Understanding rabbit gestures

Easter bunny pricks up its ears…

Who would have thought it? When a rabbit is just fiddling around by itself, it’s complaining that it’s bored! And when it stands up straight, that isn’t a sign of cockiness but a nosey look at the world around while sniffing the air. The experts at Maxi Zoo know exactly what rabbits want. Here are a few examples from the bunny language:

Rabbit fans experience their little charges as docile creatures – however, you can understand them perfectly from their noises, scents or their body.

rabbit

Which sounds mean what?

  • Loud gnashing of the teeth: the animal is very probably in pain. You should take it to the vet quickly.
  • Shrill screaming: your pet is really scared!
  • Hissing /growling: the rabbit is angry and ready to attack.
  • Fiddling around: something’s not suiting your bobtail. Maybe it needs a change?
  • Agitated drumming with the hind legs: your pet senses danger or has been frightened and is warning its group.

Which mannerisms mean what?

  • Sitting relaxed and nibbling: bunny’s favourite daytime occupation. That’s when it mostly wants to be left in peace. Should your pet suddenly stop eating, you should take it to the vet immediately.
  • Standing up straight: this gesture says “I’ll just have a look around, a sniff and hear what’s going”.
  • Licking their master or mistress: … is a sign of affection.
  • Nudging their master or mistress: … is a greeting or a prompting for them to play with their long-eared friend.
  • Bumping their master or mistress with the head or pushing them away: the animal wants them to make space or show them clearly that it wants to be left in peace.
  • Flattening the ears back: danger threatens here… the creature wants to attack.
  • Rolling over, lying on its side: … is a gesture of well-being.
  • Rubbing the head: no cause for concern and neither is it scratching. Your pet is marking its territory by means of the glands on its chin.
  • Ducking with flattened back ears: the creature takes on a defensive posture because it’s somewhat frightened. It can be that it’s just about to flee in panic.
  • Tenseness from head to tail, pricked up ears: the animal is very alert, cautious and at the same time curious.

And how do you respond?

You should interact gingerly with your rabbit showing gentleness and patience. It doesn’t like loud cries itself and will be made anxious by them. So if you should ever have reason to scold it, teach your little bobtail the rules in a loving way. And if bunny should ever become anxious, respond cautiously and with a calm voice.

Call into your local store today to discuss your small animals personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts

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