The rabbit is a sweet and affectionate-looking animal, so if your rabbit bites you may find it strange.
The rabbit’s attitude of biting the cage, except in rare cases, is normal and should not cause any particular concern, although it is right to try to understand the reasons.
Why does the rabbit bite?
A rabbit’s teeth grow about a centimetre a month. Gnawing allows him to naturally file down his teeth, which would otherwise grow too large. This is the general reason for the rabbit’s biting behaviour. There are also more specific reasons. They may relate to his relationship with his owner or be linked to situations of discomfort and fear.
The rabbit bites for affection and attention
Sometimes the rabbit bites to show affection to his pet parent. In this case the bite is very weak and followed by effusions. In addition, the rabbit has semi-open eyes and does not swell up. Nibbling is a way of calling and attracting the attention of the pet parent. If the rabbit bites feet and hands, it means that he wants food and cuddles.
The rabbit may also bite the cage to attract our attention. If the rabbit is loose in the house but continues to nibble, it may have little hay, which is essential for his diet, little water or hear annoying noises.
The rabbit bites out of pain
When the rabbit is inside the cage and bites, the bite may be a sign that the animal is experiencing pain or discomfort in his incisors. In this case it is advisable to contact your vet to check that the incisors are the right length.
It is difficult to tell if the rabbit has bad teeth, but a sudden change in behaviour or repeated and abrupt bites to the owner are signs of discomfort or a serious problem.
The rabbit bites out of fear
The rabbit is a particularly sensitive animal that also uses biting as a defence mechanism. A wrong approach can cause the rabbit to become uncomfortable and fearful, and the rabbit becomes particularly aggressive. If the rabbit is frightened, he not only bites, but also stands up straight, is wide-eyed, looks frightened, takes small steps with the paws and may even scream.
How to prevent the rabbit from biting?
To solve the problem of rabbits biting due to excessive tooth growth, there are gnawing toys for rodents in various shapes and materials, such as those by Ferplast:
- Tiny & Natural, in the shape of apple, carrot, cheese and corncob, made of natural components that do not alter the diet. Ecological, biodegradable and non-toxic
- the chewing pencils in packs of four, to insert in the cage as a colourful accessory to pass the time with
- the willow wood ball to be used as entertainment and to limit the growth of teeth.
Furthermore, if the rabbit bites out of fear, it is useful to lie down next to him and talk to him affectionately. The rabbit responds positively and calmly to kindness. If the rabbit is particularly agitated, give him his time and keep distance.
Rabbits have a tendency to bite everything. The main motivation is to avoid excessive tooth growth, but behavioural motivations should not be underestimated.