Keeping Rabbits Together

Rabbits are sociable animals that like to live together, both in the wild and as pet rabbits. Keeping rabbits together can be beneficial for the rabbits, because they will always have each other’s company and will not become lonely.

Keeping rabbits together can also be beneficial for the rabbit’s owner, because a pair of rabbits will often be less destructive than a single rabbit. This is because two rabbits together do not get bored as much as a rabbit on its own, and are less likely to resort to destroying furniture to relieve the boredom.

It is usually possible for two rabbits that do not know each other to be introduced to each other and live happily together. Once the bond between two rabbits has been made, a bonded pair of rabbits will usually be friends for life.

Keeping three or more rabbits together is also possible, although introducing a new rabbit to a bonded pair can be more difficult than introducing two rabbits to each other.

Two Rabbits Living Together

Rabbits Living Together

Keeping Rabbits of the Same Sex Together

A pair of male rabbits can live together, as can a pair of female rabbits, but it is often considered that a male and female pair of rabbits are the easiest combination of rabbits to bond with each other.

Neutering or Spaying

To make the introductions as easy as possible, both rabbits should have been neutered at least three or four weeks before the rabbits are introduced to each other.

Neutering or spaying reduces the likelihood of aggressive or territorial behaviour in rabbits, and therefore makes things much easier when you are keeping two rabbits together, or are introducing two rabbits to each other.

Rabbits living together that are not neutered or spayed may exhibit more territorial or aggressive behaviour to one another than rabbits that have been neutered or spayed, particularly if they are a pair of male rabbits or a pair of female rabbits. If you have same sex rabbits living together, spaying or neutering will make them less likely to fight with each other.

If you have a male and a female rabbit living together, they will mate if you do not have at least one of them neutered or spayed. Rabbits can mate from a very early age – they usually reach maturity around 3 to 6 months old, but it can be even earlier than this, particularly for male rabbits.

There are also health benefits to neutering or spaying, including eliminating the risk of the rabbit developing cancer of the reproductive organs, so it is extremely beneficial to have all pet rabbits neutered or spayed.

Introducing Rabbits To Each Other

If you are introducing two rabbits that have not always lived together, introduce them to each other carefully in a neutral area, not in the territory of one of the rabbits. This can be in a room in the house that neither of the rabbits normally goes in, or you could set up a pen in the garden or house.

Some people like to introduce rabbits to each other in the car, because this is a confined environment that is neutral to the rabbits.

Two rabbits can be introduced to each other by placing them together for a car journey. The car journey is a stressful experience for rabbits, and they will often bond with each other through sharing the stressful experience. Use a pet carrier for any car journey, and do not have the rabbits loose in the car. The problem with introducing rabbits to each other in this way is that it can be difficult to separate the rabbits if they do begin to fight, although this is unlikely during the journey. It would be best to have two people in the car so that the driver is not distracted.

Once you have decided on the neutral territory to introduce your rabbits, initially it may be best to have the rabbits separated from each other, but able to see and get close to each other. For example one rabbit could be in a cage with the other outside the rabbit cage, so that there is no way that a fight could start. After they have got to know each other, and are getting on with each other, you can allow the rabbits more time with each other.

The rabbits that are going to live together should not be left alone together until they have spent plenty of time with each other with your supervision, although once a successful bond has been made you should not separate the rabbits completely. If you want to keep them in separate cages, place the cages close to each other so that the rabbits can still see each other.

Only allow the rabbits to live together when you are sure that they get on and are not going to fight or one is not going to dominate the other.

You should always supervise when introducing two rabbits to each other, as whatever measures you take to make sure they will get on, they might just not like each other!

Pet Rabbits Living Together

If your rabbits get on well with each other, and are going to live together, make sure that there is enough room in their hutch or cage for them both to have space to get away from each other. You may find that each rabbit chooses its own toilet area, instead of sharing. This is a territorial thing, and although spaying or neutering reduces territorial instincts, they do not always go completely.

145 Responses to Keeping Rabbits Together

  1. Janet Hayfield says:

    Dear Richard, I have to-day just lost a female rabbit. She shared a run with a neautured rabbit called Salt. There is a wired partition between the runs where Sooty lives. He is a male unneautured rabbit. Could I put them to-gether? Now. Also how long do rabbits generally live? Thank you.

  2. Madeline says:

    Nice article :)
    That’s a good point about if the rabbit’s leaving certain pieces of dried food to change to an all-in-one dried food type. Also I suggest feeding half a slice of wholemeal toast about once a month as it provides lots of fibre and helps to keep their teeth healthy and wears them down slightly – all my rabbits have loved this!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Madeline
      Thank you for your comment. I am careful with feeding bread to rabbits, because of the type of carbohydrate in bread. Bread contains amylum (starch) which can feed the bad bacteria and starve the good bacteria in a rabbit’s digestive system, particularly if the rabbit eats bread or other starchy food regularly. Humans’ digestive systems are able to digest starch much better than rabbits.
      Hay contains a different type of carbohydrate called cellulose and does not contain starch. Cellulose feeds the good bacteria in the rabbit’s digestive system to maintain a good balance of bacteria. Humans can’t digest cellulose, but rabbits can.
      Regularly munching hay should also keep a rabbit’s teeth healthy as well as keeping the rabbit happy!

  3. I am lucky to found this site..
    I wanna ask you: We have two young norwegian minature female rabbits who are not from the same family and are not de-sexed. They live in a hutch together quite happily and they’re probably about 3 months old. Recently, my
    Uncle told me that you need to de-sex one of them other wise one rabbit will kill the other!!! is this true?

    Thank you for the answer

    Clara Kurniawan

    • Richard_Lord says:

      Hi Clara
      It does not always happen, but it is possible that two young female rabbits that have not been spayed (de-sexed) will start to fight with each other as the get a little bit older. Rabbits reach maturity between around 3 to 6 months, and this may cause them to start to fight with each other. It is unlikely that one rabbit will kill the other, but they can injure each other fighting, which in extreme cases could lead to one of the rabbits dying.
      I would recommend that you have both rabbits spayed as soon as they are old enough, which will be from around 4 to 6 months old. This will also confirm that both of your rabbits are female, because it is difficult to determine the sex of very young rabbits. If you have a male and female pair, they will breed very soon after reaching maturity if they are not neutered or spayed.

  4. Nicole Von Smith says:

    hey there . well i got a rabbit not to long ago . and my dad was thinking of getting another one , so that my rabbit doesn’t get so lonely when we are gone for part of the day . we aren’t really sure what the sex of our rabbit is . would it be dangerous to put another rabbit that isn’t familiar with my pet together ? Even if we don’t know the sex of my pet and the other rabbit ? PLEASE HELP !

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Nicole
      Thanks for your question. Before deciding to get another rabbit, I would suggest taking your rabbit to a vet that deals with rabbits for them to determine its sex, and advise you on neutering or speying. The vet will also be able to advise you more specifically about getting another rabbit.
      It is often possible to introduce two rabbits that are not familiar to each other. Neutering or speying helps to reduce aggressive behaviour, and will also prevent rabbits breeding if they are different sexes.
      Do not allow two rabbits to be left alone together until they have spent a lot of time together with your supervision, and be aware that some rabbits will just not get on with each other and will always have to be kept apart.

      • Deb norman pawley says:

        hi i had 1 female rabbit for a while then got her 2 friends-both girls from 1 litter as babies.I introduced them slowly-a bit at a time-as they all run free and are never caged. They got on great until this week(nearly 2and a half years later).2 of them are fighting and have hurt eachother-i think hormonal as not been spade-just be aware it can happen-even after 2 happy years!

        • Richard Lord says:

          Thanks Deb
          You make a good point that rabbits can change their minds! As you have said, not being spayed can cause normally friendly rabbits to fight as they become mature, which is a very good reason to have pet rabbits neutered or spayed.

  5. Lisa says:

    Hi there, can i get 2 rabbits both female from scratch and put them both in the same hutch? please reply.. thankyou xxx

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Lisa
      Thanks for your question. If you are getting two baby rabbits or young rabbits that already live together (e.g. if they are from the same litter), then you will be able to keep the two rabbits in the same hutch as they will already be used to living together.
      If the rabbits do not already live together, you will still be able to introduce them to each other. As long as the rabbits do not fight with each other, then you will be able to keep them together in the same hutch. Start off by introducing the rabbits to each other in a neutral place, then allow them to spend more time with each other. Supervise them at first until you are sure that they are not going to fight.
      I would strongly recommend neutering both rabbits, as this will reduce territorial behaviour and aggression as the rabbits become mature. This applies whether the rabbits already live together or not.
      Make sure that your rabbit hutch is big enough for both rabbits to have plenty of space – the size needed depends on the size of the breed of rabbit. There should be enough room for both rabbits to be able to run and jump, although the rabbits should still be allowed out of their hutch to play and exercise regularly with your supervision.

