Can rabbits laugh or not?
This is where opinions differ: animals definitely can’t grin, smile, or laugh from the belly in the human sense of the word.
Nevertheless, there are some signs that your animals are happy.
For this, it is important to know the body language of rabbits. Here we tell you what you can interpret as laughter.
Signs that can be understood as joy, cheerfulness or laughter
1: Relaxed lying
All fours stretched lengthwise from you, on your side or on your back – it doesn’t get any more comfortable or relaxed than that.
When your rabbits are in these positions, they feel safe, secure and just all around comfortable.
This is comparable to your after-work position on the couch.
So at the very least, it represents a relaxed grin or deep breath.
2: Digging, rolling and pushing
Digging and burrowing are part of rabbits’ natural repertoire. Providing your animals with an area for this in the form of a box with a raised edge and filled with sand or bark mulch will increase your popularity with them.
To prevent sand or mulch from spreading around the room, you can separate the section from the outside with Plexiglas panes.
Alternatively, choose a litter box with a roof. The walls and roof will automatically prevent litter from spreading around.
Besides digging, rolling and pushing are also clear signs that your rabbits are happy and content. Rolling is usually done on soft surfaces.
Therefore, rabbits will not stop at your couch blanket or rug if they are available to them.
Air jumps, hooks, running – what is part of the escape repertoire in nature, is in very young rabbits and in the feeling of security and exuberance. If your animals romp in such a way by outlet or your dwelling, they play and are pleased.
These phases are also known among pet owners as “the five minutes”.
In addition to fun and games, rabbits release energy and live out their natural behavior.
4: Circling you
If a rabbit keeps circling your feet, it could be for several reasons.
It may be feeling lonely, wanting attention, activity and petting – or it may not have had enough treats today.
Unneutered males are also sometimes tempted by their sex drive to ensnare you.
For this reason, the behavior can be observed more often in rabbits that are kept singly. The supposedly cute gesture can therefore also indicate a problem that you can only solve through conspecifics.
Pet me, give me treats, play with me – nudging is a sign that your rabbit wants attention.
It therefore comes into play when begging for food, for example. But this is not the only kind of communication that is implemented with it. For one thing, your animal feels so comfortable with you that it becomes cheeky, so to speak. This should make you happy, because the otherwise shy animals do not show such behavior with everyone.
On the other hand, nudging can also mean that the animal does not want any further petting. So nudging is not always positive. The better you get to know your rabbit, the easier it will be to distinguish the behavior as communication.
6: Making males
Rabbits already have a very large field of vision because their eyes are on the side of their head. To get an even better view, they get into the male position where they sit on their butts and hind legs.
However, the position is not only used to detect danger or to find their way around the environment.
Begging, attention seeking, and play requests can also begin with this. It is also important that the animals present their belly while doing this and delay a possible escape.
This is true at least when they strike the pose right near you. Then it represents curiosity, joyful excitement and the desire for attention.
7: Impatience at your arrival
Dogs and cats like to greet their can openers at the door. Very tame rabbits are no different.
They look forward to contact with you, fresh food, petting, and perhaps free running throughout the home. This makes interpreting impatience when you arrive home a little more difficult.
Because on the one hand it can mean that you were already expected and your animals link you purely positive. So scratching at the cage and rushing towards you can be equated with a smile.
On the other hand, your rabbits may have been bored all day because there is not enough space in the cage or in the room.
The impatience then speaks to frustration and possibly loneliness. Perhaps the reaction is also due to the fact that the best food is only available in the evening.
The knocking with the hind legs naturally serves to warn conspecifics.
It is used, for example, when a potential enemy is sighted. Since your rabbits don’t have to deal with this, tapping takes on new meanings. Impatience, frustration and the desire for attention can be behind it.
Maybe once again you’re too slow in opening the door or handing treats. Knocking may not be a laugh but it is a sign of security and trust.
Your rabbit is relying on you and is brave enough to demand what he wants when his needs are unmet. In other words, you are offering your pet security and thus the best basis for a happy life.
9: Grinding with the teeth
When rabbits grind their teeth, it should get you to the vet as soon as possible.
A cozy grinding with the teeth, on the other hand, means comfort.
When cuddling, petting or brushing, as well as during mutual grooming among conspecifics, the sound can often be heard.
It is comparable to the purring of a cat or a relaxed smile.
Caution: This is not laughter!
Especially when new rabbit owners ask themselves if rabbits can laugh, there is often a problem behind it. Because when the animals show teeth, there is a need for action.
This behavior should in no case be misinterpreted as laughter!
Possible causes that rabbits show their teeth are:
- Foreign bodies between the teeth
- toothache too long teeth
- foreign bodies in the respiratory tract
- too low oxygen content of the blood
A whole range of health complications are possible causes.
Among them are, for example, restrictions of the heart or lung function. If your rabbit appears to be smiling or yawning noticeably often, stretching or looking stiff, you should see a veterinarian immediately.
Here’s how: Make rabbits laugh (or something like that).
Even if they can’t laugh like humans, happy rabbits should be your goal.
To achieve this, you have numerous options:
- enough space
- variety balanced diet
- attention care
- medical care
- clean environment
Since a standard cage is not sufficient for exercise, even during the day, a secure run can be useful.
Remember to protect the floor. You can always rearrange this run to provide variety for the animals. Toys, branches and hidden food, opportunities for digging and running can keep the rabbits busy.
If the offer changes weekly, the animals will not get bored.
However, even the most beautiful playground for the four-legged friends does not replace the contact with conspecifics.
Even much occupation with the rabbit by you usually means only that at least in between loneliness exists. You cannot replace grooming. Play and understanding are also something different among rabbits than between animal and human. No matter how much effort you make, you will not be able to compensate for this.
However, you can be the one who takes care of the balanced diet and spoils the animals with healthy treats.
Brushing, petting and caring for wounds are also part of your job.
You can also discover new hobbies together with your rabbits.
For example, have you ever heard of rabbit hops?
You can keep them busy outdoors or indoors and have fun at the same time.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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