To stop rabbit biting, you must understand the reasons behind aggressive behavior. If your bunny bites you, don’t think that it hates you. These furry pets are docile and friendly unless they are stressed or poorly treated. This blog post will answer your question: why does my rabbit bite me? You will also learn how you can stop your pet from biting you.
Why Does my Rabbit Bite?
You should have asked yourself, “why does my rabbit bite?” New rabbit owners think that their bunnies bit them because they hated their owners. But this is not always the case. There are different reasons why rabbits show this aggressive behavior. Knowing why your bunny is biting is vital so you can quickly address the problem.
As prey animals, rabbits are easily frightened by loud noises and sudden movements. They defend themselves by biting those who are trying to hold them. If your pet is new to your home, you should not touch it. Give it enough time to adapt to you and its new environment. Rabbits love routines, and sudden changes make them uncomfortable.
Another reason why your pet is aggressive is because of its cage protective behavior. Rabbits are displeased when someone is trying to rearrange the objects in their cage. Thus, they bite to express how unsatisfied they are. Remove your pet first if you are about to clean your rabbit’s hutch. Put it back once you are finished cleaning. Bunnies that have small cages may also show this behavior.
Raging hormones can also cause feistiness in your pet. Unspayed or unneutered bunnies may also show excessive mounting and spraying of urine. Thus, spaying or neutering your pet to stop biting is essential. It may also happen that your bunny is trying to get your attention.
Stop Rabbit Biting by Giving a Loud Eeeep
One of the ways to stop rabbit biting behavior is by showing your pet that you are in pain. Bunnies communicate with each other by making loud noises such as “eeeep”. After making the sound, tell your rabbit, “no bite”. If the behavior has stopped, give a treat to your bunny as a reward.
Besides saying “no bite”, you can also stomp your feet and whistle to get your pet’s attention. You must be consistent in doing this act to correct your rabbit’s behavior. Even though the nip didn’t hurt you, you must still pretend that you have been hurt a lot. By doing this, your bunny will soon change its destructive behavior.
It is also crucial that you approach a biting rabbit correctly to prevent getting hurt. If you are about to touch your bunny, your hands must be open wide. Start gently holding its head, patting and telling your bunny it is okay. You must have a soothing voice to win your pet’s trust.
As a warning, never poke its face with your finger since it has a bigger chance that your pet will bite you. If your bunny is a biter, you can use a thick glove to protect yourself while trying to win its trust. You don’t have to use thick gloves once it starts to trust you.
Calming an Angry Rabbit
A biting rabbit may bite because of anger. Your pet can be experiencing boredom, stress, or pain, which is why it is always biting you. It can be how it communicates to you that it is unsatisfied with its present condition. Instead of getting frustrated with your pet, you must know how to calm your rabbit.
Calming your angry rabbit will help to make it realize that you are not a threat to its security. On the other hand, you are someone that it can trust. Never put your hand in front of your bunny’s face because it will feel threatened. Shoving your hand on its nose is also an act of exerting dominance, so you should avoid doing this action.
Suppose you notice that your pet is scared when you are near. Gently stroke its head and speak to it with a calm voice. You can also calm your pet by carrying it in a way that it is against your breastbone. Your hand must be around its ribs while your other hand supports its bottom. When doing this trick, ensure that your bunny’s mouth and feet are away from you to prevent your pet from hurting you.
Stop Rabbit Biting by Offering Treats
Giving treats to your bunny is an effective way to stop rabbit biting. An aggressive bunny becomes distracted and calm when offered treats. Once your pet knows you will give it some treats, it will be easier for you to carry it. Choose a special treat that your pet will value. It should be different from the usual food you feed it. A slice of fruit will do.
You can place the treat inside a small tin can. Whenever you approach your pet, shake the tin can and then give it a treat. Once your bunny associates the sound with a treat, it will have a good mood and be calm. Doing this trick will make it easier for you to carry your pet without getting bitten or kicked.
