Why Are My Rabbits Fighting All Of A Sudden: 3 reasons (with proven solution)

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Last Updated on September 28, 2021 by Rei

Rabbits that are fighting suddenly are a lot of concern, especially if the rabbits are both males.

Male rabbits tend to fight more often than two females or males and females. This is due to hormones kicking in at around 4 months old.

Two male rabbits could even kill each other if they are both unneutered due to the amount of hormonal aggression involved. So if you do have two male rabbits you might want to read on.

In this article, I would be discussing the different reasons why your rabbit might be suddenly fighting. I would also discuss what you can do if your rabbit does fight.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

If your rabbit is neutered

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The main reason rabbits get neutered is to lessen the amount of hormones in their body that would often compel rabbits to be territorial and aggressive with each other.

If your rabbit is already neutered but is still fighting, it’s best to consult a veterinarian because it could be a medical issue. A rabbit that is ill or unwell can act out aggressively due to pain and discomfort.

Moreover, aggression is not the only symptom that a rabbit is in pain and is feeling unwell. Usually, rabbits have multiple symptoms like:

  • Appetite change
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loud tooth grinding
  • Low energy
  • High pitched noise

If you notice any of these symptoms immediately separate your rabbit from each other and bring the sick one to a veterinarian that specialized in rabbits.

Finally, it could also just happen without any reason. Bonded pairs can sometimes “broke up” and fight. If this is the case, then separate them for a couple of weeks then attempt to re-bond them.

If your rabbit is not neutered

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If your rabbit is not neutered and is fighting, then consider getting them neutered because hormones can kick in as early as 4 months.

Male rabbits are more prone to territorial aggression due to hormones and would often fight. Female rabbits, while uncommon, can still be as aggressive as a fighter as male rabbits.

You can prevent a lot of unwanted behavior by neutering your rabbits like:

  • Spraying
  • Biting
  • Mounting
  • Thumping
  • Nipping
  • Charging
  • Grunting

Whatever gender your rabbits are, it’s much better to get them neutered so that you won’t have to worry about the two of them fighting.

Is it normal for bonded rabbits to fight?

Fights between two already bonded and neutered rabbits can randomly happen. But make sure that they are healthy and that the fight is not a normal occurrence.

If your rabbit is constantly fighting, it could be a medical issue and should be checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.

If it’s a one-time occurrence, then simply separate them for a few weeks and re-bond them. Most of the time already bonded rabbits can have a “break up” where they fight and after a separation period would re-bond.

Can rabbits kill each other?

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Yes, rabbits can kill each other. This often happens when two unneutered rabbits are enclosed together. While it can also happen with two female rabbits, it’s less common than male rabbits.

Rabbits fighting to the death are usually because of the difference in their personality. Some rabbits are naturally more territorial and aggressive than others.

In addition, rabbit fighting could also be due to the difference in rabbits’ age and size.

Whatever the case, it’s important that you follow the proper procedure when trying to bond rabbits and make sure that they are neutered beforehand.

How to stop your rabbits from fighting?

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If your rabbit is fighting, immediately separate them until you can find out what the problems are. If your rabbit is not spayed or neutered, then it’s probably a hormonal-related aggression.

If your rabbits are both neutered and have already bonded in the past, then you should still separate them for a few weeks and then try to re-bond them.

Sometimes even bonded rabbits can fight but they usually bounce back and re-bond after the temporary separation.

If nothing is working then it’s time to go to a veterinarian for a professional opinion because it could be a medical issue or your rabbit might be in pain. A veterinarian can spot this issue better than us rabbit owners.

Summary

Rabbits fighting can vary in reason. Some are fighting because they are not neutered and are having hormonally related aggression.

That’s why it’s important that you neutered your rabbit before bonding them. This is especially true for two male rabbits who can end up killing each other if they are both aggressive.

While uncommon, two female rabbits could also fight depending on the rabbit’s aggression. That’s why it’s important that you neutered your rabbit regardless of gender, it could save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Finally, rabbits can also fight randomly even if they are already neutered. If your rabbit does fight, simply separate them for a few weeks then re-bond them.

If that doesn’t work, then bring your rabbit to a veterinarian because it could be a medical issue or your rabbit is in pain/ill and that’s what’s causing the aggression.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 27, 2021) Why Are My Rabbits Fighting All Of A Sudden: 3 reasons (with proven solution). Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/why-are-my-rabbits-fighting-all-of-a-sudden/.
"Why Are My Rabbits Fighting All Of A Sudden: 3 reasons (with proven solution)." Bunny Horde - November 27, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/why-are-my-rabbits-fighting-all-of-a-sudden/

Sources and Further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.