Rabbits

Rabbit Mounting or Humping

Rabbit mounting or humping
Written by Editorial

Rabbit mounting or humping is a common behavior shown by the unneutered males and some few females. What does it indicate?

Mounting or humping is normal sexual behavior among teenage rabbits characterized by “one rabbit approaching another from the side or behind and then positions over the back or head of the other bunnies, and perhaps making pelvic thrusting motions.” [1]

Nipping may also be involved as a means of gripping the partner and this is a typical mating position in these pets. A small amount of fur may be pulled as nipping occurs.

Rabbit mounting or humping
Rabbit mounting or humping

It is common to also notice some bunnies trying to hump your feet while you are spending time with them. There is nothing wrong with this behavior but be careful to avoid being nipped.

Also, this behavior may be accompanied by other sexual behaviors such as a rabbit circling, honking, being needy, cuddly, among other behaviors common in unneutered rabbits.

Dominant male rabbits often hump other bunnies, but this behavior is also noted in does and some even dominate over males. [2]

Finally, chasing may also involve indicating the desire to mount or dominate (chasing the one hierarchically below it).

Why do rabbits mount?

Mounting is a sexual bunny body language that these pets use to pass a message of dominance as well as love or affectionate.

In the case of dominance, the bunny humping the other is trying to say: ‘I am the one who is the charge here’ or ‘move away from my spot’. Sometimes, when the submissive bunny gets fed up, you may expect it to bite back.

If both the rabbits are dominant, a fight or a bite is possible. Try to stop it by shouting or clapping and ‘saying stop it’

On the other hand, if it is to show affectionate, mounting will be meaning, ‘I love you’, ‘I want you’  or ‘I want to play with you’ and it is part of rabbit bonding.

During the mounting, it is possible for things to escalate to your bunnies circling and fighting. Always ensure they do not hurt each other. Humping the wrong way, such as from the head side is risky as serious injuries may be sustained in case the mounted bunny decides to bite back.

Dealing with mounting

If you do not intend to breed these pets, you can consider neutering and spaying them. There are also other behavioral changes in bunnies after neutering especially those triggered by sexual hormones such as urine spraying and chinning to mark territories, aggressiveness, and it will make your pet more docile and friendlier.

There are also many other benefits of neutering including an increased lifespan as well as reduce instances of reproductive system illness including uterine cancer that is very common.

Conclusion

Rabbits that have hip or shoulder pain,  spinal arthritis, or any other musculoskeletal conditions that cause discomfort and pain should not be allowed to hump or be humped.

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