Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Rei Garnet
If you notice that your two male rabbits are fighting, immediately separate them. Two male rabbits fighting could result in severe injuries or, in some cases, death.
Then, get both rabbits neutered to stop any hormonal-related aggression. You should neuter your rabbit before they hit puberty, or at around 3–4 months old. Puberty is the time when rabbits start to become territorial and aggressive.
After neutering, you can now begin to re-introduce the rabbits to each other. Be patient; this re-introduction process could take a long time.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail how you can stop two male rabbits from fighting:
What to do if your two male rabbits are fighting?
Two rabbits that are fighting should be taken seriously because they can gravely injure each other if they are not stopped.
Here’s an example of an injured rabbit that’s caused by fighting with another rabbit:
As you can see from the video, male rabbits fight viciously. They will kick, bite, and scratch their opponent until it submits or until it leaves the territory.
Now that you know what can happen if you don’t stop your rabbit from fighting, it’s time to discuss what steps you can take to prevent it from happening:
1. Separate the two male rabbits.
Be careful not to get yourself hurt when trying to separate a fighting rabbit. You could get bitten or scratched yourself. Use a towel, spray bottle, or a broom to separate the fighting rabbits.
Use a spray bottle first before using a broom or towel to separate fighting rabbits. Spraying your rabbit with water in its face would likely stop the fighting, because rabbits would likely wipe their faces first when wet.
2. Get your rabbits neutered.
When you want to stop your rabbits from fighting, the most important thing is to get both of them neutered. Hormones are the reason why rabbits become territorial and aggressive towards other rabbits.
Your rabbit’s hormones would start to kick in when your rabbit enters puberty or at around 3–4 months old. This is the time they start to get territorial and aggressive towards each other.
Here are some of the benefits of neutering a rabbit:
- Prevents reproductive cancers.
- Reduced sexual aggression.
- Stops unwanted behaviors like urine spraying.
- Easier to litter train.
- Less destructive.
- Reduced urine and poop odor.
- Less/no more fighting with same-sex rabbits.
Recently neutered rabbits can still be aggressive for a couple of weeks post-surgery. It can take 2-4 weeks for your rabbit’s hormones to settle. Be patient.
3. Check for any illness or open wounds.
Another reason why a rabbit becomes aggressive towards other rabbits is due to an injury or illness. If your rabbit is already neutered and still aggressive toward other rabbits, bring them to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian.
When your rabbit is in pain, it could lead to aggressive behavior. Check your rabbits for any open wounds or missing fur. Also, check your rabbit’s teeth and ears for any abnormalities.
Here are the signs that your rabbit is in pain:
- Loud teeth grinding.
- Rapid and shallow breathing.
- Hunched posture.
- Increased (hair-pulling) or decreased grooming.
- Increased thirst and urination.
- Bulging, strained, staring, or unfocused eyes.
- Reluctance to move.
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, bring your rabbit to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian.
4. Repeat the introduction process.
After you’ve checked all the things I mentioned above, it’s time to re-introduce your rabbits to one another.
Here are the steps you can take to re-introduce your rabbits:
- Place your rabbits in separate wire cages with their own sets of water and food bowls.
- Place the cages in a neutral corner (a place that has never been marked by both rabbits) next to each other. Make sure that the cage is close enough but not so close that the rabbits can still bite each other.
- Leave them in that area for a while (20-30 minutes).
- If both of the rabbits seem to calm down a bit, you can try to open the cage and let them smell and get close to each other.
- Let them bond for at least 20 minutes. But if a fight ensues, separate them immediately and try again tomorrow.
- Be patient; this can take a while.
Here’s a great video by Howcast on how to properly re-introduce two rabbits:
To stop your rabbits from fighting each other, it’s important that you get both rabbits neutered. This would eliminate any hormonal and territorial-related behaviors.
Make sure that you get both your rabbits neutered before they hit puberty, or before 3–4 months of age. Puberty is around the time when rabbits start to get aggressive towards each other.
If both of your rabbits are already neutered and are still fighting, one or both of your rabbits could be injured and in pain.
Pain could cause a rabbit to be aggressive, so check for any open wounds or missing fur. Also, check their teeth and ears for any abnormalities.
If everything is normal and you didn’t notice any physical injuries, bring your rabbits to a veterinarian for a more thorough search.
Cite this article:
Sources and further reading
- Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
- Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
- Bonding rabbits
- Should I Get a Second Rabbit
- Pairing up Rabbits (Bonding)
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