Bunny Care Guide: Should I Get One Rabbit, Or Two?

Often when one is getting a pet, especially if space is already limited, it is tempting to get just one. This is unfortunate for many animals who tend to be gregarious. Bunnies fall into this group of pets, and though they can be kept alone, they are often happier if there is two or more of them. If you get a pair of bunnies when they are very young, this process is simple. Assuming that they are not both same sexed rabbits who mature and begin to fight due to hormones, bunnies who have been raised together from kits are generally pair bonded for life.

But perhaps you aren't in this situation. Perhaps you already have a young or adult bunny who has been kept on its own for some time. If this is the case, you may find that you have an interesting predicament before you. Although your rabbit probably will do better with company, rabbits are very picky about who they will and will not be friends with. So simply going to the pet store, getting another rabbit and tossing it in the cage with your existing pet is not going to be good for either bunny.

First of all, this is a very stressful scenario for any creature, and is really tantamount to emotional cruelty. Any new rabbit you obtain will need to have its own quarters and its own space. Bunnies can be very territorial, and although pair bonded bunnies will often share sleeping space quite happily, a new arrival has very much yet to earn that place. Imagine if you were relaxing in your bedroom, perhaps even dozing in your bed, and all of a sudden there is a stranger in there! It is discomforting to say the least, and like people would have a tendency to do, bunnies can get violent if confronted in this way with the new addition to the household.

Ideally you should take your bunny to a rabbit shelter or breeder's property and let it 'pick' a new companion. Some bunnies will instantly get along, whereas others won't. Rabbits that don't instantly get along probably never will, so no matter how cute one of the prospective bunnies looks, don't bring it home unless you want a very annoyed resident rabbit, and you're prepared to spend time making sure they have separate areas to run in.

If this is not an option, you can take a chance and simply chose a bunny you like. It may or may not go well with your new rabbit, but it is important that the two are introduced on neutral ground. Your existing rabbit is much more likely to be aggressive if it feels his or her territory is being invaded. Two females or a spayed male and female are the best matches.

As with all difficult social situations, allow both bunnies to have an easy out. Don't shove them at one another, let them discover one another. Some bunny aficionados even recommend taking both bunnies for a drive in the car in separate but adjoining cages, the theory being that the stress helps bond the bunnies together, something like a rabbit team building exercise.

Take it slow, be sensible, and let your bunnies decide how their friendship is going to progress and you should be fine.

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Comments 32 comments

Lola 8 years ago

I think that advice is really good...


Bunniez profile image

Bunniez 8 years ago Author

Thank you Lola. In my case I have a very territorial female who I believe would most definitely beat on any new introduction. I have been advised both by vetinarians and rabbit experts that she is probably best on her own. Thus, for the moment at least, I have just the one (rather spoiled) rabbit.


Sofie 7 years ago

You're very good at giving advice, but I just need to know, I got a rabbit four days ago, she's a little dwarf doe...

I'm wondering if it would be good for her to have a friend...

She likes to bite stuff, and she is shaking a lot still, but at the same time she is very curious about her surroundings.

Therefore, I'd like your advice, for what I could do. And is there space in her cage? It is 0,5 m2 and about 50 cm high.

Is it too late to get another rabbit?

Hope you'll reply :)

Hugs,

Sofie


Rui 7 years ago

providing they are spade and neutered is it better to have an oppisite sex pair of bunnies?


marie 7 years ago

im currently trying to bond a baby lion headed rabbit and an adult rabbit. ive checked them and is pretty sure that they are both female. the baby is curious and interest but the adult is scared and runs away ive tryed putting them on the washer when its on so it would help them bond by making them snuggle for support. without the washer, the older one get annoyed cuz the lil one keeps following her cuz shes curious. i need tips T_T please help =]

buh bye!==>

marie


marie 7 years ago

im currently trying to bond a baby lion headed rabbit and an adult rabbit. ive checked them and is pretty sure that they are both female. the baby is curious and interest but the adult is scared and runs away ive tried putting them on the washer when its on so it would help them bond by making them snuggle for support. without the washer, the older one get annoyed cuz the lil one keeps following her cuz shes curious. i need tips T_T please help =]

buh bye!==>

marie


Alex 7 years ago

Marie,

I strongly would not recommend putting them on a dryer to bond. It is never a sound idea to put a rabbit in a fearful situation. Much like other animals and humans, this can negatively effect their personalities...This will only teach them to be frightened, possibly aggressive and not the pet rabbits that you would want.

