Rabbits are weird sometimes. You think you’re getting to know their personality, when suddenly they start zooming around the room and bouncing off the walls. It’s like your rabbit has suddenly become a full-blown cartoon character who just ate a bunch of sugar.
Rabbits are usually hyper because they are happy. Factors including age, time of day, and weather can also contribute to your rabbit’s hyperactive mood. But 9 times out of 10, if your bunny is suddenly zooming around the room it means they’re happy.
There are exceptions, of course. For example, hyperactivity combined with persistent destructive behaviors can be a sign of boredom or loneliness. If your rabbit has not been spayed or neutered, hyperactivity can also be related to their hormones. It all comes down to the combination of behaviors that you’re seeing to know whether your rabbit is actually upset.
- Learn more about how to read your rabbit’s body language to know they’re happy
1. It’s the right time of day for activity
Rabbits are most active in the morning and the evening. They’ll usually be quiet and sleepy through the middle of the day and even in the middle of the night (they’re not true nocturnal animals). But then in the early morning, maybe when you’re still trying to sleep, they’ll start zooming around and acting hyper. The same thing can happen in the evening as the sun begins to go down.
While there will always be some bunnies who are more hyperactive than others, this phenomenon is very common among pet rabbits. It may seem like they are getting randomly hyper, but for your rabbit, it’s just their natural playtime.
- If your rabbit keeps waking you up too early, try some of these techniques to help them stay quiet.
2. Your rabbit feels safe in their environment
It can take a little bit of time for some rabbits to get used to their environment. When you first bring them home, they are just a small bunny in a new and unfamiliar place. Timid rabbits are much less likely to zoom around the room and act hyper, so you may think that your rabbit is not that energetic.
However, once the rabbit gets used to the new place (which could take as little as a couple hours or as long as a few months), you’ll notice they will become more energetic. They’re no longer afraid of dancing out in the open because they feel safe in their environment.
It’s also common for rabbits to get excited when you rearrange the furniture or change something around the room. They’ll usually check out the new arrangement carefully, and then get very excited and zoom around. This is because rabbits get excited about new opportunities to explore, especially if it’s in a place where they already feel safe.
3. Your rabbit wants another treat
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that rabbits have a major sweet tooth. They’ll come running as soon as they hear the crinkle of the treat bag, or see the refrigerator door open. But sometimes the rabbit will get so excited that they just start zooming and binkying all around the room.
Sometimes they don’t even have to hear the treat bag. If it’s the time of day that you usually feed your rabbit or give them treats, the rabbit will know and get excited. They might also notice if you stand in the same spot every time you give them a treat. Your rabbit will start to get excited any time you’re in that same spot, even if there are no treats in sight.
4. The weather has cooled down
Something that I see every year as the weather turns from summer to fall is an increase in my rabbit’s activity levels. I live in an area where it regularly gets into 90º to 100º F in the summer. Even though my rabbits are inside the air-conditioned home, the AC can’t always keep up enough to keep the home under 70ºF (which most rabbits prefer).
When the weather starts to cool down enough that I can keep the indoor temperature low, my rabbits have a field day. They love the cooler temperatures so much and are as excited as I am that the summer weather is finally coming to an end.
5. Your rabbit is young and energetic
It’s very common for young rabbits to be highly energetic and hyper. They won’t like to lie down for long periods of time and will constantly be running from one end of the room to the other, gleefully getting into trouble and binkying around.
Most rabbits will calm down a lot as they age. By the time they are about two years old, most bunnies will lose their baby energy and be more relaxed. They’ll continue to mellow out as they age and become elderly rabbits.
6. Your rabbit is hormonal
Young rabbits who are just reaching maturity may suddenly start to show another type of hyperactivity that you’re not used to seeing. They may start charging at people or aggressively chasing them. They may also start to appear restless and pace around, chew on everything, dig into their litter box, destroy carpets, and spray urine everywhere. Most of the time, this behavior will stop once the rabbit has been spayed or neutered.
Note that it can take a few weeks for a rabbit’s hormones to calm down after their surgery. So you still might notice hyper or aggressive behavior from your rabbit for a few more weeks before they calm down.
Anecdotally, I’ve also heard a lot of stories about spring fever in people’s pet rabbits even when they are neutered. Many people have noted that their young rabbits will temporarily become more active or aggressive around March and April (or at the start of spring weather).
I have not been able to find any scientific sources that address this, so I’m not sure if this is completely true, but it’s worth noting since it seems to be a fairly common observation among rabbit caretakers.
7. Your rabbit is a little bored or lonely
Rabbits will become restless if they don’t have enough space or socialization, or if there is nothing interesting for them to play with. This restlessness can look like hyperactivity, but it’s because your rabbit has no way of expressing their pent-up energy.
It will look like persistent destructive behavior or irritating behavior, including:
- Digging out the litter box
- Chewing on cage bars
- Digging into the corner of a room or cage
- Constantly flipping over food and water bowls
Giving your rabbit more space and time to hop around in, more attention and socialization, and toys (or cardboard boxes) that they’re allowed to chew up will help keep them occupied and happy.
It’s important to remember that all rabbits will have some digging and chewing habits, and they will inevitably make a mess, chew on something, or destroy something that you don’t want them to. You’ll know if your rabbit is bored or lonely if these habits are accompanied by aggressive behaviors (such as growling and lunging), or if your rabbit doesn’t show any happy signs even though they’re active (like zooming and binkying)
Bonus: It’s just your rabbit’s personality
While it may be an unsatisfying answer, some rabbits are simply hyper. They are energetic and full of energy, even as they age because that’s part of the rabbit’s personality.
In general, I find that the smaller the size of the rabbit, the more likely they are to have an energetic, hyper personality. Large rabbits are much more likely to be calm and laid back, while small ones seem almost jittery by nature.
Tips and Tricks Newsletter
If you are new to caring for rabbits, check out the Bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter. Right after you sign up, you’ll receive a FREE pdf rabbit care guidebook. I put together a guide that goes over all the basics of rabbit care so you have it all in one place. Then you will receive tips and tricks about rabbit care straight to your inbox so that you know you’ll be taking excellent care of your new rabbit.
Recommended Products and Brands
Important: These are Affiliate links. As an associate to Amazon, Small Pet Select, and Chewy.com, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases.
The two brands that I use when buying food for my rabbit are Oxbow and Small Pet Select. These both have high quality rabbit products and are companies that care about the health of our small animals. If you are purchasing anything from Small Pet Select use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout to get 15% off your first order.
- Hay: Second Cutting Timothy Hay from Small Pet Select
- Pellets: Oxbow Garden Select Food for Rabbits
- Treats: Oxbow Simple Rewards
- Toys: Small Pet Select Natural Toys
- Enclosure/cage: A rabbit exercise pen
- Rabbit carrier: SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed