When I first met white & black cutie Kris back in December, she was a new arrival at the sanctuary and something of an unknown quantity. She has since turned out to be quite the feisty girl.
Invade her space and she’ll respond with aggressive grunting and lunging. Attempts to remove the cage divider separating her from our other rabbit, Kringle, have so far resulted in Kris just being a big meanie. Even with the divider in place, she’s been known on at least one occasion to steal his bedding, grabbing a corner of his blanket and pulling the whole thing over to her side.
Never having heard of bunny aggression outside of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and its Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, Kris’s conviction that I would be easily cowed by her huffing, puffing and swatting certainly caught my attention. Gaye showed me how to safely get close enough to pet Kris by reaching up and over to approach her head from above. This done, she quietly submits to being stroked for as long as you care to do so.
She also responds well to treats… unless all you’ve got to offer is her usual bowl of rabbit kibble. My attempts to do anything with that bowl, including fill it, just get it angrily smacked out of my hand.
I’m told that her aggressive tendencies may have something to do with the fact that she was only spayed shortly before coming to us. There’s been some hope that once her hormones have completely stabilized she’ll settle down a bit.
If that isn’t enough to tame the demon bunny, we’ll just have to work on winning her over like we do with our crankier feline new arrivals (Grizzy or Gunther anyone?) and slowly teach her to trust us.
For tips on taming aggressive bunnies, check out these articles:
It’s good information to know, as ignorance that rabbits can even exhibit this kind of behavior and a poor understanding of how to help them stop it is one reason the animals get surrendered to shelters once they’ve matured from cute little babies into more challenging young adults.