      • katie says:

        hi, i have just bought a 9 week old lop, when i got her home she seemed very shy, so i gave her a few days to get used to her new home before i picked her up or anything, now that she has settled in she seems very lonley, so i thought if i bought one of her sibblings then she would be happier, but when i ran the pet shop i got her from they had all been sold :( . The pet shop owner said he would be getting some more bunnies in tomorrow, so i was wondering would i be able to buy another bunny and have her in with my new bunny for company? or would they fight as they dont know each other. I would really like her to have a friend i just wish there was one of her sibblings left.

        • Richard Lord says:

          Hi Katie
          Rabbits that are not related can get on with each other, and introducing very young rabbits (9-10 weeks old) to each other is usually successful.
          I would recommend having both rabbits neutered when they are old enough (4-6 months). This will prevent unwanted babies (if they are a male and female pair of rabbits) and reduce territorial and aggressive behaviour.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Hi,

    My male rabbit has just mated with my sisters female rabbit and there are now 7 very gorgeous babies!! I will probably get my rabbit neutered but I would like to keep one of the babies. Would it be better to get a female or male rabbit???

    Thank you

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Charlotte
      It is usually considered easiest to bond a male and a female rabbit together, particularly if the are neutered/speyed. This does not mean that male-male or female-female combinations are not possible, but may take more time and effort.
      What ever the sex of the rabbits, having both neutered/speyed reduces the chances of them fighting with each other.
      As you are talking about bonding a baby rabbit with its father, I would suggest having the father rabbit neutered as soon as possible, and the baby rabbit neutered or speyed as soon as it is old enough. Leave a couple of weeks after the operations before introducing them to each other to allow for healing and hormones to reduce. Follow the guidelines in the article above for introducing rabbits to each other, and do not leave them alone together until you are sure they will not fight. Be prepared for what you will do if the rabbits do not bond with each other – you will have to keep them separately.

  7. Kelly Greaves says:

    Hi there

    i have a small lop boy, i did own his sister but she died suddenly at three months, i have waited to get my boy castrated before trying to introduce another buddy. just wondered if two very different breed can get on. i really like the giant rabbits and was planning on getting a young girl for my boy as a pal. i plan to have her spayed to but just wondered if the two breeds were compatable or whether it is a silly idea in case they fight once older, her being capable of squashing him. many thanks kelly

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Kelly
      Sorry to hear about your girl bunny.
      There is no reason that different breeds and sizes of rabbit can’t live together, although you will have to make sure that the living area is big enough for the two rabbits.
      Rabbits can harm each other if they fight no matter whether they are the same size or different sizes.
      As you have said, it is a good idea to have both rabbits neutered/spayed. Wait around a month or so after having this done to allow the rabbits’ hormone levels to stabilise before introducing them.
      If you decide to get a second bunny, take time introducing the two rabbits to each other, and do this somewhere that is new to both of them. Don’t leave them unsupervised until you are sure they will not fight. Be prepared for the possibility that they will not like each other, but hopefully they will be friends!

    • Sandra D says:

      size and age does not matter. In fact I have one such couple as you have mentioned. My 6yr old neutered male mix (he’s 6lbs) is bonded to a 1yr old female Flemish Giant (she’s 12lbs and growing). She is not spayed at the moment but it’ll be done in the very near future. She mothers him alot, laying on top of him and keeping him close to their “burrow” until playtime and mealtime, and he LOVES it! They play tag, with him being leader and she occasionally will mount him (just in fun) and she has never hurt him. Hope this helped!

  8. jackie says:

    Hi, i have a male rabbit who is around 6mths now and have been asked if i will give a home to another male i think roughly same age. he was dumped in my friends garden and no one is claiming him..anyway i have a huge new run made yesterday and introduced them about 2 hs ago they are not fighting but constantly taking turns mounting each other then lying down exhausted and starting all over again (they are both def males) do you think this will stop or will they always do this?

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Jackie
      This sounds like the rabbits are trying to find out who is boss! Mounting is dominant behaviour, so they are each trying to be assertive.
      This often happens when two rabbits are introduced to each other, and most times it stops or reduces after the rabbits decide which one is the most dominant.
      As always, I would suggest having both rabbits neutered as this reduces dominant behaviour.

  9. Kathryn Morgan says:

    Myself and my partner got two female rabbits from the same litter around 2 years ago. Recently one of them became ill and we had to have her put to sleep. I’m worried about how the other rabbit will be on her own. We are trying to give her lots of attention and she seems ok but is there anything else you could recommend to help prevent her from becoming lonely??

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Kathryn
      Giving your rabbit plenty of attention and time is the best way to prevent her from getting lonely.
      You could also consider whether you want to consider getting another rabbit, if you are prepared to go down through the process of introducing the rabbits to each other. It may be possible to arrange with a local rabbit rescue centre to take your rabbit there so she can choose a new friend!
      Without getting another rabbit, it sounds like you are doing everything you can to make sure your rabbit does not get lonely.

  10. Jade says:

    Hi
    I’ve just bought 2 Netherlands dwarf baby rabbits roughly 7 weeks old. They have always shared a run with other dwarf rabbits their ago so I presume it’s a litter. They are both girls and I intend to keep them in same hutch and run.. But will they fight as they get older even though they’ve always shared a hutch and from the same litter?

    Thanks
    Jade

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Jade,
      Rabbits that are already living happily together probably won’t fight, as long as you have them neutered when they are old enough (4-6 months). If they are not neutered, there is a chance that they might become aggressive towards each other as they become mature (4-6 months).

  11. Lauren says:

    Hi,
    I have a 10 month old female dwarf lop. Recently I have decided that she really needs a companion as I dont want her to be lonely. I would prefer to get another female but is this advisable? she has not been spayed yet although I intend to have her spayed in the near future. Would it be best to get a younger or similar aged female, or, is it best to just get a neutured male?
    Thanks

    Lauren

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Lauren,
      It is possible to keep two female rabbits together, but both of them should be spayed a few weeks before introducing them to each other. This reduces hormones which can make female rabbits aggressive towards each other.
      It is often considered easiest to introduce a neutered male and spayed female rabbit to each other, but that does not mean same sex pairs of rabbits are not possible.
      Introduce the rabbits to each other on neutral territory and always supervise them until you are sure they won’t fight.

  12. Samantha Mills says:

    Hi there,

    I have recently got 2 mini lop male rabbits – one is 10 weeks and the other is 11 weeks, both male. They were from seperate litters and both got on straight away. I will be having them both neutered as soon as they are old enough, they live together in a HUGE hutch and get along fine with no problems at all, i do have another hutch ready just in case they start getting agressive before they are neutered. In a weeks time i will be picking up another 2 baby male mini lops (brothers), they will be 9 weeks old so there will only be 2-3 weeks age difference between them and the ones i already have, i have another hutch also for the 2 new ones and plan to get them neutered too when they are old enough. Do you think the 2 pairs should get on ok being so young still? i do want to bond them all and i am planning to join both hutches together if/when they get on so they can have even more space between them (each hutch is 6ft long and double storey with an under run). If they do not get on initially in neutral territory then obviously i will keep the pairs seperately and maybe try again at a later date or after neutering, they may never get on but fingers crossed!! I would just like your opinion please as they are so young still are they more likely to bond easily now due to not being ‘hormonal’ yet?

    Thanks for any info in advance,
    Sam.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Samantha
      Young baby rabbits, up to the age of around 10-12 weeks can usually be introduced to each other with no problems.
      I think your plan to introduce the rabbits to each other on neutral territory is a good idea, and it sounds like they will have plenty of room in their new home.
      If the rabbits get on with each other when you first introduce them, it is best not to separate them again, however you should do this when you are going to be there for the first few days to make sure everything goes well.
      Good luck, we’d love to hear how you get on with your four bunnies!
      Richard

      • Samantha Mills says:

        Thanks so much for your advice Richard! i really appreciate it – especially as a ‘first timer’ for owning rabbits! I will let you know how they all get on, if its anything like the first two then it will be a complete success! they were grooming each other within the first couple of hours!

        Thanks again, Sam.

