There’s no denying that rabbits make great pets. But, you have to understand that they are prey animals that don’t react too well to being constantly handled. If you have a household full of children, perhaps you should reconsider your decision of adopting a rabbit.
On the flip side, if you are mature enough to allow your bunny rabbits plenty of room to be by themselves, provide ample exercise, and proper housing and diet, then your rabbits will often exhibit the zoomies.
What are bunny zoomies? Bunny zoomies are when your rabbit lets off excess energy by running, jumping, twirling, and binkying. Rabbits do this when they are excited, happy, or feeling playful. It’s a good sign that your rabbit is happy, healthy, and relaxed.
Let’s look into the bizarre bunny behavior known as the zoomies, and find out why your fluffball might look like they’re freaking out all the time for no reason.
What Are The Zoomies?
“Zoomies” is a fun term used by pet owners when they wsee their beloved four-legged family members running and ‘zooming’ across from one room to another. In most cases, animals, dogs, cats, or even bunnies exhibit the zoomies when they are happy or thrilled.
Now, the more technical term for zoomies is “frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs).” According to Jose Arce, the president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association, zoomies are “just our pets having fun.”
When animals, particularly rabbits, get the zoomies, you may see a number of accompanying acts that bunnies demonstrate to show their excitement or happiness.
- Binkying – When you see a bunny getting the zoomies, you will often see them binkying too. Basically, binkying is when a rabbit jumps up in the air and twirls at the same time. Under normal circumstances, a novice bunny keeper might believe that their rabbit is scared or terrified of something and trying to escape. But, if you take a moment or two to observe them more closely, you will realize that your rabbit is simply excited.
- Licking – A lick from a rabbit is the parallel of a hug or a kiss from humans. Rabbits only lick those that they have bonded with, so if your rabbit is racing around the entire house and randomly licking you, they’re happy to be with you and they’re letting you know how they feel.
- Chinning – Rabbits have glands on the underside of their chins that allow them to mark their territory. So, if your rabbit is chinning you while they’re jumping and whizzing past you from room to room, it means that your rabbit is super comfortable with your presence. If a rabbit marks you as their territory, it’s a sure sign of affection.
- Lying On The Belly – When your bunny rabbit flops down on their belly and extends their back legs, you can be sure that they are feeling very relaxed. The belly flop usually comes after the zoomies are subsiding and your rabbit is now feeling the urge to unwind and take a nap.
- Nose Nudging – There are a number of sentiments tied to nose nudging. Rabbits are curious creatures. So, when they want to discover what something is, they nose nudge it. However, nose nudging may also be done to get your attention. When rabbits are feeling happy and relaxed, they practice nose nudging to get you to notice them.
- Circling And Honking – In the event that your rabbit hasn’t been spayed or neutered, then the circling and honking can often be a mating ritual. But, if your pet is spayed or neutered, then circling and honking is a desperate plea for affection.
- Clothes Tugging – Another behavior similar to nose nudging is clothes tugging. It is a clear-cut way of demanding their human’s attention and love. If your rabbit does indulge in clothes tugging, then you can be sure that your pet has closely bonded with you.
- Nose Wiggles – Another interesting behavioral aspect of the zoomies is nose wiggles. When rabbits are excited, you will often find them wiggling their nose. The faster the nose wiggles, the more excited the bunny is. Nose wiggles are associated with curiosity as well. If a thing or movement intrigues your rabbit, they will wiggle their nose, but if the nose wiggles stop promptly, then that can mean that your rabbit is confused or unsure if they want to take interest.
If you’re simply curious about what zoomies even look like in rabbits, here’s a video from Elli and Manu bunnies on YouTube!
What Triggers The Zoomies In Rabbits?
Many different species of animals experience the zoomies. In dogs, being confined to one particular area can result in your dog becoming bored, feeling alone, and suffering from separation anxiety. But, the moment you let your pet free, they get a burst of adrenaline, which brings on a bout of zoomies.
It’s the same with cats and bunnies.
Zoomies in rabbits can be triggered by a number of things such as:
- Being most active during dusk and dawn
- When you are preparing to feed them
- When you come home
- When you give undivided attention to your pet
- After grooming
- After using the litter box
- Outside play time
While it is true that most rabbits get the zoomies after most of these activities, there are other times when they’ll get the urge to run and jump for joy.
Bunny rabbits love to jump, play, and socialize, so it is common to encounter one or more rabbits getting the zoomies more than twice or thrice in a day. This is particularly true when your rabbit feels quite relaxed and happy in their current environment.
Being prey animals, rabbits have to first worry about survival. When survival is assured, only then they indulge in play time. A rabbit that is living in stressful conditions will rarely get the zoomies.
What Rabbit Behaviors Don’t Constitute As A Part Of The Zoomies?
There are a number of bunny actions that can never be seen as a part of the zoomies. The zoomies isn’t a negative behavior. As a matter of fact, binkies or zoomies in animals are exhibited when animals, particularly rabbits, are demonstrating happiness or excitement.
So, if you find that your rabbit is thumping its tail furiously on the ground, growling, or nipping with extreme agitation, then your rabbit is neither happy nor relaxed.
Let’s take a look at some actions that rabbits manifest when they are highly agitated:
- Throwing Objects – This is a great show of annoyance from rabbits, often throwing their toys or other things after a scolding or when in a grumpy mood.
- Sniffing – When rabbits are irritated, they tend to sniff more. However, sniffing is also an action that may simply show that your rabbit needs your attention and time.
- Grunting, Snorting And Growling – All three of these behaviors are surefire signs of an angry bunny. It is best to allow your pet to have some space and alone time to enjoy some peace and quiet so that their bad mood can dissipate. Another quick way to simmer your pet’s anger is to give them a peace offering, such as a juicy piece of watermelon or apple.
- Stomping – A bunny stomping their hind legs on the ground is either scaring the competition or letting you know that they are in a negative space. Stomping is also a sign of discomfort. So, take a good look around to determine what is bothering your beloved fluff ball. If you are constantly trying to handle your pet, then it’s time to give them some space.
- Showing Their Backside – Now, here’s an action that is bound to get a smile or two from you, but if your pet is showing you their backside, then they are not in their happy place. If your bunny refuses to face you while showing their backside, then they are in a relatively bad mood. In such circumstances, it is best not to irritate your pet by handling them too much.
- Shrill Scream – If you hear a shrill scream from your bunny rabbit, then it is 100% in extreme pain or discomfort. You need to take a good look at your pet and head straight for the vet to ensure that all is okay.
Rabbits make wonderful pets and it’s great to watch a rabbit goof around all day. The best thing about keeping a pet rabbit is that these adorable creatures are fairly easy to care for. When they are happy, they let their humans know about their feelings and emotions quite clearly.
So, if you have a bunny rabbit jumping and zooming about, you should actually feel very proud of yourself. Bunny zoomies invariably imply that your bunny is happy and relaxed.
If you have a rabbit thumping and stomping around, that’s when you need to be concerned. The surest way to make your fluffball happy is to provide a proper diet, plenty of space to relax and unwind, and lots of love and care.
Up Next: Why Do Rabbits Jump Over Each Other?