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How to Understand Your Rabbit

February 15, 2015

Do you have a pet rabbit? Bunnies are super cute and lots of fun to play with, and make fantastic pets. These little furballs are a bit harder to read than a dog or cat, however, so it may take some time and a bit of study to understand your rabbit. In this article, your local vet Thorold goes over a few bunny communication tactics.


Bunnies make quite a few different sounds. Grunting is one thing rabbits often do when they feel angry or threatened, or if they disapprove. A soft honking sound is a sign that your furry friend is in a courting mood. Rabbits rarely scream, but if your little pet ever does shout, she is either completely terrified or in extreme pain.

Attention-Hungry Bunnies

If your bunny wants attention, she may turn in circles. She might also thump her feet. Bunnies will also sometimes nudge their humans with their noses. This translates directly into “Pet Me” in bunny language! Your furball might also nip you lightly for attention, though nipping can also be a warning sign. If your rabbit wants to mark her territory, she’ll rub her chin on something. This can be considered affectionate.

Happy Bunnies

There are few things cuter than a happy bunny! Your furry buddy might race around, make quick turns, and do a little ‘happy dance’ if she’s feeling particularly playful. You might also see your happy rabbit shake her head a little bit. If your furball clicks her teeth when being petted, you can consider this as a bunny equivalent of a cat’s purr. Bunnies often also lick to show love and affection. If your bunny flops over, she’s feeling quite relaxed and content!

Angry Bunnies

Have you ever seen your bunny wag her tail? She might be telling you not to rearrange her cage, or showing bunny defiance. Flattened ears are a sign that your furball is very angry and might be about to bite. Sometimes bunnies will also thump as a warning sign.

Another way you can tell what your furball is thinking is to watch those ears! Your bunny’s ear position can tell you if they are paying attention to something, or ignoring you.

Do you have any questions about caring for a pet rabbit? Please contact us at any time. As your vet clinic Thorold, we are always here to help!