Is your bunny rabbiting on?

14th Jun 2018

Is your bunny rabbiting on?

Ever wondered where the phrase “rabbiting on” comes from? It’s actually from the Cockney rhyming slang “rabbit & pork “– talk – but your bunny has plenty to say, even if it can’t speak out loud.

From non-verbal cues to honking and grunting, these ever-sociable pets have a complex and fascinating vocabulary which the team in Kettering have studied to bring you an insight into what they are trying to tell you.

But the rabbit’s communication skills are so broad there’s plenty we don’t have room to tell you here, so if you want to explore further, contact us for more detailed advice.

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Your rabbit’s saying good stuff when it:

  • Clicks its teeth
    This indicates pleasure and contentment and happens while a rabbit is being petted or when it’s totally relaxed and comfortable.
  • Honks
    This soft sound is a courting behaviour, usually accompanied by circling.
  • Nudges with its nose
    This could mean it wants to be stroked, have attention paid to it, or it wants something out of the way.
  • Flops
    If your rabbit suddenly falls or flips over on their side to expose their belly, it means it is totally relaxed and comfortable.
  • Dances
    When your rabbit rushes around, jumping up and doing mid-air turns, it’s a happy bunny indeed.
  • Lies spatchcock
    When your rabbit’s hind feet are stretched out fully behind, it’s relaxed and comfortable but ready to move quickly if necessary.
  • Licks
    This means “I love you, I trust you.”

Your rabbit’s saying bad stuff when it:

  • Tooth-grinds
    This means severe pain, discomfort, or stress and you should get to Northlands Veterinary Hospital immediately.
  • Thumps
    Rabbits thump to get attention, express displeasure, fear, or as a warning to others.
  • Wags its tail
    This is an indication of defiance.
  • Lunges
    This may happen when you reach into your rabbit’s cage and is a sign of disapproval.
  • Tenses its body with upright tail and laid back ears
    Your rabbit is on the offensive and is ready to lunge and maybe bite.
  • Screams
    Indicates mortal terror or excruciating pain.

These are just a few of the rabbit’s many and varied communication cues. Remember, to find out more call us on 01536 485543 and we’ll be happy to help.

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