An unhappy or a frightened rabbit will make his feelings known, often by kicking or biting his cage or pen bars. The rattling of bars in the middle of the night may develop into a habitual problem if not properly addressed. You can keep your rabbit happy and ensure your uninterrupted sleep with several simple tactics.
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Respond to Your Rabbit's Thumps
Your rabbit will communicate with you by thumping his back legs. He may be warning you of danger or telling you he is unhappy or afraid. A rabbit can die from fear so calm your bunny immediately when he begins thumping.
- Check for any signs of danger and remove the danger if you can.
- Pick your rabbit up gently, petting and softly talking to him.
- Wait until your rabbit calms down to put him back in his cage or pen.
While having your sleep interrupted may be frustrating, do not hit your rabbit. A rabbit will not understand why he is being hit and may become withdrawn or aggressive as a result.
What may not seem like danger to you could terrify your rabbit. A light shining in the house in the middle of the night, an unexpected noise, fireworks or anything your rabbit is not used to could signal danger to him.
Allow Sufficient Daily Exercise
A bored rabbit is more likely to become destructive -- chewing carpet, digging at furniture and kicking cage bars at night -- than a well-socialized, active rabbit. Your rabbit needs a minimum of four hours of exercise time each day if he isn't free range. Allow your rabbit free run time before bedtime so he can burn off energy and be better able to relax throughout the night.
Despite the common misconception that rabbits are nocturnal, they are crepuscular and are most active during sunrise and sunset.
Provide Plenty of Socialization
Naturally social animals, rabbits love attention. Providing your rabbit with time out of his enclosure will allow him to mingle with family members and to explore his surroundings. If your rabbit spends a majority of the day alone, consider adopting a friend for him. Bonded rabbits keep each other company, especially when the human family is not home.
Never put unacquainted rabbits in a space together. Bonding rabbits often takes time. Alter both rabbits before introducing them in a neutral space and stay close by so you can intervene quickly if a tussle ensues.