The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Rabbits are known to be affectionate and loving animals not just to one another, but to their owners as well. They love to snuggle, lick, and yes, even climb all over you.
This is simply their way of letting you know they love you. But specifically, what does it mean when your rabbit climbs all over you?
Communication Is Key
Rabbits have many ways of communicating, one of them being climbing. When a rabbit climbs on you, it is simply trying to get to know you better. It may be sniffing you out as a way to learn your scent while at the same time, looking for some attention.
When a rabbit climbs on you, it may also be giving you an invitation to groom. It will nudge you and climb all over you until you give it what it needs. If you don’t, you’ll be faced with some serious consequences that include getting your belongings chewed up and having all of your favorite clothes peed on. Rabbits can be quite vindictive like this.
A rabbit may also be trying to get closer to you so that it can lick you. Rabbits love to lick and also do this as a sign of affection.
Climbing Could Be Perceived as a Sign of Danger
If a rabbit is climbing on you, it may not always be out of love and affection. Sometimes rabbits may feel threatened if they get picked up, and will climb on you to try and get away.
This can be dangerous because the rabbit may jump off of you and injure themselves if the jump is high enough. As a result, it’s important to know how to handle your rabbit without scaring it. Look for signs that your rabbit is okay with you picking it up before you do so.
If you do decide to hold your rabbit, make sure you pick it up correctly, by its hind legs first. You’ll also want to make sure you have a good grip on your rabbit so it doesn’t escape and injure itself. A good way to make sure your rabbit stays safe is by holding it close to your body.
Other Ways Your Rabbit May Be Trying to Communicate
There are several other peculiar habits that rabbits have that could mean several different things. If you are around a rabbit long enough, you’ll come to find out that rabbits love to grind their teeth when they are happy. This is the equivalent of a cat purring when it is content.
You might be able to hear your rabbit grind its teeth while you are grooming it or giving it a massage.
Like dogs and cats, rabbits will nudge at you when they want you to play with them. They may hop over to where you are sitting or crawl underneath your chin. It’s their way of making sure they are getting the attention they deserve!
Rabbits also tend to stand up on their hind legs every once in a while. This can mean a few things. For one, it can just be your rabbit’s way of being curious about the surrounding environment. It may be standing on its hind legs to get a better view of whatever it is that caught its attention.
This can also mean that they want to be fed. If a rabbit does this in front of their food, they are signaling that they are hungry.
There are many ways in which you can tell if your bunny is comfortable around you. Their behavior and the way they relax says a lot about how they feel. A bunny flop is a common way for a rabbit to make itself feel at home. It will flop on its side before stretching out and promptly taking a nap. Pretty self-explanatory!
Marking Their Territory
Rabbits can be very territorial, so you may find yourself having to do a lot of cleaning up after them the first few days they are home. They may want to mark their territory by urinating in different spots in your house, so try to keep them contained in their cage until they have gotten used to being around you.
Believe it or not, bunnies also have a habit of marking their owners. They will do this by either licking or rubbing their chin on you. When they lick, they are essentially grooming you like they would with any other rabbit they consider a friend.
A nudge or a chin rub is also another way of marking territory. Rabbits happen to have glands under their chin that release some of their scent, therefore marking you as theirs.
Different Rabbit Sounds
Rabbits can also be vocal, but most of the time it signals something bad. For example, a rabbit might squeal if it is in pain or feels like it’s in danger. Younger bunnies may do this as a way to call out to their mother.
Oftentimes, you might be able to hear your rabbit growl or hiss. This is pretty self-explanatory and something most animals do when they are upset. We suggest staying away from your rabbit if you hear it hiss, or you may end up with a painful nip.
A buzzing noise may also be heard from a bunny and may indicate that it is content. Like purring or teeth clicking, the rabbit is simply trying to tell you that it’s happy when it buzzes.
Finally, perhaps one of the worst sounds a rabbit can make is a literal scream. This signifies that the rabbit is terrified for its life, and you should definitely check on them if you happen to hear this coming from your pet.
So to summarize, you can sleep safe at night knowing your pet rabbit isn’t plotting a way to murder you by climbing all over you. In fact, it is doing the opposite and trying to get closer to you by showing you affection.