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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BEHAVIOR Previously Friendly Rabbit Biting

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    • Toulouse
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        Until fairly recently, my english lop baby had been very sweet. She would occasionally bite and tug at clothes, but that was it, really. It feels worth mentioning that she is nearing the six month mark. She is my second rabbit—my first was a Dutch who was always incredibly friendly, so I have no experience with this. She has since become somewhat aggressive with me and the other animals in my house. She has not come in contact with any of them, but she makes her displeasure known when my cat enters the room. More significantly, she has started biting me. At first I thought it was because my clothes smelled like other rabbits, but tonight I had to be wary even getting her food bowl out of her pen. What can I do about this? How do I bond with her so she can stop perceiving me as a threat? I assume this is some sort of hormonal, maybe territorial, behavior.


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
        8839 posts Send Private Message

          Are you planning to get her spayed? That should help a lot. It does sound like this is hormonal in nature based on her age but there could be some other things contributing.

          Can you give some more details about her housing set-up, other pets in the house, and how you normally interact with her (handling, petting, etc)?

          . . . 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.  


        • Toulouse
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            Yes, I am planning to get her spayed. I lost one to uterine cancer this year and am not keen on letting it happen again. She lives in a large pen in my bedroom, I believe it’s six by four feet.

            We have two dogs and one cat outside of the bedroom. She has never seen either of the dogs (the room is down a hall with a pet gate so the dogs can’t get into cat food or litter), but I probably smell like them often. My cat occasionally wanders into my bedroom—he has swatted at her once, but I’ve carefully prevented it from happening again and no damage was done.

            I avoid picking her up—it scares her—and aside from what I’ve previously said, she really is very friendly. She’ll gladly hop straight into my lap when I get on her level, and she loves getting pets. I’ve done some research on my own, and it seems she’s territorial, so I am planning to bunny proof the room and let her free roam a lot more often in hopes of bonding with her before I get her spayed. She likes me interacting with her as long as  she can see where I am—for example, if I reach across her back to get one of her bowls, she will growl or nip my arm.


          • DanaNM
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              Ok that’s helpful! It sounds like this is mostly hormone related and should improve with spaying. It can take some time for hormones to settle and there is often a “post-spay craze”, so don’t be alarmed if things get worse before they improve.

              In the meantime, it helps to not “back down” if she lunges at you, so you could wear thick gloves when reaching into her cage. With my buns that are somewhat cage aggressive I also try not to mess with things in their pen/cage when they are in there. Speaking softly to her while you are doing things may help as well. I think giving more free-roam time may help as well, but I wouldn’t just give her 100% free roam as she may claim the entire room!

              . . . 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.  


            • TinyPawTracks
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                I agree with Dana. Hope it works out for you Toulouse!


              • Toulouse
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                  We’ve actually had very few problems since a couple days after I made this post, haha! She’s stopped growling and nipping at me when I put my hand in her pen. I think having her free roam for a little while daily for a few days has helped. She still lunges and growls at my cat, but I make sure they don’t come in contact while she’s out. I still plan to get her spayed, but we’re doing pretty well for now!


                • DanaNM
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                    That’s good! I think there can be swings in hormones, just like human teenagers!

                    . . . 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.  


                  • LBJ10
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                    16821 posts Send Private Message

                      I agree, this all sounds very hormonal. And yes, they can definitely have “mood swings”.


                    • TinyPawTracks
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                        That’s good to hear! Let us know if anything changes after she gets spayed 🙂

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                    Forum BEHAVIOR Previously Friendly Rabbit Biting