Skip to Content

11 Cute Reasons Why Rabbits Wiggle Their Nose (2023)

Why Do Rabbits Wiggle Their Nose

When you have a rabbit as your fur baby…

You’re in for a lot of surprises from them.

For one, you’ll notice that they have a lot of odd behaviors.

Gaze at their faces for a few seconds.

“Why are their noses twitching?”

Well, there are loads to unravel about that.

Continue reading to find out:

  • When does your rabbit’s nose stop twitching.
  • 11 reasons why your rabbit wiggles their nose.
  • The different moods your rabbit’s nose twitching may indicate.
  • And a lot more…

Why do rabbits wiggle their nose?

Rabbits wiggle their nose to detect a predator, cope with stress, or investigate. Plus, it also means they’re interested or observant of their surroundings. When that happens, something might’ve caught their attention.

11 reasons why rabbits wiggle their nose

#1: It’s a survival technique

Your rabbit’s survival relies on its nose.

“Does my rabbit use it to fight?”

No, not really. 

Their nose mainly functions in detecting areas. 

Specifically the ones they should avoid in a route.

That’s why your rabbit’s nose is one important part of their anatomy.

Moreover, they can pick up the faintest of scents.

They can perceive if a vicious foe has gone in one area. Or what launched in it.

With this talent, your ball of fur should be joining the police investigation team.

But you can leave that to the K9 unit. Your buddy might be too busy chewing their hay.

#2: To enhance the sense of smell

Your rabbit doesn’t use their sense of smell that often. And with that, they can’t improve this ability of theirs. 

But you don’t have to lay out several pieces of stuff for them to sniff on, though.

Just let your fluffy bunny do their thing.

And to give you an idea, your rabbit has one sensitive nose.

They have 100 million olfactory nerves ready to receive any aroma, according to a study.

The more scent that stimulates inside their nose, the moister it gets.

The result?

A better performing nose. 

Fun fact: Your rabbit’s nose functions 16 times better than that of a human’s.

#3: It could be too hot

Imagine wearing a thick, furry coat all day during the summer.

Well, rabbits have no choice but to keep that on.

Unlike dogs, your ball of fur doesn’t control their body temperature through their paw pads.

Instead, your bunny’s nose has to work double during hot, humid days.

When the air goes in, the mucous in the nasal passage will involuntarily act.

It’ll then separate the heat from the air. An effort to avoid overheating.

Check your buddy’s environment. See how they are when the sun is scorching.

“How do I know I have to do something?”

The revealing signs are:

  • Looking dull.
  • Feeling restless.
  • Less responsive.
  • Warm nose and feet.
  • Increase in breathing. 

What you can do so your rabbit doesn’t experience heat stroke are:

  • Utilizing cool packs.
  • Use a fan to blow cool air.
  • Moving them to a cool area.
  • Keeping their weight healthy.
  • Providing plenty of water and fruits.

Warning: Heat exhaustion should be taken seriously. Researchers say that heatstroke cases are likely to continue to rise due to climate change.

#4: To get to know you

Rabbits Wiggle Their Nose To Get To Know You

Who knew it would only take one strong nose to get to know someone?

First of all, rabbits seem to dislike conversations.

They’re more fond of using their muzzles. 

So be ready the moment your bunny’s nose is all over you. More so if it’s twitching.

If you’re a new sight, the curious nature of your rabbit will kick in.

Meanwhile, humans rely on what they see. 

“What about rabbits?”

They use their excellent senses, such as the nose. And as they inspect you, their nose wiggles faster.

Let’s not even forget about their 360-degree eyesight.

It’ll take time until they realize you’re not a threat.

Right now, you’re being assessed whether you’re a friend or a foe.

It’s also the same with other pets. Your new cat or dog is a subject for interrogation.

So make sure they’re introduced properly. Let the other fur baby observe. And let the rabbit wiggle their tips.

You might also want to check out: 11 Tips To Introduce Cats To Bunnies (Make Them Get Along)

#5: Exploring territories

Look at your adorable, playful little buddy. 

Despite the size, you wouldn’t think they’d have the most developed sense of smell.

Easily, they can pick up various details just by the scent they take in. Like that part in the garden where a delicious vegetable grows underneath.

Or discover who lives nearby.

Plus, your furry friend is an adventurer at heart. That’s why a hat and a traveling stick will complete their look.

As for their compass, that would be their nose. And their eyes would be their vlogging camera.

So don’t be too surprised. One day they might end up making their Youtube channel. 

#6: Just feeling curious

A new toy can catch their attention. The food you’re eating would spark their curiosity. Your guest would also be interesting.

Whatever the case is, this furry ball of snow stays naturally curious.

“How would I know?”

You can just tell by the way their nose twitches.

They’ll be all over that toy you placed in the corner. Just like a scientist that observes.

There’ll be sniffing here and there. After all, it’s their way of understanding the object.

While they do, your furball might be thinking:

“Is it safe?”

“Can I touch it?”

“What does it do?”

If you want to see how a rabbit twitches his nose out of curiosity, check out this video:

#7: A sign of relaxation

Rabbits are notorious nappers. 

If they’re not out and about in the yard, they’ll be somewhere dozing off.

Like in your vacant lap – the best resting place in the world.

When your rabbit feels safe and content, nose wiggling slows down.

There’s nothing to worry about, though.

All your little companion can do is visit his dreamland.

“Do rabbits dream?”

Research suggests they do. 

“What do they dream about?”

It’s impossible to determine. But, it’s most likely about what they did throughout the day.

So, make sure to fill your burrowing furry housemate’s day with positive experiences. 

#8: Because it’s feeding time

Rabbits agree that feeding is the best part of the day.

What plant-eater can ignore those delectable timothy hay and fruit bowls?

So as the feeding schedule gets near, the excitement spikes. 

Bunnies won’t be able to contain that. It’s evident. Just look at their nose. 

They’re the most obvious and predictable.

So make sure they don’t get their meals too late.

Or else other body clues like the wagging tail would say they’re not pleased.

Reading tip: 9 Surprising Reasons Why Rabbits Wag Their Tail

#9: Displaying alertness

Rabbits are prey animals, and PETA agrees. 

To survive, it’s important that your rabbit stays alert.

If a pinecone falls down in front of their faces, your rabbit’s nose will wiggle faster. 

This is their way of taking in as much information as they can.

Until they realize that they’re not in danger, they’ll continue twitching their noses. 

When they’re suddenly in shock, the whole body freezes. That includes even their muzzles. 


Compare it to them skipping a heartbeat. So the nose will start moving the moment when the shock subsides.

#10: Keeping up with his emotions

Rabbit parents find their rabbits’ little noses helpful.

Without it, they won’t be able to understand half of their fluffy companions’ emotions.

“How do I exactly know what my bunny feels?”

It’s all in the nose. And you also take note of the rest of his body movements.

There’s a rule of thumb. If the rabbit’s nose moves fast, they’re either:

  • Panicking.
  • Highly excited.
  • Or feeling adventurous.

Meanwhile, if it slows down, that only means they’re:

  • Happy.
  • Satisfied.
  • And relaxed.

#11: For easy breathing

Your rabbit can adjust to different situations.

Jiggling their nose is a way for them to cope with whether they feel:

  • Hot or cold.
  • Happy or excited. 
  • Stressed or anxious.

I guess rabbit parents should accept that nose wiggling is part of their mechanism. And it’s a cute one.

But it’s pretty concerning if the movement stops.

To keep them wiggling, just gently press it. They’ll get back to their senses.

It’s like snapping your thumb in front of a person. But do it in a bunny way.