Watching your rabbits playing and running around can give you a wide smile. Rabbits are also happier when they are in a group along with their bunny friends. They will feel like they are in a second home if they have company.
However, it’s no new news for rabbit moms that the idea of bonding two or more rabbits is overwhelming.
Bonding two rabbits is a difficult task. But it’s not impossible. With proper techniques and tricks, you can easily bond two rabbits. Bonding two rabbits is a time-consuming task and you have to be patient with it. Take it slow and give your rabbits plenty of time to get used to each other.
There are many things you have to keep in mind if you are planning to have more than one furry friend. If done wrong, bonding between the bunnies won’t happen and can be disastrous.
But don’t worry, because we will discuss all you have to know for bonding rabbits. Keep reading!
Let’s hop straight in!
Things To Consider Before Attempting Rabbit Bonding
You cannot straight away put your rabbit together and expect them to bond. There are many things you have to consider first before bonding or introducing your rabbits. Only if done with efficiency can you bond your rabbits successfully.
So let’s see the things you have to consider before bonding your rabbits.
Age is a very important factor if you are planning to bond two rabbits. Always choose rabbits that are in the same age group.
They will have similar energy levels and will be easier to bond. It is also possible to bond a baby rabbit with an older rabbit but once they bond, the loss of the older rabbit will be traumatic for the baby rabbit.
You have to consider the sex of your rabbit before bonding with them. It is more easier to bond rabbits of different sex as they will tend to form a pair naturally.
When you try to bond rabbits of the same sex, there are chances they will feel territorial and there will be competition between them.
Just like the sex of the rabbits, different breeds can also form a bond. But it will be easier to bond the rabbits if they are from the same breed. It makes communication between them easier.
4. Spaying / Neutering
If you are planning to have more than two rabbits, you have to make sure first that your rabbits are spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering can help them bond better as it will reduce their violent behavior.
Apart from that, spaying and neutering can also help prevent health issues related to reproductive organs.
You have to figure out if there is enough housing space for both rabbits. They shouldn’t be crammed into one single cage.
In case they don’t get along, you will have to have a second cage and the space for it.
The health condition of both rabbits is a very major factor that you have to consider while planning to bond two rabbits.
As the two rabbits will be sharing close spaces, you have to make sure that both the rabbits are healthy because if one is sick, it is very likely the other one will also contract it.
How Long Does It Take Rabbits To Bond?
Rabbits are very social creatures. They are used to living in groups in the wild. They love to have company. When they are left alone for too much time, there is a chance that your rabbit can become depressed and sad.
If you see symptoms like being lazy, depression, frequent illness, and so on in your rabbit, it’s a sign that you should probably find a furry friend for your bunny.
The bonding process in rabbits is a very time-consuming one. It cannot be rushed. You will have to have all the patience in the world for this.
In case things go rough, it will take even more time for the bond to be formed.
Commonly, rabbits take from up to 2 weeks to 2 months to form a bond. However, the introduction process is very crucial. There are chances that your rabbit won’t be happy with meeting another rabbit right away.
It is very rare to find rabbits that form instant bonds. There are even rabbit pairs that took years to bond. So you have to be always ready for things to go south.
Many other factors also affect the bonding time between two rabbits. Their age, their personalities, and the amount of time they spent together are some of them.
However long it takes, you have to keep your patience and do not rush things. It is better to take all the time in the bonding process than rush things and lose the chance for forming a bond.
You have to be prepared for all the possible scenarios and outcomes. Sometimes, no matter what you do, the rabbits won’t form a bond. In case of such unfortunate incidents, you can shift your rabbit to a relative’s house or to a shelter.
Next in the article, we will discuss everything you need to know about rabbit bonding and everything you need to look out for.
So keep reading!
What To Expect When Bonding Rabbits?
If you are a first-time rabbit mom, this is for you. There are a few signs that you have to look out for while your rabbits are bonding: positive, neutral, and negative.
It is very important that every rabbit mom who’s trying to bond their rabbits know these and what to expect from the bonding.
These are the signs that you have to look out for or encourage. These are the good signs that suggest that the rabbits are getting more comfortable with each other.
- Grooming: this is the most positive sign that you have to look out for. They will groom each other as a way of showing love for each other. This can be in the form of licking each other’s fur, usually around the ears and forehead. This shows that they are comfortable around each other.
