How can I tell whether I’ve got a happy bunny?

Note: Click here to read the full Rabbit Behaviour: What is my bunny trying to tell me? article.

Do you have a happy bunny?

Rabbits are complex and quiet creatures and fully understanding rabbit behaviour can be a minefield.

In the wild, Rabbits are prey creatures and it’s very much in their best interest not draw attention to themselves.

That’s why their methods of communication and displaying emotion, may not be obvious to their owners.

Happy Bunny?

Rabbit’s show they’re happy and content in a number of complex ways.

Let’s run through them.

Ears

For rabbits not of a flop-ear breed, when they’re are happy their ears are generally close together, facing slightly backwards and pointing outwards.

Lying Down

Rabbit’s can show they’re happy and relaxed just by lying down.

They do this in three ways:

  1. If they’re lying with their legs tucked underneath them.
  2. If they’re lying with their front paws pointing forward and rear legs stuck out sideways. Their body will also be relaxed and extended.
  3. If they’re lying down with full extended and relaxed body. Back legs are stretched out behind their body and their front paws are pointing forwards.

My rabbit — Ronnie — demonstrates the second of those perfectly here:

Ronnie showing me he’s happy, lying in his cage.

Flopping

When a rabbit flops down sideways in his cage, this is a sign of happiness.

My old Rabbit — Dave (RIP) — loved to do this. He was incredibly dramatic when he did it too. He waited for an audience and then did a big song and dance about it.

We always thought he was bored and wanted out of the cage, but it turns out he was just really happy and content.

Flopping, however, is down to the tastes of the individual rabbit.

Some rabbits do it, others don’t; Dave certainly did it a lot more than Ronnie does.

Lightening

This is the nickname we call Ronnie. He got it from darting around the living room like greased lightening.

Or when he speeds down the stairs and comes crashing down into the shoe wrack opposite the bottom step.

Running around really fast is another way Rabbits show they’re happy.

Binkying

Often accompanied by the lightening fast speed is a spot of binkying.

Binkying is where Rabbits leap into the air, twist their bodies and kick out their back legs.

For anybody who’s ever seen a rabbit doing a binky, I think you’ll agree; it’s a sight to behold.

This is arguably the strongest sign a rabbit can give that they’re happy.

Buzzing/Honking

Another sign of happiness is if your rabbit circles you, making buzzing or honking noises.

However, if other rabbits are present this could also signal they want sexy time.

Further Reading

For more information regarding Rabbit behaviour, read the full article on BunnyLowdown right here.

This includes:

  • Marking Territory.
  • Attention Seeking.
  • A Unhappy Bunny.
  • A Bored Bunny.