As you make up your mind to welcome the little bunny to your home, you may have this doubt – do rabbits need to be in pairs? If you have asked this to yourself, you have thought it right. Rabbits are social animals that are commonly sold in pairs but not many might afford raising them together.
In this article, all your questions related to companionship for rabbits are answered WITH FACTS.
Do rabbits need to be in pairs?
Rabbits need to be in pairs if you cannot give the desired attention they might need. Otherwise, it is good as well to raise one as rabbits become territorial as they grow and might need space to roam. If you can afford it, keep them in pairs and sit back and see them enjoy their companionship in front of you.
Rabbits are undoubtedly social animals and need the warmth and presence of their partner to grow. However, that also means that if you can extend your warmth, pet, and groom them regularly, you are a paradise to them.
As they grow, rabbits turn territorial and determine different spaces for eating, peeing, and resting. If your house has enough space for multiple rabbits to establish their territories, nothing like it! You can admire their love and care for each other.
Some rabbits are rather fragile and might need to be petted frequently. Or, they tend to fall sick. In that case, you need a pair.
Since 2011, I have been raising rabbits. But, rabbits that were alone lived longer. While they do live longer even when they are in pairs, I’d like to make it clear that we were able to extend all the love, care, and presence to him all the time. He stayed happy and didn’t even lookout for a pair.
Note If your bunny is searching for someone and is not comfortable with being alone, do not take a second thought but introduce another little bunny to your family.
Do rabbits get lonely if one dies?
Rabbits greatly depend on their companions and experience loneliness when the partner passes away. Some rabbits even experience chronic depression when there is no replacement in the absence of the partner.
In most cases, rabbits develop coping behaviors over time. However, if a partner dies, you should keep an eye on your little bun and assess for any slightest change in terms of behavior or daily lifestyle.
Here are a few things to do when a rabbit loses his/her partner.
- Spend more time with the little one and keep engaging the bun.
- Checking if the bun is in a position to accept the new partner. In this case, you should not directly bring in a new one. Just allow the bun to mourn for the loss and slowly accept. Give time and space.
- Build the bond and introduce new toys.
Fortunately, rabbits are unaware of knowing what happened to their partners although they become lonely when the playmate is missing. Nevertheless, allow your bun to spend more time with you.
Is your rabbit lonely? [11+ signs to note]
The best way to spot a lonely rabbit is to look at the presence of one or more signs mentioned below.
- Asking for your attention
- Overeating or starving
- Pulling fur unnecessarily and developing a shabby look
- Sudden behavioral changes experiencing aggression
- Signs of withdrawal from people and existing environment
- Slow nose twitching in the little bun.
- Flat ears with tightened body.
- Thumping at unexpected situation.
- Hiding frequently to stay away from others and in protecting self.
- Displaying front teeth and vocalizing indicating unhappiness or loneliness.
- Tensed movements
Fact – Thumping, vocalizing, hiding, and flat ears are common signs of illnesses or unhappiness among rabbits.
There’s also an exclusive article written on the topic – how to tell if a rabbit is dehydrated? You can use this article to find some more signs.
What to do if my rabbit is lonely?
Introducing another rabbit is not the only solution to kill loneliness. Extending human companionship is the best way to lower loneliness and allow your bun to lead a relaxed life exploring things around like the boss of the home.
When to separate male and female rabbits?
Spaying/neutering a rabbit is always an option you can keep in mind if you do not want your bunnies to produce offsprings.
As a rabbit weans the baby on 42nd day of birth, males and females should be separated for a period of 16-18 weeks to avoid the likelihood of another puberty event resulting in pregnancy.
When rabbits of different gender are not separated at the right time, they mate again resulting in pregnancy. The sexual maturity of a female rabbit becomes an advantage for a male rabbit. Separating them lowers stress and gives them space after a cycle of reproduction.
Note – If you have made up your mind to get a new rabbit, you should know about the growth rate. We have an exclusive article for the same – When does a rabbit stop growing?
Should I get two rabbits from the same litter?
When rabbits are obtained from the same litter, there is an increased likelihood of understanding and acceptance as they are raised together since birth. When you get two rabbits from a different litter, it takes time for them to accept each other and lead rest of the life.
A major point to keep in mind if you are getting more than one rabbit is –
When you get same-sex pairs, they can develop territorial aggression at times while a mixed-sex pair can have significantly faster pairing and cooperation.
Note – Remember to neuter your little bun to avoid any cases of hormonal imbalance.
A neutered rabbit can live a longer and healthier life compared to an unneutered one.
Can two female rabbits live together?
Two female rabbits live together when they are spayed earlier or they can develop aggression because of the lack of doe-buck pairing. Although it can get better over time, their relationships developed when you spay them.
The advantage with rabbits is that – irrespective of the sex of the pair, they tend to adjust and live together.
As a bunny owner, you should be careful in monitoring the movements and behaviors of the little one to avoid instances of fights or physical issues.