Lots of people like to keep rabbits as pets, and you might even choose to keep multiple rabbits. Many think that this is a good idea because it will ensure that your rabbits won’t get lonely when they have friends.
Generally, rabbits should get along quite well, and you’ll be happy about having a good time raising them. However, it can be very troubling when your rabbits start fighting with one another all of a sudden.
This can really come out of the blue, and you might not even be sure what you should do to get things back to normal. Why are the rabbits suddenly fighting with each other, and what can be done to fix things?
Read on to get more information about rabbits and why they might start fighting with each other. This should make it easier for you to take action so that you can get things back to how they used to be.
If you know what to do, then this won’t be quite as big of a deal as it initially seemed like it would be.
Rabbits Will Sometimes Fight Over Territory
The basic reason why rabbits will start fighting with one another is that they are fighting over territory. Rabbits can be quite territorial, and one rabbit might want to lay claim to a specific spot.
The thing that is so bad about this is that you can have rabbits that seem to get along for quite some time and then suddenly start fighting.
There are lots of reasons why your rabbits might be fine one day and then all of a sudden start fighting the next day. It’s important to go over the individual reasons while also considering certain things. Keep reading to get all of the details so that you can make a proper determination about what to do.
This is something that you can solve over time, but you’re going to need to figure out what is going on. Your situation might have one or two factors influencing your rabbits and causing these fights.
Don’t get disheartened about this because you can get your rabbits to get along by making some adjustments.
1 – Are Your Rabbits Properly Bonded?
The first thing to try to figure out is whether or not your rabbits are properly bonded. You might have just assumed that your rabbits were bonded with each other because they went a certain amount of time without fighting with each other in their cages.
There are actually certain rabbit bonding signs that you need to look out for, though.
Rabbits absolutely need to be bonded if they’re going to be staying in a cage together. You should try to encourage rabbit bonding while looking out for rabbit bonding signs. If you’re able to get your rabbits to bond properly, then you shouldn’t have to worry so much about fights moving forward.
It’s also important to note that rabbits can sometimes fight even when they are bonded properly. When this occurs, you can try to re-establish the bond between the two rabbits over time. Typically, the best thing to do is to separate the rabbits for several days and then slowly re-introduce them to each other.
If you try to re-introduce the rabbits too fast, then it could just lead to more fighting. Separating the rabbits is for the best until you can re-establish that bond. You don’t want your rabbits to hurt each other, and it’s always good to err on the side of caution.
2 – Have Your Rabbits Been Spayed and Neutered?
Rabbits that have not been spayed or neutered are going to be far more likely to fight over territory or to get in fights for other reasons. When you have your rabbits spayed and neutered, it makes them substantially more docile.
If you’d like to discourage your rabbits from fighting, then getting them spayed and neutered is probably for the best.
You should take some time to discuss this with your veterinarian when you can. Setting up a time for both of your rabbits to be spayed or neutered will be very simple.
It could even wind up solving your problems if everything goes well, but there are still other things that need to be considered here.
3 – Is Your Rabbit Cage Large Enough?
One of the most common reasons why rabbits will start fighting with each other is that they are staying in a cramped environment. Is your rabbit cage too small for both of your rabbits to be comfortable?
They might be fighting each other over the limited space, and you might find that the rabbits are starting to resent each other.
If you take the time to buy a rabbit cage that is large enough for both of your rabbits, then you’re going to have a much better experience. This should make it easier for you to enjoy keeping rabbits as pets, and it makes sense to pay attention to cage size.
Go to your local pet store and try to buy a rabbit cage that is more suitable for your rabbits as soon as you can.
4 – Three Is a Crowd
Some new rabbit owners don’t understand that having odd numbers of rabbits can be problematic. You see, you might have two rabbits that are bonded with each other. These rabbits will get along well, but things can change if another rabbit is brought into the mix.
If you introduce a new rabbit to your home, then this could cause quite a bit of turmoil. Even introducing a new rabbit to your home without putting the new rabbit in the same cage can cause issues. Rabbits have a keen sense of smell, and they will be able to tell that there is another rabbit in the house.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have three or four rabbits in your home. It just means that you need to introduce the rabbits to each other slowly. You can avoid the “three is a crowd” situation by being mindful of doing things right.
