Why Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Tails?

Rabbits are adorable little creatures and amazing pets.

Don’t be fooled when rabbits wiggle their tails, as it is not similar to when the reason a dog wiggles its tail when excited.

Rabbits are definitely not happy when they wiggle their tails.

Why do Rabbits Wiggle Their Tails?

When a rabbit wiggles its tail, it’s usually a sign of defiance.

Much like how a child will stomp their feet and huff out in protest when their playtime is cut short, a rabbit will show displeasure by wiggling its tail.

The tail-wagging is their way of saying: “No, I don’t want to! And you can’t make me, human!”

Similar to a child’s behavior when they do not want to do a certain chore, they talk back. Rabbits wiggling their tails are essentially talking back!

Rabbits typically show this sense of defiance when their owner is making them do something that they are unhappy with.

Fascinating, right? Let’s go a bit in-depth and learn more about this truly peculiar habit.

For example, if you are taking your rabbit back into their hutch after their outdoor playtime, they would be wiggling their tails at you to indicate that they simply didn’t want playtime to be over yet!

Also read: Why Do Rabbits Have Short Tails? 3 Important Reasons!

Rabbit Tail-Wagging While Interacting with Humans

Generally, rabbits don’t wag their tail to show how happy or excited they are to have your attention on them.

In reality, as surprising as it is, tail-wagging is usually a rabbit’s way of back-talking to their human.

Say you took your bun out to roam around the garden freely for hours-on-end. But when it’s time for them to go back into their cages, the rabbit will protest.

In situations like this, a rabbit will wag its tail in a display of disobedience. They’re unhappy with your decision, and they’re not hesitant to let it show.

This behavior is similar to a child’s tantrum when they’re not allowed to play with their friends or stay awake past their bedtime.

Your bunny is quite literally being a baby in front of you!

Tail-Wagging While Interacting with Other Rabbits

On the topic of acting like a child, rabbits are very playful and love playing tricks on their fellow rabbits.  

Known for being quite the pranksters, a rabbit wagging their tail in front of another rabbit is usually a way to mock them lightly.

The goal isn’t to start an argument or fight with other rabbits but to slightly annoy or irritate them.

Think of it like when a child sticks its tongue out in a playful manner when boasting about winning a game.

This interaction is quite healthy and shows how sociable the rabbit is when it comes to interacting with their rabbit friends.

Rabbit’s Tail-Wagging is a Sign of Rebellion

Essentially, this whole discourse boils down to one fact: rabbits love rebelling.

If you prohibit a rabbit from entering a room, chances are it will sneak its way in while wagging its tail in joyous rebellion.

The trespassing makes them immensely happy and proud of themselves.

Rabbits who are slyer than others will think up plans and ways to rile you up. They will purposely disobey orders and act freely on their own instincts.

Should You Be Worried If Your Rabbit Is Wiggling Its Tail?

In most cases, a rabbit wagging its tail is their way of demanding more playtime.

It’s most likely because they do not want to part with you and go back to their boring cage.

Like most animals, rabbits enjoy being out in nature.

They will try their best to extend their time outdoors by using the swift movements of their tail as a way of refusing your suggestion of going back inside.

In rare instances, however, tail-wagging may be an early sign of aggression. It all depends on how strong is the bond between you and your rabbit.

Sometimes, a rabbit will not be able to adjust to the new environment, resulting in a lack of faith in its owner.

A rabbit who’s unfamiliar and new to your home should not be willing its tail at you.

This behavior should be monitored carefully in case the rabbit starts getting visibly agitated.

A restless bunny will not shy away from giving a bite or two!

Therefore, it’s extremely important to nice these signs early to prevent your new pet from becoming hostile

Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Tails to Show Excitement?

More often than not, tail-wagging is not an indicator of how happy or excited your bunny is.

Your rabbit is more likely to display those emotions in a different way.

Relaxed Body

A happy rabbit won’t look tense or on edge in its demeanor.

They will relax their bodies by either laying down and stretching their limbs out or tucking their legs under their body.

Their comfortable posture shows that they’re truly carefree and not facing anything stressful.

Nose Twitches and Purring

Bunnies tend to wiggle and twitch their noses when they’re feeling cheery.

They will continue to twitch their nose and purr in contentment when you pet them.

Shows Interest in Their Environment

Rabbits are naturally curious and inquisitive about their environment.

A healthy and happy rabbit will not hold back from jumping around and exploring its surroundings.


A rabbit who feels safe and secure in its home will display that happiness by binkying.

This impressive jump act includes leaping high off the ground and twisting their body and head quickly before landing safely.

Binkying is an instinctual behavior that cannot be taught, making it a very special display of joy.

Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Tails When They’re Angry?

While rabbits wiggle their tail when they’re feeling upset or rebellious towards a decision you’ve made, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re angry.

They have other behavioral cues for such negative emotions.

Tensed Body

A rabbit that feels threatened will quickly try to defend itself by using aggressive body language.

They will make attempts to make themselves look wider and threatening by raising on their back legs and pushing their paws out in a boxing motion.

Bared Teeth and Growling

A rabbit will often bare its teeth and growl to intimidate its opposition in a fight or flight situation.

This kind of behavior is mostly to make its predator or threat change its mind and retreat.

Should You Be Cautious When A Rabbit Is Wagging Tail?

If you have handled your pet rabbit for a long time and understand its behavioral tendencies, then you do not have to be worried about its tail wiggling.

Your rabbit is probably just trying to tell you that they want more playtime.

While most pet rabbits are pretty innocent even when feeling defiant.

It is safer to be cautious around a rabbit you don’t know too well wagging its tail because it may be showing signs of aggression in the process, which means a bite might not be too far off.

Should I Cut a Rabbit Tail Off?

Unless suggested by a certified medical practitioner, it is not advisable to cut a rabbit’s tail off.

Pet owners may be confusing this notion with dogs. As some dog owners believe cutting their dog’s tails can improve the overall health and speed of the dog.

This isn’t the case for rabbits. While a rabbit can survive if it had lost its tail by biting it off itself, or through a fight with another rabbit.

It is not a natural circumstance for a rabbit to lose its tail. In addition, because of the evolutionary advantage provided by the tail, a rabbit’s survival skills will be weakened due to the loss of a tail.

While this may not concern domesticated pets as much, it will surely harm wild rabbits.

Also, a rabbit will profusely bleed as a result of this action and will be a painful experience for the innocent animal. Therefore, it is highly unadvisable for any reason.

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