This week we will discussing a very important topic that all bunny owners should be well educated in: how to tell what your bunny is feeling!
Now, rabbits do make noises, however unlike a dog that can tell you it’s upset by either growling or barking, or a cat that meows or hisses when it’s upset, bunnies speak a lot through body language, rather than verbal sounds. It’s important to become fluent in your bunny’s language so that you can determine what certain actions mean for your little fur-baby.
Now, there are certain actions that all rabbits will do (sort of like universal words shared by all bunnies) and these are pretty easy to understand and learn if you study your bunny. However, keep in mind that each bunny does have a different personality and even though there are some general gestures that are shared by all buns, your rabbit might have their very own gesture that they like to use, so make sure to note what your bunny does and what it could possibly mean.
The following are some pretty common actions that can let you know how your bunny is feeling:
- Thumping: Now although it’s really cute when your bunny starts thumping it’s little foot, this is actually a sign that it is either in distress or upset. Sometimes they will thump when they hear a loud sound that scares them, or sometimes they’ll thump when you make them mad. My bunny Prince Ali always thumps at me when I try to groom him (sort of like a toddler throwing a tantrum). It’s best to just let them be and have a chance to calm down.
- Binky/Zoomies: I will never get tired of watching my buns jump up in the air (Binky) or run around the living room (zoomie). This means they are in a happy, playful mood and are loving life. A bunny that is jumping and running around without a care is a happy, healthy bun!
- Laying down: Now, overall, a rabbit that is laying down is a good sign! It means they are comfortable and relaxed enough to lie down. Sometimes, a rabbit will have their feet tucked under their body, which means they’re relaxed but ready to move on a dime. Other times, rabbits will lay down their their legs outstretched behind them. This position is harder for them to move out of, and means that they are super relaxed and are loving life! The more the legs are out, the better.
- Biting/Charging: Now, unfortunately, there are sometimes when a rabbit is either aggressive or incredibly scared/stressed and will act out to protect itself. Some rabbits are known to bite their owners or other rabbits, or maybe charge at them. If your rabbit is acting this way, it could mean that they are scared, under extreme stress or maybe even sick or in pain. I would recommend taking your bunny to the vet to make sure it’s not sick before trying to correct the behavior. Special Note: Rabbits can be aggressive due to hormones, so having your rabbit nurtured or spayed can do wonders for their attitudes.
- Flopping: This move looks a little scary at first (sort of like a wrestling move) but it’s actually the best sign in the world to see for a bunny owner. When a bunny flops, they typically throw themselves over onto their sides, exposing their stomachs and other vulnerable places. This means that they are at the ultimate level of relaxed and happy. It always makes me smile when my buns do this. It means I am doing a good job at being their momma!
These are just some of the basic gestures that can tell you a lot about your rabbits mood. Learning your bunny’s language can help you a lot in knowing how they feel and making sure you can keep them as happy as possible.
Hopefully this will help you all decode the language of your bunny. As always, I have included a few helpful links below: