Did your rabbit randomly bite you or did they give you a nibble? It may be a small one or it may be an actual bite that is unwanted. When a rabbit bites you there are many possibilities behind the action. Knowing the why’s will help to make you the best rabbit care provider you can be. Keep reading to learn the answers to the unnerving question of “why do rabbits bite?”
Your Rabbit May Be Showing You Love
Is your rabbit just giving you slight, little nibbles on your fingers or toes? Typically this isn’t something you should worry about especially since it often doesn’t hurt.
Many times this is how your pet rabbit will show its love for you. When a rabbit nibbles or bites you softly it is often accompanied with licking, which is a sign of love. He is trying to groom you and is simulating the grooming process (however, you have no fur to build up knots in so it results in just a little nibble of the skin). A rabbit will often only groom those for whom he cares about. Lucky you!
Indicators to watch for: If your rabbit seems calm and has his eyes closed and does not have its fur puffed out he is most likely giving you a love bite.
Your Rabbit May Be In Pain
If your rabbit bites you [rather hard, or more intense than usual] he may be trying to alert you that he is in pain or something is wrong. This is especially true if you are touching him in a certain spot and his reaction is to bite you. If you notice that he is reacting to a certain area you are touching, take him to the vet immediately, it most likely means there is something wrong.
Your Rabbit May Be Scared
Your rabbit may bite you out of fear. If something has spooked him or he is scared of you as an owner it could be the reason he is biting you.
Indicators to watch: If your rabbit is stomping his feet repeatedly, his fur is puffed out and has very wide, anxious eyes this is a sign that he is scared or something had just frightened him. Also, if your rabbit is squealing or yelling, something is really wrong or he has recently been frightened. If he does not calm down over a period of time, a trip to the veterinarian may be needed.
Note: Thumping or stomping happens often in many different moods. A rabbit can thump when they are especially excited, when they are trying to get your attention or just for the heck of it. However, when they do it over and over, repeatedly, it is often a sign of disapproval or that they are frightened.
Your Rabbit May Have Aggression Issues
Some rabbits are just a little more sensitive than others and don’t know how to control their aggression. This is especially true if you have adopted the bunny or rescued them for they may have had a bad past, been abused, were stuck in a cage or weren’t ever around people.
A thing called “threat biting” may occur, which is when your rabbit bears his teeth at you but doesn’t actually bite you nor does he want to.
Times This Can Happen:
Putting your rabbit back in his cage
Picking your rabbit up when he doesn’t want to be picked up