Miffy the bunny’s first trip was one of necessity. When his owner Sami Chen relocated to New York from Taiwan in 2018, she couldn’t bear to leave her fluffy companion behind.
Once she was settled, Miffy followed with a pet travel company.
“He came here by himself and he was really brave,” says Sami, who works as a classical pianist and fashion designer.
Miffy’s 25-year-old owner hadn’t planned on gaining a new travel buddy. “Bunnies are usually very tense in new environments. They get stressed out easily…it’s really hard for them to trust humans,” she says.
But after spending an extended time in a cage during the flight and between homes, Miffy needed to stretch his legs.
“I started taking him out to the park to exercise,” says Sami.
She noticed Miffy was really friendly to humans - “I feel like he thinks he’s human or something!” - so she decided to take him further afield, starting with short trips close to home.
“When I travel with Miffy he gets really cuddly - I think it's a bonding experience,” Sami adds. “And he trusts me [because] every time after we travel, he goes back to the same house.”
Now, the pair are inseparable.
“He is kind of attached to me and I'm attached to him. So it's nice that we travel everywhere together,” says Sami.
Does Miffy the bunny enjoy travelling?
As Sami says, bunnies aren’t always suited to the travelling life. But Miffy doesn’t seem fazed.
“A few weeks ago we went travelling and he was ‘binkying’ in the hotel room,” recalls Sami. “He was just so happy dancing all around and it was super cute.”
When they return from their adventures, Miffy displays his affection by licking Sami and shows he’s relaxed by flopping onto his side - both signs he’s a happy bunny.
“It just means that he's super relaxed, super trusting,” says Sami.
What are Miffy the bunny’s travel preferences?
As for Miffy’s travel likes and dislikes, he prefers being part of the jet set.
While some airlines require bunnies to be stowed under the seat in a rabbit travel carrier, others allow emotional support animals to sit with their owners uncaged.
Miffy is also a Florida fan.
“Miffy likes the beach the most because it's like a big litter box - he can dig non-stop,” says Sami. “I make him a little tent where he can eat and drink,” she adds.
So far, except for his initial journey from Taiwan, Miffy has only travelled around the US, but Sami hopes they can go to Europe together someday.
Besides Florida, the pair have visited Boston, Vegas, San Francisco, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, North and South Carolina, West Virginia and more.
How do people react to a travelling bunny?
“People think it's really funny to see me walking a bunny,” says Sami. “And so they started to ask for his Instagram.”
He didn’t have one, so Sami decided to create one. That’s where his ascent to fame began.
Miffy and his friend Mica - who was adopted by Sami in New York in 2021 - now have almost 120,000 Instagram followers, and more than 570,000 followers and seven million likes on TikTok.
“People love his videos, [they] make people happy…He’s really made a difference to a lot of people,” says Sami.
What advice does Sami have for travelling with a bunny?
Rabbits are particularly vulnerable because their health can decline rapidly in an emergency.
For this reason, Sami says, the most important thing is to check out where the nearest vet or 24-hour animal hospital that sees rabbits is before travelling.
She also advises on taking things gradually.
“At first, don't go too far,” suggests Sami. She began by taking Miffy to the park to see how he fared. Once he was more comfortable, she took him on an hour-long trip, and only ventured further once she gained his trust.
Not all rabbits will be suited to travelling, and a lot depends on their personality and day-to-day living situation.
“I know that travel is a lot - especially for bunnies [that are] home all day and have never been out, they will be scared of the environment,” says Sami.
“So it really depends on different rabbit situations. But it's good to let them go out, get a little bit of sunshine and explore.”
Finally, she emphasises the importance of rest.