Thursday, 24 October 2019

How to stop your rabbit from being aggressive

Sometimes, rabbits are handed into rescues because of normal rabbit behaviour.  Unfortunately, almost every time it is our fault that our rabbit is aggressive.  

If your rabbit is biting all of a sudden or has turned nervous or stressed, you need to change the way you treat her.  

Here are 4 reasons why your rabbit is biting you and how you can change the behaviour.  

1.  Hormones

I will say this over and over again, your rabbit should be spayed/neutered.  Not only does it improve their health and help to reduce the number of rabbits in this world but it also helps their temperament.  Rabbits who aren't 'fixed' will have a huge amount of hormones in their bodies (due to not being able to mate) and will quickly become frustrated.  This can cause the rabbit to become aggressive and 'lash out' at you.  I have found that female rabbits are especially aggressive and territorial.  

I have a female rabbit that would attack me when I put my hand in her cage.  We got her spayed and she quickly turned into a sweet girl.  Rabbits do not want to be frustrated and angry.  I feel like not allowing either breeding (which shouldn't be done, there are too many domestic rabbits as it is) OR spaying/neutering is poor animal care.  

Peach coloured indoor rabbit exploring outside in a garden

2.  Territorial

When reaching into a rabbits cage, he may lunge, bite, kick or growl at you.  If this happens, it is important that you don't pick him up or pull him out.  Instead, open the doors and let him come out to play but himself.  I like to feed veg outside of a territorial rabbit's cage just to get him out.  

I noticed that my rabbit Bunnykins (she was adopted with the name, not my choice 😉) would attack me while I was cleaning her rabbit room.  I completely fixed this by letting her come out of the room before I touched her things.  Just learn to work around the aggression she that your rabbit is not seeing you touch 'his things'.  Eventually, he will realise that you aren't trying to take over his territory.  

A close up of a wild coloured rabbit lying down

3.  Scared

This is an obvious cause for aggression but it's important that you know about it.  Your rabbit can lash out at you if he is feeling nervous, scared or cornered.  Your job is to find out what is scaring him.  

It could be that he doesn't want to be picked up, you are moving too fast or that he is in too small of a cage (and therefore doesn't have room to run away, cage-free all the way😊).  It is really important that you fully bond with your rabbit before you start picking him up of taking him out of his house.  A rabbit who has bonded with his owner should not be scared of them.  

An alert black and white rabbit indoors standing up

4.  Hurt or Ill

If your rabbit suddenly became aggressive, it could be due to him being in pain or ill.  Prey animals are great at hiding any illness or injury they may have.  This will cause the rabbit to lash out 'suddenly'.  Bringing your rabbit to the vet for a check-up is essential for any aggression out of the blue. 

If it is due to these reasons, the meanness should go away once your rabbit is treated.  There is a possibility that you have accidentally hurt your bunny in the past while picking him up.  He could be worried that you will hurt him again.  Build his confidence slowly from petting, encouraging him to jump onto your lap to eventually picking him up.  Make sure you know how to pick a bunny up correctly.  

A light brown and white rabbit with blue eyes exploring outside.

Hopefully, this will help you with any aggressive rabbit you may own.  

I'd love to hear some funny stories about your angry rabbit experiences!  

I am not any type of animal expert but instead only an animal lover who wants to share her tips.  Please consult relevant animal specialists and do not only take my advice.

 The Rider's Pets


No comments:

Post a Comment


Follow Me