Fighting among rabbits is every pet owner’s worst nightmare, as it can cause injuries and bleeding that can harm your pet’s body, including important parts such as the eyes and ears. This occasionally happens when you own more than two rabbits and they share the same cage, and they become aggressive.
According to the Indiana House Rabbit Society, rabbits are generally loving and friendly animals that prefer to live in groups because they are sociable creatures. They also do not like being alone, and isolation from others can cause distress among them.
But rabbits can also become aggressive and start a fight with their companion. This is an instinct for every pet animal. Since rabbit ancestors lived once in a wild environment before, they developed territorial characteristics. And to this day, that behavior is also linked to captive rabbits.
Being able to differentiate between an angry rabbit and a calm one is crucial to avoid escalating things and ensure your safety. If you want to know more about this matter, keep scrolling.
Reasons Why Rabbits Fight
By nature, rabbits are not aggressive in behavior. This is one of the several advantages of keeping a pet rabbit. When they are comfortable, they are usually resting and calm.
However, when a rabbit starts sensing a specific threat to their safety, they can turn into something you may not expect from them. Here are some of the reasons why rabbits can start fighting.
Rabbits have a Territorial Instinct
Rabbits have a territorial instinct, just like other animals. When they live in the wild, claiming the area helps them avoid conflict with others. They will know what territory they are defending once they mark the environment. This kind of behavior is also seen in some captive rabbits.
Moreover, rabbits can also sometimes be territorial on humans. You must observe if they want you to be near them or their cage. Respect is one of the important characteristics of animals. So if you or other pets do not show this, they will become aggressive and fight because they consider it a threat.
New Rabbits are Not Introduced to Old Rabbits
Captive rabbits typically have good behavior. They are mostly calm and sometimes playful. Once you own a rabbit, you must remember that each has different characteristics. Meaning if one is good, some of the rabbits might not be. This is a common mistake that first-time rabbit owners commit. They must consider whether their rabbit will accept a new member or not.
Rabbits Have a Hormonal Change
Hormones will cause your pets to become territorial. The moment somebody else enters their territory, they tend to get aggressive. Fighting because of hormones is often seen in male rabbits. Certain articles claim that the reason behind this is because of asserting dominance. In the animal kingdom, there is always a leader in each group, they respect their ranking, so when someone dominates your rabbit, they will start fighting.
Tips To Stop Rabbits From Fighting
Spay/Neuter Your Rabbit
One of the reasons why rabbits become aggressive is because of hormones. Once you remove that part that tells their instinct to fight, it will lessen aggressiveness in rabbits. It will be easier for you to handle your pet, especially if they live in the same cage.
Provide an Active Lifestyle in Rabbits
Providing an active lifestyle doesn’t just contribute to your rabbit’s health but also manages their aggressiveness. Since rabbits have a pent-energy not being released, they tend to become moody. Letting your rabbit enjoy an active lifestyle is one way to ease this. Do not cage them their whole life; give your pet at least 2-3 hours to wander outside their cage.
Introduce New Rabbit Properly
If you plan to add a member, do not immediately force your old rabbits to accept the new pet. The introduction is important so you can prevent them from fighting with one another.
You can do this by placing a cage near your pet so that it can get used to the smell of your new rabbit. If you think they are getting along, you can place them in a single cage. But observe before permanently letting them live with each other.
Consider The Size of Rabbit’s Cage
Rabbits naturally love to hop, explore, and jump, but they cannot engage in these activities if their cage is too small. That is why it is important to choose the right size of the cage when you decide to care for rabbits. Additionally, if you plan to add a new rabbit to your household, you should make sure they have enough space and privacy to prevent fighting between them.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Rabbits
- Fighting between rabbits is a nightmare for every pet owner. It can cause injuries and cuts in the skin, eyes, ears, and other body parts.
- If your rabbit has a wound cut from fighting, bring them to the veterinarian immediately for proper treatment.
- Rabbits are generally loving and sociable animals. But they can also be aggressive with others, which leads to fighting.
- Rabbits are sociable animals, so they love to live in groups rather than becoming alone.
- They usually fight over dominant status because respect for the hierarchy is very important among them.
- Here are some reasons rabbits fight;
- Rabbits have a territorial instinct which sometimes causes problems because they show aggressiveness.
- New rabbits need to be introduced properly.
- Rabbits have a hormonal change that changes their minds to become aggressive toward other animals.
- Stopping your rabbit from fighting is essential to avoid problems and keep yourself safe.
- Here are some tips to prevent rabbits from fighting; spayed/neutered, active lifestyle in rabbits, introducing new animals properly, and considering the cage’s size.