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Why Your Bunny Bites You

Updated on March 9, 2010

A reader asks: My rabbit follows me, kiss all my face but loves to bit me, why?

As one hubber posited, some bunnies just like to nibble and bite things. That may be the case with your bunny, or it could be the fact that you are breaking bunny rules. You see, keeping a rabbit is a little like having a mafia mob boss in a cage. They operate by a strict code that you are probably unaware of, but if you break it, they will not hesitate to let you know that you have done wrong. A rabbit's bite is the equivalent of a warning that the next time you mess up, it'll be concrete shoes and into the river with you.

This reader does not mention what he is doing when his rabbit bites him. Some rabbits will vigorously defend their cages, and if you want to clean them out, you best put bunny in another room whilst you do it. If you reach in and start messing with his home whilst he is in there, you are simply asking for trouble.

It is also possible that Don Bunnyeone has decided that he is the boss, and that means that you should groom him as and when he decides the time is right. The nuzzling and nudging are requests for grooming. If they go unrewarded, obviously you are far too stupid (in bunny's mind) to understand basic bunny language and must be punished into submitting. If you find your rabbit bites you after nuzzling and nudging you and you have failed to give your bunny head rubs, then what your bunny is doing is trying to teach you a lesson. In bunny's mind, you are a very badly behaved large, furless bunny who must be disciplined.

Moral of the story: If your bunny is nudging you for attention, give him rubs or put him away in his cage if you don't want to oblige at the time. He may be offended by your rejection, but at least he won't nip you for your crimes.

Not a lot of attention is paid to rabbit behavior and society by people who sell rabbits, and so many rabbit owners aren't aware of the fact that rabbits, like dogs, have ideas in their heads of how a proper society functions. If you see those cute pictures of rabbits with one lying over the other, you might think that one rabbit is giving the other cuddles. Instead, what is actually happening is that the top rabbit is asserting dominance over the one on the bottom.It is worthwhile learning about bunny behavior and language rather than just brushing off all your rabbit's quirks with 'that's just what bunnies do'. Bunnies are far more interesting and intelligent than you might think.

Here's a starter article: How To Tell If Your Bunny Loves You


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      GreenJell-o 2 years ago

      My rabbit will bite and growl if I drag my hand or a chew toy along the ground in front of his face. I don't know if it annoys him or threatens him. He doesn't stomp so maybe he is just being playful or is annoyed. He also bites me if he is not ready for me to stop petting him during a cuddles session, I have been a very bad girl and must be punished I guess.

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      Charlene 3 years ago

      My bunny had her litter 4 weeks ago, and since then she started biting us for no reason. We will be watching tv and she comes lay under my hand to stroke her as always, then the next minute she will lift her head and bite very very hard. then she will go to my husband and just bite him also. we don't now what to do anymore as this is happening more and more. she is getting more aggressive all the time.

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      Terrissa 3 years ago

      My bunny does bite me and it bite me a lot and I do not know why. But whenever I go to pick him up he makes this like vibrating sound and starts to bite me. And it's hard to play with him because he bites so I usually don't want to play with or I do and don't because he will bite. He is also only 2 years old and he is a compact bunny that is all black and he is a male. Please tell me what is rong

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      mill 3 years ago

      My bunny bites

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      Rabbit Breeders 6 years ago

      I have been bit quite a few times over the years... but it doesn't stop us rabbit breeders from raising rabbits!

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      indira 7 years ago

      I have a not spayed bunny her name is Lacy she have bitten me twice

      1.) When I had not payed attention to her when I was just rubbin her

      2.) When I just got down playin with my dog Daisy and she had sniffed my hand and then she had biten me then I was scared so I screamed closed her cage and turned off my bedroom light and slammed the door... I don't I'm thinking about re homing her * My mother say I been not caring for like I was before

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      ashley mcwhortor 7 years ago

      ok do you have a bunny rabbit that's bit you

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      jeun yieh 7 years ago

      .. my rabbit don't bite me.. if i get her in her cage.. but if she's running around our house. and she saw you blocking her way.. that's the time that she able to bite you.. T_T

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      Zixinus 7 years ago

      It should also be noted that bunnies groom another using their teeth.

      This can be solved by giving a small shriek indicating that you're hurt and stop petting him. My rabbit learned not to bite me to groom me this way just fine.