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Why is My Rabbit Aggressive?

Updated: Mar 5, 2023


a bunny looking at the camera

All the happiness we feel when describing a cute bunny will be gone when we hear "aggressive rabbits." Domestic rabbits show aggression through body language; you cannot be angry because they're your pets.

Like humans who show aggression when they don't get enough sleep or accidentally spill their morning coffee (or maybe that's grumpiness), bunnies have their ways of showing aggression too!


Our dearest bunny parents, we understand your struggle, and we're to help you know more about aggression in rabbits.


Let's get into it!


Let's Understand Aggression in Rabbits


While it's true that everyone has a right to their own opinion and emotions, we cannot deny that rabbits are prey animals, meaning they are more likely to be aggressive than other pets—and even humans!


Look at the life of a wild rabbit as a prey animal; if predators are around, the first thing a rabbit will do is to stop doing something so it cannot be noticed. If stopping doesn't work, it will run away and if the bunny gets caught, that's when it chooses to fight and become aggressive.


Rabbits are territorial by nature, so if you have more than one rabbit in your home, it's essential to ensure they have plenty of space. They can also become aggressive toward other animals if they feel threatened or caught up in territorial disputes with them (such as cats).


Some rabbits will even display aggression toward humans because their owners might have taught them that we're something other than friends!

Aggressive Rabbit Behavior is More Common When Paired With a Partner


Aggression is more common in paired rabbits that are not neutered or spayed.


They also tend to become very territorial when they feel threatened by another animal or person near them. This could happen inside your home if you have multiple pets in one room, outside if there is a garden shed nearby, or even outdoors where there aren't any walls between yours and another rabbit's territory!


Picking Up an Aggressive Rabbit


When you pick up your bunny and it becomes aggressive, it must have experienced wrong handling before; that is why it's not comfortable when you pick it up. If that happens again, maybe, these three simple tips can help:


1. Stop trying to pick your bunny for now. It can bite you if you insist on picking it up. Let your bunny get used to the new environment. Give it a bigger cage or hutch so you won't have to pick it up every time.

2. Bunnies love rewards like treats! Give your bunny treats so it will get used to you being close to its territory.

3. Try stroking gently above your bunny's head. Don't get your hand too close to its mouth because it might suddenly bite you.


Rabbit Aggression Signs

  • Rabbits thump their feet loudly on the ground.

  • Rabbits might scream when they're in extreme danger.

  • Rabbits turn their ears back and down.

  • Rabbits might lunge at you.

Determining the Cause of Your Rabbit's Aggression


Aggression can be a severe problem for rabbits, especially if they become aggressive with other animals or people. Although this may be about behavioral issues, there are two types of aggression:


Territorial


Your rabbit may be defending its "territory" from other rabbits. This is usually caused by stress or boredom and can be resolved by giving your rabbit more stimulation or ensuring enough room for all the animals in your home.


Hormonal


This aggression occurs when they reach adolescence at 3-6 months. Neutering or spaying helps lessen the bunnies' high sex drives. If you don't get them fixed, expect problems like this to worsen.


Babies and Juveniles


Babies and juveniles can be especially feisty. If you're new to rabbit keeping, it's essential to understand that your bunny may not be as friendly as other bunnies. They become aggressive because they haven't had time yet to learn how humans interact with them.


When they reach adolescence at around 3-4 months for male rabbits and 5-6 months for female rabbits, they become more aggressive because of the raging hormones.

Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits. We volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, did extensive pet product research, and asked 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 Thoughts on Aggression in Rabbits


Getting your bunnies neutered or spayed is highly advised to lessen aggressive behavior and stop the risk of reproductive cancers. Research aggressive bunny behaviors so you won't get yourself and your bunny into trouble.


Leave a comment on this blog and share your bunny parenting experience with us!


Visit us at HoppScotch.bun and get your bunnies their unique Bumbox litter boxes on Amazon.


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