoxious and difficult to deal with as your rabbit grows more obsessive and frustrated.
The best thing to do for everyone in this situation is to have the rabbit neutered or spayed. It may take up to six months after this procedure for your bunny’s hormones to balance out and the behavior to disappear, but it eventually will.
Bunny Loves Your Bathroom
If your rabbit doesn’t really follow you anywhere else but is particularly attracted to your bathroom, there’s something about the room itself that it likes or wants to investigate further. This is not that odd as bathrooms do contain several features that bunnies find extremely enticing.
Dark, Comfy Corners
Bunnies love to hide. Again, this goes back to their most basic instincts. A dark hole or corner feels safe and home-like to them—and bathrooms tend to have more than their share of crooks and crannies. Rabbits often gravitate to the narrow space behind the toilet or between the sink and shower—any tunnel- or den-like area.
While many rabbits are uncomfortable with hard or slick flooring, a rabbit may also be attracted to a soft or textured bathroom rug. It may claim the rug for a nap or scratch and dig at it. In the wild, rabbits spend much of their time rooting around and digging among leaves and grass. A soft fabric or rug is the next best thing in their opinion.
With a sense of smell twenty times more sensitive than ours, rabbits are constantly picking up scents that may be undetectable to a human. Some of these scents repel rabbits, while others attract them.
Naturally, rabbits are most attracted to fragrances they associate with food, like fruity, flowery, or herby scents. If you keep any fragrances, scented soaps and shampoos, sachets, or air fresheners in your bathroom, this may be what is drawing your bunny to investigate.
The bathroom is also an area of your home where your human scent is likely to be the strongest for your rabbit. If your bunny follows you into the bathroom and urinates on the floor, it may be trying to claim the room as its own. In some cases, simply providing a litter box in the bathroom takes care of this problem.
Some bunnies can become aggressively territorial, and a rabbit that tries to chase or push you out of the bathroom can be disruptive to say the least. If you notice that your bunny marks the room and occasionally grunts or lunges at you when you are in it, it’s best to nip this territorial aggression in the bud by banning bunny from the bathroom altogether.
Territorial behavior can also be moderated by having your rabbit neutered or spayed.
Food, Water, or Attention
A final reason your rabbit may be following you into the bathroom is that it wants something. If you’ve been busy or away, it may just want some attention—to be pet or played with. It may want a food dish refilled. If you are running water in the bathroom, your bunny may hear it and realize that it is thirsty.
Is Your Bathroom Safe for Your Rabbit?
Simply stated, the bathroom is not the best place for a bunny. This room is full of rabbit hazards like cleaners, hair products, and detergents which can irritate your rabbit’s skin and may even poison it if breathed or ingested.
Other hazards include the possibility of your rabbit chewing on a cord, ingesting toilet tissue or fabric, or accidently jumping into the toilet or tub. Rabbits also love to chew on cabinet corners and rugs, making your bunny a danger to your bathroom.
The best way to keep your bunny (and bathroom furniture) safe is to keep your rabbit out of the bathroom altogether. You can do this by simply keeping the bathroom door closed. However, if it’s impossible to keep your rabbit out of the bathroom, or you have other reasons for allowing it in, here are some precautions you can take.
- Keep all cabinets closed and block off any entrance to areas your bunny might get stuck, such as the space under a freestanding sink.
- Keep all cleaners, medicines, tissue paper, towels, hair products, soaps, and shampoos well out of your rabbit’s reach.
- Keep small items like hair ties, earbuds, or cotton balls off the floor.
- Keep cords and styling accessories off the floor or shut in a cabinet.
- Keep the toilet lid closed.
Besides following these precautions, it’s best to keep your bunny out of the bathroom while you’re using it. A bunny underfoot is a tripping hazard to you in a room full of hard surfaces, and your bunny is also in danger of being stepped on in this smaller space. Also take care not to spray any hair, cleaning, or deodorizing products while your rabbit is in the room.
Yes, it’s true, bunnies tend to be fascinated with exactly the areas we most want them to avoid, and their reasons can be a bit bewildering. Your rabbit may be so attached to you, it throws a fit at being shut out of any room, including the bathroom—and more than one bunny has decided to take over the bathroom and chase everyone else out.
Fortunately, with patience and attention, all of these issues can be dealt with without making you your bunny’s number one enemy. While it’s clear that the bathroom is not the best place for a bunny, if you decide to continue allowing your rabbit to follow you into the bathroom, you’re now equipped to see and deal with all of the possible bathroom hazards.