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Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Ears?

Two bunnies with different breeds

Image by Alexa

One of the most adorable parts of a rabbit's body is its ears. Rabbits have different sizes of ears depending on the breed.

A rabbit's ears can be floppy, slanted backward, or forward. The most common reason a rabbit flick its ears is because they hear something that makes them uncomfortable or anxious. Flicking their ears is also used to communicate between rabbits so they can get one another's attention.

A Rabbit Has a Strong Sense of Hearing

So why do rabbits flick their ears? Well, they hear many things you can't and can hear from a greater distance.

First, it's important to note that rabbits are more sensitive to sounds than humans and can hear high-pitched noises that we can't hear. They also have better hearing than dogs. Rabbits have more sensitive receptors in their ears that pick up sound frequencies higher than those humans can detect.

Reason Why Rabbits Flick Their Ears

To Express Emotions

Rabbits not only flick their ears when they have mites, but they also do that to express different emotions. Some bunnies flick their ears when happy, and some bunnies flick their ears when annoyed.


(We have a blog about Rabbit Ear Positions)

Rabbits' ears are used to communicate with each other. They're also used to show emotion, aggression, and submission. Rabbits have a unique body language and that includes the use of their ears.

Tying to Listen Carefully

We mentioned that rabbit ears are sensitive. When they hear even a little sound, rabbits flick their ear to focus and listen to it carefully. This helps them determine whether or not the danger is very close to them. Sometimes, their ears flick or turn to know where the sound is coming from.

Ear Mites

If you're unsure why your rabbit is flicking its ears, visit a veterinarian to ensure nothing is wrong. If you notice a weird flicking or unusual reaction of its ears, better to consult an expert instead of convincing yourself it's completely normal. It can be ear mites that make your rabbit's ears itchy and uncomfortable.

Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits, volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, extensive pet product research, and experienced peers. The purpose of this blog is to provide information about properly taking care of rabbits. Please know that it is still best to visit the vet regularly. For medical emergencies, contact a rabbit-savvy vet. Always observe your rabbits around new products or environmental changes.

Final Thought on Why Rabbits Flick Their Ears

If you know a rabbit's way of expressing emotions, including flicking its ears, there's nothing to worry about. But, if it seems unusual to you, go and get your bunny checked by a vet because it might be ear mites.

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