Meet my Rabbits and Kits

What am I trying to tell you....

  • Sniffing — May be annoyed or just talking to you
  • Grunts — Usually angry, watch out or you could get bit! Soft grunts can also mean pleasure,or trying to get your attention.
  • Shrill scream — Hurt or dying
  • Circling your feet — Usually indicates sexual behavior. He/She's in love.
  • Spraying — Males that are not neutered will mark female rabbits in this manner as well as their territory. Females will also spray.
  • Chinning — Their chin contains scent glands, so they rub their chin on items to indicate that they belong to them. Same as a cat rubbing its forehead on people and objects.
  • False pregnancy — Usually just unspayed females may build a nest & pull hair from their chest & stomach to line the nest. They may even stop eating as rabbits do the day before they give birth.
  • Bunny hop/dance — A sign of pure joy & happiness!
  • Begging — Rabbits are worse than dogs about begging, especially for sweets. Beware of giving the rabbit treats as overweight rabbits are not as healthy as trim rabbits.
  • Territory droppings — Droppings that are not in a pile, but are scattered, are signs that this territory belongs to the rabbit. This will often occur upon entering a new environment. If another rabbit lives in the same house this may always be a nuisance.
  • Playing — Rabbits like to push or toss objects around. They may also race madly around the house, jump on and off of the couch and act like a kid that's had too much sugar.
  • Don't touch my stuff — Rabbits often are displeased when you rearrange their cage as you clean. They are creatures of habit and when they get things just right, they like them to remain that way.
  • Stomping — He's frightened, mad or trying to tell you that there's danger (in his opinion).
  • Teeth Grinding — Indicates contentment, like a cats purr. Loud grinding can indicate pain.
  • A rabbit with its head lowered to the ground can mean "I'm enjoying getting my head stroked" or it can mean "Don't hurt me, you're the boss, I surrender".
  • A binky is an expression of joy from a rabbit. When a rabbit binkies, it jumps into the air, often twisting and flicking its feet and head. Unfortunately they often don't judge where they are going to land properly, and binky into the wall, furniture etc. Binkies are hard to photograph as they are so quick!

  • Sleeping- Rabbits mostly sleep during the day. They often sleep with their eyes open so its hard to tell when they are sleeping. However a giveaway is that when they are sleeping rabbits often twitch, and their noses stop wiggling. Other rabbits will close their eyes and totally flake out, looking like they are dead. This can result in quite a fright!

  • Periscopeing bunny- Rabbits sit up on their hind feet to get a better view of the surroundings. Usually periscoping occurs when a rabbit hears something is trying to figure out what it is. Rabbits also use this technique to become taller so they can reach the snack you are holding

  • Trance- Rabbits can be tranced by laying them on their back. However you need to be very careful, as some rabbits won't tolerate being put on their back and will kick and struggle. A rabbit can easily snap it's spine if it struggles while being restrained. If you have a cooperative rabbit, you can gently lay the rabbit down on your lap. You will need to support the rabbit's neck. Slowly the rabbit will close it's eyes and trance out. This is often a good way to trim your bunny's claws as you have easy access.

  • Bunnies who eat their own poop- This is not bad bunny behaviour, in fact you should encourage it :-) Because their diet of plants is hard to digest efficiently, and they have to make two passes at it to get everything out of the meal. They don't all their poop, only soft mushy poops called cecals. Rabbits are unable to absorb the nutrition via the intestinal wall, but can still get it by eating their cecals. If you find a lot of cecals in the litter box your bunny may not be well. Keep an eye on him/her.

  • How to touch your bunny- Rabbits don't like getting touched on the tummy, nose, mouth or backside. However bunnies love getting stroked on the head, and some like their cheeks being rubbed. Try a head massage, your bunny will probably settle down and put his/her head down on the ground. You will know your bunny loves this if the bunny's eyes start closing.

  • Bunny flat- Rabbits flatten themselves for two reasons. One is that there is something scary and if they are close to the ground then maybe they wont be seen. The other reason is bowing to the boss. Typically the bunny's body will be close the the ground and the ears will be back on their body. The rabbit's head will be lowered to the ground as well. This stance means "I give up, you are the boss. Please don't hurt me."

  • Tip toeing bunny- Rabbits will tiptoe around when they are not confident of their surroundings

  • Sitting in a corner- Bunny will usually sit in a corner or against a wall. This is so predators cannot sneak up behind them. If you can, put your bunny cage/condo against a wall. Your bunny will feel much safer.