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Understanding Rabbit Behavior

House rabbits are just like – and very different from – any other family pet. Just like dogs, cats, and birds, every house rabbit is different – some are shy and some outgoing, some are active and some more content to sit and get pets, some like other rabbits and some do not. Having an understanding of rabbit behavior is important to ensuring that your house rabbit is and stays happy and healthy. Here are a few examples of common house rabbit behavior.

  • Chewing:  Rabbits like to chew. In fact, they need to chew to keep their teeth healthy and trimmed. A rabbit’s teeth are always growing, so chewing helps keep them to a normal length. Make sure you give your rabbits plenty to chew – hay, apple or willow twigs, etc. – and protect your woodwork and furniture from unwanted chewing.
  • Digging:  Rabbits also like to dig. You can help fulfill this need with a digging spot like a cardboard box filled with shredded paper.
  • Thumping:  Yes, rabbits do thump! This is a sign that they are unhappy with something, or are warning their fellow rabbits to danger. If your rabbits are thumping at you, it is likely they are not happy with what you are doing (like rearranging their pens or moving their stuff).
  • Binkying:  Rabbits will run, jump, and spin in the air when they are truly happy. This is known as a “binky.” It is not only a lot of fun to watch, but it is truly satisfying to know that your little furry friend is truly joyful.

Here are some great articles on rabbit behavior from House Rabbit Society:

Rabbits can truly be wonderful companions and pets; the more you understand their behavior the better your relationship will be.