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Rabbit Behavior

Reading Bunny Body Language and Behavior

Rabbits are very cute animals. They have nice fluffy skins, two long ears, and big front teeth. They are some of the many domesticated animals and are famous for their appearance. Although popular because of the way they appear, there is more to rabbits than just their appearance. Their behavior is of importance and should be understood. This might seem impossible if you have never owned a rabbit and have plans of buying one. It, however, is not impossible to know about rabbit behavior before buying one.

To the average person, rabbits are not animals with unique behaviors and big personalities. This, however, is not what the case is. Although lots of people do not realize this, rabbits have big personalities. You will need to have a pet rabbit to understand this fact. There are ways rabbits make people around them know they are scared, sad, or happy. Although there are various ways in which rabbits differ, sometimes they try to say the same thing with some behaviors.

Let’s look at some rabbit behaviors and what they mean.

The Bunny 500

This is a rabbit behavior you might never get to notice if you do not spend ample time around your rabbit. The bunny 500 behavior is when your rabbit runs around the room fast and as though it is being chased. This is a behavior that indicates your rabbit is happy.

Rabbits exhibit the bunny 500 when they are either trying to play with you or with another rabbit. They also show off the bunny 500 when they are anticipating a delicious treat.

There are various reasons rabbits exhibit bunny 500. This behavior might be popular because it is a lot of fun to watch. However, beyond the fact that it is fun to watch, it is an assurance that your rabbit is feeling happy.


When rabbits binky, they have the appearance of an individual that jumps into the air gleefully and hits their heels together. Although the Fred Astaire heel strike is not something that rabbits do, when they are excited, they jump into the air and get twist their bodies. 

When rabbits binky, one with no idea what message they are trying to pass across, might think the rabbit is afraid and is trying to flee from an environment. They could also assume all is not well with the rabbit. The truth, however, is it is natural for rabbits to binky. So, if you have rabbits as pets, you should always feel good each time they binky.

Rabbit Noises

If you have never owned a rabbit, you most likely have not heard a rabbit make noises. As social animals, rabbits make noises occasionally. This noise is used in communicating with each other and with humans. While certain noises have obvious meanings, not all of them do. One noise made by rabbits that has an obvious meaning is screaming. Rabbits scream when they are frightened, stressed, or scared.

Apart from screaming, there are other noises rabbits make. These noises are not as alarming as screams. Some of them are honk and buzz noise. These sounds sometimes indicate they are excited. Also, they are made when the rabbit is sniffing another rabbit and grinding their teeth. When rabbits grind their teeth, it could have two meanings. It could mean they are going through a painful moment and are uncomfortable. It is also a sign of contentment.

Rabbits grind their teeth when in different positions. If they grind their teeth when they are hunched, not mobile, or sitting, it indicates pain. On the other hand, if they grind their teeth very softly while relaxing, it is an indication that they are in a relaxed state.

Rabbits also growl. Usually, rabbits that growl are very territorial. Additionally, they growl when stressed or angry. If your rabbit has very strong territorial tendencies, spaying or neutering can help deal with this tendency. Nonetheless, when you bring a strange rabbit into your bunny, you will still have your rabbit growl.

Growling is aggressive behavior. You, therefore, should keep your rabbits away from one another when they begin to growl as a fight could break out between them.


It is not a strange thing for rabbits to dig. Digging is something that comes to them naturally. Although this behavior is one lots of pet owners are bothered about because it is destructive, it is instinctive, and one they might never stop.

Beyond digging for making their homes and nesting, rabbits also dig to get their owner’s attention. So, next time you notice your rabbit digging on your hand or feet, it just might be trying to get your attention.


Rabbits flop now and then. Although this is an interesting behavior to watch, certain people become nervous each time their rabbit flops. This behavior is one that could get you nervous; you do not have to worry when your rabbit flops to its side. This behavior is an indication that it is content.

Before rabbits flop to their sides, they rest a little. This is followed by sitting up and then taking the flop position. Certain people get nervous when their rabbit flops to its side because they assume it is experiencing a seizure. Flopping is, however, a lot different from a seizure because it involves your rabbit being relaxed, keeping its legs static and its eyes closed.

Flopping is not abnormal, so long as rabbit behavior is concerned, and it is an indication that your rabbit is in a relaxed state.

Nudging and Bonking

Nudging is a habit rabbits exhibit when they are exploring. So, if you find your bunny nudging its nose on you or its toys, there is nothing to worry about. This can be likened to the bonking habit of sharks. 

Rabbits bonk because their noses are sensitive. Their nose’s sensitivity makes it possible for them to discover what is in their environment by just bonking. Sometimes, rabbits stop at a nudge. Other times, after a bonk, they go on with a nip. A nip is an extra test. It is also a sign that the rabbit needs your attention or wants you out of its way. 


It might seem like rabbits cannot kick hard. This, however, is not the case. When they want to kick, they kick very hard. This is possible because of their powerful hind legs. Usually, rabbits kick when they are not pleased. They do this to regain freedom. Also, when they are held by someone and want to be put down, they kick. 

If your rabbit hops away from you while simultaneously trying to kick up dirt, it just might be an indication of how displeased it is with you. Additionally, if it kicks while you are holding it, you might need to place it on the floor, so it does not get hurt. When rabbits kick too hard, they could get paralyzed in their back.


Thumping is a clear sign that a rabbit is upset. So, next time you see a rabbit thumping, you already know it is upset. 

When a rabbit thumps, it is simply trying to tell the rabbits around it to stay away. Rabbits also thump when they feel threatened, are mad, or sense danger in the environment.


There are several reasons rabbits bite. Sometimes, they bite because they are scared. Other times, they bite because they are not comfortable with someone or something and as a show of dominance.

There are times a bite from a rabbit is an innocent nip that is not meant to cause any harm. Other times, it is with an intention to cause bodily harm and keep a perceived rival away. That’s not all. Rabbits also bite when they are sexually frustrated, as well as to set up a pecking order among themselves. Furthermore, rabbits might bite simply because they do not want to do what you want them to do.

Biting is not a very common behavior among rabbits, as they are not aggressive animals. If your rabbit is beginning to bite too frequently, you might need to neuter or spay it to deal with this aggression.


On the faces of rabbits are glands that play very important roles in their lives. There are times rabbits rub their chin on an object in their environments. When they do this, they are trying to let other rabbits around know that the object they are chinning belongs to them. So, chinning should be seen as territorial behavior. 


Rabbits are cute animals. One equally cute part is their tongue. With their very cute tongues, rabbits are known to give soothing licks. Although rabbits are not known to be kissers, they spend a lot of time grooming themselves or their friends by licking.

Licking among rabbits is perfectly normal. You, therefore, do not need to be alarmed.

Wrap up

Understanding the common rabbit behavior lets you know what to expect if you decide to keep it as a pet. All of the above are the common ones you should note and ensure you don’t get blindsided.

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