You are here:

Rabbits/Not quite sure what's going on!


I asked Pam Enve and she told me to ask you because she's not quite sure what's going on either! I wanted to add that I have noticed she's pulling out fur and blending it with her pine chip bedding in her "litterbox." And she's constantly sitting in it. But she's still affectionate toward me.

Original question:

So I'm not quite sure what's going on with my female rabbit. I believe her to be about a year old. We rescued her. She was just dropped off at the petstore we were looking in at the time since I have 3 dogs and I fell in love with her. The only thing we know about her age is that she was born in June last year.

So this has happened twice now and I'm not quite sure why or how, but this is what I've noticed now. Both times she has gone nuts, not focusing on me and her nose twitches and moves 3 times as fast as normal. She runs around and gets in the corner furthest from me and thumps like mad. It's all over the place, the thumping. She'll jump around and thump here, then go back over there and thump, circle and thump again, etc. When she does this, she takes something, ANYTHING into her mouth and holds it there. The first time she made me freak out because she pulled out some of my carpet and ran around with that and refused to let it go and I was afraid she would refuse to eat. Eventually, she drops the stuff and goes back to normal. But this time, I gave her a yogurt treat. She grabbed it, and refused to let it go. She didn't chew it. She ran around with that, and a bunch of her pine bedding in her mouth. At the end, I noticed her "regurgitate" it all out of her mouth. But when I was observing her right before she did this, I noticed everything was at the front of her mouth and I could see it dripping from her mouth. Her nose was moving a mile a minute and I'm not quite sure what happened. These two episodes happened at least 4 months apart. I've had her since Christmas.

I've been trying to find ANYTHING similar to this but for some reason I cannot find anything relating to this. I don't know much about her background before us, but with us she's an indoor rabbit, we use a bottom of her old cage for a litterbox, and she gets to run around in a pen affixed to a wall now. She's normally a very affectionate rabbit unless you irritate her but she'll let you know that. She lets me pet her while she's laying down but whenever she goes through these episodes, it's like she doesn't see me at all. She is also not spayed as far as I am aware. We are locating a vet for that because we know she's not 2 yet.

Dear Haylle,

It sounds as if you caught her in the throes of a false pregnancy, and she was building a nest.  Sometimes an inexperienced bunny like this will be very haphazard about nest building, carrying things around, dropping them, etc.  But if you look around, I would not be surprised if you found a nest she's built in a secluded spot.  

A nesting bunny will carry things from the house (carpet shreds, shavings, hay, etc.) and build the infrastructure of the nest, and then pluck fur from her dewlap, chest, and flanks to line the nest for her babies.  A bunny in a false pregnancy will do the same.

We have a bunny, Mindy, who is spayed--but she had only her uterus removed, not her ovaries.  She still goes through nesting cycles where she acts just like what you describe your bunny doing.  She gets hormonal, moody, and she seems to be having a blast.  :)

This behavior should stop when she's spayed, unless her ovaries are not removed.  (All vets will remove both uterus and ovaries unless you discuss this in advance and convince them you're not crazy, which I am.)

Hope this helps.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

©2016 All rights reserved.