Are rabbits nocturnal?

Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by keno

Considering that rabbits sleep a lot during the day, you may perhaps be wondering if they’re usually active at night. In other words, knowing bunnies’ internal clock helps you properly take care of their needs since you essentially know their feeding, exercise, and resting time based on their activity levels. So are rabbits nocturnal? Keep reading to find out the answer and much more on both domestic and wild rabbits’ biological clocks.


Are rabbits nocturnal?

Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are not nocturnal but rather crepuscular. This basically means that they’re active mostly at dusk and dawn. Rabbits tend to be more alert and active in twilight hours starting from dusk to midnight. Their sleeping time begins from midnight to 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. in the morning. They’re normally active from morning up until 10:00 am when they take another nap until mid-day. After 12:00 p.m. rabbits will be eating, relaxing, and taking naps in between up until 5:00 p.m. when they’ll be more active again. Click on the link for more information on How long do rabbits sleep at night?

Bunnies have essentially evolved to be crepuscular by nature considering that they’re herbivores that are below the food chain. This adaptation has enabled them to access food with minimal exposure to risk from diurnal predators that are active during the day. As a result, this gives rabbits a high survival and reproduction chance.



Understanding nocturnal behavior

Nocturnal animals are usually active throughout the night and will rest during the day. These animals have basically evolved to the extent of adapting to low-light conditions. Their keen hearing and heightened night vision make it easier for them to navigate and locate food at night. It’s worth pointing out however that wild rabbits may exhibit nocturnal behavior to some degree, particularly in regions where there are fewer predators or none at night.


Rabbit behavior in captivity


Domesticated or pet rabbits’ activity level behavior may be altered slightly by artificial light as well as their environment in relation to their owner’s lifestyle. For instance, rabbits may adjust to activity patterns based on their caregiver’s routine or schedule. Lastly, a pet rabbit may also be more active and may forage more at a time when there’s minimal disturbance in the house.




By being crepuscular animals, wild rabbits are basically able to avoid predators, optimize foraging and well as participate in social behaviors. On the other hand, understanding your pet rabbit’s crepuscular behavior helps you to know their best play, forage, or rest time. This in turn, helps improves their overall quality of life and longevity.


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