How to bond your rabbits
It’s a common misconception that rabbits are a solitary animal, in actual fact they are naturally sociable creatures who love to be in the company of other buns. Rabbits in the wild live in groups, therefore anyone considering adopting a bunny into their family should be looking to adopt at least two.
Rabbits are territorial animals so introduction to others should be done with caution. You should have both rabbits neutered prior to bonding, it doesn’t matter if they’re girls or boys. Generally, male and female mixed pairs are considered the most suitable pairing. Follow these steps to help your buns become best buds.
1. Ensure both rabbits are neutered.
2. Put your bunnies into nearby enclosures where they can sniff but not harm each other, they could be separated by a wire fence for example. If your existing rabbit isn’t used to an enclosure, put the new rabbit in a cordoned-off section of this area. The rabbits need to sniff and start to get used to each other’s scent, to help this you could also swap their litter trays over, or rub a cloth over one rabbit and then the other.
3. Once they are used to the sight and smell of each other, start putting them together for very short periods of time. This needs to be in neutral territory (where neither has been before) – the bathroom for example. If you spot the tiniest sign of tension, separate them immediately and try again the next day. Increase the time they spend together gradually, a little bit of chasing and nipping is normal, but it’s better to separate the rabbits too soon than risk them fighting.
4. Repeat this until the bunnies are relaxed together. You can help this process along by feeding them together and providing lots of cardboard boxes and hidey holes so that they can get away if necessary. If the buns have to compete for their resources they will get aggressive, so ensure you have one of everything (feeding station, water bowl, hidey hole) for EACH rabbit.
5. When the rabbits are happy to lie with and groom each other, they can be left together unsupervised. The whole process can take anything from a couple of hours to a couple of months. The better the rabbits get on at their first meeting, the quicker they will bond. And if you are able to put the rabbits together for very brief periods, every day, they’ll get used to each other far more quickly than if you do it less often.
Here are some pictures of the lovely bonded bunnies that you’ve shared with us…
If you have any questions about caring for your rabbit, please post them in the comments. We’ll do our best to answer, but if we can’t we will seek advice from our trusted partner; The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund & the RSPCA.