two rabbits

Can bunnies see in the dark?

Many people find bunnies to be adorable pets, but have you ever wondered about their night vision? Can they see well in low light like other animals? In this article, we'll delve into the intriguing world of rabbit vision and address some frequently asked questions about how bunnies see.

Levels of visual acuity in rabbits at night

Rabbits have roughly 20/240 or 1.1 visual acuity. But what is the acuity of vision? The acuity of vision is a term used in optical physics to describe the clearness or sharpness of vision measured at 20 feet. Visual acuity is the most commonly used measurement to indicate how sharp the vision is.

rabbit eye
At night or in darkness, rabbits have better night vision than humans. Meanwhile, rabbits aren't nocturnal since rabbits don't have tapetum lucidum in their eyes. Tapetum lucidum is a layer of tissue located behind the retina that can reflect faint light in the dark, which helps nocturnal animals to see at night. That's to say, in pure darkness, rabbits are just like us humans, completely blind. Rabbits can't see well in pure darkness, but they are farsighted and can see well from long distances during daytime and when the light is dimmer during dawn and dusk.

Comparison of vision between rabbits and humans

Compared with rabbits, we humans have a larger depth of view, allowing us to see things more steric. Rabbits, on the other hand, rabbits' eyes are different from our view. Rabbits have longer snouts, and their eyes are located respectively on the sides of their faces, which are separated. As a result, the images are less steric, but the range is wider. Rabbits' eyes also have way fewer cones than humans do, so they are colorblind compared to us.

a girl with a rabbit

How bunnies sense their environment at night

Since that rabbits don't have tapetum lucidum like nocturnal animals do, they are basically blind if there's no light in the room or hutch. So never think about or assert your pet rabbit being safe in pure darkness, where it can't even see its own paw.
When a rabbit is placed in pure darkness, the rest sensations will take over to help it sense its surrounding environment. And under that circumstance, the rabbit's hearing and smell will become sensitive, it will still be able to feel everything around it but not be able to see it. And that might cause stress and anxiety.
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How can I make my rabbit comfortable in the dark?

As explained above, rabbits aren't able to see in the dark. Meanwhile, they can still sense the surrounding environment with their smell and hearing. As a result, if you put it indoors, it will be fine since it's a relatively familiar environment. However, if you put it outdoors like in a hutch outside your house, it will feel threatened and exposed, which will lead to anxiety and nerve breakdown, it will hide or even become mentally destructed.

rabbit with a human
You should do everything you can to make your pet rabbit feel secure. There are some actions you can perform to prevent your rabbit from mental breakdown or cardiac arrest under anxiety. The first, and the most direct method, is to keep your rabbit indoors at night. Putting your rabbit in a familiar and secure environment will make it feel safe, even if with the lights turned off. The second method is to calm your rabbit in the dark. There are several ways to do that:

  • Company When it's dark, it is always to have someone familiar around. As a result, you can either accompany the rabbit yourself or can raise rabbits in pairs or in groups. With familiar people or rabbits around, they will feel more reassured and feel less afraid of the dark. You can give them some stuffed animals as company as well. Check out stuffed animals for your pet on PlushThis!
  • Distraction When we lie in bed, we don't fall asleep instantly. It works the same for rabbits. Remember to leave some toys and snacks in its hutch to distract its attention from the darkness.
  • Dedicated room for sleeping Create a separate area for your rabbit. Cover the spot with cloth, making it an isolated safe space for rabbits to rest.

Do rabbits need lights at night?

Some people might say "Since my rabbit is afraid of the dark, why don't I just leave the light open for it during the night?" True, leaving the lights on seems to be the easiest and fastest solution. However, things don't operate that explicitly and intuitively. If you turn the light on dim brightness, your rabbit will be fine, but you also can't do it chronologically.

light bulb

Below are several reasons to explain the importance of turning the light off at night for your pet rabbit.

  • Leaving the lights on might affect the time they sleep, rabbits can't tell whether the lights are natural or artificial. They might stay up late because the lights are on.
  • Too much light might cause physical and mental damage. Bright light might hurt rabbits' eyes. Too much light will also lead to anxiety.
  • Turning the lights on will lead to higher power bills and a waste of energy.
  • According to research, rabbits just like us humans, need light and darkness to cycle in order to adjust the body clock. The body clock is important because it tells and regulates the time of important physiological indices and behaviors.

Animals are physiologically complicated, rabbits are the same. It is hard to elaborate on the exact relationship between rabbits and light. But it is known that too much bright light over a long period of time will also make them feel stressed and anxious like they are in pure darkness. Overall, if your rabbit lives indoors, there's no need to put a light on. But if your rabbit lives outdoors and shows agitation when alone in the darkness, you may consider leaving a dim light in far distance to make sure not disturbing its body clock and sleeping habits while providing a sense of safety.


The world is colorful, and the lights and optics behind it are complicated and abstruse. Rabbits are interesting animals, having almost 360 degrees of vision, farsighted, but scared of darkness, rabbits are mild and cute animals, but they also need tons of attention and care to look after. Interested but not sure you really want to raise one? You can come to PlusThis to get our best stuffed animals, we also have life-like and cute stuffed bunnies, with the best smooth and soft fabric.


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