Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged ,

Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by Rei Garnet

My two rabbits, Tyr and Freya, would often display this behavior at the beginning, when I first got them. I remembered I would get so annoyed because they usually do this at night when I’m sleeping.

But with enough patience and a bit of research, I gradually removed this behavior from my fur babies. Now I can sleep peacefully.

Rabbits kick or thump their cage for a variety of reasons, like loneliness, lack of exercise, inadequate living space, or if the rabbit is not neutered. While the solution to this problem could be as simple as letting them exercise.

In this article, I will be discussing the different causes of why a rabbit might be kicking its cage. I would also touch on what steps to take if your rabbit is kicking its cage.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Reasons why your rabbit is kicking their cage.

In order to stop your rabbit from kicking its cage, you must first identify the reason why they do it. Different reasons would require different solutions.

Here are the reasons why your rabbit is kicking its cage:

1. Your rabbit is lonely.

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One reason why your rabbit is kicking or thumping their cage is loneliness. Rabbits that are alone and lack social interaction will become depressed and lonely after a period of time.

Rabbits that are lonely would show a combination of signs like:

  • Overeating or appetite changes.
  • Hyperactive, angry, and destructive behaviors
  • Withdrawal from their owners. Refusing to bond with their owners.
  • Wanting attention from owners by nudging or softly biting.

If you notice any of these behaviors, consider getting your rabbit a companion. But make sure that your rabbit is spayed or neutered before bonding with another rabbit.

An unneutered rabbit is aggressive toward other rabbits due to hormones. That’s why it’s important for rabbits to get spayed before considering getting a companion.

2. Your rabbit is not neutered or spayed.

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Unneutered rabbits often act out and display destructive behaviors like:

  • Kicking or thumping
  • Biting
  • Aggression to other rabbits and owners
  • Spraying
  • Mounting
  • Thumping
  • Nipping
  • Charging
  • Grunting

The reason why rabbits act aggressively is hormones. This can turn a cute, sweet, and cuddly rabbit into a grumpy one.

That’s why it’s important that you neuter your rabbit before reaching sexual maturity.

As an added benefit, neutered rabbits can reduce the chance of developing testicular or uterine cancer. So talk to your veterinarian about how you can get your rabbit spayed for both your and your rabbit’s sake.

3. Your rabbit doesn’t have enough living space.

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Rabbits need a lot of space because they naturally have a lot of energy. Your rabbit should be able to move freely and must have enough space to lightly exercise.

Rabbits that have a small enclosure tend to get frustrated because of the lack of exercise. This frustration is even greater for rabbits that are not neutered.

Your rabbit’s enclosure should be a 6x2x2 hutch with an attached 6×4 or 6×8 run. This would allow your rabbit to freely dart around and binky if they wanted to.

4. Your rabbit is not getting enough exercise.

pexels pixabay 33152 Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

As mentioned above, rabbits that’s not getting exercise would show signs of aggression, like kicking their cage due to frustration. But not all rabbits are the same. Some need a lot more exercise than others.

If your rabbit is naturally energetic or young, consider giving them a few hours of playtime outside their cage. You can buy a stackable playpen or let your rabbit play in your yard.

Just make sure that your yard doesn’t have a hole where your rabbit can escape.

And finally, if you’re planning to let your rabbit play in your yard, make a shed so that your rabbit is not directly in the sun for long periods of time.

How to stop your rabbit from kicking or thumping?

A white rabbit inside its cage.

The first thing you need to do is find out what the reason is for your rabbit’s kicking and thumping.

If you only have one rabbit and they aren’t getting enough social interaction from you, then consider getting your rabbit a friend.

Welcome to Bunnyhorde x
Welcome to Bunnyhorde

Just make sure that both rabbits are neutered before bonding them to prevent injuries due to aggression.

If your rabbit has a small cage or enclosure and is not getting enough exercise, then you should provide them with a large enough enclosure so that they can expend that extra energy.

In addition, if your rabbit is naturally energetic, a large enclosure might not be enough for your rabbit. You should give your rabbit a couple of hours a day to exercise in your house using a stackable playpen or let them play in your yard.

Finally, if none of this is working and your rabbit is still kicking its cage, then it’s best to talk to a veterinarian to make sure that the problem is not medical.

Can rabbits hurt themselves when kicking their cage?

If the cage is poorly or wrongly made, then your rabbit’s feet can get stuck between the wires while they are kicking it. Some rabbit owners will cheap out and buy one that is made for other animals.

This is wrong and you should never do it.

Rabbit’s cage should have small enough “holes” or gaps on its floorings. Otherwise, their small feet could get stuck to it when walking, or in this case, kicking it.

An improper cage floor can also lead to sore hocks. Sore hock is a condition where the underside of your rabbit’s feet becomes inflamed. It’s usually caused by damp flooring or improper flooring.

Here’s a great video from the Wood Green Animal Shelters on how to select a proper rabbit cage:

Summary

Rabbits kicking their cage can be caused by a variety of reasons like loneliness, lack of space, lack of exercise, and hormonal aggression.

If you suspect that the reason your rabbit is kicking its cage is because of loneliness, consider getting your rabbit a friend. But make sure that both rabbits are neutered to prevent fighting.

As for the lack of space and exercise, if you cannot provide your rabbit with a large enough enclosure, then you should give your rabbit a couple of hours of playtime outside its cage to expel that extra energy.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (May 2, 2022) Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution). Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/why-do-rabbits-kick-their-cage/.
"Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)." Bunny Horde - May 2, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/why-do-rabbits-kick-their-cage/

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.
  • How to spot a lonely rabbit
  • Why is my Rabbit Thumping?

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.