Have you noticed lately that your bunny uses every opportunity to climb or mount you or is actively following you about? Maybe you’re new at this, this is your first bunny pet and you’re probably wondering why your bunny is acting like a psycho? It’s not. Humping is brought on by hormones, usually when the rabbit attains maturity, from three months.
This is natural behaviour for bunnies when they are sexually frustrated and want to mate or when they simply like you. Your bunny is simply communicating with you. This is nothing to worry about, there are several ways to handle this behaviour.
When your rabbit climbs or mounts you, it is trying to hump you. You may even think that it wants to mate with you. Flattering right? Not really. Humping occurs when two rabbits sexually engage with each other. The male rabbit (buck) approaches the female rabbit (doe) from behind and tries to hump her, if the doe is receptive to this behaviour, she heats, and then they mate, after which the male rabbit falls over to the ground and lays there to relax its muscle and as a sign of satisfaction.
This act often leads to the pregnancy of a doe and beautiful hairless, blind and deaf kits are born a month later. When female rabbits are sexually frustrated, they become restless; they rub their chin glands on objects to get their scent on it; they heat. When this occurs, they want to mate. If ignored, it will subside for a while and return.
You should know that when your rabbit is displaying this behaviour, it doesn’t always mean it wants to mate.
When rabbits are introduced to new rabbits, they mount them if they like them and want to bond or it could be dominance; the rabbit might be trying to assert control on the other rabbit. You have to understand that your rabbit doesn’t think like you and they have their own unique way of communicating. Be observant and know what your role should be in that instance.
Mating your Bunny
If you notice it is because of sexual frustration, then you have to decide whether you want your bunny to mate. Allowing bunnies mate means you want to breed rabbits and you have an active plan for the unborn kits. Otherwise, get your rabbit neutered or spayed once they get to four months. Once they get to five years old, they may be too old to be altered.
Neutering your rabbit means to castrate or remove the testes of your male rabbit. Once they are sterilised, the behaviour will cease. You can spay your female rabbits to remove its ovaries. Ensure this process is done by an experienced veterinarian who has worked with lots of rabbits. Some rabbits in shelters have already been spayed or neutered, make a confirmation before adopting the bunny.
There are several benefits to neutering or spaying your rabbits.
- Altered rabbits become calmer and more relatable.
- They have tendencies to live longer and healthier lives, having reduced risk of contracting diseases.
- You don’t have to deal with handling a litter of baby kits. This can be really stressful and confusing, especially because rabbits have a problem with population control and most shelters are already overrun with too many rabbits.
- They are easier to train because they are more amenable. This way, you can litter train them, teach them commands and engage them in tricks and games more easily.
Rabbits that have been neutered can still try to hump you if they are competing for dominance. It can be a rabbit’s way of saying “I am in charge”. Observe the frequency of this behaviour and what time of the day it occurs. Rabbits could try to hump you when there are strangers present. This could be out of fear. If your rabbit humps you aggressively, it could be out of a need to dominate or fight you. You have to handle this situation in the best possible way.
Of course, you should never hit them or get overly physical with them. Rabbits have delicate spines and you could risk injuring the rabbit. However, you can still discipline your rabbit, and show it who’s boss. An active way to do this could be to spray them with a spray bottle; rabbits have an aversion to water, so this action will calm them down. You can also give them a time out.
Seclude them for a while, this will surely get a reaction from them; hopefully a positive reaction.
Social interaction and attention are important to bunnies, denying them of this need can tame them. Hopefully, they learn to associate a time-out with that behaviour. You shouldn’t keep them locked up for a long while so they don’t withdraw from you out of fear or displeasure.
Rabbits are interesting animals. They have several unique ways of communicating and solving their problem. If you choose to stick with them, be prepared for the ride.