Rabbit Behaviour

Rabbits are generally a quiet creature as in the wild they are often seen a prey so their best defence is to not draw attention to themselves.  However, they do display a range of behaviours depending on their mood, surroundings and situations, but what do they all mean.

Flopping

This is pretty easy to spot and a very cute moment it you do catch a glimpse of it happening.  When rabbits are relaxed, they will show that they are completely at ease by ‘flopping’ on to their side.  They will continue to lie almost perfectly still and stretched out until they are disturbed.

Teeth Grinding

Occasionally rabbits will show their enjoyment of your interaction by grinding their teeth.  This is their equivalent of purring. If your rabbit is lying, outstretched, while ‘purring’ then it shows contentment.   However, you should be cautious when you encounter this noise, it could signify pain.  If your rabbit is tense and shows little interest in moving or eating or even becomes aggressive then this could signify pain and you should seek advice from a vet. 

Binkying

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises to new rabbit owners is binkying.  This is a very visual way of displaying happiness.  You will see rabbits jump in the air, moving and twisting their bodies as well as kicking their feet out.  Sometimes a rabbit will just jump straight up in the air to binky or you will see them take a run up and binky mid jump.  You can often see rabbits binky many times in succession which is a fantastic sight to see. The video below shows Mac Binkying on the sofa.

Licking

Grooming or licking shows rabbits have trust or a strong bond with one another.  Rabbits that live in close proximity will often spend time grooming each other.  

Honking

If done around another rabbit this could show sexual excitement.  If done in isolation it is just another sign that your rabbit is excited

Bunny 500

Excited rabbits will show great bursts of speed either in your home or garden.  They could be a precursor to binkying.  You may be surprised how quickly an excited rabbit can move.

Kicking up

In the wild this would be signified by kicking up dirt in another animal’s face as they hop away, this is a disgruntled rabbit.   

Chinning

This is a common animal practice of marking their territory.  Rabbits have scent glands in their chin which allows them to mark their territory to other animals by rubbing their chin on objects.

Thumping

If a rabbit senses danger it will thump their back legs to warn others in the vicinity.  Rabbits have very powerful back legs so this sound can be quite loud, especially on a hard floor.  Also where the famous rabbit in Bambi got its name.

Nipping

Nipping is rabbit speak for give me attention.  Generally, there is no malice in them they are just craving your attention.  They can become annoying or unintentionally painful so it discourages them if you cry out in pain it will let the rabbit know you don’t enjoy or welcome the nips.  If the nips are slightly more aggressive you may have invaded the rabbit’s space and they are just warning you that this is their area.  Once your bunny has been spayed or neutered you should see a decrease in aggressive behaviour.

To the untrained eye rabbits may seem like meek and quiet animals but once you understand your rabbit’s behaviour you can see how expressive and communicative they really are.

Mac and Cheese

The rabbits you see on this website belong to the administrators, Tom and Laura, who have been keen rabbit owners for many years. The two rabbits are called Mac and Cheese, Mac is the black one you see and Cheese is the light brown coloured one. If you have any questions about the care for your rabbits or what to expect when becoming rabbit owners then you can get in contact here.