Rabbit – Aggression

There can be many different reasons for aggression in rabbits, some have had bad experiences, some are being territorial, due to handling, cage aggression ( another form of territorial aggression), food aggression, and some rabbits can show aggression when they are in pain.

Rabbits who are unneutered can be aggressive due to hormones, and testosterone levels. If you re finding that your unneutered rabbit is being aggressive it is best to get them neutered, providing they are old enough. Hopefully this will help to solve any aggression issues in your rabbits…

However if your rabbit is neutered there are ways around aggression. Rabbits are prey creatures who when feel threatened use aggression as a protection mechanism. If your rabbit is not used to being picked up, and handling them causes them to kick, scratch or even bite, its usually fear aggression. Its an unusual experience for them, they may not feel safe and therefore act with aggression. You can find more information on your handling your rabbit on the handling page and building up trust.

In many cases of aggression issues its a case of building up trust with your rabbit, there are ways to reduce or prevent aggression and aggressive behaviour in your rabbit:

  • Providing rabbits with sufficient space to enable them to exercise regularly, with areas to explore and hide in, to keep them stimulated and entertained.
  • A rabbit that is used to being around people, and used to being handled is less likely to be aggressive, it has built that trust up with its owners. It is important to build up trust with your rabbit, once that bond is there, aggressive behaviour from your rabbit is less likely.
  • Working with your rabbit in different situations, its always best if your rabbit is unsure of you, being picked up etc to get down to their level. If you have a run sit in with your rabbit, allow them to approach you and show them that your intentions are not to hurt them.
  • Try to avoid situations where your rabbit may feel threatened, its is advisable to try and work around these situations.