Why Is My Rabbit Running In Circles?

Rabbits are very interesting creatures that spend a lot of time being extremely energetic. If you have ever seen your rabbit perform a binky before running wildly around the room when you arrive, you’ll likely be familiar with what we are talking about. But if there is one thing that confuses bunny owners, it is the incessant circling that some of them seem to do. So, why is my rabbit running in circles?

Rabbits will sometimes run in circles as a way of getting attention from their owners, it may also be a signal that the rabbit wants to mate or a way of showing dominance.

It can be tricky to know which of these reasons your rabbit is going crazy for but understanding a little more about this behavior can be useful. So, let’s take a closer look.

Why Does My Rabbit Run In Circles?

One of the most interesting things about rabbits is how they communicate. Rather than using vocal cues, which they are capable of in the form of hisses, grunts, and other noises, they will use their body language as the first line of communication.

You’ll likely have noticed this in various different ways including the rabbit running in circles. But it can be pretty confusing to know what on earth your pet is doing since running in circles can have a variety of meanings.

Rabbits are very intelligent animals but unfortunately, a lot of people take on a bunny without realizing this. As a result, the rabbit doesn’t get the mental and physical stimulation that it needs to refrain from being bored. When a rabbit has nothing to do, it will quickly bore and this can turn into disruptive behavior such as chewing. It can also affect the animal’s mental health.

However, the good news is that your bun will let you know if it is bored and this is often displayed by running in circles. You might notice this if the rabbit is spending a lot of time in its cage and this should be signal enough that your bunny needs letting out to play.

Speaking of play, a rabbit who is running in circles may use this as a way of letting you know that it’s playtime. Quite often, this is accompanied by a binky. A binky is a jump in which the rabbit twists its body as a display of excitement. It’s always important to acknowledge this interaction and spend time playing with your bunny to build the bond.

But when your rabbit is circling, he may be trying to ask for something other than playtime. Circling can also be used as a way of getting your attention when the rabbit is hungry or wants to be groomed. As you get to know your pet, you’ll find that you’ll be able to pick up more easily on what they are trying to tell you.

Rabbits often use circles as a form of communication with other bunnies. This is a common courtship behavior and is one rabbit’s way of letting another know that they are interested in mating. However, at times, they will also use this behavior as a way of letting fellow buns know that they are in charge.

What Does It Mean When A Rabbit Runs In Circles Around My Feet?

If your rabbit is circling your feet, this is a surefire sign that they are looking for your attention. As we discussed earlier, this could be for a number of reasons but will typically be because they want to play or require some other sort of care from you.

However, your rabbit may sometimes circle your feet if you are in their way. Since they can’t politely ask you to move, they may circle your feet as a way to remove you as an obstacle. This behavior is often accompanied by other things such as nipping or trying to drag you out of their way.

Finally, a rabbit circling your feet could simply be a way of showing your affection. Rabbits do this in lots of ways and while to humans, affection is a much gentler act, for a bunny, circling shows excited affection. This is an excellent way of knowing that your rabbit is happy and simply wants to spend some quality time with you.

What Does It Mean When My Rabbits Are Circling Each Other?

As we have already discovered, rabbits may circle one another as a way of letting the other rabbit know that they want to mate. If this is the reason for the circling then it may be accompanied by other behaviors.

Most commonly, rabbits who are looking to mate will circle and make a honking sound. You might look at this as some sort of mating dance. It is normally the male that will perform this and if receptive, the female will allow him to mount her.

If your rabbits have not been neutered then it is highly likely that you will see this behavior at some point. Just be prepared for the highly likely chance of baby bunnies after this. However, it is not uncommon for an unneutered male to take out his hormonal state on a human as he mistakes them for a female bunny.

For the most part, having your rabbit spayed will eliminate this problem if you feel that it is becoming an issue. However, you must consider that for around two months after the spaying, these behaviors may not disappear entirely. This is because you need to give the rabbit’s hormones time to disperse.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for rabbits that were neutered later in life to continue displaying these behaviors out of habit even once the hormonal aspect has been eliminated.

Your rabbits might also circle one another if they are trying to show dominance. This will typically happen when the pair are first introduced and in most cases, they will soon establish a hierarchy and live harmoniously. If you notice that the circling gets out of control and a fight is likely to break out, you should separate the rabbits for their own safety.

Why Do Rabbits Run In Circles And What Causes It?

There is no particular cause for a rabbit circling as this is normal and natural behavior for these animals. However, when we look at the reasons behind it, we may see what we can do to prevent it.

If your rabbit is circling because it is trying to mate with other bunnies and you do not want to be the proud parent of several baby buns, then the only thing you can do is to have your pet neutered. This is usually caused by excessive hormones and neutering can often quell this.

Alternatively, if your rabbit is seeking attention, it is important to dedicate some time to your pet each day. This will prevent them from getting bored and strengthen your bond with them.

Finally, if you notice your rabbit spinning on the spot, this could be a sign of a much more serious cause. Most commonly, this will be a medical condition known as tilt head which causes the rabbit to experience other symptoms such as drooling, loss of appetite, shaking their head, and a lack of coordination, amongst other things.

Typically, this condition is caused by a chemical imbalance, parasites, an ear infection, or trauma to the head. The only solution to this problem is to have your rabbit seen by a vet as soon as possible.


Darren is the founder and editor at Bunny Advice and has been caring for rabbits for over a decade. He has a passion for helping animals and sharing his experience and knowledge with others.

Recent Posts