4 Weird Rabbit Behaviors that are Totally Harmless

by Marnie Bii | February 24th, 2015 | Behavior, Unique Pets
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netherland rabbit (400x400)Netherland dwarf rabbits will definitely throw you through a loop with their strange behaviors. Rabbits are unlike dogs and cats in the ways they communicate with their caregivers and playmates. Thumping, humming and licking are all par for the course with these little crazy animals. Furthermore, rabbits have a rather disgusting habit of eating their own waste products, which actually protects their health. Read on to learn more information.

Loud Thumping

When rabbits perceive danger, they will use their little legs to thump a warning to the group. After first bringing your rabbit home, every little noise may cause your rabbit to sit in a guarded position and thump away. Eventually, your rabbit will become accustomed to household sounds and only thump when startled. You can calm your rabbit by speaking in a gentle voice or softly petting your rabbit’s sides. Suddenly picking up your rabbit may cause him or her to bite or urinate in fear.

Soft Humming

When rabbits want to show affection, they may softly hum or buzz while making circles around their beloved. Unaltered male and female rabbits frequently exhibit this behavior when ready to mate. After having your rabbit neutered or spayed, he or she may still buzz or hum after receiving a treat or attention from you. Humming from an altered rabbit just signals excitement and adoration for their caregivers. Some rabbits even make a sudden honking sound in response to petting, holding or feeding.

Determined Licking

Rabbits will frequently groom each other when living in bonded pairs. If your rabbit considers you one of the pack, or warren, you will receive your fair share of grooming as well. Rabbits often start the grooming process by licking and gently nibbling, which is similar to the way they remove debris and knotted hairs from their coats. Some rabbits will even rub their chin on you to claim you with their scent. You can return the favor by gently combing your bunny’s fur when he or she comes over for a grooming session.

Waste Eating

Rabbits eat their own waste products on purpose. In fact, they produce a special kind of waste, called cecotropes, which are filled with nutrients left undigested by the intestines. Although cecotropes are not actually feces, they look awful close to the real thing. Eating these waste particles gives the bunny’s body a second chance to absorb the nutrients. The waste products can even protect the rabbit from harmful conditions, like viral infections and vitamin deficiencies. Since most bunnies consume their cecotropes at night, you may not notice this behavior right away.

Checking Out Strange Behaviors

Whenever you feel unsure about your rabbit’s behaviors, or overall health condition, it doesn’t hurt to go into the vet for a checkup. Vets not only diagnose and treat health problems; they are also available to explain behaviors in an effort to help people understand their pets better. Vets can even help you figure out ways to eliminate behaviors that are disturbing, distressing or dangerous.

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