While some rabbits prefer to have their human all to themselves, the majority of rabbits love being with other rabbits. A second bunny may bring you and your rabbit years of joy, fun, and satisfaction. However, the two rabbits may not fall in love at first sight. It takes time, patience, and effort to bond with rabbits.
If you’re thinking about adding a second bunny to your family, you can typically schedule a “speed dating” session at a rabbit shelter. Although it is not usually the case, your rabbit may fall in love with another rabbit on the premises, making the bonding process much smoother. Even if the shelter does not provide speed dating, the staff will be familiar with the personality of the bunnies on hand and may be able to recommend one that would be a good bonding prospect. This is an additional advantage of adopting a rabbit from a shelter or rescue organisation rather than purchasing one from a breeder or pet store.
Neutered or spayed rabbits are less aggressive and so make better bonding possibilities. Male/female bonding is often the simplest to accomplish, and being fixed is a requirement in this instance.
Even if your rabbit is normally kind and peaceful,
you may see some aggressive behaviour when a new bunny arrives. Rabbits can bite, claw, or swipe at each other, causing serious injury. As a result, every bonding must be monitored.
Placing your rabbits’ pens/cages close to each other is an excellent approach to get them to know each other. You can avoid a conflict by keeping some distance between them. At the beginning of their bonding process, we kept our bunnies in separate rooms. We put a baby gate in the entryway and lured them over with vegetables during their introductions. They couldn’t get their lips through the holes in the gate to nip because they were too tiny. Swapping litter boxes, toys, and food dishes every few days can also help the bunnies become acclimated to each other’s scent.
Because bunnies may be territorial, pick a neutral site for genuine face-to-face interactions. This can happen on a slick kitchen floor, a slick corridor, or a slick bathroom floor. It should be a compact place so that they feel compelled to engage. When putting your bunnies together, it is critical that you pay special attention to them. To break up arguments, have a spray bottle of water on hand. If tensions increase, an old tennis racquet can be used to separate them. You must also safeguard yourself. Ensure that your arms and legs are completely covered. You might even want to put on gloves.
During a bonding session,
rabbits may engage in behaviours such as chasing, nibbling, swatting, spraying, or mounting. Impending assault is indicated by flattened ears or a raised tail. Be careful not to pinch the bunnies’ noses or ears. Expect a flurry of fur to fly. Stop the activity immediately if the aggressive behaviours get too excessive or if one of the bunnies becomes hurt.
It’s worth noting that both males and females mount in an effort to assert dominance. The bonding process requires the establishment of dominance. Rabbits need to know where they fit into the social hierarchy.
Ten to fifteen minute intervals might be used to start bonding sessions. Depending on the rabbits’ interactions, this time might be increased or decreased. The rabbits may need to repeat these sessions several times until they are comfortable with each other. Be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. Make careful to inspect both rabbits for injuries after each exercise.
The two rabbits will gradually accept one other and, with any luck, show loving behaviours such as cuddling and grooming. Bonding might take a lot of time and work, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Bunnies who are attached to each other are more likely to be happy and entertained in the long run.