Rabbit Behavior

FullSizeRender

Rabbits have a their own language, here are some tips on interpreting your rabbit’s hops, kicks and grunts!

Bunny Hop/Binky/Flop: A sign of pure joy and happiness. This “dancing” includes leaping and or spinning in the air, racing around, etc. A bunny flop is very comical and indicates a contented and relaxed rabbit. Keep in mind that some rabbits may lay on their backs with their feet up in the air, they may do this when in complete bliss, but never lay them involuntarily on their backs. Here’s proof!

Standing on hind legs: Checking their surroundings, but also sued for begging. Rabbits are worse than dogs when it comes to begging, especially for sweets. Beware of giving them too many rabbit treats as an overweight rabbit is not healthy. Stay away from yogurt drops or any dairy “rabbit treats”.

Chinning: Rabbits rub their chins (which contain scent glands) on items to get their scent on them. This indicates that the items belong to them and also defines their territory. The scent is undetectable to humans.

Thumping or Stomping: Bunny is frightened, mad or sensing danger (real or imagined). Rabbits are often displeased when you rearrange their things. They are creatures of habit and when they get things just right, they like them to remain that way, and may thump in anger.

Teeth Grinding/chattering: Soft grinding indicates contentment and is usually heard when petting the rabbit. Loud grinding can indicate pain and is usually heard during an illness. Loud tooth grinding requires attention from a rabbit veterinarian. 

Circling your feet: Usually indicates sexual behavior (even when neutered) but basically means “I love you”.

Spraying: Unneutered males will mark female rabbits and their territory in this manner. Unspayed females can also spray. Cooper sprayed me before being neutered, so when your rabbit starts to spray you or your walls you know it’s time to snip-snip.

Playing: Rabbits like to push or toss objects around. They may also race madly around the house, jump on and off the couch and act like a child that has had too much sugar. Rabbits love toys and will play for hours with a favorite toy.

Grunts: Usually angry – when a bunny feels threatened. Sometimes followed by a nip or bite.

Territorial Droppings: Droppings that are not in a pile, but scattered, are signs that this territory belongs to the rabbit. This will sometimes occur upon entering a new environment or if another rabbit is brought into the house, and may be temporary or ongoing. Droppings in piles indicates that they rabbit needs more litter box training.

Shrill Scream: Hurt or dying. Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention.

False Pregnancy: Even though a rabbit may not be pregnant, unspayed females may sometimes build a nest and pull hair from their chest and stomach to line the nest. They may even stop eating as usually occurs the day before they give birth.

Nipping/Biting: A nip is gentler than a bite. Bunnies will nip to get your attention, or to politely ask you to move out of their way. Bites are harder. Rabbits usually do not bite, but if one does, it must be stopped immediately. If a rabbit bites, it is usually not because it hates you, there are many reasons within a rabbits social structure that bring about a bite. A rabbit may also accidentally bite while tugging at your pant leg. Whatever the reason, if you get bit, you must immediately let out a shrill cry. Rabbits do t his when they are hurt. Since they usually do not intend to hurt your, they will be surprised that you have cried out and will usually stop the behavior after a few times.

(Whaaa….I nipped you?)