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Home Forum BEHAVIOR Bonded rabbits chasing – is it aggressive?

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    • uneliste
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      My rabbits, Anjou and Kiwi, are sisters who I adopted together from a rescue. They have remained bonded since I adopted them last summer. I am wondering, however, if their chasing behaviour is something that I should be worried about. Anjou is clearly the dominant one, and she often chases Kiwi around. Sometimes I see Anjou try and nip Kiwi’s bum. When the chasing occurs, Kiwi is always running extremely quickly with Anjou not far behind. Kiwi usually jumps on my bed or something and stays still to see if Anjou will continue her chase. I know that rabbits can play chase each other, but it is never Kiwi that is doing the chasing. Kiwi also sees to be running away extremely quickly when she is being chased.

      What’s confusing is that less than five minutes later, they will often be lying down next to each other or grooming each other. I am not sure if they are playing or not…

      Is this behaviour something I should be worried about?


    • DanaNM
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      When they chase, are Anjou’s ears back and tail up? If so that’s a more aggressive chase. Ears forward (facing the rabbit they are chasing) is more playful or them wanting to mount.

      Was this a recent change or has it been pretty constant?

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


      • uneliste
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        Hi DanaNM!

        I will have to keep an eye out on whether or not her tail is up, but her ears are often pinned back. This has been pretty constant; however, I got them spayed very shortly after I adopted them so I am not sure if this was happening before they were spayed or not.


    • uneliste
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      EDIT (sorry I’m new to this so I’m unsure if we are able to edit posts):

      My apologies! It seems that the positioning of her ears depends! Sometimes, Kiwi will run away extremely quickly even though Anjou is chasing her with her ears forward. In this case, Anjou’s tail is also in normal position, of course.


    • DanaNM
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      Have there been any changes in your household? Like new pets, roommates, cleaning product smells, etc?

      Some bunnies go through season periods of squabbling. If it seems like it hasn’t been escalating, and they still have plenty of positive behaviors (grooming each other, cuddling, sharing food and litter box), then I would prob keep an eye on it. Some pairs do bicker a bit. But, if you have a sense that things are tense with them, I would prob do some bonding sessions, such as some stress sessions, just to see if that helps solidify things.

      So you got them spayed after you adopted them? That’s strange that the rescue would adopt out unaltered rabbits.

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • uneliste
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      Okay, thank you so much for your help! While there is some chasing, there are still lots of positive behaviours, so I think I will just keep an eye out for now.

      But yes, they were unaltered before I adopted them. I’m guessing that this may be because the rescue I adopted them from is mainly a cat rescue, not a rabbit rescue, and so it is possible they have less knowledge on bunny care. I’m not sure…


    • DanaNM
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      Ah, I see!  Hopefully they simmer down! It might also be helpful to see if you can identify a trigger to the chasing (like an unmet grooming request, a certain time of day, before meal times, etc). I had one pair that would chase a bit when I was bringing over their food because they were just too excited lol.

       

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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