Body Language in Rabbits

Rabbits express what they have to say with their whole body. Ears, posture, and behavior show how rabbits are feeling or what they want to convey. Read how to understand rabbit body language here.

Rabbits can’t use words to express how they’re feeling, but their body language and behavior will convey what they have to say. Whether it’s sympathy, fear, anger, or well-being, paying attention to your rabbit’s behavior will help you understand it and meet its needs and housing requirements.

The man-making in the rabbit language

When rabbits rear up and mock, it means something. Because in this upright position, rabbits can not only see over obstacles better but also sniff out sources of scent. In addition to the long spoons, with which they can perceive and locate the smallest noises, rabbits also have a very good sense of smell. Standing up in the cage when approaching serves to greet an acquaintance and to create an overview.

The 1×1 of rabbit language

However, the communication repertoire of rabbits goes far beyond making males. For example, they can also signal whether they are feeling comfortable or threatened.

  • Sympathy: The rabbit rubs your finger with its chin or climbs up on you
  • Comfort: The rabbit makes slight grinding noises when cuddled and/or lies fully extended, throws on its side, and stretches its legs
  • Greeting and prompting: Light nudges with the nose (However, if the animal does not nudge the hand lightly, but instead pushes it away violently, it means “Hands off, I don’t want to be bothered any longer.”)
  • Threat: Rabbit shuffles front paws, leaps forward, flattens ears, and opens muzzle as if to bite and growls.
  • If your rabbit exhibits such behavior, caution is advised as it is a warning. Especially anxious or newly arrived animals often feel threatened by affectionate touches and therefore fall back on such behaviors. Some rabbits will also grunt or growl when picked up against their will.

This is how rabbits show fear and pain

When rabbits stomp and drum with their hind legs, misunderstandings can arise when interpreting this behavior. Because these can be expressions of fear, they can also be a warning sign: wild rabbits warn each other of approaching danger.

When rabbits are scared of death, they often emit shrill and very loud screams. This can happen not only with wild rabbits but also with domestic rabbits. If you keep your rabbit in a hutch in the garden, there is a chance that martens or other predators will sneak in.

Severe grinding of teeth also indicates great pain. You should therefore take these signals seriously and consult a veterinarian. Maybe your rabbit is sick.

This is how you make your rabbit happy

So that your rabbit never gets bored, here are the most popular activities for rabbits:

Communication between rabbits

Rabbits communicate with each other in a very similar way to communicate with humans: If there is a disagreement, they put their ears back and their tail is then in a horizontal position. The rabbits attack each other menacingly, patting each other with their front paws while standing.

If, on the other hand, niceties are announced, you lick each other’s ears. Of course, tenderness can also be requested. The animals do this by pushing their head under another rabbit’s head. The greatest proof of love towards humans is licking.

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