Why do rabbits thump

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.