  13. Maddia says:

    Hi I’ve got a black rex rabbit (called Velvet) who has a condition where he can easily temporarily paralyse himself if he twists too far. He has regular check ups at the vets to do with this problem. The vet thinks he was born with a deformity in his spine as this showed up on an x-ray.
    Anyway I am wary about putting him with another rabbit for company, in case he gets kicked as this could trigger a paralysis. Do you have any suggestions?
    I do have 7 guinea pigs who Velvet plays with in ‘floor time’, but of course they have seperate hutches. But do you think he needs a companion of his own kind? And would you suggest a buck or a doe? Thanks

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Maddia
      Rabbits like to have company, but if Velvet gets plenty of attention from you and time playing with his guinea pig friends, then he doesn’t need another rabbit for company.
      Most bonded rabbit pairs are very gentle with each other, and do not kick each other. They can sometimes encourage each other to be more playful, which may mean that Velvet tries to jump and twist more than he would playing with guinea pigs.
      The initial introduction is the time when there is the most potential for rabbits to show dominant behaviour towards each other, which can include chasing, mounting each other, or occasionally even fighting. This is the time when you would have to be most careful of Velvet’s spine condition.
      Consider how you would introduce the rabbits to each other to reduce the possibilities of aggressive behaviour causing problems for Velvet. For example, you could keep one rabbit in a cage and allow the other rabbit in the same room outside the cage, so that they can see and interact with each other with the cage wall in between them.
      The easiest pair of rabbits to introduce to each other is usually a male and female, but same sex pairs of rabbits can be successful too. Make sure both rabbits have been neutered a few weeks before introducing them to each other.
      I would suggest discussing whether to get another rabbit with your vet, as the vet can advise you in more detail having seen Velvet’s condition.

  14. Julie says:

    Wow I am so glad I have found this site.

    After reading the posts above I am still a little unsure what to do.
    My 8 and 10 year old sons would both like a rabbit,
    We are after Mini or dwarf lops (will be from same litter) , ideally we would like to keep them in the same hutch, (we will also get them both sprayed when they mature),
    so should we get 2 males , 2 females or 1 of each ?
    a local pet shop advised us to get a male then get him neutered then wait 6 months before getting a female friend for him, this wouldn’t really work for us as we want to get both our sons a rabbit at the same time.
    We will have a spare hutch in case they need to be apart for a while after being neutered.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Julie
      Two baby rabbits from the same litter will be able to live together initially because they already know each other, although it is still possible for problems to occur when the rabbits reach maturity.
      It is often considered best to have a male and female pair of rabbits, but two male rabbits or two female rabbits can work too.
      A male and female pair will breed as soon as they are mature if not neutered, and this can happen very quickly before it is possible to have the rabbits neutered. Plan the when to have the rabbits neutered with your vet – they will be able to advise on the best time to do this to suit your particular rabbits.
      It would probably be best to keep them separate but close together from getting close to maturity until after the operation has been done – either two cages close together, or something such as a mesh wall to divide up a single cage if it is big enough.
      Rabbits usually reach maturity around 3-6 months, with male rabbits usually maturing earlier than female rabbits. It has been known for male rabbits to be able to breed as young as 8 weeks old.

  15. Nicola says:

    Hi there, I’m picking up two baby mini lop rabbits next weekend and have a massive inddor enclosure set up ready. The women selling them has said you cannot tell which sex they are until they are around 8 weeks. I plan to take them to the vet after i get them to find out. If they are a male and female, can i keep them together until they are spayed/neutered or is it better to separate them? Thanks.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Nicola
      You mentioned that the rabbits are not 8 weeks old yet. Baby rabbits should not leave their mother until they are 8-10 weeks old. This allows the correct balance of bacteria to develop in the rabbit’ digestive system, and reduces the chances of the rabbit getting ill when it leaves its mother. Young rabbits also require additional considerations with their diet, as mentioned in this info sheet from the Rabbit Welfare Association.
      Rabbits can not be neutered until they are mature. A male and female pair of rabbits can breed as soon as they are mature, and two same sex rabbits may start to show territorial behaviour when they become mature.
      Rabbits from the same litter are usually not aggressive towards each other, even as they start to reach maturity, but it can happen.
      With a male and female pair, it is best to separate them but keep them close together until after they have been neutered. Staying close together means the rabbits will not lose their bond with each other, but they will not be able to breed.
      Hope this helps
      Richard

  16. sam cooke says:

    Hi, I have 2 continental giants, one male and one female that are both neutered. We want to add to the family but not sure if this is a good idea??? Poppy had a male friend from young who died and we replaced him with Woody and they get on fine. Can we introduce a third? If so, which sex is best? We don’t want to upset the apple cart, so please advise us if we should just be happy with the 2 we have??? Sam

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Sam
      Bonding a third rabbit with an existing pair of rabbits can be more difficult than bonding two rabbits together, however it has been done.
      With an existing male and female rabbit pair, it is usually more successful to introduce a new female rabbit than a male. The new rabbit should have been neutered at least 2 weeks prior to introducing the rabbits to each other.
      The possible outcomes of attempting to add a new rabbit to an existing bonded pair could be:

      • The existing pair do not bond with the new rabbit.
      • Only one of the existing pair bonds with the new rabbit.
      • The bond between the existing pair of rabbits is affected by the introduction of the new rabbit.
      • The existing pair of rabbits bond successfully with the new rabbit and all three are happy together.

      If you choose to try to add a new rabbit to your existing pair, it would probably be best to use some neutral territory, and have the rabbits separated but able to see and get close to each other. This can be done by placing mesh walls between the rabbits, or by having the new rabbit in a cage with the existing pair outside the cage.
      If the rabbits bond well initially, don’t separate them – at least keep them in cages next to each other – so that the bond is not lost. When you are happy they will not fight, you can allow the rabbits to be in the same area without keeping them separated.
      If it does not go well at first, do not leave them together unsupervised, but try again later, maybe in a different area of neutral territory.

  17. Hello-
    I used to have a white (not sure if they are referred to as albino) rabbit. It had bright red eyes. It was the coolest animal I ever had. I always used to feed it carrots through the cage and my mom warned that I could feed it too many carrots and kill him. I think it was just because I was a kid I believed this. Is there any truth to this?

    ryan
    Poker Training

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi
      White rabbits with red eyes are albino.
      Rabbits should not be fed too many carrots (or other vegetables), but as this can lead to problems with the digestive system. A baby carrot once per day or less as a treat is not too much, however more than this can upset the rabbit’s digestion.
      A rabbit’s diet should consist mainly of hay, with a little dried rabbit food and greens, and occasionally a small amount of fruit or vegetables as a treat too. Have a look at the rabbit food page for more.

  18. Estelle says:

    Hi,

    I have a bonded buck and a doe which are kept outside in a massive hutch but have the run of the garden/house when we are in. The buck has been neutered but my doe hasn’t been spayed yet as she is only just 5 months old. We recently acquired a new female rabbit who is housed indoors and my male rabbit does not seem to be bothered about smelling her in the house but my female has gone crazy and started behaving very aggressively and trys to get at the new rabbit whenever possible and spraying/pellet marking and the usual. Is 5 months too young to safely get a female rabbit spayed ? I wanted to wait until she was 6 months but at the moment she is so bad we cannot let her come in the house and I do not want to seperate her from her mate and let him in without her. The other question I wanted to ask is that if I get my female spayed now, do I have to keep her seperate from her male companion for a few days or longer or can they be put straight back together ? Obviously I would keep a close eye on her and my male never trys to mount her so that would not be a problem. Thanks.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Estelle
      Female rabbits can be spayed as soon as they are sexually mature, which is usually around 4 months old. Surgery on very young rabbits does carry a little more risk, so some vets prefer to wait until 6 months old before spaying the rabbit. I suggest discussing this with your vet, as the vet can advise you more specifically whether there would be any increased risk for your rabbit.
      As the buck and doe rabbits are already a bonded pair, there should be no problem putting them back together immediately after the surgery. It may take two to three weeks for her hormone levels to reduce, so you may not see an immediate improvement in her behaviour towards the other female rabbit, however this should hopefully improve after a few weeks.

  19. Elaine says:

    Hello Richard – you may have answered this before but I have read so much I’m getting confused!
    We are getting a little boy rabbit today who is 9 and a bit weeks old . He is the last of a litter that have all gone in pairs so I’m worried he’ll get lonely. I have the opportunity of getting another rabbit on Monday (9 weeks but different breed and litter). Should I go for male or female?
    I will get them both neutered as soon as possible. Can they live together before if male/female? I have a big outdoor hutch as main home but also have indoor cage (used for our Guinea pigs over winter) which they could live in to recover from operations.
    What do you recommend?
    many thanks indeed
    Elaine

  20. Elaine says:

    Forgot to ask – or would it be better to wait until after our little boy has been done and introduce another rabbit then? (just seems a long time alone).
    Thanks!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Elaine
      Introducing youg rabbits, at about 9-10 weeks old, is usually easy. Rabbits of this age rarely have any problems accepting another rabbit.
      The easiest combination of rabbits to introduce to each other is usually a male and female, however two male rabbits or two female rabbits can also make successful bonded pairs.
      You can introduce the rabbits to each other when they are still young, before they are neutered. As the rabbits become mature, around 4-6 months old, they may begin to show agressive behaviour, and if they are a male and female pair, they will breed if kept together without being neutered.
      Some people deal with this issue by keeping the rabbits separate but close to each other as they become mature until after they have been neutered. Keeping them close to each other ensures that the bond between the rabbits is not broken.
      If you choose not to get another rabbit until after the one you have now is neutered, spend plenty of time with him, playing with him and grooming him, to make sure he does not become lonely.
      Hope this helps
      Richard

      • Elaine says:

        Richard,

        Thanks so much for your straightforward advice! I do so want to get it right. Our new bunny will certainly get lots of love and attention. Apart from cuddles and playing I will need to be groom him each day to prevent matting etc. as he is showing signs of long hair!

