It’s incredible how many people trance their rabbits, they believe they enjoy it because they are so relaxed. Granted, some rabbits do roll over and lay on their backs, that is voluntary, but when we flip them on their backs it’s not a good idea.
Truth about a bunny trance aka tonic immobility.
Contrary to popular belief, a rabbit placed into a trance is not relaxed. When a rabbit is placed into tonic immobility by placing them on their backs they suffer from increased heart and respiratory rate and the stressed caused by this position can be fatal. Especially if this is done to a rabbit who already suffers from respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
Studies have shown that rabbits voluntarily induce “short-term reversible paralysis” as they are a prey species. This voluntary motion is driven by fear and is an instinctual response to an extremely high stress situation, they induce tonic immobility as a survival strategy when cornered by a predator. This is common in a varies prey species, playing “dead” in hopes the predator will loose grip and be able to escape.
Needless to say that placing your rabbit into a “trance” is not safe nor cute. This is a very controversial topic that’s why I decided to discuss it on our website. A lot of people don’t know that they are putting their rabbit into unnecessary stress and harm by placing their rabbit into a trance.
The Dodo created a video called “Not so cute” teaching people about how placing your rabbit into a trance is not a good idea.