- Laying next to each other: rabbits that are close and comfortable will lay next to each other to show their bond. This is to show the trust they have for each other. They trust the other rabbit to not attack them.
- Sharing: if your rabbits are sharing toys or hay then it shows the bond between them because the sharing doesn’t naturally come to rabbits.
- Playing together: they will run and chase each other to show the bond between them.
These are signs that aren’t necessarily good or bad. It’s okay for rabbits to show these signs but you have to make sure it does not escalate to negative outcomes.
- Ignoring each other: you may feel this is counterproductive. But it’s actually a good sign when rabbits ignore each other instead of being violent and aggressive to each other.
- Marking: Even if they are litter trained, rabbits will urinate and leave fecal pellets all over the new place to mark their territory. It doesn’t usually have any correlation with rabbits getting along or not.
- Mounting: mounting is not always a sexual behavior. It is a way of exerting dominance over one rabbit. If the other rabbit is comfortable with being mounted then you can let it be. It usually lasts for 30 seconds.
- Bowing: you may be able to notice one rabbit keeping its head below the other rabbit’s chin. This is not cuddling, but one rabbit asking to be groomed by the other. This is often a sign that the rabbits will be bonded in the near future.
You want to be on the lookout for these signs. These are the behaviors that can lead to injuries. You will have to separate your rabbit if you see any of these signs.
- Biting /lunging: this is when a rabbit jumps on the other with the intention of biting it or harming it. This is not at all a good sign and you have to separate the rabbits immediately.
- Circling: This is when one rabbit circles around the other one so fast it is called the bunny tornado. This can cause serious fighting between the two rabbits. You will distract them immediately using water spray or a dust pan.
- Aggressive body language: when your bunny shows aggressive body language like raising its tail, grunting, and lowering its head, it’s not a good sign. Remove your rabbits from each other instantly.
How To Know When Your Rabbits Are Bonded?
This is a question you really have to look into because the good signs shown by your rabbit do not always mean they are completely bonded.
We can say that rabbits are bonded when they trust each other and when we can leave them together without any possibility of hurting each other. There will be mutual grooming.
The rabbits can be put into the same cage if there is no aggressive behavior or serious chasing.
If they show no bad signs for a continuous 48 hours, it can be taken as a sign of their bond. They can move in together after that. But you don’t have to rush this process.
You can see their bond forming for more days and then move them in together to be on the safe side.
Interesting Read: Can 3 Rabbits Live Together?
What Time Of Day Is Best To Bond Rabbits?
This is a question that every rabbit mom should look into if you are planning to bond your rabbits. You will have to look for a time when your rabbits are less active for the introduction and bonding process.
Usually, this is in the late afternoons. During that time your rabbits will be in a sleepy mood, this is a good time for bonding as they will be hesitant to show aggressive behaviors.
However, you will have to see if they formed the bond at different times to make sure of it.
What Are Some Rabbit Bonding Problems?
One can easily make mistakes when they are bonding two rabbits. Let’s discuss some of the problems or mistakes in rabbit bonding.
- You should not encourage unwanted behaviors. If you do you might end up with one rabbit fearing the other.
- Not using a neutral space is another bonding problem. If the area smells like one of the rabbits, you will find territorial and aggressive behavior from that one rabbit.
- Intervening at the wrong time is another mistake you could make. Intervening at the wrong time can cause more harm than good.
Interesting Read: Can Male Rabbits Live Together?
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best rabbit pairing for bonding?
Any rabbit pairing works very well. However, the best pairing is between a neutered male rabbit and a spayed female rabbit. A male and female pairing will bond with each other very well and it may not be as difficult as trying to bond two female rabbits.
Can you bond different breeds of rabbits?
Yes, you can pair two different breeds of rabbits that are spayed/neutered. And you have to also choose two different breeds that are similar in their size. Do not choose a breed that is larger than the other rabbit because bonding a larger breed with a smaller breed of a rabbit may not be successful.
We are at the end of the article. We have discussed everything you need to know about rabbit bonding stages. Make sure you follow all the proper steps to bond the rabbits. Always look out for the signs: positive, neutral, and negative.
You have to make sure there are no aggressive behaviors encouraged between your rabbits. You can use a water spray or a dustpan to break up a fight if needed. In case of serious injuries, you will have to take your bunnies to the vet.
If you have any questions about the rabbit bonding stages, comment down below!
Must Read: Can Two Female Rabbits Live Together?