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How To Tell If Your Rabbit Is Happy (5 Signs to Look For)

Nicole Cosgrove

Rabbits are rather cute and adorable pets. Most people could not bear to think of the thought of making a cute and cuddly bunny sad or scared. With the right care and attention, you can make sure your rabbit is happy. You can even confirm your rabbit’s happiness by paying attention to its activity and behavior.

In this article, we are going to look at the top five signs to look for in a happy rabbit. These five signs show that your rabbit is healthy and happy. Let’s hop on in.

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5 Signs Your Rabbit Is Happy:

A happy rabbit is one that is relaxed and healthy. If your rabbit is unhealthy, he will not be happy. Likewise, he will not be happy if he is stressed or spooked all the time. Creating a healthy and stress-free environment is the only way to ensure your rabbit is happy.

Below, we are going to learn the five signs for a happy rabbit. All of these signs show that your rabbit is healthy, happy, and relaxed.

1. He is relaxed.

rabbits
Image Credit: Rebekka D, Pixabay

By nature, rabbits are prey animals. This means that they can become stressed and spooked rather easily. Even around people they are familiar with, it is super easy for rabbits to become scared. If your rabbit acts relaxed, he is very happy.

You can tell your rabbit is relaxed by looking at his body mannerisms. If your rabbit is lying down in any way and is relaxing, he is not stressed. Likewise, rabbits that will jump in the air with all of their paws off the ground are relaxed and happy.

Relaxed rabbits also tend to have a calm and quiet demeanor. They are rarely loud, meaning a loud rabbit is one that is stressed or spooked. Similarly, a rabbit that is tense or really jerky is likely unhappy and stressed as well.


2. He is curious.

rabbit with one ear up
Image Credit: Esi Grünhagen, Pixabay

Even though rabbits are very calm and relaxed by nature, they are very curious. Rabbits love to look around and check out the scenes. A curious rabbit is one that is healthy, stimulated, and really happy. It also means that they are relaxed enough that they know they can look around without watching their back.

If your rabbit will not look around or test out the area, it likely means that it is stressed or ill, and therefore unhappy. A rabbit may become timid because of a loud sound that is out of your control, but it can also happen because the rabbit is scared around you or some other thing in its environment.


3. He has a good appetite.

rabbit in cage III_Piqsels
Image Credit: Piqsels

Just like humans, rabbits love to munch. If your rabbit has a good appetite, he is really happy. Rabbits that are happy and healthy love to eat and nibbling on different food. In fact, rabbits need food in their system at all times. If your rabbit stops eating, it means that there is something wrong and it is unhappy.

In the case that your rabbit’s diet suddenly decreases, you need to take him to see an exotic pet right away. This is incredibly abnormal for a rabbit and it shows there is a serious issue at hand. Remember: an unhealthy rabbit is an unhappy one.


4. He is calm but active.

rabbit jumping_anitram_Shutterstock
Image Credit: anitram, Shutterstock

As we mentioned above, rabbits that are happy are calm and relaxed. It is important that your rabbit is calm, but he needs to be active too. Happy and healthy rabbits should be inquisitive, walk around their enclosure, and play with their friends. Rabbits that are active are rabbits that are healthy and happy.

Lethargy and sleepiness are signs of an unhappy and unhealthy rabbit. If your rabbit’s activity levels suddenly plummet, you should take your rabbit to the vet. Just like loss of appetite, loss in activity shows a serious health issue is likely plaguing your bunny.


5. He sounds happy.

vet checking rabbit
Image Credit: Elnur, Shutterstock

Finally, the last sign that your rabbit is happy is the sounds it makes. Rabbits make a whole bunch of sounds, ranging from purrs to growls. Knowing what a happy rabbit sounds like can tell you whether or not your rabbit is happy.

Clucking, purring, and sighing are all happy sounds. Rabbits cluck whenever they are content. You will most likely hear the sound whenever the rabbit is eating or sleeping. If the rabbit is relaxing, you may hear it sigh. Just like a cat, rabbits purr whenever they are happy.

Just as rabbits have happy noises, they have sad noises too. Growling, hissing, teeth grinding, squealing, screaming, and foot stomping are all signs of an unhappy rabbit. Teeth grinding is often mistaken for purring. So, pay attention when you hear those noises.

Rabbits can make other noises that do not relate to happiness or sadness. For example, males may grunt when they want to mate. They can also wheeze, sneeze, or cough whenever they are sick. Signs of sickness is an unhealthy rabbit, and you need to fix the issue immediately.

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Ways To Make Your Rabbit Happy

Whether your rabbit is showing signs of unhappiness or you want to do everything in your power to keep your rabbit happy, there are things you can do to aid in your rabbit’s happiness. Let’s look at these four ways to make your rabbit happy.

1. Get him a buddy.

baby rabbits
Image Credit: Kassia Marie Ott, Shutterstock

By nature, rabbits are very social creatures. Because they are prey animals, they tend to group in numbers and are rarely found by themselves. Because of this fact, only get a rabbit if you are willing to take two at the least. Rabbits by themselves are unhappy and lonely. Get your rabbit a bunny friend!


2. Give him a lot of space to play.

Something else you should do to keep your rabbit happy is give him a lot of space to play. Many amateur rabbit owners think that a rabbit hutch is all the bunny needs to be happy. This is not true. Rabbits need a whole lot of space to jump and play.

It’s a great idea to have an outside enclosure that allows the rabbit to stretch its legs and run. Simply have a hutch for safe sleeping arrangements.


3. Be gentle with him.

Even though it may be tempting to constantly cuddle up next to your bunny, most rabbits don’t like being touched or held. As prey animals, being held by humans is a rather stressful experience. To ensure that your rabbit is not stressed, be gentle with him and only hold him if he shows obvious signs of comfort in the process.


4. Feed him a healthy diet.

rabbit eating hay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Finally, you should feed your rabbit a healthy diet. Rabbits need constant access to fresh hay, as well as daily portions of fresh vegetables. You can feed your rabbit small amounts of pellets, but this is not necessary. Also, provide your rabbit constant access to fresh water.

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Final Thoughts

Make sure your rabbit is healthy and happy by paying attention to its mannerisms. Providing a lot of space to play, as well as friends and a healthy diet can help to ensure your rabbit is happy and healthy.

If you notice that your rabbit is showing any signs of discontent, you need to address the issue immediately. If you’re doing everything in your power to keep your rabbit healthy and it is still showing signs of unhappiness, illness or a more serious issue may be to blame. Take your rabbit to an exotic vet to ensure everything is OK.


Featured Image Credit: Victoria Paladiy, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.