        I will definitely get him a companion (probably female) then whilst they are still so young and do my best to keep them close during operation time. Do you know if there is an earliest age they can be neutered?

        Thanks again,
        Elaine

        • Richard Lord says:

          I’m sure you’ll get it right – as long as you keep your bunny warm and dry, give him a healthy diet, and lots of love and attention he will be fine!
          Rabbits can be neutered as soon as they are sexually mature, which is usually between 4-6 months old. Some vets prefer not to do the operation before the rabbit is 6 months old, as surgery can be slightly more risky on rabbits below this age.

          • Elaine says:

            Thanks again Richard! I have contacted our Guinea Pigs vet (she is a wonderful lady who is a rodentologist so only deals with GP’s and smaller) and she has recommended a vet who she is happy with to deal with bunnies so I’ll contact him and get the poor lad booked in for sometime just after xmas…
            Thanks so much for your time.
            Elaine

          • Richard Lord says:

            Glad to help! Have fun with your bunny(ies)!

  21. Emma says:

    We have a bonded Male & Female pair and are having a new baby lop which would you recommend we have a Male or Female baby? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Emma
      Bonding three rabbits is more difficult than bonding two rabbits, but it is not impossible. As you already have a male and female bonded pair of rabbits, it does not really matter whether the third rabbit is male or female. The success of the bonding will be down to the individual personalities of the rabbits.
      I would strongly recommend that all the rabbits are neutered a few weeks before beginning the bonding of the three rabbits (I guess that at least one of your male/female pair is already neutered or you would have lots more than two rabbits already!)
      To bond a new rabbit with the existing pair, you will need patience, as it may take more time for the bonding process with three rabbits than with two rabbits. Try starting with the pair separated from the new rabbit by a barrier of some kind through which the rabbits can see and get used to each other. This is probably best in an area that is neutral territory for all three rabbits.
      Every rabbit is different, but as a guide to what you could expect, here is a link to some other people’s experiences with bonding three rabbits.
      Hope this helps, and we’d love to hear about how you get on with bonding three rabbits.
      Richard

  22. Carl says:

    We recently had our six month old male rabbit neutered. Once he had recovered, and enough time had passed to ensure he was no longer fertile, we decided to get a female companion for him. The female is actually his own sister from the same litter, so I thought it would be easy for them to bond. However, the female is absolutely terrified of him. As soon as she sees him, she runs and hides. The male is a very hyperactive and playful rabbit, but as soon as he goes near her she runs away (no fighting thankfully). What would be the best way to try and get them to get to know each other a little better?

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Carl
      The fact that the rabbits are not fighting is a good start. If the male rabbit is not showing any aggressive behaviour towards the female rabbit, but she is running away from him, you need to find a way to allow him to approach her without her running away.
      It may be best to have the two rabbits together in a fairly small, contained area so that she can not run very far away from him. The problem with this is that the female rabbit may then turn on the male rabbit and fight with him. To prevent this, you could put some kind of barrier in between them that they can see each other through. This can be done by having one of the rabbits in a cage, so that they can get used to each other through the bars of the cage.
      Make the scared rabbit feel as safe as possible, and comfort her when the male rabbit is present to make her feel as calm as possible.

      • Carl says:

        Thank you for your advice. I tried this today, and although she is still quite wary of him, she seems to have relaxed a lot more and has become much more friendly. She is now walking up to him on her own accord, but she will sometimes change her mind and run away if he starts to approach her. I guess it will just take time.

        • Richard Lord says:

          I’m happy to hear that she is feeling more confident with him. I agree that it will take a bit more time for the bond between your two rabbits to develop fully. Some rabbit pairs bond immediately, but
          it is not unusual for the bonding process to take time to develop.

  23. Lynsay says:

    I had a male and female rabbit but recently lost the female. As the male is only young (6 months) and loved being with the female, I decided to get a new companion for him. I now have a female lop who is 4 months old. The female needs to be spayed – can I begin to put them together now or is it best to wait until she has been spayed?
    I have been putting them in runs next to each other but the male has not been very welcoming and tries to bite the female’s nose when she goes up to the bars! I’m going to try putting them together in the bath (neutral and small) but not sure whether to carry on as I have been until after the female has been spayed or try to start now – help!!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Lynsay
      I always recommend having rabbits neutered before introducing them to each other, as this reduces territorial behaviour and improves the chances of the bonding process being successful.
      From what you have said, it sounds like the male rabbit is currently the one being more aggressive – is he already neutered? Trying to introduce them in a confined, neutral area as you plan to do is the best way to go forward with bonding the two rabbits. Aggressive behaviour sometimes happens between two rabbits at the start of the bonding process, and often stops very quickly. Be ready to separate the two rabbits if the male continues to be aggressive towards the female to prevent her getting injured.

  24. Sam Mills says:

    Hi Richard,

    I wonder if you could help please? i have 2 neutered male bonded mini lop rabbits who have been paired since they were 8 weeks old and are best of friends. I introduced an 8 week old baby mini lop male to them about 3 weeks ago and the introductions went fine – one of them immediately started grooming him and the other was also ok with the occassional chase but he too groomed the new baby after a couple of hours. The 3 have been getting along fine and all snuggle up to each other in a row, however in the last few days the male that originally chased the baby a little has started doing it again but now more regularly and also little nips too – it comes out of nowhere, they can all be sat together and the next thing he nips him on the bum and chases him, the ‘baby’ now about 12 weks old, will run away and hide and now seems really scared of him. In between this happening he will still groom the baby and cuddle up with him but then chase him? The other older boy is still fine and gets on with the baby and the original mate just as well as before but im really worried about the bigger one now chasing the baby again, i think it might look worse than it is (probably because i feel more protective over the little one). Any ideas? is this just dominance? there does not seem to be any fur flying or scratches etc. Could it be becasue the baby is now becoming an adolescent and has not been neutured yet and the other older rabbit can sense this even though the baby is not spraying/humping etc yet? im really worried – i dont want any of my rabbits to be miserable, is this normal behaviour and should it die off gradually? Any advice would be great.
    Thanks, Sam.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Sam
      This sounds to me like fairly normal dominant behaviour. Chasing, mounting and even occasional nipping are all ways of showing who is the boss. You may be right that it has increased since the young rabbit is beginning to become mature.
      As long as there is no fighting (by this I mean a little more than just the occasional nip), and the younger rabbit is not always looking scared or hiding, then you should be fine to leave them to sort things out. You may find this behaviour increases as the young rabbit continues to mature, and it may be reduced by having him neutered as soon as he is old enough.
      Richard

  25. Chrissy says:

    Hi there
    I have a 3 year old netherland dwarf unneutered male, I’m contemplating getting him neutered. He has lived alone as a house rabbit for the last 2 and a half years, he was 6 months old when I got him. He is a gorgeous rabbit but he seems to get a bit lonely from time to time as at the moment I’m not able to give him as much attention as used to, or would like to. I’ve been thinking about getting a male or female rabbit for him to be able to play with when he is running around and to keep him company. I have a lot of space for 2 rabbits to run around so they will be no fighting over space at least. So I guess my question is…if a rabbit has lived alone for a few years can you introduce them to another rabbit and hope that they get along? Like I said I plan on getting him neutered and will wait a couple of months before introducing another rabbit.
    Thank you
    Chrissy

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Chrissy
      It is possible to introduce a new rabbit to one that has lived alone for some time, although it may be slightly more difficult than introducing two youg rabbits.
      As you have mentioned, having him neutered and then waiting a couple of months will give you the best chance of a successful introduction, especially if the other rabbit is also neutered as soon as possible.
      Barney was 18 months old when Jemima came to live with us. He was around 8 weeks old when we got him and had not lived with another rabbit in that time. He was neutered at around 6 months of age. There were no problems at all with the introduction, Barney started to look after her and groom her pretty much straight away, and they have been best friends ever since.
      I’m not saying it will always be that easy, but it is certainly possible!
      Good luck!
      Richard

  26. Emma says:

    hi, We have had our lion head male (de sexed), Nibbler for 3 years and have recently moved house. With plenty more space we decided we would get him a friend, noodle a 6 week old female lion head. WE followed all the advice we read, allowing them 20 mins or so supervised time together in a neutral area (for aprox 3 weeks). Other that nibbler trying to hump her a couple fo times there hasnt been any problems, as we speak they are cuddled up under the radiator together. DO you think it would be possible to put them in together now when we are not home? Nibble has his own room with his cage in which is left open at all times, there is plenty of room to put noodles cage too and they would still have space to run around and play together. I dont want to do this too soon but they seem to be getting on very well. I know things could change as soon as she matures so we aill get her de-sexed as soon as she is old enough.
    Looking forward to your advice
    Thanks
    Ema

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Emma
      Once you are confident that your two rabbits can be together without fighting, you can keep them together. It is probably better to do this than just allowing short periods of time together, because the bond between the two rabbits will develop and become stronger.
      From the behaviour you have described, it sounds like your rabbits are now a bonded pair and will be fine together.
      You are correct that her behaviour may change as she becomes mature, but as long as you are aware of this, and are prepared to have her neutered when she is old enough, I don’t see any problem with putting the two rabbits together now.
      I love your rabbits’ names – Nibbler and Noodle!

