Rabbits are interesting creatures. If you stay around them long enough, you’ll find many reasons to open your mouth in wonder, or contort your face in shear confusion. Regardless of which expression you often display, you can’t deny that they are cute creatures.
In training and grooming your rabbit, either as a pet owner or a wildlife conservationist, you’ll often notice several communicative behaviours in your rabbit. One of these behaviours is twitching/wagging their tails, sometimes in a fast motion.
If you aren’t very observant, you might miss it.
Rabbits use every part of their body to pass across information from keeping their ears erect when they are startled to rubbing their chin on objects to twisting their stomachs in the air to show excitement. They can’t help it; they are just that expressive.
As a pet owner, learn to understand and translate what we call the “bunny talk” so you can know what your bunny needs. This becomes easier when you spend a lot of time with them and educate yourself on all things “rabbits”.
When a rabbit twitches/wags its tail in the course of your interactions with them, it could mean any of the following;
It’s hilarious, but rabbits can show defiance too. Sometimes, when your rabbit is performing an action and you’re trying to stop it, it might wag/twitch its tail at you. This act is simply saying, “I don’t want to stop doing this, don’t make me” or “you’re not the boss of me”. If you don’t pay as much attention, you might miss this action.
It’s not a regular form of communication but if you keep letting your bunny have its way, then it may keep repeating this behaviour. These actions might occur when you’re trying to put your bunny back in its cage after its been active for a while and it’s trying to resist your efforts.
It can also happen when you find your rabbit digging in the carpet or in the garden and you’re trying to draw it out from the action. Rabbits are used to defending themselves and to them, this is a form of defence, as silly as it may seem.
When your bunny is having fun, it might wiggle/twitch its tail happily. This is a way to convey emotion, and like every other behavioural trait, it is instinctual. They can’t help it; they just have to express their happiness.
Often, this happens while your rabbit will be racing around the house or circling your feet to show their affection. This means that they are happy with their situation and they want it to remain the same. It can also mean a sign of greeting whenever they see you approach.
They are basically saying they are happy to see you and that you can approach them. Tail wagging might also occur when you’re giving your rabbit a foot rub/massage and it’s enjoying it.
Rabbits show anger, and whenever they do, it may cause the unfortunate party getting kicks and scratches. When a rabbit wags its tail in annoyance, it is a warning for you to back off. It is simply telling you it doesn’t want to be disturbed.
For instance, when you approach your rabbits cage to let it out to prepare for its daily grooming, and it wags its tail at you; it may mean it is not interested in being disturbed. If you keep approaching your rabbit and it continues to ward you off through a tail wag, then you should back off for real because the rabbit could attack you in anger.
This behaviour differs from all rabbits.
While some rabbits twitch their tail while they hop, especially if they are trying to conceal something they are carrying, others wag it in excitement. It depends on the situation and the rabbit’s preferred form of communication.
When your rabbit is eager to begin an activity, it might wag its tail to tell you it’s ready to get started. This tail wagging might be accompanied with a flop, to inform you it is ready to be stroked and cuddled or it could happen whenever you let it out to play. The aim is to let you know it is ready to begin the action.
Sometimes, it doesn’t mean anything. Your rabbit might not be actively communicating to you, it may just be a reflex action.
Not all tail wags have unique meanings.
It might just be a rapid wiggling that occurs in response to the weather or while hopping. It doesn’t have to always mean something.
Rabbits are very expressive and as much as they can they like to communicate with their owners or other rabbits around them. They can’t always help it, especially the talkative bunny.
Yes, a rabbit can be referred to as a talkative if it is always communicating with you through its body languages, or when it’s making wheezing or squealing or whimpering or grunting sounds actively to pass on a message.