Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Rei Garnet
To tell if your rabbit is happy, you need to look at its actions. Rabbits who are happy and content would start doing the following:
- Your rabbit is licking you.
- Your rabbit is nudging you.
- Your rabbit is jumping on your lap and letting you pet it.
- Your rabbit has happy ears, or ears that point upward.
- Your rabbit is relaxed when sleeping.
- Running around in circles around you
- Your rabbit is playing or running on its own.
- Your rabbit would “Binky.”
Rabbits are social creatures, and they need constant social interaction to be truly happy with either you, their owner, or preferably another rabbit.
I highly encourage anyone reading this to get a companion for their rabbits.
Your rabbit is licking you.
Rabbits licking other rabbits is a sign of trust and love. They only lick those who are close to them or rabbits that they consider family to groom them.
So, if your rabbit starts to lick you, most of the time your feet, it’s a sign that your rabbit is starting to trust and love you and considers you a part of their family.
Rabbits are social creatures, and they are happiest when they are in the wild, surrounded by the people they trust and love.
Your rabbit is nudging you.
When your rabbit is nudging you, it means that they’re trying to get your attention. It’s like saying “Hey, let’s play” or “Hey, I want pets.” Whatever the reason is, it’s a sign that your rabbit is happy and playful.
If your rabbit is trying to get your attention by nudging, check if they have enough food because sometimes they’re trying to get your attention because they want something. And one thing rabbits always want is more food.
Your rabbit is jumping on your lap and letting you pet it.
A rabbit that’s happy and content is not scared or worried about its environment. Us, being the top of the food chain, and rabbits, prey animals, would only jump on our laps if we truly trusted and loved them.
Letting you pet them is also a sign of trust and contentment in rabbits. In the wild, rabbits would often groom each other as a sign of affection and love.
So if your rabbit lets you touch and pet them, it means that they see you as “part of the pack” and they love you.
Your rabbit has happy ears, or ears that point upward.
Rabbits that are stressed in their environment have tense body language with their ears down. If your rabbit has its ears up, it means that they are either curious or relaxed.
A relaxed rabbit is a happy rabbit. In the wild, rabbits are always worried about predators, so they’re only able to relax when hidden.
Your rabbit is relaxed when sleeping.
If your rabbit is sleeping in a relaxed position with its eyes closed, it’s a sign that your rabbit is content and happy in its current environment.
So pat yourself on the back because you’re a great rabbit owner.
Running around in circles around you
Rabbits running around in circles or running around your feet is a sign of excitement and that they’re happy to see you. In the wild, rabbits’ running in circles is a courting behavior that’s usually an indicator that your rabbit is now entering puberty and needs to be neutered.
When your rabbit is running in circles around you, it could also mean that they want food or attention. Try to observe what behavior they’re excited about so that you’ll have a better understanding of your rabbit’s behaviors.
Your rabbit is playing or running on its own.
A rabbit playing on its own is also a sign of happiness. It means that they’re now comfortable in their environment and can be carefree.
Try to join in if they allow you. Otherwise, let them play on their own and try again later. This is especially important if you’re in a new home or you just got your rabbit.
Letting your rabbits play on their own and explore would give them the peace of mind they need and show them that the place is safe from danger.
Forcing your rabbit to play with you at this stage of getting to know the place would just scare your rabbit even more.
Your rabbit would “Binky.”
And finally, the ultimate sign of your rabbit’s happiness level, the infamous “Binky”. If your rabbit is doing this behavior, pat yourself on the back for being an awesome rabbit owner.
If there is one thing on this list that’s a guaranteed sign that a rabbit is happy, it’s this behavior.
The signs of a happy rabbit include rabbits licking you, nudging you, jumping on your lap, letting you pet them, sleeping on their side, running around in circles, relaxed ears, playing on their own, and binkying.
Cite this article:
Sources and Further reading
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
- Rabbit circling behavior
- Binkies, Nose Bonks and Flops: Rabbit Behavior Explained
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