Bunnies and rabbits have a very unique way of communicating, both with each other and the humans in their world. Unlike cats or dogs, pet rabbits are not very vocal, so learning to read your pet rabbit or bunny’s body language is important if you want a happy bunny rabbit.
A rabbit will thump his hind foot in order to warn of danger. If your rabbit is thumping his hand foot, he is trying to tell you that he senses a danger, such as a cat at the door, a noise he doesn’t recognize, or it may simply be he is scared of something, and wants to warn you of that danger too. Thumping is a communication tool, so if your bunny is thumping his foot, you can know he loves you and is trying to protect and warn you of the danger he senses.
Rabbits can jump pretty high, straight up into the air or at an angle, as a means of expressing joy and happiness. They may do this repeatedly when excited. Unfortunately, rabbits don’t always watch where they land, so be sure if your rabbit becomes excited and starts jumping that he has a soft and safe place to land.
Periscope Style Standing
Bunnies will often stand straight up on their back legs and look around at the world, much like a periscope on a ship. If your rabbit is standing on his back legs, straight and tall, chances are he is curious and wants to observe more that’s going on around him. Bunny rabbits will also stand in the periscope look to make themselves appear taller, as well as to take treats from you when they can’t reach them.
If your rabbit makes a squealing noise, especially since rabbits are not vocal by nature, chances are your rabbit is in pain and should be attended to immediately. If your rabbit will not stop squealing, or continues to squeal or whimper at intervals, you should consider a small animal veterinarian to see if he is injured.
Grunting Rabbit Noises
Grunting can mean two different things. A low, soft grunt, especially if the bunny rabbit if circling around and around, can be a playing noise, indicating the bunny is happy and playing with you.
However, a louder, guttural grunt, especially when a rabbit is crouched low to the ground with ears slicked back, can be a vocal warning that bunny is about to attack.
Rabbit Chin Rubbing
Have you ever noticed your pet rabbit rubbing his chin on everything, very quickly and repeatedly? This is a rabbit’s way of marking his territory. A rabbit has scent glands around his chin and cheeks, and rubbing his chin on things in his surroundings is his way of marking his scent of ownership. Don’t worry, humans can’t smell a rabbit’s scent, so there’s no reason to stop this behavior.
Ears Back, Bunny Flat
If your bunny is on the ground, flat as a pancake, and his ears are stretched back to run along his body, then your bunny is signaling one of two things 1) he is scared, senses a danger, and is attempting to conceal himself and hide from it, or 2) he is giving up and showing submissiveness. If you are trying to pick up your rabbit, and he cowers down and slicks his ears back, he’s telling you, “Okay, you win. You can pick me up. You’re the boss, but don’t hurt me!”
A rabbit can be a wonderful pet, even if he is a bit different from your average cat or dog. In fact, it’s those differences that can make a rabbit pet so fun! You can walk your rabbit with a good rabbit leash and harness, hand feed him veggies and fruits, which are always fun to watch him eat, and pet him between his ears and have a loyal and devoted furry rabbit pet friend. Understanding his body language is important to bond with your pet rabbit.