01 Nov Understand what your rabbit is saying
As is the case with most animals, rabbits use body language to communicate. The position of their ears and their posture are indicators that tell us about their general mood and intentions. In order to ensure good relations with your rabbit, it is important that you learn to recognise what they are saying.
- If your rabbit snorts, squeals or snarls, he feels threatened and could attack you.
- If your rabbit gently grinds his back teeth while you are stroking him, this means that he is content.
- If he grinds his teeth noisily and is huddled over, this could mean that he is in pain. Large eyes can also be a stress signal to indicate that he is nervous or afraid.
- Loud screeching normally means they are afraid or in pain.
- If a rabbit stamps on the ground, he is either afraid, angry or has heard something unusual. He uses this action to warn other rabbits about the danger.
- When a rabbit is huddled over and his ears are lying flat to the back of the head, it could mean he is afraid or in pain.
- If your rabbit puts his head down and his bottom in the air, this usually means that he has got abdominal pains.
- If he holds his head sideways, it could mean that he has ear ache.
- If he lies flat on his stomach with his head on the ground, this means that he wants to be stroked.
- If a rabbit presses his nose against your body, he is trying to get your attention.
- If he lies flat on the ground with his ears pressed back, he feels unsafe.
- You can sometimes see rabbits standing or sitting on three legs with one leg in the air. This means that he is on the alert because he doesn’t feel completely confident about something.
- When a rabbit stands on all four legs with his back legs tensed and his ears flat against his neck, he could be getting ready for an attack.
- If his eyes are completely closed and his head and neck outstretched and he is sitting close to the ground; this means that he would like some attention or just wants to be washed by another rabbit.
- If he rolls onto his side or back, he is content and feels relaxed.
- If he stands upright on his two back legs it means that he is alert, curious and inquisitive.
- Rabbits mark their territory by rubbing their chin over objects.