Instead of sleeping, you often see your bunny moving their bed around.
They seem so focused on it.
And they also look like they’re into some kind of a mission.
So, what is it?
And is this normal?
Continue reading to discover:
- 11 amazing reasons why rabbits move their bedding.
- Whether they have preferred sleeping surfaces or not.
- How to tell if your bunny does this to seek some attention.
- Tips on how to deal with this behavior and keep your rabbit comfy.
- And so much more…
Why do rabbits move their bedding?
Rabbits move their bedding due to instincts, comfort, or attention. If they’re female, they could be nesting. But, it’s also normal for all bunnies to dig their beds to satisfy their burrowing instincts. They might be looking for a comfier spot as well. Or they’re bored and in need of attention.
11 reasons why rabbits move their bedding
#1: They’re ‘nesting’
Do you have a female bunny?
If so, it could be that their nesting instincts are kicking in.
How old are they?
According to experts, this is normal in teenage ‘does’ (females) ages 3 to 8 months.
This is because their sex hormones are at a rage during that period.
And this makes them show some unpleasant behaviors. Like destructive chewing and mounting.
And in this case, digging.
Aside from this…
Nesting behavior is also a natural instinct in pregnant rabbits.
So if your female bunny does this, it could be that you’re a soon-to-be grandpa/grandma. (Congrats!)
It might be that bedding gets in the way of their nest-making that’s why your bunny moves it.
They want to use it when they give birth so they gather it to their preferred nesting spot.
What are the culprits for this behavior?
A study says that high levels of progesterone activate this instinct. And this happens around 25 or 26 days of conception.
Then as they’re nearing birth…
Their prolactin levels will increase 5 times.
This will cause their fur to shed. And they’ll use it as nesting material too.
So you may also notice that pregnant rabbits will take out some of their hair. Particularly in their thighs and chest.
You might also be interested in: Why do rabbits burrow?
#2: They’re digging out of natural instinct
Next, all rabbits are natural ‘burrowers.’
They’re going to chew and dig almost anything. And their bedding is no exception to this.
It’s an instinct that’s deeply ingrained in them.
This is because, in the wild, bunnies mostly live underground. And a series of their burrows is called ‘warren.’
Also, they’re prey animals.
They tend to flee and hide from predators. So digging burrows is a great way to conceal themselves.
In fact, rabbits love digging so much that they have also discovered some important parts of history.
Interesting fact: Archeologist bunnies? Well, say no more. It was reported that some rabbits dug 9,000-year-old artifacts. These are stone tools found on the Welsh island. They date back to the Mesolithic period. And they were said to be used in preparing seal hides.
#3: They’re modifying their bedding
“I want it this way.”
It might look like that your bunny is only messing up their sleeping spot…
When in reality, they’re actually ‘making’ their bed.
Just like how we rearrange our pillows or blankets to suit our taste. Or our level of comfort at the moment.
Either they’ll gather the bedding in a certain area. Or they’ll nudge it with their nose. And they’ll do this until they’re satisfied with the surface.
“Why do rabbits move things around?”
If you observe your bun, you’ll see that they like organizing.
Once they find something that’s blocking their way. Or if they’re not pleased with the current setup, they won’t hesitate to alter it.
They may chew on it. Or they can nudge it with their noses until they’re content with the outcome.
Note: This is also normal in bunnies. So if they’re not damaging their bedding, there’s nothing to worry about.
But if your rabbit also chews and destroys things…
Check out this article: 23 Tips To Stop A Rabbit From Chewing Everything (How-To)
#4: They’re bored
Boredom can make us do a lot of things. And this is also true for our furry friends.
So if your bunny doesn’t have anything to do most of the day, they may start digging inside their cage.
They could move their bedding, feeders, or hay.
Also, they can be more creative and chew stuff they shouldn’t.
“What are the causes of boredom in rabbits?”
They may do this if they’re:
- Alone and confined for long hours.
- Not receiving much attention from their humans.
- Staying in a small area (without enough space for exercise).
Some signs of stress or boredom in rabbits:
Note: This is pretty easy to solve. Just play more with your rabbit every day. Let them exercise in an enclosed run (bigger area). And also, provide them with more fun toys (e.g., chew, puzzles).
