Beds are not the best place for rabbits for numerous reasons, but try telling that to a rabbit. Many house rabbits will figure out how to jump up on the bed at some point and discover that they like it up there. Once a bunny starts jumping on the bed, it can be hard to discourage.
So, why does my rabbit keep jumping on my bed? They may be jumping up to be close to you or to claim the bed as their territory. Some, unfortunately, may be inclined to use your bed as a litter box or dig in the bedding. Rabbits like soft, comfy places as much as we do and may see your bed as the epitome of luxury.
This article will take a deep dive into the workings of little bunny brains that can lead to their obsession with your bed. We’ll follow up with a few reasons why you may not want to encourage this behavior and some tips on how to stop your bunny from jumping on your bed.
All Things Belong to Bunny
Although rabbits are often associated with timidity and silence, anyone who’s had one in the house can attest to the fact that they actually rule the roost. They are very good at getting what they want and going where they please. Jumping on the bed may be your rabbit’s way of getting close to you, letting you know it wants something, or expanding its territory.
Your Rabbit Wants to be Near You
One of the more obvious reasons your bunny keeps jumping on the bed is that it wants to be near you. Rabbits are social animals that love companionship. If you often sit on your bed or lie on it to read or work, it’s completely natural for your bunny to want to join you there.
Rabbits are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. And where are you most likely to be at these times of day? For many of us, it’s our beds. Your rabbit is wide awake and ready for fun about the same time you’re waking up or winding down to sleep. It may join you on the bed to get you to pay attention and play with it.
Your Bed is Comfortable
Just like us, rabbits enjoy a soft, cozy place to relax. In their natural, outdoor habitat, this would be a shallow nest lined with dry grass and fur for babies. Adults relax in underground burrows and the grassy or leafy hollows of their meadow or forest homes. A bunny that has decided to relax in the cushiony blankets of your bed will not hesitate to flop out and make itself comfortable.
Your Rabbit is Claiming Your Bed
Rabbits are curious and constantly exploring. You may also notice that as they grow comfortable in a new area, they will begin to run their chin over various objects. This is your rabbit’s way of claiming the area by marking it with its scent. It may also mark its territory by urinating there—which is bad news for your bed.
To a rabbit, your bed smells strongly of you, intimating that it belongs to you. A rabbit that is constantly jumping on the bed, especially if it is also rubbing its chin on the covers or peeing there, may be trying to make sure that you and everyone else knows the bed is actually bunny’s.
Fabric is Fun
Rabbits love to rummage and dig. It’s a big part of what keeps them occupied in the wild. Normally, they would dig through leaves, dirt, and undergrowth. In your home, blankets and fabric are the next best thing. Your bunny may jump on your bed because it wants to dig in all of the soft, rumpled blankets and sheets.
Female rabbits especially can become obsessed with digging in blankets. Their instincts are telling them that your bed is the perfect place to dig a nest for babies. Along with the digging, you may notice your bunny pushing the wrinkles out of your bed with its front paws. This is how it would spread and smooth the dirt away from its nest if it were digging an actual hole.
Although this behavior can be super cute, bunnies can be very protective of their perceived nests. You may notice your bunny grunts or scratches at you if you try to dissuade it. It’s best to stop this behavior as soon as it begins and before your rabbit has become too attached to its project.
Nice, Soft Litter Box
Even worse, a rabbit may view your bedding as a nice, soft litter box. Even a bunny that is otherwise well-trained may occasionally decide to do its business in your bed. This may be territorial, or it may simply be due to the fact that fabric is soft and scratchable, similar to leaves, woodchips, and litter, all things your rabbit wouldn’t think twice about urinating in.
Bunny Wants Something
A bunny that is constantly jumping on your bed early in the morning or late at night may be letting you know that it wants something. Since rabbits are most active at these hours, this is also when they are most inclined to eat, play, or be affectionate, and they often have no qualms about bouncing you out from under the covers to serve them.
Rabbits are known for being a bit greedy when it comes to food. Once reason your bunny may be jumping up on your bed, especially in the morning or evening, may be that it wants more food. Don’t feel obliged to give in to this request.
Rabbits can suffer from health issues related to obesity if they are overfed, so it’s best to determine what constitutes a healthy amount of pellets and veggies for them and stick to that amount as long as they are thriving. Hay and fresh water, of course, should always be available.
A rabbit may also jump up on your bed because it wants some pets and snuggles. It will often let you know that it is feeling affectionate by nudging you or making excited humming or teeth grinding sounds.
A New Place
Finally, your bunny may just be exploring. Your bed is an interesting place, set apart from all the floor space the rabbit has already explored. Bunnies are curious creatures who need lots of space. This curiosity may lead them to return to the mysterious bed even if they are removed from it over and over again.
Beds Aren’t for Bunnies
While a bunny snuggled in your blankets may be cute for a little while, there are a few reasons you may wish to discourage your rabbit from jumping on your bed.
1. For most rabbits, jumping on and off the bed is not dangerous. However, being on the bed while you’re asleep is unsafe as you could inadvertently roll onto them or kick them off.
2. Secondly, there is the issue of your rabbit marking or using your blankets as a litter box. Not nice.
3. Finally, a rabbit digging around in your blankets may partially destroy them and ingest some of the fabric. This can lead to a life-threatening blockage in your rabbit’s digestive system that may need surgery to be corrected.
Tips for Keeping Your Rabbit Grounded
If your rabbit is using a cushion, laundry basket, or some other item as a stepstool, keeping it off your bed may be as simple as rearranging your room. Bunnies are natural jumpers, however, so your strategy may need to start with why your rabbit is jumping on your bed in the first place.
If your rabbit wants to be near you, sit on the floor or a low cushion rather than on your bed. Don’t pet or snuggle your rabbit when it jumps up on the bed for attention and don’t feed it treats. Instead, move your rabbit to the floor and wait for a few minutes before giving it what it wants.
If your bunny wants to mark your bed or use it as a litter box, pick it up each time it jumps on your bed and place it in the litter box instead. Most bunnies prefer not to be picked up at all, which may help discourage this behavior. Getting your rabbit spayed or neutered can also decrease territorial marking or nesting behavior.
Finally, you may need to shut your rabbit in a separate room or pen during the night to keep it from jumping onto your bed while you’re sleeping or waking you too early in the morning with its demands.
Once your bunny has its heart set on jumping on your bed, it may be astonishingly persistent and charming about getting what it wants. Set your boundaries, stick to them, and enjoy plenty of cuddles and treats when your rabbit is behaving itself and staying close to the ground.