Rabbits are more expressive than most people care to realise. Understanding your bunny’s behaviour is the first step in really getting to understand your pet’s personality – your rabbits likes and dislikes.
Once you become familiar with your rabbit’s mannerisms, you can really assess how your bunny is feeling and look out for signs that depict changes in behaviour and wellbeing.
Is my Rabbit happy?
Happy Bunnies are the best Bunnies. If you’re rabbit is feeling happy or playful, they’ll often make you aware of it with a whole host of adorable actions to showcase their delight.
If your rabbit lies down with their front paws stretched out and their rear legs pointing behind them or too the side, this is often a very positive sign that suggests that your rabbit is calm, relaxed and content. Alternatively, if your bunny is lying on the floor with both front paws and rear legs tucked-in beneath them and a relaxed posture, this also demonstrates that he/she is happy and relaxed.
Ever heard of a binky? A ‘binky’ is regarded as the happiest expression a Bunny can make. ‘Binkying’ can often be misidentified as a sign of stress or anger but, once you have seen your bunny bop around and do a ‘binky’, you won’t be able to diagnose it as anything else. A binky is when a rabbit jumps into the air, taking all four paws off the floor and twists its body in mid-air before landing.
A half-binky can also be identified in playful rabbits when they have a head or ear twitch, kind of like a ‘shudder’ whilst running and playing. If you have never seen your Bunny binky, do not fear! Binkying all depends on the temperament of the rabbit – some bunnies binky a lot, some not so much.
Is my Rabbit anxious?
Do you ever wonder if your rabbit is feeling worried or scared? As prey animals, Rabbits can often be quite nervous by nature but there are a few things a rabbit will do to show if he or she is feeling scared or threatened. If your rabbit is lay down with their back flat, head close to the ground and their ears apart – they may be a sign that the bunny is feeling scared.
Alternatively, rabbits tend to hide if they feel anxious. It’s always important to provide your rabbit with a hidey hole or safe hiding place, as part of their living space – so they have the comfort to hide if they ever feel threatened or worried.
Is my Rabbit angry?
Rabbits can display anger, aggression and signs of unhappiness and these simple cues are important to look out for, if you want to identify triggers for your rabbit’s unhappiness. Please note that some of these mannerisms may be manifested in the early stages of bunny bonding and it’s essential that you are aware of them to protect yourself and your bunny from harm.
As a simple display of unhappiness or aggression, your rabbit will often want you to know if they want you to go away or leave them alone by standing tensely with their tail raised and thumping their back paws on the ground. My rabbit will often do this when we are filling up or emptying the dishwasher as he does not like the metallic sounds of the cutlery. It’s just a simple way of them telling you to keep it shush!
However, bunnies can show many signs of aggression which include sitting up on their back legs with the front paws out at the front, boxing or standing tense with their weight on the back legs and their teeth visible. These are the most common cues for anger and will often be demonstrated as part of a territorial act.
How many of these mannerisms have you seen your rabbit do? Have you been able to identify any particular, triggers for your rabbit’s happiness or unhappiness?
Please share your bunny behaviour with us, so we can continue to learn about the diversity of our little furries and their personalities!