  27. Kathi says:

    Hi!
    I have a 7 month old Lionhead who got pregnant at the pet store. We now have 6 babies, who are now 8 weeks old and we would like to keep one male and one female, as well as the mother.

    The male is a bit of a runt with a few teeth problems so we’re, from the advice of the original breeder, going keep him with the mother a bit longer so he can get a bit more nourishment from her.

    I would love to have them all together in a large cage (condo-type). We’ll have to spay the mother when she dries up, then the others. Any advice?
    Many thanks!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Kathi
      You mentioned spaying and neutering; it is very important to have this done as soon as the rabbits are old enough, as rabbits can breed from a very young age, even before they are old enough to be neutered. In the next few weeks, it may be best to consider keeping the male rabbit close to but separated from the females until after he has been neutered, for example in a different cage next to the other.
      Monitor the rabbits carefully to make sure that there is not too much aggressive behaviour between them as the baby rabbits start to become more mature. If there is, you may have to separate them until after they are all neutered/spayed, or try just two of the three together.
      I would suggest that you take the babies, particularly the male you have described, to the vet for a health check up. Teeth problems in rabbits need to be monitored closely, as they can lead to more serious health problems such as not eating if not carefully controlled.
      Richard

  28. Shane says:

    Hi Richard,

    We recently took in a couple of rabbits that appear to have been dumped near our house. After checking with the neighbours and the local vets to make sure they weren’t escapees, we decided to keep them. We quickly found out one was male, one female. We had him desexed, but he’d already got to her and the day he came back from the vets, she had 5 kittens (10 days ago). We separated him before the birth. She’s done a good job of looking after the kids, they all look healthy, but don’t have their eyes open yet. Never having had rabbits as pets, I have a few questions that I’m hoping you can help me with. They live inside at the moment, in separate rooms, but we are setting up a hutch outside which I’d like them all to move into. So, to my questions. Can we re-introduce the father to the mother and the kids, and if so, how long should we wait before doing that? I’ve read that the kids should be weaned from the mother at 8 weeks. Does it matter if we just leave them with her? We will be getting the young ones desexed as soon as we can. The hutch we are getting is quite large (2.7m x 1.5m ground area) with a raised enclosed area that will have two bedrooms and a good sized rest area. Should I build another couple of rooms into it or do you think that’ll be ok? Sorry about the length of this message. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.
    Regards,
    Shane.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Shane
      It should be possible to re-introduce the father, although it may be best to wait until after they have all been neutered, as this will reduce any aggressive behaviour.

      The baby rabbits should be able to start nibbling at alfafa and pellets from around 3 weeks old, but will still need access to the mother’s milk until around 8 weeks of age. By this point, they should have access to unlimited alfafa and pellets. At around 3 months, you can start introducing fresh greens, and between 7 months to a year old, gradually change unlimited alfafa and pellets to unlimited timothy, grass or oat hay and smaller amounts of pellets, with some fresh greens. There should be no problem leaving them with the mother, but keep an eye out for any aggressive behaviour developing.

      The recommended minimum size for a rabbit hutch is 6′ x 2′ x 2′ (1.8m x 0.6 x 0.6m), although this is for one rabbit. For more rabbits, you will need significantly more room than that. It also delepnds on the size of the rabbits. Each rabbit should have plenty of space to stretch, hop several steps and stretch up on its hing legs. This should also be combined with a bigger exercise run, or plenty of access to a larger exercise area for at least a couple of hours each day.

      Hope this helps your decision with your rabbit hutch
      Richard

  29. john Adams says:

    we have a paired couple, 2 house rabbits which are French lops. recently however, we have acquired a third female rabbit just 6 weeks old. will this new rabbit be able to live harmoniously with the other two? cheers

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi John
      It is possible for a third rabbit to be introduces to a bonded pair, although it can be more difficult than introducing two rabbits to each other.
      I would recommend that all three rabbits are neutered several weeks before introducing them to each other. Introduce the rabbits to each other in neutral territory, and consider having the single rabbit in a cage and allowing the other two rabbits into the room that the cage is in. This will provide protection while the rabbit get used to each other.
      It may take time and patience, but a third rabbit has been introduced to a pair successfully before, so I hope this goes just as well for you.
      Richard

  30. rebecca chapman says:

    Hi. I have two female rabbits living together, a mother and daughter. They have been together around 6 months now but i’m worried i made a mistake letting them stay bonded as i want to breed the mother again. Can they stay together whilst she has another litter? Please answer as i’m really worried coz i heard that if you separate a bonded pair they can become really depressed and even die!
    Thanx Becca.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Becca
      I would not advise breeding one rabbit whilst it is living with another rabbit. Pregnancy involves lots of changes of hormones, and a mother with young babies could become aggressive towards the other rabbit.
      As you have mentioned, separating a bonded pair also has its problems. If you do choose to separate a bonded pair of rabbits, you will need to give both rabbits lots of attention to try to prevent them from becoming depressed and lonely. If they are separated for a long period of time, it may also be more difficult to re-introduce them to each other in the future.
      Richard

  31. Kimberley says:

    Hi,
    I had two male sibling rabbits which I attempted to have neutered however during the aneasthetic I lost one of them and was heartbroken. They never attempted to neuter the other so because of my pain couldn’t go through it again. We took Tinkerbell to the sanctuary and he was bonded with a younger male unneautured bunny and have been in love since this week when they had just had their first big fight causing some wounds. As its too late to take them to the vet they have been separated but can still see one another and are calmer. I just want to know that when I take them to the vet tomorrow and they get neutered (hopefully everything goes ok) can they be rebonded or will this fight have destroyed their relationship? I know not straight away as their hormones will still be high but after a period is it possible?

    Thank you
    Kimberley

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Kimberley
      Sorry to hear about the loss of one of your rabbits.
      I don’t think that the fight that your two rabbits had will have destroyed their relationship, and you should be able to try re-bonding the two rabbits a few weeks after they have had their operations. If you are able to keep them close to each other, or able to see each other as you have mentioned, this should help.
      Neutering should definitely help to reduce territorial behaviour, particularly with two male rabbits.
      Hope all goes well with re-introducing them to each other!
      Richard

  32. Jessica says:

    Hi,
    I have had Bailey, my house rabbit for 18months. He will be 2 in July.
    I have just brought home a netherland dwarf male today and began introducing them slowly.
    Bailey did not appear agressive, however he did begin trying to mount my little netherland. He has been attempting to do the same thing to myself for around the past 3 weeks. He is not spayed.
    What can i do? I really want the two to get along as i have been concerened for Bailey’s lonliness.
    Thankyou, Jessica, Australia.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Jessica,
      I think you have answered this question yourself when you said that Bailed has not been neutered. This form of dominant behaviour is very likely to be reduced by having him (or preferably both rabbits) neutered. Neutering is usually the biggest step in reducing aggressive or territorial behaviour in rabbits, and can be done from the age of around 4-6 months.
      Richard

      • Jessica says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply.
        Being that Bailey is almost 2, will he still be able to be neutered?
        Its gotten to the point over the last couple of days where i cant even let him out of his pen due the fact that he goes somewhat mental over me and keeps trying to mount me. I am too concerned with his behaviour to allow he and Luah, my netherland, to spend any contact time together.
        Will neutering Bailey change his personality dramatically?
        Thankyou, Jessica.

        • Richard Lord says:

          Rabbits can be neutered at that age. There is always a small risk associated with a rabbit (or any animal) having a general anaesthetic, which increases above around 3 years old. Anaesthetics for rabbits are much safer and more successful now than they were a few years ago. I believe that the possible benefits of having your rabbit neutered far outweigh the risk.
          I can not guarantee that having Bailey neutered will stop this behaviour, but it is very likely that it will reduce or stop it completely. Before Barney was neutered, he often displayed dominant type behaviour. After he was neutered, he gradually stopped doing this and after a few weeks stopped completely and became much more like the soft, cuddly, friendly bunny that he had been before he became mature.
          It may take a few weeks after the operation for his hormone levels to reach a new balance, and you may have to help this with a little training after the operation to stop the behaviour.
          Train him by asserting your own dominance whenever he shows any dominant behaviour. Do this by firmly saying no and moving him away from you whenever he shows signs of dominant behaviour. If he tries again, put him in his cage for a short period of time, then let him out again. Keep repeating this, and don’t let him get away with it with no consequence. Putting him away in his cage every time he shows this kind of behaviour will assert that you are the boss, not him!

