Rabbit Behaviour


Rabbits are complex creatures and we’re all still learning about them and their behaviour and needs.

Two’s Company

Rabbits are friendly sociable animals and they need company. So don’t keep your rabbit on its own, it will not be happy.

A pair of rabbits is fine, just make sure they are neutered – the best combination is a male and a female, both of which have been neutered.


Rabbits will chew anything! Make sure you protect electrics and anything else in your home.

Rabbits will learn to avoid chewing some items. Try training it as you would other animals, by saying its name and a firm “No”. Then offer it a different toy to distract it.

If this doesn’t work, you can try a water pistol, as you would with a cat.

A well-behaved rabbit is lots of fun. A difficult one is just such a nuisance!


This is another natural behaviour. You should create a “dirt box” – a large box or plant pot full of soil where they can dig. Or you could give them access to a sandpit, if you have one.

House rabbits need access to a dirt box from time to time.

“Socialising” your new rabbit

To ensure good behaviour throughout its life, your rabbit’s training should start as early as possible. Socialising just means getting used to day to day life.

As with other pets, the first few weeks of every rabbit’s life is a very special time, in which they can absorb many new experiences without fear. So the more they can be exposed to at an early age, the less likely they are to become scared and stressed later on in life!

So, allow your young rabbits to interact with adults, children, cats and other pets – and let them experience a wide range of household noises, appliances and so on.

You will be doing the adult rabbit he or she will grow into, such a favour.

Handling and grooming your rabbit

This is exactly the same – the very best thing for your baby rabbit is to get him or her used to being handled and groomed early on.

It’s especially important to start regular grooming as early as possible, particularly with long haired rabbits. If you do, most of them really enjoy it.

Start handling your rabbits as much as possible – e.g. opening his mouth and touching her feet.  She or he will then regard this as completely normal, making your life a lot easier and safer later on!

Litter training

Rabbits are generally very clean animals and they quickly learn to use a litter tray.

Start with a few droppings in the litter tray and when you clean it out, leave a little too – the rabbits will soon get used to using it.

If you get an adult house rabbit, they will usually have already been litter trained. All you need to do is ensure that the tray is kept clean and is in a quiet area in the house.

Your rabbits don’t want their toilet to be next to a busy walkway in the house or near their food, any more than you do.

Have fun with your rabbits!

As ever, if you have queries or concerns about your rabbits’ behaviour, please do drop in or call us on 01686 626111.

Vastre Vets – Where Pets Are Special, With Time To Care

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