Rabbits

My Is My Rabbit Kicking Me?

Rabbit kicking
Written by Editorial

Rabbits have several behaviors or body languages and vocal cues that involves their hind legs including kicking, thumping and standing on their hind limbs. Let us focus on rabbit kicking.

Rabbits have strong and powerful hind legs which help in giving it the thrust to make long jumps and maneuver easily in case of a predator attack. However, sometimes, as you try to pick it up, it can use these powerful legs to box you.

This behavior is undesirable since besides causing injuries on the handler, while kicking “out with their hind legs, they can fracture their spine” [1] which will cause pain, paralysis, and disability.

Rabbit kicking
Rabbit kicking

Why do rabbits kick?

To effectively decoding the message that this furry critter is trying to pass to you if it has this behavior, you need to consider the happening. Some of the main message this pet will be trying to pass include the following:

Happy and contented

While running or playing in a large rabbit run, they may kick. In such a case, they are doing so because they are happy and contented with their play area or the environment. They are trying to say ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am contented here’

You will notice this behavior if you have caged bunnies that have supervised playtime especially as they run around.

Feeling insecure or vulnerable

If the kicking happens while you trying to pick it, the message here is ‘ I do not like being held’, ‘I feel afraid’, or ‘I feel insecure’ especially if you do not know how to pick and hold them properly.

They need to be held with their hind legs underneath them and have balanced support. Otherwise, you should expect them to want to be free and as they struggle, they might hit or scratch you.

Unhappy and stressed

A few bunnies have been noted to hit or bite their cage or hutch bars. This is often associated with unhappiness, stress, and frustration.

Prevention

Always handle your furry friend properly and ensure their hindquarters are well supported and let him or her be on the ground in four limbs if you want to play with this pet

Only allow people who know how to hold a rabbit to do so and young kids should be restrained from carrying large bunny breeds.

Additionally, consider regular handling to ensure it gets used to it. In the beginning, it may be uneasy but soon enough, it will be comfortable.

Finally, ensure you trim your rabbit’s nails to reduce the chances of them scratching you as you try to handle them.

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