Bunny Behavior Glossary

Sniffing: May be annoyed or just talking to you

Grunting: Usually angry, watch out or you could get bitten

Shrill scream: This is a very bad sign. Your bunny is terrified, hurt, or dying.

Circling your feet: This usually indicates sexual or hormonal behavior. The bunny is in love! Though sometimes bunnies do this when very excited, like when you are about to feed them.

Spraying: Males that are not neutered will mark female rabbits in this manner. They will mark their territory and you as well. Some females will also spray. Use white vinegar to clean up. See our section on Litter Training.

Chinning: Bunnys’ chins contains scent glands, which they use to mark their territory, you and all things that they deem to be theirs. Think of it as your bunny going on his or her rounds, marking everything as ‘mine, mine, mine….’

False pregnancy: Usually just unspayed females will build a nest by pulling out belly hair to line a nest. They may even stop eating as truly pregnant rabbits do a day before birth.

Binkies: These are big, joyful, ridiculous hops that express pure bunny happiness.

Flopping: This is another indication of super-duper happiness and contentedness. It can also lead to owner heartattacks because the bunny can look so flopped it seems dead!

Begging: Rabbits are worse than dogs about begging. Especially for treats. Avoid indulging them too much. An overweight rabbit is not as healthy as a trim rabbit.

Territorial droppings: Droppings that are not in a pile, but are scattered are signs that this territory belongs to this rabbit. It is a form of marking and will often occur upon entering a new environment. If two rabbits live in the same house there may always be some problem with this.

Playing: Rabbits like to push or toss things around. They may also race madly across the room, jump up on the couch and bound over the top of you. They are just having fun.

Annoyed redecorating: Rabbits are creatures of habit, when you rearrange their things they often are displeased. They get things arranged just right and want them to stay that way.

Stomping: When rabbits are frightened or mad, they can stomp or thump. This can be quite loud. The bunny is often trying to warn you of danger (though what your bunny considers ‘dangerous’ may often amuse you).

Tooth grinding: This is how bunnies purr. When You are petting your bunny and he or she starts chomping his or her teeth together, first just a few times, and often then rapidly, you have one happy bunny on your hands! NOTE however that bunnies can also grind their teeth loudly when they are in pain. You will be able to easily tell the difference, as a bunny in pain will behave very differnetly than a ‘purring’ bunny.

 Read The Language of Lagomorphs

Big bunny yawn…caught on tape!