It can be a bit of a pain to have to go through this slow process, though. This is why many rabbit owners consider two rabbits to be the sweet spot that is easy to maintain. After all, you have to put enough effort into bonding your initial pair of rabbits.
5 – Moving to a New Home
Moving to a new home is something that can be very startling for rabbits. It can throw them off and cause them to start lashing out in various ways. You could even find that your rabbits will begin fighting one another when you move to a new place.
Sadly, even rabbit owners who have gone to great lengths to reduce stress in their rabbits have encountered problems. Moving causes turmoil with your rabbits, and you’ll just have to be ready to deal with things.
Over time, your rabbits should acclimate to the new environment, but you might have to pay special attention to them.
It’s also possible for rabbits to feel this way when they have simply been moved to a new cage. You might buy a new cage to give your rabbits more space at some point in time. This will potentially cause some issues while the rabbits are getting used to things.
You now know that rabbits can get very attached to their little habitats. Be careful when you’re planning on making changes whether they’re big or small. When you know that they can cause behavioral shifts, it’ll be easier to anticipate issues.
6 – Potential Illnesses
Sometimes rabbits will start fighting with each other when one rabbit starts to get sick. If your rabbit is showing signs that it might be ill, then you need to seek medical help.
Consulting your veterinarian would be wise if you’re worried that one or both of your rabbits have issues that need to be addressed.
There are multiple reasons why rabbits will start fighting when one or both of them are sick. The rabbit who is sick might feel bad enough that it won’t want to be bothered by the other rabbit. This can lead to various behavioral changes that will potentially cause the rabbit to resent the other rabbit.
You’ll also sometimes find that a healthy rabbit will try to assert its dominance over the unhealthy rabbit. It’s like the rabbits can sense that there is an opportunity for a change to occur in the normal pecking order.
For pet owners, this type of stuff is going to be quite annoying, but it’s something that can’t really be avoided.
The only thing that you can do in this situation is get some advice from your veterinarian. You might be able to get both of your rabbits feeling healthy again so that things can get back to normal.
Of course, you might also have to re-bond the rabbits after separating them for a period of time to get the fighting to stop.
Can Rabbits Stop Fighting on Their Own?
You shouldn’t just assume that your rabbits will stop fighting on their own. If you want to be a good pet owner, then it’s going to be necessary for you to take the right steps to break up these fights. If you fail to do so, then one or both of your rabbits could wind up getting injured.
It would certainly be bad for your rabbits to get injured because you weren’t able to break up the fight in time. What you need to do to get this to stop is to break the rabbits up and separate them. If you just leave them in the cage after reprimanding them, then your rabbits will be very likely to just go back to fighting at some point.
Rabbits can hurt each other by having these little confrontations. It’s something that needs to be taken seriously when you care about the well-being of your pets. If you’re worried about how to get this to stop, then you might need to go over your options with your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian might have some ideas about how to re-introduce your rabbits to each other after separating them for a time. Lots of veterinarians help people with rabbit issues and figuring out bonding problems. If you’re at a loss for what to do, then it makes sense to seek out the assistance of a professional.
It’s also wise to turn to a veterinarian when you need to get your rabbits patched up. These little fights can cause injuries, and the injuries cannot be ignored when you’re trying to be a responsible pet owner.
Don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian after you’ve noticed your rabbits fighting.
Enjoy Your Rabbits
Now that you have learned more about rabbits and why they might start fighting with each other, it should be easier to solve your problems.
While it is true that having your rabbits fight with each other can be worrying, it’s also true that it doesn’t have to ruin things. You can get your rabbits to start getting along again so long as you solve the issues that were causing them to fight.
You need to know how to look out for certain problems when you’re taking care of rabbits. If you do a good job of being a proactive rabbit owner, then you shouldn’t encounter too many more issues moving forward. Taking the right steps makes it much easier for you to just be able to enjoy owning rabbits.
Rabbits are such cuddly and fun pets for you to keep in your home. You shouldn’t have to worry so much about the fighting issue if you take the above advice into account. If you have continued problems despite utilizing the information above, then you might need some professional assistance to get things on track.
Always remember that you have the option of consulting your veterinarian if things get to be a bit confusing, too. Animals are always going to have territorial instincts that you will have to deal with from time to time. You can work hard as a pet owner to keep things safe and happy in your home, though.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.