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Why does my Rabbit do that?

Why does my Rabbit ‘Thump’ his feet?

Rabbit thumping is generally all about your Bunny signalling a warning or expressing his or her displeasure. Occasionally a Rabbit may ‘thump’ just to attract your attention.

Why does my rabbit rub its chin on objects?

Rabbits are territorial animals – so they like to have an area (hutch or burrow, etc) to call their own. They will often identify this territory as theirs by leaving scent marks for other rabbits to detect. Rabbits have scent glands underneath their chins and they rub these on objects to leave behind their scent. This behaviour is very similar to cats rubbing their faces (which also have scent glands) on objects or people.

Why do my rabbits fight?

Rabbits are territorial animals and like to defend their patch against intruders. Because of this it is very difficult to keep two same sex together.

By far the easiest combination is a male-female pair - but both rabbits will have to be neutered. Same-sex pairs sometimes work if both rabbits are neutered and, preferably, if they were introduced as youngsters or come from the same litter, but this is by no means easy to achieve.

Rabbits should be very gradually introduced to their new companion on neutral territory with lots of cover and piles of food. Slowly build up the amount of time the rabbits spend with each other. Separate them if severe fighting occurs as rabbits can inflict nasty injuries on each other.

Never try to compromise by putting a Rabbit and Guinea Pig together. The Guinea Pig will not be able to defend itself should the Rabbit become aggressive.

If you decide against keeping two Rabbits, then please ensure that your Pet gets plenty of attention and interaction from you and members of you family.

Why does my rabbit struggle when I pick it up?

Why does my female rabbit build a nest?

Wild rabbits live on the ground. Pet rabbits do not like being held above the ground as it is unnatural to them, and they do not feel secure. They will struggle and may kick and scratch - often they are dropped and this can result in injuries such as a broken leg or back. Small children should not be allowed to handle rabbits unsupervised.

It is extremely important to learn to handle your Rabbit correctly so that it feels secure when you pick it up. Tuck your rabbit's head close to your body underneath the elbow of your left arm (if you are right-handed). Use the left hand to hold the bottom of the rabbit, while supporting your rabbit against your body. Steady the head and front end of the animal with the right hand. NEVER pick a rabbit up by its ears - this is extremely painful and dangerous for the rabbit.

If you have a young rabbit it is important to handle it often so that it becomes used to this from an early age.

Why does my rabbit only use one corner of the hutch as a toilet?

This is very common behaviour in rabbits. As well as leaving scent by chinning, rabbits mark their territories by leaving their droppings in concentrated piles. Rabbits are also very clean animals - They frequently wash and groom themselves. Rabbits do not like to sleep in areas soiled by urine and droppings.

This behaviour also explains why rabbits can be house-trained easily to live indoors

The female rabbit (doe) builds a nest, which she lines with fur plucked from her chest, for her babies (called kittens). Some females show nesting behaviour even though they have not been mated and are not pregnant. This is called a 'false pregnancy' (or pseudopregnancy). The doe may even defend the nest from any human interference by growling and biting.

False pregnancies usually occur in early spring (although they can happen at any time) and they are more common in rabbits housed with other female rabbits. Do not be alarmed if your rabbit has a false pregnancy - it will do her no harm. However, they do not occur in neutered female rabbits and if your rabbit is aggressive during a false pregnancy, consider having her neutered (spayed).

Why does my Rabbit Grunt or Growl

Rabbits Grunt or Growl for various reasons. This is often simply a bunny's way of telling you to be careful or to leave it alone. It could also be an expression of fear, or even just a greeting, depending on what is happening at the time.  Pay attention to posture and body language.

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