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I was petting my bunny and I can't tell if he's scared or likes it

Pets Asked by Sinead on September 4, 2020

I recently took my grandma’s rabbit because she’s wasn’t taking care of it well. He’s very skittish and doesn’t like to be picked up and such. I was petting him and he has his front legs splayed out like he’s laying down, but his back legs are positioned as if he is sitting normally. Is he scared when I’m letting him or is this normal behavior?

2 Answers

Arms out front, legs under hips, is a normal petting position for rabbits. As he gets more comfortable he may also lay on his side, or in the superman position (arms out front, legs stretched out back)

Rabbits will normally run away, nip, charge or box at you when they are afraid or mad. Growling and/or thumping are also signs of unhappiness.

Your rabbit may also nip at you or headbutt you, if you stop petting them before they are done. Each bunny has a unique personality, some only like to be pet for a minute or two, some like to be pet for an hour or more.

Teeth chattering is a sign of happiness or contentment, it is to rabbits as purring is to cats.

Rabbits prefer not to be held, or snuggled tightly. Anything that makes them feel captured, is generally not liked. They will lay against you, or even get climb on top of you. Letting the bunny decide, about how close or where they want to be on you, is the best choice.

Most appreciated petting is any place on the head, behind the ears, along the jaw, head to back.

Avoid under chin, hips (varies by rabbit), and stomach.

Answered by James Jenkins on September 4, 2020

Normal, if he were scared he would run away from you or will be aggressive and charge/nip.

Answered by Rebecca RVT on September 4, 2020

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