Sunday, 15 February 2015

Decoding Bunny Language: The 5 Resting Positions

Bunnies don't nap and sleep for long hours like cats, but they do spend a considerable amount of time resting:

Bunnies adopt different resting positions depending:
  • on their mood
  • how they feel about their surroundings
  • current health. 
Humans can learn to understand what a bunny is feeling from his/her posture. Here are the 5 common ways bunnies relax:

1. The 'side-leg'
  • The side-leg is a very common position chosen. No particular meaning; the bunny is relaxing.

2. The 'patty'
  • The 'patty' is another common resting position. No particular meaning; the bunny is relaxing.

3. The 'egg'
  • A bunny may assume the 'egg' position for several different reasons:
    • he/she is resting and dozing off
    • he/she feels slightly cold (perhaps it's raining and you have tile flooring?)
    • he/she is lethargic due to illness
  • How to differentiate between resting and lethargy due to sickness?
    • If the bunny hops up immediately and is very enthusiastic when his/her food is presented, the bunny was just relaxing. It is unlikely that he/she was in discomfort.

4. The 'super-bunny'
  • The bunny is rather comfortable with his/her surroundings to completely stretch out. 

5. The 'bunny flop'

  • The bunny is contented, happy and feels safe in his/her environment. Often, bunnies tend to fall asleep in this position. When bunnies sleep, their noses stop wiggling so often and they grind their teeth softly.

Additional notes:
  • No matter the position, if the bunny rests at the same spot for hours without moving much (=not getting up to eat hay or grooming at all), it is likely that the bunny is sick. He/she is feeling uncomfortable and unusually tired.
  • The names for the above resting positions can vary from bunny human to bunny human. These are the words I personally use. You are free to make up your own!

First published on 15/02/2015

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