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Q: Why do rabbits thump?

March 30, 2012 | By Ohshortone43 | 2 answers | Expired: 740 days ago

Our pet rabbit is kept in our room for the meantime while were still in the process of moving and she always thumps while were sleeping...she seems to thump more if my husband is not in the room at night....does she miss him? why does she only thump at night? Its extremely loud and she wont stop until i get up and go over to her to stop, and even then when i go back to sleep she will do it agian. help! lol

Readers' Answers (2)
Kelly
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Mar 30, 2012

Thumping is a form of communication. They thump because they want to get your attention, because they're frustrated, and when they're happy. They also thump to sound the alarm when they sense something nearby that could be a threat. Maybe she is trying to get someone's attention or it could be that she smells or hears a dog or some other animal outside and she's sounding the alarm. It's hard to say why she's doing it or if she's doing it for the same reason each time. She may just be bored and missing your hubby so she's trying to get his attention and showing her frustration at him not being there.

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Daisyjoy
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Apr 09, 2012

When a rabbit lifts both its hind legs up in the air at the same time and hits the ground to make a thumping noise, it is known as a rabbit’s thump. Sometimes a rabbit may also pick up just one leg and thump the ground with it, but it means the same thing. Like many other activities of various animals, thumping by a rabbit is a way to communicate via body language for its species. A rabbit may thump if it senses some sort of danger or something that seems out of the ordinary for him. Apart from indicating danger, a rabbit can also thump its legs when it feels uncomfortable or irritated by some activity around it. If you surprise your pet rabbit by petting him or picking him up suddenly, there is a good chance that it will show its annoyance through thumping both legs onto the ground. Pet owners should interpret this as a signal to avoid such actions in the future.

When a rabbit is in a group in the wild, it thumps its back legs to communicate danger to the other members of the group. If an approaching predator is detected by one rabbit, it transmits the danger signal by thumping the ground to other rabbits and all of them immediately escape from the area to avoid the predator. Rabbits thump to convey danger because unlike most other animals, they are not vocal in communication.

An alerting thump is also accompanied by a tensed body, wide eyes and ears that are standing rigid. If you find that your pet is not showing any of the other signs but just thumping its hind legs, then there might be other reasons. Pet rabbits are different from the ones in the wild, so a pet bunny may thump its legs in plain anticipation of receiving a tasty treat. Pet rabbits are also found to become excited at the sight of a new object and express it by thumping the ground. Such a thump however, would be less loud than the alerting thumps. These are affectionate creatures, therefore they also thump to receive attention and love from their owners, if they feel neglected.

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