Are rabbits nocturnal?
May 10, 2021
As a pet rabbit’s guardian, you might be wondering why your pet rabbits seem to be active when you are off to bed.
If you think you are going to bed and your rabbits must go to sleep too inside their hutch, then you are wrong.
Rabbits don’t have a similar sleeping pattern as humans. Neither rabbits are nocturnal animals.
It sounds obvious if rabbits are not nocturnal, then they should be sleeping at night as humans do.
Are rabbits nocturnal?
Rabbits are not nocturnal. They are crepuscular animals meaning rabbits are active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Both wild and domesticated rabbits have the same sleeping pattern, and they are not nocturnal.
Rabbits are prey animals, and in the wild, they are always in danger from predators. Hence to prevent themselves from predators, they prefer to stay awake when there is less risk of predators.
Likewise, it is not so dark during the twilight hours, which helps rabbits stay alert by seeing nearby predators.
Rabbits are intelligent animals, and wild rabbits have an excellent survival instinct. They only go foraging and play outside during the safest hours.
Though domesticated rabbits don’t have dangers from predators, they have the same characteristics as wild rabbits.
You may have noticed your pet rabbits be very active during dawn and dusk. Especially domesticated rabbits seem to be active during the time while you are sleeping at night.
Why do pet rabbits are active at night?
You may think your pet rabbits are noisy during your sleeping hours. The truth is your rabbits don’t stay awake all night when you are sleeping.
Rabbits wake up around 3 am, and they are active until 6 am.
Then rabbits go to sleep from 7 am to midday.
They will wake up around that time to have some hay. Rabbits will go back to sleep around 2 pm and sleep until 5 pm.
From 5 pm until 8 pm, they will be awake and go to sleep until 3 am.
The sleeping hours I mentioned are not accurate. However, domestic rabbits typically follow this sleeping pattern.
It is to give you an idea of when your rabbits will sleep and when they are active.
If you observe your pet rabbits for a while, you will notice the sleeping schedule is somewhat similar to what I described.
I described these sleeping hours because many rabbit guardians have no idea of the sleeping schedule of their fluffy pet.
Hence, they often disturb their pet rabbits when they are sleeping. If you annoy your pet rabbit while sleeping, you will turn your rabbit into a grumpy one.
Imagine someone wakes you up when you are sleeping to play with you. How would you feel?
The same happens with rabbits too.
Rabbits don’t sleep like a human. They are crepuscular and not nocturnal. To have a bonding with your rabbits, you have to understand this.
Not knowing your rabbit’s sleeping schedule will leave you wondering why your pet rabbits are active when you are sleeping. But your rabbits likely wake up before you and go back to sleep by the time you wake up in the morning.
Can rabbits see in the dark?
Rabbits are not nocturnal. During the darkest hours, they are sleeping and relaxing in their burrows.
Rabbits pick the twilight hours to go out of the burrows so that they can see a predator nearby. At the same time, during twilight hours, most predators are not active.
Although rabbits avoid going out of the burrows during the darkest hours, they are not entirely sightless in the dark.
Rabbits can also sense or smell a predator nearby in the dark.