  33. Ellie says:

    Hello, my name is Ellie.
    I have a 6months year old male Lion head bunny, he is going to be castrated tomorrow, he gets lots of attention and really loves being fussed over. I am planning on getting him a bunny friend in may, a female, around 7-8 weeks old, she would not be able to be neutered until she is 4 months, then I’ll will get it done straight away. Would it be okay if I brought a brand new big hutch for them both to share?
    I would put them both in a new run at first so they can spend some time together.
    Do you think they will get along?
    Thank you.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Ellie
      By May, when you are planning to get your second rabbit, there will have been a period of several weeks since the first rabbit has been neutered. This will have been plenty of time for his hormones to settle down, and should hopefully have reduced any territorial or aggressive behaviour.
      As the new rabbit will be young when you introduce them, you have a very good chance that you will be able to introduce them to each other successfully. When you first introduce the rabbits to each other, stay with them, and be prepared to separate them if there is a lot of aggressive behaviour from either of them. You should expect a little bit of chasing, and maybe one rabbit mounting the other to decide which one is the dominant rabbit.
      Richard

  34. Tahmeed says:

    hey richard i bought a rabbit and thought he would get lonely after a few so i bought another one but the male one is much bigger.will they mate?Also do i have to get rabbits speyed or neutered cuz i dont know any vet and dont even know what speyed and neutered means.

    -Tahmeed-

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Tahmeed
      A male and female rabbit pair that have not been neutered will mate.
      Neutering means removing the reproductive organs so that the rabbits can not reproduce. It can also change the rabbit’s hormone balance to reduce aggressive, dominant and territorial behavior as well as reducing the risk of cancer.
      Speying is another word for the same thing but refers to females only.
      Many areas have vets that are able to perform this operation, I suggest looking through your local business listings or telephone directory to find vets, and ask if they have dealt with rabbits before.
      Richard

  35. jemma says:

    I had a bonded male and female pair of rabbits and just recently the female passed away. The male does not seem himself without her, im guessing hes lonely. I want to get him a new friend but am worried if this will affect him. If i went ahead how soon should i do it? Should i give him a bit of time to get over the other rabbit? Thanks

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Jemma
      Sorry to hear about your loss.
      It can be difficult to decide when to introduce a new rabbit after one of a bonded pair of rabbits has died, and you can only decide this based on knowing your own rabbit.
      I would allow a period of time for him to get over the loss of his companion, however after a while he may be missing the company, and not specifically the companion rabbit that he has lost.
      Some rabbit shelters will allow you to take your rabbit in, to allow him to choose a new companion. This can be a good way to find out whether he is ready to accept a new friend, and will also help with the bonding process if he chooses!
      Richard

  36. brenda says:

    hi is it possible to keep two dwarf lop males bunnies together without getting them desexed many thanks.

  37. Michael says:

    Richard,

    I had 2 bunnies up until Tues. My male, Jack died suddenly of a parasite in his digestive system. My girl, Sara seems very depressed and is acting strange. She just sits in the corner of her cage and honks if you try to take her out. When we buried Jack I had Sara smell him so she would understand. Ever since then she has been very quiet, which isn’t like her. I believe she misses Jack. What can I do for a depressed bunny? Also, the vet checked her for the parasite and she is fine.

    Thanks!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Michael
      Sorry to hear about the loss of Jack. It can be very difficult to know what to do to help a bunny that is feeling sad and lonely after losing its partner. I think the best thing that you can do is keep giving her lots of attention, and be patient with her. She will take time to get over the loss, but needs lots of help from you to make sure she still has lots of company.
      Are you considering getting another bunny as her companion?
      Richar

  38. Marilyn says:

    I won’t bore people with the story as to how we ended up with bunnies. Suffice to say that the two does we bought were not! We have 4 babies born 17th December 2010. The father has been neutered. They have a large run and have access for about 16 hours a day. We only shut them in at night. Just lately the father has started to chase and grunt at one baby in particular. We live in France, so interest in having some of the babies is almost nil and the vet costs are astronomical. Could the baby that is chased be a male or could it be that he is the only dark brown one out of a litter of white kits? Any ad vice would be great. Also mum keeps spraying the dad. They are very close and never far from each other. Should I separate them from all the kits?

  39. Tammy says:

    Hi Richard
    We adopted 2 rabbits from the RSPCA 2 years, they were a brother and sister, unfortunately just before last Christmas Jessica passed away. I was 3 weeks from giving birth so was unable to give the time to get a new companion for Casper, but I felt that he needed some bunny company so we brought a new female Lionhead Fluffy who is 7-8weeks old, I have started to bond them, at first Casper was so elated to see another rabbit he started to hump her, but as the week has gone on they are slowly bonding I think. Fluffy constantly sniffs Casper’s backside, and when she approaches him from the front for a sniff he will attempt to either butt her away or nip I am not sure. Is this normal bonding behaviour?? She is still too young to be spayed but I will be arranging this as soon as possible with the Vet. My question after they have spent time together it’s not possible to put thier cages together as Casper lives outside and Fluffy hasn’t been aclimatised, will this affect the bonding process, or when they are comfortable and bonded together can I put them in the same hutch together??

  40. Laura says:

    Hi. I have had my male rabbit neutered and it’s now 6 weeks since. We have started to try and bond him with our female but he is constantly trying to mount her. I thought this urge would have gone when he had his op. She is ok with it sometimes but she eventually starts getting annoyed. We have tried squirting him with water every time but he is still trying it on constantly. What can we do? We keep pilling him off her but this does nothing also. Thanks

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Laura
      This behaviour is dominant behaviour, which usually does reduce after neutering. This behaviour is not usually a problem unless he is hurting the other rabbit, and normally a pair of rabbits will eventually sort out the order of dominance between themselves.
      Make sure that both rabbits get plenty of attention from you, and that you reward him for good behaviour.
      Richard

  41. lily says:

    hi Richard, I have a female rabbit who is about 30 weeks old.
    Would it be possible to introduce another younger rabbit?
    Also would it help her boredom?
    Thanks.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Lily
      It will probably be possible to introduce another rabbit, however all rabbits are different, and sometimes pairs of rabbits will just not bond with each other. Usually, the easiest pairs of rabbits to bond with each other are a neutered male and a neutered female rabbit.
      Richard

  42. Nancy Narbut says:

    I have 2 males – about 4 mo old – I was told they were male and female but they aren’t. I live in Iraq and they don’t neuter here… can my two uneutered males stay living together? I’ve seen some mounting, but also some grooming.
    If it’s not a good idea, what do you suggest?

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Nancy,
      It is not impossible for two unneutered male rabbits to live together, but it can be more difficult to introduce them to each other if they don’t already know each other. As yours already live together, it is more likely that they will live together happily. As they reach maturity (4-6 months) they may become more aggressive with each other, but hopefully will establish between themselves which rabbit is the more dominant one.
      If they do start to fight with each other frequently, you will probably have no choice but to separate them.
      Richard

  43. daisy says:

    hi, we ‘rescued’ our rex rabbit a few months ago. He was living in a hutch that was on top of another. Four rabbits kept this way so they never saw each other and never were let out, especially with each other. None were neutered. We had him done as he was a little fiesty, he was about two when we got him. He’s almost totally unsociable with us as he was never really handled. So we’ev built him a big hutch and run annd let him into the garden as often as possible. He comes to me a bit when i’m outside but never wants to be picked up and as we have a small baby we just don’t have the time to spend with him as we’d like, we just couldn’t leave him where he was living. Do we get him a mate to hang out with? He’s happily digging a borrow under his run and seems ok but i’d hate for him to be unhappy. His hutch is big enough for him but wouldn’t fit another of his size in it although may take a lionhead as they’re little?? If so, do we get a neutered male or female ? Thanks for your time

    • daisy says:

      also, i forgot to add, since he was neutered he keeps sitting in his toilet area on top of it. He never did this before?

