Why Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Noses?


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This whole world is an amazing and surprising place. Humans and other living species are also amusing and interesting. Almost all animals have specific body behavior of their own. Rabbits are no different. They wiggle their nose almost all the time.

Rabbits have many interesting and fun facts. Wiggling nose is one of them. But there are some reasons behind why do rabbits wiggle their noses. This article leads to those reasons.

Why do rabbits wiggle their nose?

Rabbits wiggle their noses to smell better. When they wiggle, they contact with many things through the air. This helps them to be conscious of any danger is ahead. Moreover, rabbits wiggle their noses when they are interested in something or if they feel disturbed or scared.

Wiggling the noses

Wiggling noses means good health of any rabbit. Both wild and pet rabbits wiggle their noses many times a day. It is their habit; from birth to death. When a rabbit wiggles its nose, then its nasal passage becomes wider and a lot of air enters. As a result, the rabbit can smell various scents from quiet a far place.

Rabbits have a membrane called ‘mucous’ in the line of their noses. This creates moisture for their skin. Wiggling the noses, again and again, is a way that membrane can create much moisture. This moisture makes the scents stronger before it enters into rabbit noses.

Rabbits are silent animals. They do not make harsh noise at all. Which is good and bad in both ways. Because you can’t find out if your rabbit is disturbed or scared as they do not make any noise.

But try noticing their noses. Unusual wiggling means the rabbits are disturbed or maybe it is sick!

Importance of wiggling noses

Rabbits are prey animals. They are smaller in size. So they are always scared and conscious about saving themselves from any predator. As they are not tall and can’t see far enough, (though they can stand up and can thump their feet) they use their noses to understand the place around.

For this purpose, they have a good sense of smell. Now time for a fun fact- newborn rabbits can not see or hear at the beginning. They just wiggle their nose to find out what is happening!

The baby rabbits wiggle their noses to track foods from their mother. So, before learning to hear or see, learning to wiggle noses is much important. Some baby rabbits born without wiggling noses at all or less wiggling habits. It means they are somehow weak or sick.

Moreover, when they master wiggling their noses, they grow a good sense of smell which allows them to:

  • Recognize the scent of their known.
  • Find the way to go to their shelter.
  • Locate foods.
  • Find out the predators from far away.
  • Find any female rabbit which is fertile and ready to intimate.
  • Identify any fighting rabbit.

If you have pet rabbits, then you may know that rabbits can be trained litter box. Rabbits wiggle their noses to know the place of that litter box. Amazing right?

The speed of wiggling noses

Sometimes rabbits wiggle their noses very fastly and sometimes very slowly. If you have pet rabbits then you may have noticed that when you come closer to them or give them any food then they wiggle their noses faster than before.

It is a way of showing love and being interested. If you allow them a specific place to live in then they wiggle their noses to locate their places. This time their noses can be wiggled fast.

But not every time is good when they wiggle their nose fast. When a rabbit is sick, scared, or disturbed then they wiggle their noses fast to draw your attention. Rabbits can be dead by a heart attack if they are disturbed or scared much.

And what about the slow speed of wiggling nose? Yes, the slow speed of the wiggling nose is a matter of tension. When the rabbit is sick or sad then they wiggle their noses slowly.

At the time of hunger and if there is any digestive problem inside them then they wiggle their noses slowly.

For your kind information, a healthy and normal rabbit can wiggle its nose over 120-130 times per minute. And can slow down to 20 times per minute.

What if rabbits stop wiggling their noses?

If you have read this far, then you must curious about the wiggling of rabbits noses. Well, so after reading that passage about the slow speed of wiggling noses you may feel the tension. Now let me tell when a rabbit stops or slowly wiggle its noses:

  • During Asleep: Rabbits are conscious and warned animals. As they have many predators, so they are not unconscious while sleeping. They keep their ears and noses awake.
    But if a rabbit stops wiggling noses while asleep then it is okay. It means it is deep into sleep, you should don’t disturb him.
  • While feeling safe: If a rabbit doesn’t wiggle its noses when you are around, it means the place, as well as person, is known to him, nothing to worry about. So it stops wiggle its noses.
  • While resting: Wiggling is an example of exercise. So, for a heavy wiggling session, they need rest. That is why they stop wiggling.

Besides these points, sometimes they stop their wiggle noses just for no reason. But an owner should be careful about wiggling noses.

Things to consider

If you own some pet rabbits then you must know their body language as soon as possible. Among those languages, wiggling noses bears a great meaning to the rabbit’s situation. So take this seriously.


Rabbit wiggle their noses sometimes slowly and sometimes very fast. Both have specific reasons. It is a way of their safety. A depressed and unwell rabbit slowly wiggle noses. There may be some yellowish spot when the rabbit is seriously sick. So, the nose of a rabbit is a very important part indeed!

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