In the cartoon Bambi, the Thumper rabbit meets a pretty rabbit. When the latter brings his muzzle close to Thumper’s to greet him, he starts pounding the ground with his hind paw in a frenzied manner. However, your pet rabbit also stamps its foot without you being able to make the connection with such a situation. So why is he doing this?
Rabbit body language
In the wild, rabbits live in colonies. To organize their social life, communication is essential. Rabbits have a wide range of possibilities available: attitudes, movements and noises. The domestic rabbit has not lost these skills and you find them in your rabbit.
The position of the body, that of the ears or of the tail are subtly combined to express submission, fear, aggressiveness, relaxation or even curiosity. Rabbits can quickly modulate their body attitude according to that of their fellows and most of the time avoid conflicts.
As a rabbit owner, it will be helpful for you to learn about rabbit body language. Even if he knows that you are not a bunny yourself, he will communicate with you in his bunny way. It will be easier to tame your pet using their language. Thus, you can completely lie down on your stomach to greet your rabbit by rubbing your nose against its muzzle, or even rub your feet on the ground, as if you wanted to wipe them, to express your dissatisfaction following one of his stupidities. . It will be very effective.
The ears well erected vertically indicate a rabbit on alert, if they are leaning forward, the rabbit is curious, leaning a little backwards, the rabbit is relaxed, but more, the rabbit is aggressive, etc.
You will therefore understand the potential vulnerability of ram rabbits for which breed standards want their ears to be quite droopy and immobile. These rabbits are more easily subject to sudden attacks from their congeners with more mobile and non-drooping ears. However, do not make complete victims because they still have the olfactory and auditory communication, and the visual communication mobilizing the legs and the tail.
Your bunny is stamping his foot
Sometimes some happy rabbit owners wake up in the middle of the night to their pet patting its hind leg on the ground not knowing what to do to stop it. Based on your knowledge of the rabbit’s body language, you know it means something. But what ?
Half asleep, you have only one fear, that he will wake up the neighbor or other people in the household, and one desire, to go back to sleep. The day rises then, we will have to find a solution.
Rabbits have peak activity at dawn and dusk and do not make their night all at once, waking up quite often. During these phases of awakening, they react to their environment.
When the rabbit taps with the hind paw, it usually expressesworry in the face of danger and wishes to inform his colony. Even if your rabbit is alone in his cage, which is not very good for his morale, he will be keen to communicate his fear. And the sound and vibration of its paw kicks are intended to be perceived even underground, in the galleries of the burrow.
These blows can also manifestannoyance : something is annoying your rabbit. In this case, not content with tapping his hind leg, he will also be able to give a little high-pitched growl.
Another way to distinguish fear from annoyance is to observe the attitude of other rabbits. In the first case, the others will freeze to identify the danger, and may even begin to stamp their paws. If they haven’t seen anything particularly threatening, they’ll go about their business, but hearing his beatings will still be stressful for them. In the second case, the other rabbits will remain indifferent from the start of the noise.
Find the cause to regain sleep
If the problem persists over time, your sleep may be affected. By moving his cage away from your room, you can reduce the nuisance. But that won’t solve the problem your rabbit is obviously facing.
The rabbit is a fearful animal because it is vulnerable. The only solution, then, is to find what worries him so much. If your rabbit is alone, he may manifest the anxiety of being without a companion. Perhaps he sees a shadow that has started to move with the wind and that he finds threatening. To test this hypothesis, you can cover his cage with a sheet to limit his vision at night. If he already has a companion, it may be a conflict between the two rabbits.
In any case, you will need to spend some time observing your animal (and any companions) to understand the situation and find a solution to calm it down.