Rabbits are the 3rd most popular domestic pets after dogs and cats, and are hugely popular with children especially as their first pet. They are cute, loving and generally easy to handle however, they can be difficult to understand and be aggressive when provoked. Rabbits communicate in a complex way unlike dogs for example so we've compiled a simple guide that is super easy for both adults and kids to understand. In no time you'll figure out what your rabbit is trying to tell you!
An expression of happiness - this is when the rabbit leaps in the air, twists and kicks its legs out, almost like a twisting dance.
A rabbit rubs the underside of its chin on objects or places to mark its territory.
Circling (or Mounting and Honking)
When a rabbit mounts or circles your feet, objects or other rabbit and honks (an act of grunting), it indicates wanting to mate. Spayed or neutered rabbits may honk and circle to request food or attention.
Similar to nudging, digging on your legs or feet is one way rabbits try to get your attention.
This is when your rabbit rolls on side or back, displaying contentment and security.
A sign your rabbit is angry or stressed. Watch out and try to back off for a while as you may be invading its territory.
Your rabbit is displeased. Similar to thumping, except this is done while hopping away from you or other animals. You may notice this after trimming its nails.
Bunnies show affection by licking or grooming. If you have more than one rabbit, you may see pairs of them grooming one another, which demonstrates a strong bond between them.
Like digging, a rabbit may nudge your hand or foot to request food or attention.
Sometimes rabbits show enjoyment by grinding their teeth if you are petting them, which is a rabbit’s way of purring. However, teeth grinding can also mean discomfort or pain, which is usually louder and more frequent than grinding due to contentment.
When a rabbit screams, it is in extreme pain. Seek veterinary assistance immediately if this occurs.
Similar to kicking. A rabbit thumps its hind foot on ground when alarmed. So, when you see this behaviour, try not to pick your rabbit up or calmly place it on ground level as it is a warning of danger.
When rabbits zips around, they demonstrate extreme excitement, usually when you’re about to give your bunny a treat.
If you and your family are going away, we also board rabbits with our qualified home boarders? If you need an eye on your pet bunny for a shorter period instead, seek help from our trusted sitters.