Rabbits use multiple gestures to express their emotions. You might find your rabbit thumping its hind leg repeatedly with its ears pointed forward. So, what does this gesture mean? How should you respond to this reaction? Here you can find all the information that can help you in such situations.
Thumping is a sound that resembles the dropping of heavy books on the floor. Rabbits use their foot padding to make this sound.
Why do rabbits thump? Rabbits usually thump if they are scared, and it is behavior they have inherited from their wild ancestors. Thumping serves as a signal of distress. But, your bunny can also thump during any situation.
Cause of thumping in rabbits
1. They are frightened
Rabbits are very alert animals, and they can easily sense the slightest sounds and have a great sense of smell. In general, rabbits thump if they feel they are in danger. It uses thumping to warn others, including its owner.
A rabbit may thump if it is under threat or attack from another bunny or it is scared.
If you find your pet rabbit thumping repeatedly, get closer to it to find the factors causing distress and fear in your pet.
Young rabbits which you have just brought to your home will thump repeatedly. They may be scared about you and may even deem you a threat. But, their thumping will stop as soon as they realize you are not a threat.
2. It is annoyed
Rabbits do have their feelings. Despite being gentle and calm, they can become annoyed. Your bunny will become highly irritated if it is not cured correctly. They will thump repeatedly express their annoyance at something or someone.
Hence, if your rabbit is thumping, there is a high chance that it is highly annoyed.
It can happen when your rabbit is in a mood to play but is locked up or needs a few pets.
Rabbits can also become annoyed if you pick them up suddenly during their playtime. They usually get annoyed and scared if their feet leave the ground.
3. It is angry
Yes, rabbits can also thump repeatedly if they are angry. They can become angry if you are not giving them enough attention or have moved their things from their favorite place. Rabbits can also become angry if you get into their path or disturb them during their playtime.
Overhandling can also cause anger in rabbits. If you overhandle them, they will use thumping to express their anger.
If you find your rabbit approaching you and make a thumping sound, you need to watch its next gesture. If it ignores you later and gives you the cold shoulder, it is angry.
4. They are starving
Suppose you are neglecting their diet and are not feeding them enough food on time. In that case, your rabbit will get hungry. Hunger can cause them to turn angry and annoyed, and they will repeatedly thump to get your attention.
If you find your rabbit thumping repeatedly, try to get closer to it to find the cause. Carefully examine if it is stressed, scared, or annoyed. Giving them a gentle pet will help you to calm down your rabbit faster.