If you are bonding two new rabbits, or are advising a client to bond two rabbits, the best advice is:
Patience young grasshopper!
A successful bunny bonding experience requires;
- Desexing your bunnies prior to their introduction – hormones make all bonding pair combinations (ie male/male, female/female, and of course male/female) more difficult. You could up with many baby bunnies, or fighting.
- Prepare a neutral area – rabbits are territorial and introducing a new bunny into a pre-established home is going to increase the likelihood of problems in a bonding experience.
How would you like it if a stranger turned up in your home, was immediately sharing your bed 24/7 and eating your food? Chances are you wouldn’t enjoy this too much.
- Gradual introduction to living together by having 15-20 sessions daily to allow them to interact.
This allows your rabbits to get to know each other, test the boundaries of the relationship and develop their new bond.
Reference- RSPCA UK – https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rabbits/company/bonding
This infographic from the RSPCA UK has some great recommendations, including neutering rabbits first.
- Neuter and prepare house side by side with barrier.
- Prepare neutral area – and observe for positive or negative behaviours.
- Introduce into side by side housing – with barrier in place.
- Then keep together for small periods of time – returning to housing until proven over 1-2 hours together that they will behave.
Hop to it!
- How should you introduce Rabbits? RSPCA UK.
- Bonding Rabbits. House Rabbit Society.