Why do rabbits thump their feet?

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thumping bunny graphic

An often asked question about rabbits is “Why do they thump their feet?”

Here are the top reasons:

  1. To warn other rabbits of danger, such as a predator nearby. Even if your rabbit is the sole bunny in the house, if he thinks he senses danger, such as hearing a loud, unfamiliar noise, he may still thump out of instinct.

  2. According to knowswhy.com, rabbits will also thump to show frustration if they aren’t getting their way. For instance, if a rabbit wants more food, he may stomp his feet. And, although many rabbits don’t like to be carried, many do like to be petted, and they may even thump if they feel they aren’t getting petted enough.

  3. Similarly, https://can-pets-eat.com/rabbits/thump/ reports that their bunnies will thump when they dislike something. For instance, if a rabbit doesn’t want to be picked up or put down, it may thump.

If the rabbit is thumping out of fear, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the issue is. According to https://www.petrabbits.org/why-do-rabbits-thump-their-feet-on-the-ground/, thumping can go on for hours and can cause damage to the rabbit’s legs, so it’s important for rabbit owners to provide comfort as soon as possible.

As prey animals, rabbits are prone to feel fear easily and constantly scan the environment for it, so making sure your rabbit has a safe, quiet and peaceful living area can be a big help as can petting/brushing him, treats and possibly calming music.

If all goes well, instead of thumping, you will witness the rabbit’s much more positive and joyful use of its legs, which is often referred to as the “binky” or binkying. This move involves jumping and kicking in the air while shaking its head and means that the rabbit is happy and playful, according to https://www.rabbitcaretips.com/why-do-rabbits-binky/.


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