Rabbits are prey animals which means that they have evolved to be able to run away from predators. Given their body size, this normally isn’t a problem, but when you have an animal in your home it can cause problems when the rabbit decides that the only way to remove the threat is by fighting back.
To keep your rabbit feeling safe any changes in behavior should be taken seriously and investigated immediately. Rabbits are very good at hiding signs of illness so you need to know what is normal for your bunny – some things are not normal even if they are always there!
It can be difficult to distinguish between the two, especially if you have a new bunny in your home or haven’t seen them in a while (for example if you were on holiday). In both cases it is worth considering when the behavior started – defensive aggression normally comes on suddenly and has an identifiable trigger. Offensive aggression may develop over time as your rabbit becomes more confident around people, but again there should be a clear trigger for this behavior such as someone taking their attention off them after stroking them.
Q: Why has my rabbit become so aggressive all of a sudden?
There can be many reasons for a sudden behavior change, but it is important to take any aggression seriously as it could be a sign that your rabbit feels unsafe. Defensive aggression is normally sudden and triggered by something, while offensive aggression may develop over time as your rabbit becomes more confident around people.
Q: Is it normal for rabbits to be so aggressive all of a sudden?
Rabbits are prey animals and have learned over time that fighting back is their only option. In the wild, this may not be an option as they normally run away from predators, but when they are in your home it can be difficult to remove the threat – they may not run away or fight back with other rabbits. It is important to keep your rabbit feeling safe and investigate any sudden changes in behavior so that there isn’t a deeper problem of which you are unaware.