Further reading: 17 Weird Reasons Why Rabbits Dig In Their Cage + 13 Tips
#5: They have pent-up energy
Bunnies are active.
They’re loaded with so much energy. So if they didn’t release all of it throughout the day…
Just imagine how energetic they would be at their ‘peak hours.’
“When is it?”
At dawn and dusk.
Research shows that rabbits are crepuscular.
Meaning, they’re most active early in the morning. As well as when the sun’s about to set.
So if your bunny doesn’t get enough exercise, they’ll find an outlet to expel their energy.
And it could be that they find digging a satisfying activity.
They may also zoom around in circles. Or they’ll chew everything they see.
Note: PDSA recommends giving your bunny at least 3 hours of exercise per day. This should be done in a safe large area. To let them run and hop freely.
#6: They want a cooler spot
It could also be that your bunny is hot.
This is why they move their bedding to a different area. Or they remove it so that they can lay on the bare cold floor.
“How much is too hot for rabbits?”
Experts say that 55° to 70°F (12° to 21°C) is the ideal temperature outdoors.
While bunnies can only endure up to 85°F (30°C). So higher than this may contribute to heatstroke.
How to keep your rabbit cool during hot days?
Check out these simple tips:
- Trim and groom their fur regularly.
- Put a wet towel (drenched in cool water) over their hutch.
- Make sure that they have access to clean cool water all day.
- Place a frozen bottle of water near their cage. (This must be wrapped with a towel.)
#7: They prefer a flat bare surface
Rabbits also have preferences when it comes to their sleeping spot.
This will vary per bunny. And it’ll be based on their taste and personalities.
Say, some may like soft beddings. While others might prefer flat, hard surfaces instead.
So if your bunny is the latter…
They can also move their beddings out of the way.
This is so that they’ll happily lie on the bare ground.
You’ll know if your bunny is content with their environment if they suddenly flop over out of contentment.
Like these cute little bunnies:
#8: They’re looking for a warmer area
In other cases, it might also be that your rabbit is cold. So they’re gathering their bedding in a warmer spot.
This is more probable if it’s already winter right now in your area.
Or if their old sleeping spot is near an opening where a cold draft often comes in.
#9: They’re doing it to find peace
Does your bun literally grab their blankies somewhere else?
Specifically, a place that’s quieter?
If so, it might be that your bunny only wants some peace.
This is why they bring their rug to a corner. Or in an area with less traffic.
If this is your case, move their sleeping area to their preferred spot.
So they won’t have to do it by themselves. And they’ll be able to sleep soundly without worrying about distractions.
#10: They’re moving it for privacy
Does your bunny move their bedding to the covered area of their hutch?
If this is your case, it could be that they feel more secure in that spot.
Remember, rabbits love digging burrows.
And they don’t only do this for security. But also for comfort.
What I’m saying is that bunnies may feel more confident to sleep in a darker place. As it gives off a burrow-like feeling.
Your rabbit might be feeling less secure in their spot. And if they don’t move elsewhere, they can be stressed and frustrated.
What to do?
Yes, your bunny may need some privacy to sleep well.
But, they don’t necessarily need a separate enclosed bedroom.
Just take note of where they usually move their bedding. Then, designate it as their new sleeping spot from now on.
Also, make it cozier (if this is what they want).
Say, put a breathable blanket over their wired hutch. But don’t cover all of its sides to prevent enough ventilation.
#11: They want your attention
I’m being a bad bunny again. Come here, look!”
Lastly, it’s also possible that your bunny does this for you to notice them.
Again, they might be bored at the moment.
Or if you’re a busy person, it could also be that they’re receiving less attention from you these days.
So they’ve thought of a great way to make you stop and look at them.
Rabbits are clever animals.
So your bun might have learned that digging frantically, or moving their bedding gets your attention right away.
And they remember it. That’s why they’re doing this behavior all over again when they feel lonely.
Note: You’ll know it if they do this way too often without any reason. And if they get so excited whenever you come near their cage. Or if you start paying attention to them.
To fix this, you have to ignore your rabbit completely. Meaning, no eye contact, talking, or petting.
Do this consistently. And your bunny will soon realize that this method doesn’t work anymore.
If they do, always reward them for being calm and quiet.
This is to reinforce good behavior. So they won’t resort to any attention-seeking behaviors.
You might also wonder: Why does my rabbit pee on my bed?