Rabbits have unique eyes. Their wide apart eyes give them nearly 360-degree vision. Their unique eyesight allows them to evade the hunters and remain safe. You may not see your rabbit blink or even close its eyes a lot. So, you must be wondering if the furballs ever close their eyes.
Do rabbits close their eyes? Yes, rabbits can close their eyes. But, they do not do it very often. A rabbit will only close its eyes if it is in a secured place. They close their eyes partly.
The truth is, a rabbit has three eyelids. The third one is transparent and is called the nictitating membrane. This eyelid closes while a rabbit sleeps.
Hence, they close their eyes, but it remains unnoticeable due to the transparent eyelid.
Do rabbits sleep with their eyes closed?
As rabbits have three eyelids, they may or may not close their first two eyelids regularly. When a rabbit sleeps, its nictitating membrane closes. Despite being transparent, the eyelid can block the lights properly. This allows the rabbit to sleep peacefully without blocking its eyesight.
If a rabbit sleeps with its third eyelid closed, it can evade the eyes of a predator. It allows the rabbit to remain alert even during sleep. Additionally, rabbits can awake and act instantly as their eyes can see things in an instant. Since their eyelids do not block everything, they get to act fast.
Even pet rabbits have this trait. A pet rabbit may sleep with its third eyelid closed only.
So, do they close the other two eyelids?
You must be thinking, do they close the other two eyelids or the exterior eyelids. Well, they do. A rabbit will only close these eyelids on a few occasions.
If a rabbit is extremely tired and cannot remain awake, the chances are high that its first eyelids will also close during sleeping. It can happen if they are dozing off just after an intensive play session.
On the other hand, a rabbit will close its eyes fully in a safe environment. Pet rabbits may usually sleep with their eyes fully closed after they develop a close bond with you.
There are other instances when a rabbit can close its eyes fully. It feels relaxed and content under your protection. It will close its eyes to express gratitude.
Rabbits blink. But they blink very little. A rabbit blinks once at least five to six times. That means a rabbit can blink ten to twelve times in an hour.
Their third membrane protects their eyes. It also keeps their eyes moist and protects them from dust and debris. Hence, they do not need to blink like humans.
The less blinking allows them to remain awake and alert all the time. Their vision remains uninterrupted due to low blinking.
Rabbits close their eyes from time to time. It often remains unnoticed as they only close the third eyelid or the nictitating eyelid. Your pet rabbit will only close its eyes fully if they feel secure near you.