      • Richard Lord says:

        Hi Daisy
        If you spend plenty of time with your rabbit, and he is happy and not alone for long periods of time, it is not necessary to get another rabbit. If you do choose to get another rabbit, usually the easiest pairs of rabbits to introduce to each other are a neutered male and a neutered female. A rabbit that is unsociable may be more difficult to introduce to another rabbit but not impossible. If you follow the information in this page, you will have a good chance of being able to introduce a new rabbit.
        Rabbit’s behaviour often does change after they are neutered as their hormones change and they usually become less territorial and less aggressive. This may be what you are seeing, and you may find that he becomes more sociable. Most rabbits dislike being picked up, and this is not being unsociable. Your rabbit might just like to have you stroke him and spend time with him.
        Richard

  44. Karen Hackler says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the great information! I was wondering if bonding reduces, increases, or has no effect whatsoever on the bunnies’ affection and docility with their owners? I’m thinking of getting a rescue bunny (or two), and of course want the bunny(ies) in question to be super docile and affectionate, as I have children. In your experience, will a bonded pair of bunnies be more affectionate with each other but then less so with their owners, or does it not matter?

    Thanks! Karen

    P.s. sorry, just realized I have one more question: If I do get two bunnies, one will be male, one female, both “fixed”, and probably both adults as they will be from a shelter. We’ll have to drive about two and a half hours away to get them. Even if they don’t know each other well, is that a situation when we could do the car kennel introduction you mentioned in your article? If an adult sits in back to monitor the situation, could I put both together in a car carrier and cross my fingers the roadtrip will help them bond? thanks!!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Karen
      In my experience, rabbits in a bonded pair are no less affectionate with people than single rabbits. The thing that most affects how affectionate a rabbit is with people is how the people treat the rabbit. Spend lots of time with your rabbits, and they will feel comfortable and happy with you. If you don’t spend much time with your rabbits, they will probably be less affectionate with you.
      Using the long road trip could work very well to help bond your rabbits, as experiencing a stressful situation together can increase the likelihood of the rabbits bonding. The downside to doing this is if the rabbits do not bond, or try to fight with each other – you will be stuck with the rabbits in the car and will find it very difficult to separate them if it becomes necessary.
      If you do go ahead with this, I would suggest having a spare car carrier just in case!
      Richard

  45. Brie-Anne says:

    hello,
    i have here a baby mini-rex with lop i do not know if male or female about 6 weeks old and i just got a female 6 month old bunny with lop in her. I tried introducing one to another but my little one was chasing Bowie(the 6 month old bunny) and trying to get underneath her. Bowie was trying to sort of run away but i do not know what this means i have them in two different cages. Bowie ussed to have a brother but her died suddenly and the owner gave her to me thinking that she would be more conferable with another bunny. Bowie also used to run lose in the house but she is okay until i put her in with the little one.
    Please help! i dont know if i can put them together or not!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Brie-Anne
      When two rabbits meet, they will often chase each other, and may try to mount each other to determine which rabbit is the more dominant one. This is normal behaviour, but if the rabbits start to fight, you should separate them.
      To increase the chance of your rabbits bonding with each other, I recommend having the rabbits neutered. This can be done from around 4-6 months old, and reduces aggressive and territorial tendencies in rabbits.
      Richard

  46. sarah says:

    i have 3 lionhead bunnies at 7 weeks old 2 girls and a boy from the same litter, i also have a boy lop eared rabbit, 7 weeks old from a different litter. can they all live together in the same hutch, it is plenty big enough.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Sarah
      The answer to your question is “maybe”. Some rabbits will be happy to live together, others may not be. Follow the information in this page to introduce them to each other, and have them neutered as soon as they are old enough to have the best possible chance of the rabbits all living happily together.
      The only way to find out whether they will be happy together is to try introducing them to each other.
      Good luck!
      Richard

  47. Paige says:

    Hi I have 2 male bunnies but I thought one was a girl so I bought another girl but both of them are trying to mate with her and wont leave her in peace. How can I solve this Problem? do I buy another grl?

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Paige
      The best way to reduce the urge for rabbits to mate with each other it to have them neutered. If you don’t, you will end up with baby rabbits. Neutering reduces aggressive and dominant tendencies, and should reduce the behaviour you have described.
      Richard

  48. Annabelle says:

    Hi :) I have 2 dwarf rabbits, a male lionhead and a female (not lionhead). They live together in our yard and they are both not neutered. We suspect that the female was pregnant two times since we found her fur scattered etc and this we saw a small rabbit maybe two weeks old. Two days later it wasn’t there anymore. Is it possible that maybe he was killed? Is it good to leave the rabbits together, or it’s better to separate them? We would like to have babies though. Thanks!

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Annabelle
      It is possible to keep rabbits together, however rabbits that are not neutered are often more territorial and aggressive than rabbits that are neutered, which can sometimes lead to the rabbits fighting with each other.
      A rabbit that has babies will try to leave them somewhere hidden away, and will often only return to them once or twice a day, so it is possible that there are baby rabbits hidden somewhere. Rabbits that are not neutered will breed frequently, so you could end up with a lot of rabbits if you do not monitor them closely. If you will not be able to look after a larger number of rabbits, I suggest that you have your rabbits neutered. If you are going to look after the babies from a litter of rabbits, speak to your vet about having the mature rabbits neutered soon afterwards, and the babies neutered when they are old enough. Rabbits can usually be neutered from 4-6 months old.
      Richard

  49. nicola mahomet says:

    Hi, i had 4 rabbits yesterday….
    about a month ago some little **** [edited! - Richard] in the neighbourghood let my boy rabbit out, roger….and the same night the girl rabbits burrowed out of the hutch….

    this morning we have about 10 baby rabbits… only thing is… its the 2 girls that escaped, who live together, whove had the babies…
    is it safe to leave them together, because i dont know if the rabbits belong to one, or both the girls…. as there are 2 nests….

    :/ confused.com!
    thanx

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Nicola
      Rabbits with young in a nest can become protective and aggressive towards other rabbits. As you have 2 nests, it is likely that both your female rabbits have had litters. They may still get on well together, or they may become aggressive towards each other. If there is plenty of space for them to keep out of each other’s way, you might avoid fighting. If they appear to be happy living together still, there is no reason to change that, but monitor them very carefully for any signs of aggression towards each other. When the babies start to grow, you will soon find you are running out of space, so it would probably be a good idea to prepare for this by getting more places to keep the rabbits as soon as you can.
      I would also suggest having your rabbits neutered as soon as possible (leave the new mothers for a short while) to prevent unwanted babies again.
      Richard

  50. Paige says:

    Is there any way to keep 2 males from trying to mate with a female when you cant neuter them?

  51. Nix says:

    I currently have two rabbits. One female who is 2.5yrs and one male who is about 8months now. I took the male rabbit to get the snip recently as he started showing more dominent behaviour but the vet said that he is a she. Can I still keep the two together?

    The older female is double the size of the little one (she’s an unknown lop-cross) She is also very moody (that’s a nice way of describing her) She can be very nice, but she has to initiate the play. she growls and grunts alot, plus boxes (tho never bites) She does get quite physical with the little one. (always has) She is neutered.

    I am worried that the big girl will cause some serious damage to the little one, would it be best to re-home the little one sooner rather than later? It took an awefully long time for the big girl to like the little one. But if i seperate them now would the big girl get ‘rabbit depression’?

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Nix
      I think you need to use your judgement about the effect that this has on the little rabbit. If she seems to be scared of the big rabbit, or there is a serious risk of injury, it would probably be best to separate them. If not, then keeping them together should be fine. If you do separate them, you may need to spend more time with the rabbit that you keep to make sure that she does not become lonely and depressed.
      Richard

  52. Paige says:

    does anyone know information about chinchillas too?

  53. Bob says:

    Hello Richard .
    Reading your posts has brought up a few questions concerning young rabbits . I recently got a dutch doe , I wanted to get a pair of them but the pet store only got one in . So I purchased her and was to have another doe the following week It has been just 2 days and they got in some more and I am picking one more up tomorrow . Now Tasha the one I have already , I was told that she was between 3 and 4 weeks old . The next one is maybe a week older . Now after reading about the young rabbits diets I am going to have to mind what they eat for a while . But Tasha seems a bit large for 3 weeks old . She seems to eat and drink just fine . I am going to get them both spayed when they are 6 months old . I have already confered with my vet and they would like to do them both at the same time . which I had a feeling that was how the would want to do it . Now do you think there would be much problem in introducing them at this age ? I know the hutch is big enough for them , it is L shaped and is 8 feet by 6 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet . They will be let out to run in the house when they are a little older . I also just recently lost my American Sable Thumper of 6 years due to cancer . So I know now the importance of haveing them spayed . Any other advice you could give me I would be greatful for . Does it sound likeI am on the right track here >
    Thank you very much .
    Bob .

