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

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged ,
pexels mareks steins 3221104 Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

Rabbits kick/thump their cage for a variety of reasons. Some are as simple as letting them exercise while others require a bit of effort to correct this behavior.

My two rabbits, Tyr and Freya would often do 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 patient and a bit of research, I gradually removed this behavior from my fur babies. Now I can sleep peacefully.

In this article, I would 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.

Your rabbit is lonely.

rabbit 112862 640 Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

One reason why your rabbit is kicking/thumping their cage is due to loneliness. Rabbits that are alone and lack social interactions would 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/neutered before bonding with another rabbit.

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

Your rabbit is not neutered/spayed.

rabbit 1326682 640 Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

Unneutered rabbits would often act out and display destructive behaviors like:

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

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

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

Your rabbit doesn’t have enough living space.

rabbit 1326683 640 Why Do Rabbits Kick Their Cage: 4 reasons (with proven solution)

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

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

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

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 have no 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, 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 your rabbit can escape.

And finally, if your 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.

Things you can do to stop the kicking/thumping.

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

If you only have one rabbit and they aren’t getting enough social interaction from you, then consider getting your rabbit a friend. Just make sure that both rabbits are neutered before bonding them to prevent injuries due to aggression.

If your rabbit has a small cage/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.

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 cant 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 (November 17, 2021) 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 - November 17, 2021, 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?