Rabbits Chasing Each Other. What Does It Mean?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged ,

Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Rabbits chasing each other is a sign of the “courting” ritual that bonded male and female rabbits do. It could also just be playing. Rabbits often bond and play by chasing each other.

But, if two rabbits are chasing each other while being aggressive (biting, hair pulling, etc.), it could mean that they’re fighting.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits chase each other:

Reasons why rabbits chase each other.

Two brown rabbits playing with each other

Rabbits chase each other for a variety of reasons. But most of the time, it’s just playing. But you still need to be aware of when to be worried and when it’s okay.

Here are some of the reasons why rabbits chase each other:

  • A courting ritual: Male and female rabbits often chase each other as a form of mating ritual. This often happens once your rabbits reach sexual maturity at around 4 months old.
  • Playing: Two same-gendered rabbits chasing each other are often just playing. Rabbits chase each other in the wild as a form of bonding or socializing with each other.
  • Fighting: Rabbits chasing each other while fighting is to show dominance. This often happens when two male rabbits are unneutered. You can tell if it’s fighting if other behaviors such as biting and scratching are involved.

What to do if your rabbits are chasing each other?

If your rabbits are chasing each other while not showing signs of aggression, then you should just let them do it. Rabbits often chase each other to play and bond. They also chase each other as a mating ritual.

But, if they’re showing aggression towards each other, you should separate them and find out why they’re being aggressive towards each other.

The most common reason why rabbits fight is hormone related aggression. This is most commonly seen in unneutered rabbits.

It could also mean that one or both of your rabbits are in pain. Rabbits that are sick and in pain often show signs of aggression.

It’s a good idea to bring your rabbit to a veterinarian if you notice any odd behaviors, such as aggression.

The difference between fighting and playing.

The difference between a playing rabbit and a fighting rabbit can be quite obvious in their body language. Fighting rabbits would attack in quick bursts and then stop to see what their opponent’s responses were.

Also, fighting rabbits would show the “boxing” behavior where they stand up and use their front paws to dig at their opponents. Wild rabbits use this behavior to intimidate rival rabbits who enter their territory.

You can also see physical signs like missing fur or bleeding when your rabbits are fighting often.

Do wild rabbits chase each other?

Two wild rabbits chasing each other in an open field

Wild rabbits often chase out rival rabbits who enter their territory. Rabbits do this in order to intimidate their opponents. But oftentimes, wild rabbits will not engage in physical fighting because an injury in the wild is oftentimes fatal and not worth it.

Opposite-sex rabbits in the wild can also chase each other as a mating ritual. Finally, chasing each other can also be seen as playing and bonding amongst young rabbits.

Conclusion

Rabbits chasing each other can be due to hormonal-related aggression towards each other. It could also be just playing, especially if the rabbits are young.

Opposite sex rabbits that are chasing each other are also a sign of the mating ritual that rabbits do to court each other.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (May 2, 2022) Rabbits Chasing Each Other. What Does It Mean?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbits-chasing-each-other/.
"Rabbits Chasing Each Other. What Does It Mean?." Bunny Horde - May 2, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/rabbits-chasing-each-other/

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Welcome to Bunnyhorde

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.