Why Does My Rabbit Throw Herself On Her Side?

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Rabbits can be seriously overdramatic.

There are dozens of instances of this, but the force with which they throw themselves onto the floor is a great example.


Why do they do this??

And why do they do it with such force??

SURELY it must hurt? I can’t IMAGINE just flinging myself to the ground with such abandon. Especially not, essentially, face and belly first.

Your rabbit is very happy and content

This is the main reason rabbits hurl themselves to the ground with such vigour.

It sounds painful when Holly does this. She’s not even a very big rabbit, but there’s an audible thump.

Throwing themselves to the ground is one of the signs that your rabbit is feeling very happy, safe, and content.

But don’t worry if your rabbit doesn’t do this. There are tonnes of signs that your rabbit is perfectly happy, and the overdramatic flinging of their body to the ground is one that only the most dramatic of rabbits indulges in.

Your rabbit may still flop, but they prefer to go for the more delicate option of lying down and then gently rolling over onto their side. It’s much more graceful than Holly’s dramatic thump-flop that usually involves her rolling over onto her back for a few seconds, and then assuming the common Hop Noodle position (laid flat out on her belly, head flat to the ground).

I don’t think that a dramatic flop means that your bunny is feeling especially content. Holly is a pretty nervous, skittish rabbit, and she is, as I said, VERY dramatic with the whole flop situation. Sure, she feels safe for her, but she often looks at us as if we think she’ going to eat her so I don’t think she’s any happier than other bunnies.

Your rabbit is a bit overdramatic

I sincerely believe that this is why some rabbits flump harder than others. Nothing to do with breed, temperament, or even mood.

I suppose it could be the shape of their body – the more cylindrical the rabbit, the further they roll.

Some rabbits are pretty chill, and like a drama-free life. They’re the ones that don’t thump at 3am, only play with noisy toys in work hours, and accept their dinner with grace (rather than tipping over an empty bowl in anger three seconds after they’ve been fed).

These rabbits are few and far between. And every single calm bunny had a neutrotic mate that made up for it.

Either way, flopping, however dramatic it is, is a good thing.

Why does my rabbit roll over?

A full on roll over is, usually, a mistake.

The flop was ill-judged.

Perhaps they came to it after taking a particular sharp corner during zoomies, or maybe they thought their mate (whom they were assuming would act as a bolster) rudely got up and left at exactly the wrong time.

Holly seems to just go for the full flump, and occasionally rolls over.

I don’t think she actually means to throw herself down (and then over) with such force, because sometimes she lies on her back for a few seconds and looks dazed, before rolling back onto her belly. i know she’s happy because I hear her teeth purring.

She doesn’t panic or anything, but I wonder if she’s either knocked herself out a tad (seriously, you can hear her flump from the next room – she LOUD).

She does have a tendency (as many rabbits do) to lie in really uncomfortable-looking positions, usually with her tail smushed up in a weird way. I mean, look at her:

She’s a pretty long bunny, usually, but every now and again she likes to lie with bum all squished up. Rabbits are weird. Do they not feel uncomfortable the same way we do?

Although if I laid on the ground on my belly, with my throat parallel to the ground, I’d be mega uncomfortable, so I’m just gonna assume they’re bendier that we are.

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