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Bob
      Yes it sounds like you are on the right track. Introducing rabbits to each other at a young age is often easier than when they are older. One thing to be careful of as they start to get towards maturity is making sure that they really are both female. It is very difficult to tell the correct sex of a baby rabbit, it gets easier when they are a little older. You don’t want to find out that you have a boy and a girl when it’s too late and they have babies…!
      When you are introducing your rabbits to each other, use some of the tips given on this page, and keep a close eye on them at first to make sure that they don’t fight. Expect a bit of nosing at each other and maybe chasing each other at first as they establish their relationship with each other. Good luck with the introduction!
      Richard

  54. Chessie says:

    Hello! I have 3 neautered bucks. 2 of them are best buddies and live in a BIG hutch. The other one is 6 months old and needs a friend. My mum thinks I should just put him in with the 2 others, slowly introducing, but that might spoil their friendship and could bring up some fights. Should I do it anyway or get another rabbit for him? If I did do that, should I get a girl or a boy? Should I neauter it before introducing seeing as the one I have is neautered? Please help!!
    xx

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Chessie
      Usually the easiest rabbit pair to introduce to each other are a neutered boy and girl, however other rabbit combinations can also be successfully introduced to each other.
      If you choose to introduce the existing rabbits to each other, do it gradually, and always keep them under supervision until they are used to being with each other and you are sure they are not going to fight.
      Richard

  55. Louise says:

    Hi

    I have got two males rabbits living together who are brothers, they are now months old, they have been together since birth!!! there mun is living with the girls in another hutch.
    I am going to get one of the boys neuted next week should i get the other one done too?, also how long do i need to keep them seperated whike he recovers? i dont want them to foght when he gos back to his brother

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Louise
      I would always recommend having rabbits neutered. Neutered rabbits are less aggressive and territorial than rabbits that have not been neutered. Rabbits are usually easier to keep together when both are neutered.
      Usually the reason for keeping rabbits separated after neutering is if they have not been living together previously, it takes time for them to have reduced levels of aggression. If the rabbits have been living together already, there should not be a problem putting them back together. Be aware of any stitches from the surgery, and make sure that the other rabbit does not try to damage them.
      Richard

  56. hannah says:

    hi richard,
    i have two lop eared rabbits from the same litter happily living together i have recently adopted a dwarf rabbit from work, she is not quite a yr old and my current two may b just older than that. i introduced them breiefly but my two had a fight! why is that? and could i ever introduce them all to live a hppy little life together? thanx hannah

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Hannah
      Not all rabbits are the same, and sometimes you will find two rabbits that just don’t like each other. Introducing a third rabbit to an already bonded pair can be difficult (but not always impossible) because the existing pair may feel threatened by the new rabbit.
      Are all of the rabbits neutered? This will reduce aggressive and territiorial tendencies and give you the best chance of being able to successfully introduce them to each other.
      Richard

  57. Yanet says:

    Hi i have two rabbits a male and female. Ive had both of them for about 6 months. I keep both of them outside and they get along perfectly. But the last few weeks they started digging a hole. (I was told my female might be expecting.) they had both been putting stuff like leaves and branches in there. But my female rabbit has been acting odd. She grunts at the male and runs away from him. Before they would always be together but lately she doesnt go near him and she even covered their hole. Why might she be doing this??

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Yanet,
      This may be because she is expecting babies. She will be very protective of her young and may see the male rabbit as a threat. If they show signs of fighting, it may be necessary to separate the male for a while, possibly by putting him in another hutch next to the female’s, or by dividing the hutch with a wire mesh barrier if it is big enough.
      Richard

  58. Jax says:

    Hi There,
    My friend has 2 female dwarf rabbits in a cage and has discovered a baby bunny this morning!!!
    Can 2 females reproduce or did the pet shop incorrectly identify one as a female???
    Thanks, Jax

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Jax
      Mis-identifying the sex of young rabbits is a common problem. It is very hard to tell the sex of baby rabbits, and people often end up with what they think is two males or two females having babies. If they have only had the rabbits for a very short time, it is possible that one was pregnant when she came home from the pet shop, otherwise, they are definitely one malle rabbit and one female rabbit. I would suggest a visit to the vet very soon to discuss neutering, or there will be more baby rabbits soon.
      Richard

  59. Rebecca says:

    Hiya!
    I will soon be getting a pair of mini lop rabbits, They are brother and sister and will be about 12-14 weeks old when I get them.
    I have 2 pens so they have one each, but we want to introduce them once they have had their operations.
    We would be keeping both pens in the same room, and allowing supervised outside time for one rabbit at a time in the same room as the pens.
    would this be a good way for them to get to know eachother and bond a little prior to their op?
    Would doing things like swapping their beds over every few days so they get eachothers scents help?
    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Rebecca
      Your idea of keeping both pens in the same room so your rabbits can get to know each other before they are neutered is a good idea. This will allow them to become comfortable with each other, but without risking pregnancy or fighting. I would suggest that you keep them separated in this way for a few weeks after the operation too, as it takes time for the hormones to settle down after being neutered.
      Good luck, and enjoy your new bunnies!
      Richard

  60. dave gore says:

    hi richard…hope you can help…our female dwarf lop died a few days ago so we are left with a neutered male dwarf lop who has spent all his life with her…we want to get another for company for him, but would we be better to get another female (since we don’t have to get her spayed) or another male.
    any advice appreciated
    Dave

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Dave
      Sorry to hear about your loss. Usually the easiest rabbits to pair up are a neutered male and a female, however pairings with two male rabbits can also work well. This depends on the individual rabbits involved. If possible, allow your rabbit to meet the new rabbit you are considering before committing, in case they don’t like each other. I would always recommend having rabbits neutered or speyed as it can reduce aggressive or territorial tendencies, as well as reducing the risk of serious illness in later life.
      Richard

  61. felicity says:

    hi, i have a 8 month old male rabbit (cross breed) and i would like him to make friends with my friends rabbit who is a girl but neither of them are neutered or spayed is it possible?,
    felicity

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Felicity
      It may be possible for your rabbits to make friends with each other, but it is much more likely to be successful if the rabbits are neutered. Also, as one is a boy and one is a girl, they will breed unless at least one is neutered.
      Richard

  62. Dottie says:

    Hello Richard,

    Great advice on this website, thank you!

    Could a dwarf lop house bunny live and bond with a giant rabbit or would it be kinder to get a smiliar size rabbit?

    I know you’ve answered this question a lot, but I want to be really sure: Our dwarf lop is 3 and 1/2 months old so would we be able to introduce her to a female now or best to wait until she’s spayed and get a male rabbit? Although she is lovely and sweet, she does seem quite lonely when we aren’t giving her attention and quite naughty to be honest, so I know she needs a friend to entertain her!

    Many thanks : )

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Dottie
      Thank you, I’m glad you like it!
      A dwarf lop and a giant rabbit could be introduced together. As I’m sure you have read above, when introducing two rabbits to each other, be aware that there is a possibility that one or both rabbits could display aggressive behaviour towards the other one. As a giant rabbit could do a lot of harm to a smaller rabbit, you would need to be especially careful to make sure the rabbits do not fight when introduced to each other. I would recommend neutering/speying before introducing another rabbit as this will improve the chances of a successful bond, however it is possible to introcude rabbits that have not been neutered.
      Hope this helps!
      Richard

  63. Tanya says:

    Hi Richard, I have just got myself a massive hutch and wish to get two same sex babies. However, I was hoping to get different breeds, a Netherland Dwarf and a Mini Lop. I understand neutering is the way forward, but same sex eliminates any small surprises as they may have to wait a month or two before their op due to finishing my dissertation and exams. Is it better to get two girls or two boys? Also will their different breeds cause a clash if I get them together at the same time? Thanks :)

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Tanya
      There is not necessarily any problem with introducing two rabbits of different breeds. There is plenty of advice in this page about how to introduce two rabbits. As you have already said, neutering when possible is a good idea to reduce dominant or aggressive behaviour. Normally a male and female rabbit are the easiest rabbit pair to introduce to each other, however that does not mean that it’s not possible to introduce two females or two males either.
      Richard

      • Tanya says:

        Thanks for such a prompt and helpful reply! I understand that such small breed rabbits like netherlands can only be neautered once 4months. If I get two males this weekend that are both roughly around 10-12 weeks old would they fight during the next month or so before they can be neutered? Im hoping at their current age they would be young enough to bond and get along before the hormones really start to kick in! Look forward to your reply, thanks :)

  64. Lucy says:

    hi, my female mini lop keeps on chasing and jumping on top of my male (neutered) dutch rabbit, i know thats some kind of aproach to being the ‘leader’? Anyway, she stops after about 90mins, so i was wondering if they could share a hutch together, (They’ve been together about 8 months). Thanks

    • Richard Lord says:

      Hi Lucy
      It sounds like the behaviour you have described is just the female rabbit telling the male rabbit who is the boss. As long as they don’t fight, and the male rabbit does not appear to be distressed by this behaviour, they could live together. Make sure that the hutch is big enough for the two of them to be able to hop around in and stretch out without getting in each other’s way.
      Keep an eye on them at first to make sure that they don’t show any signs of aggression towards each other. If the female rabbit is not neutered, it would be a good idea to consider having her neutered (speyed) to reduce the dominant behaviour.
      Richard

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