Limiting your Pet’s Stress
Stress can be the answer to your question, “why does my rabbit bite?” Thus, you should limit your pet’s stress by providing a safe environment and healthy food. Loud noises and sudden movements can frighten your pet, making it stressful. If your rabbit is outdoors, ensure it’s far from the road. You must also limit the noises inside your house if it’s living indoors.
The presence of other household pets may also cause stress to rabbits. Naturally, these furry pets are afraid of aggressive dogs and cats. They may experience extreme terror when they hear barking dogs. If you have aggressive dogs or cats, it would be better not to get a rabbit. But if you already have one, place it in an outdoor hutch, safe from your other household pets.
Enclosures with small spaces can limit your bunny’s movement, causing stress. You must provide your pet with a hutch that has appropriate size. It must be wide enough for your pet to hop and stretch comfortably. Aside from that, it must be able to accommodate all of the rabbit’s supplies. Providing a separate exercise area is also recommended.
Besides your pet’s environment, it can also suffer from stress due to boredom. Bored rabbits are more prone to show destructive behavior, such as biting. You must give enough attention to your bunny. Spend time with it and do fun activities together, like playing and walking. If you are too busy, your pet must have a rabbit companion so it won’t feel lonely. Providing your pet with toys will also help to keep it busy and preoccupied.
Stop Rabbit Biting by Not Discipling
Disciplining your rabbit may seem to be a good idea. However, it does not solve its biting behavior. On the contrary, disciplining can make your pet more distant and fearful of you. You should not whack it with a newspaper or swat its nose whenever it bites you. It may only injure your bunny.
Unfortunately, a rabbit hurt by its owner will never forget its bad experience. It will always be frightened or distant to you, making it challenging to win its trust. To defend itself from you, it can be more feisty and aggressive, biting you more often. Your hands must only be used to pet and caress your pet.
Stop Rabbit Biting by Spaying or Neutering
Once a rabbit reaches sexual maturity, it can show more aggressive behavior. It can bite its owner for no particular reason. Bunnies three to six months of age are likelier to exhibit this behavior. Thus, it is vital to spay or neuter your pet. It may take a couple of months before your pet stops biting. However, spaying or neutering cannot resolve biting caused by fear.
Desexing your bunny can lower the cases of cancers and urinary tract infections. Males are also less likely to urinate and fight with other bunnies. In addition to that, they become more relaxed. On the other hand, females prevent unwanted pregnancies and stop biting their owners.
After the surgery, you must give special care to your pet to prevent infections. Giving proper medications will prevent inflammation and pain. You must also limit your bunny’s movements so it can have a fast recovery. If there are signs of infection, don’t hesitate to return to the vet for a check-up.
Understanding Cage Protective Behavior
Rabbits can be territorial, so you must understand their cage protective behavior. A change in environment can threaten bunnies, making them more aggressive. You may notice your pet biting you whenever you are cleaning its hutch. Your pet is telling you that it is frustrated with you because you rearranged its things.
Amazingly, bunnies have preferences on what their enclosure should look like. If you plan to clean its hutch, it would be better to remove your bunny first. Never pull your rabbit out of its cage, but let it leave by opening the door. Place the objects in their original position to prevent frustrating your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my rabbit bite me when I put my hand in front of its face?
Putting your hand in front of a dog’s face is not a problem. But this is not the case for rabbits. They find this gesture threatening, even to the rabbits that are non-biter. They may bite your hand to defend themselves from danger. It is also possible that your pet has bad experiences with hands, so your pet finds it dangerous.
How will I stop my rabbit from biting the furniture?
If you have an indoor rabbit, it is necessary to make your house rabbit-proof. You can get a bitter apple spray to prevent your pet from biting your furniture. Once your pet has tasted the spray, it won’t chew your furniture again. Another solution is blocking your pet’s access to your furniture.
It is easy to stop rabbit biting as long as you know the factors that trigger the action. It is helpful to answer this question first: why does my rabbit bite me? Your bunny can be frightened, or it is because of its raging hormones. Instead of hurting your pet, you must address the problem positively. Understanding its needs and behavior can stop it from biting you.