If you are a new parent to a rabbit, you will need some time to understand their body language. They do not communicate like humans.
Body language is their only option for conveying a message. Their physical behavior is usually leaping around when they are in a happy space.
Circling is another behavior that they exhibit. Circling another rabbit or around your feet is a common observance.
Why is my rabbit running in circles?
The primary reason for a rabbit running in a circular pattern is their urge to mate. It is a behavior often seen in those who are not neutered. In contrast, neutered rabbits run in circles seeking attention. It may also be a gesture of boredom.
Experienced pet parents can understand bunny behavior to some extent. When a rabbit shows a similar pattern of activity, one must analyze the exact one.
For new parents, every action is unknown. Thus, they need to know all the reasons for circling and act as per it.
Let us discuss each of the reasons in detail that induce rabbits to run in circles.
Circling for Mating
Male rabbits have the natural tendency to mating with their female counterparts. A medium breed rabbit is mature by three to four months. It is during this time when you notice specific behavioral changes in them. They are often found running around in circles.
If they contact a female rabbit, you will notice similar behavior while trying to court. If the female rabbit is not spayed, she will be receptive to your male rabbit.
Females remain heated, and they tend to show similar behavior. They are more active than males. If you have a female bunny, you will notice this circling behavior from March to September. It is a clue that your rabbit is ready to mate.
Thus, running around in circles is a common nature in rabbits. It is their natural urge that raises their hormonal balance in the body. They try to relieve themselves by running around.
This behavior continues until a male finds a compatible partner. The male bunny runs around the female one.
If you do not desire your rabbit to breed, you should spay or neuter them early. Late neutering will endure discomfort and destructive tendency in your bunnies.
Spayed or Neutered Rabbits
Some parents continue dealing with the rabbit’s circling nature even after spaying. You may have already spayed or neutered your rabbit and still encounter circling.
The other reasons for running in circles are as follows:
Marking the territory
Rabbits may run around in circles whenever you let them out of their cage. It is a sign of marking their area and not letting anyone enter it. It can either be a toy, pet parent, or a comfortable place that they prefer staying in when not in a cage.
While you let your rabbit play with other rabbits, running in circles is often seen in at least one of them. Circling others is a gesture of dominance. It is a hint that your rabbit considers himself commanding in a group of other similar species.
Circling occurs when the rabbits have formed a connection with each other. The one circling others makes it powerful and authoritative amidst others. Others who remain at the center are recessive or obedient.
But, there may be more than one dominant rabbit in a group. In such cases, you will notice the dominants chasing each other. It may also result in a fight of trying to establish their dominance over each other.
Try to avoid collision among two dominant rabbits. Whenever you notice them speeding up their running pace, take them separate ways. You may also put them back in their hutch.
Rabbits prefer staying close to their pet parents. If you are not paying attention to your rabbit, you may notice him running around you in circles. It is only to grab your attention.
Your bunny may either want you to cuddle or provide him food.
When you are standing and busy with some other activity, your rabbit will circle your feet. It shows that they want your attention either for food or to move out of their way.
Likewise, they also run around you to let you know that they are fond of you and are happy in your presence.
You may try to carry your rabbit or sit with it and spend some time cuddling and petting. It will comfort your bunny and will also strengthen your bond with each other.
Need of Grooming
Circling also occurs if your rabbit requires a grooming session. Although rabbits are low maintenance, they too need essential grooming. Like brushing or mat removal from the body.
Dirty fur irritates their skin and causes discomfort. It leads to a change of behavior and circle around you.
Ensure to groom your rabbit at specific intervals. It will ensure a clean and healthy body and also relieve them from skin problems.
When more than one rabbit encounters each other, they start playing together. Playtime initiates with running around in circles and exhibiting excitement. You may also notice a slight twist and a jump while they circle.
Give them their space and time to bond. It will help in their mental development and keep them in a comfortable space.
Circling while running can also be a reason for boredom. Boredom can result due to the absence of other rabbits for playtime or a tiny hutch to stay.
If you do not let your bunny out of the cage and explore the outer world, he may encounter boredom. You being away for a long time or your absence may also lead to a change of behavior.
If you have a pet rabbit at home, try not to leave him unattended for a long time. It is important to provide your pet the necessary time and attention so that they do not feel left out.
Circling while running is a common habit among rabbits. As a pet parent, try to find out the exact cause and deal as per need.