If your pet rabbit has started biting you, it is important to understand why and put a stop to it.
This is not acceptable behavior, so you’ll need to do something about it right away.
Those who simply ignore this with their pet rabbit will only find that it gets worse over time.
Reasons Your Rabbit is Biting You
There are a number of different possible explanations for your rabbit’s biting that you’ll want to explore. The more you understand about why your pet is doing this, the easier it will be to stop.
1. They want your attention
Your rabbit might be biting you as a way of getting your attention. These animals are naturally social creatures and need interaction with their owners on a regular basis. If you aren’t paying your rabbit enough attention each day, they might start nipping at you.
2. Territorial Instincts
Once a rabbit gets to be around 4 months old, their territorial instincts begin kicking in. If you are rooting around inside of your rabbit’s cage, they might give you a small bite. This is basically their way of trying to defend what is theirs. Female rabbits in particular are known for getting incredibly territorial once they reach adolescence.
There’s always a chance that your rabbit’s biting is due to sheer boredom. If these animals are not being stimulated physically and mentally on a regular basis, they can begin acting out. A bored rabbit will do just about anything to break up the monotony.
Mistakes to Avoid
There are certain mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when it comes to getting your rabbit to stop biting you, including:
- Getting physical: You never want to slap or hit your rabbit in any way. This sort of negative reinforcement never works, so you should avoid it altogether. In fact, it could make your rabbit’s biting even worse. It will also chip away at the bond that you have established with them.
- Don’t yell: You also don’t want to yell and scream at your rabbit when it bites you. This will only startle and confuse them; it does absolutely nothing to stop their biting.
- Punishment: Any sort of punishment will be wasted on your rabbit, because they won’t understand why you are doing it. While this might be your first instinct, it is something you should avoid altogether.
Ways to Stop Your Rabbit’s Biting
There are a number of methods that can be very helpful when it comes to putting a stop to your rabbit’s biting.
1. Don’t Startle them
It is possible that your rabbit bites you because it is startled. You will therefore want to move slowly and deliberately, especially when taking them out of their cage. This can make a huge difference when it comes to getting your rabbit to behave.
2. Reward them for not biting
When your rabbit does not bite you when it normally would, you’ll want to reward them with a treat. This positive reinforcement can work quite well when it comes to getting them to stop doing this. You don’t want to overdo it with the treats though, as your rabbit might end up gaining excess weight.
3. Keep other pets away
A stressed out rabbit is far more likely to bite, so you’ll want to do everything possible to keep them calm. This means keeping any other pets in your home away from their cage as much as possible. If you have any cats or dogs in the house, their very presence might be causing your rabbit anxiety.
4. Interact with them daily
Spending time with your rabbit and playing with them on a daily basis could also get them to stop biting. If your rabbit is doing this because they are bored or under-stimulated, this is definitely something to consider.
There are lots of fun ways that you can interact with your rabbit. Take the time to look up various games that you can play with them. You can chase them around or even play hide and seek. Make sure that your bunny is getting a good amount of exercise every single day.
5. Get Your Rabbit Spayed or Neutered
An intact rabbit tends to be far more aggressive than one that has been spayed or neutered. It is a very good idea to have this done to your furry friend once they are old enough. You can get this done once your rabbit is four months old.
There are other benefits of getting your rabbit spayed or neutered to consider, such as a longer life. Studies have shown that rabbits are less likely to develop certain types of cancer once their reproductive organs have been removed.
When to see your Vet
If your rabbit won’t stop biting despite your best efforts, you’ll want to take them to the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to check for signs of illness, which could be why they are behaving this way.
There are a number of different medical conditions that could be responsible for your bunny’s biting. It is important that you know if anything is wrong with them as soon as possible.
- Your rabbit could be biting you as a way of getting your attention.
- A rabbit that isn’t getting enough physical and/or mental stimulation each day may bite their owner.
- Territorial instincts in rabbits are very strong, especially in early adolescence. This could be the reason for their bad behavior.
- Try spending more time interacting with your rabbit on a daily basis so they feel loved and get adequate stimulation.