Why Is My Baby Bunny Growing Up Angry?
A reader asks: I've had my bunny for 8 months and she was a baby when I got her. For some reason recently she...has been a lot more aggressive towards me and other people. I will pet her for a while and I can tell she likes it, but then after petting her, the minute I pull my hand away she charges for me with a growl and bites me really hard. What should I do? Is this normal?
What's happened here, dear reader, is that your cute little baby bunny has grown up and discovered hormones. Yes, this is normal. What can you do about it? Several things.
First of all, your rabbit should be spayed immediately. Female rabbits should always be spayed, not only for temperamental reasons, but because intact female rabbits are extremely likely to develop cancer before they are three years of age.If you want your rabbit to live a long and happy life, have her fixed by a vetinarian.
Spaying also helps rabbits become calmer and more friendly. At the moment your bunny is going through a kind of rabbit teenage-hood. Her hormones are raging, making her more aggressive and irritable than usual. Think of how human teenagers often behave for a comparison. She is also becoming more territorial of her space. You didn't say where it was that she was biting you, but if you are putting your hand inside her cage to pet her, that may very well be the cause of a lot of the agression.
As rabbits get older, they become extremely possessive of their cage space. In the wild, a bunny will defend its own personal space from other rabbits and intruders, and they behave similarly in domestic situations as well. You may have a better experience with your bunny if you only pet her when she is out of her cage.
The most important thing however, is the spaying. If she is not spayed, not only does she have a very high chance of becoming ill, but she will also be much more aggressive and angry because she will want to mate and she will be defending her cage quite aggressively against you, the silly human intruder who is keeping her captive.
Whilst I'm on the subject, I wouldn't recommend that you decide to allow your female rabbit to mate simply to make her less aggressive, for one, it won't make her less aggressive and for two, births can lead to complications which can also be dangerous for your rabbit and indeed, her babies.
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