Here's my $.02:

Make sure they are in "neutral" territory....so this means nowhere near their cages. Bring them out together for a little time everyday. Start with 5 minutes, then increase the time by a few minutes everyday. There may be some displays of dominance (aka humping) by either or both bunnies, regardless of age. Stomping, some grunting, and circling may also happen. Very normal.

It's perfectly normal and okay for the adult rabbit to be annoyed. This is fine as long as they don't attack each other. You should always have them within an arms reach in the case that this happens.

Keep trying until they are doing their own thing, ignoring each other, and not displaying attacking behavior.

Hope this helps!


6 years ago

Get one because they smell.


mary 6 years ago

So... I currently have 5 bunnies... two are female and are bonded and the other three are males that seem to hate eachother. Snoopy is the father of both Rocky and Cinnabun (from two different litters) Now they have have always fought, so I have kept them separate for about 2 years now. I was waiting to get them fixed because I have heard that would help with the fighting but it was so expensive! I was finally able to afford it and they are all now neutered/spayed... it has been about a week since they were fixed... and the males seem relentless on fighting!! Will they EVER be able to live together??? its my goal to have them all live together, all five of them... is this unrealistic??? I'm so devistated because I was trying to slowly introduce them to eachother (even though their living quarters are next to eachother so they constantly see one another just in separate areas) and Rocky and Snoopy attacked eachother through a baby gate!! Rocky bit onto Snoopy's nose and wouldn't let go! Now snoopy is bleeding (only a tiny bit but i'm sure that hurt so badly)

what do i do?? i'm so upset, do i need to try and find new homes for them?? i don't like to keep them caged so my entire apartment is separate areas for the bunnies but i can not live like this any longer because i'm moving into a different apartment with a roommate... so if they can't live together i don't know what to do. does anyone have any suggestions for me?? or has this happen to anyone??

:(

mary


Jade 6 years ago

I think this advice is excellent! I would give this advice to anyone that is planning to get a rabbit when they already have one! I will really go along with this now.. As i was just going to go to a pet shop & Buy a rabbit and hope for my older rabbit to get along with my new addition, But i will now take your advice and wait until i think that my old edition is prepared for a new addition! I would love to have another rabbit but the thing is i was scared that i would regret it if they didin't get along but now reading this advice i will do it step by step and follow the instructions i have just read!! Many thanks


madison1234 6 years ago

HI i just got a rabbit but the prob is i don't now what sex it is. most likely it is a male rabbit but i don't want to get him/her fixed because it would take his personality away. i want another rabbit because i think my rabbit now is alone and because i'am away in the day but i'am always back at night. i still don't think that it's enough play time and i don't really don't now what to do. should i get another rabbit or should i just let my rabbit stay alone?!?!?


Jenny-Rabbit 6 years ago

I had a female that we were given about 8 months ago by a family that could not take care of it. I felt bad that we were not home a lot on weekends (few times a day at least, but in and out a lot) i wanted to get another rabbit from a shelter but there weren't any close to me so i bought one from a pet store. When we got the 1st rabbit we were told it was a girl, so we got another girl. My first "girl" rabbit wont stop humping my new rabbit. Is this a normal sign of rabbits trying to figure out who the alpha is or is my 1st "girl" realy a boy? Please help I do not want 100 rabbits!


Jenny-Rabbit 6 years ago

I recently got another rabbit. Over the weekend we let them check each other out and they seemed to get along after a few shows of dominance so we let them be in the same cage. They seem to have bonded they cuddle and groom each other all the time they seem inseperable. I am worried though b/c when i wake up in the am there are a lot of small clumps of fur surrounding their cage. I never see them fight or hear them. Is this b/c they are grooming each other or should i separate them. Please help this is all so new to me.


nicolevins 6 years ago

@Jenny-Rabbit

You have nothing to worry about :)

When I was bonding my pair George and Jenni, George was mounting Jenni (dominance behaviour). Jenni was running around the cage because she didn't like it. When George eventually got on top on Jenni, he held onto her sides and bit her fur up around her ear area (just to 'get-a-grip')

When George would get off Jenni, there would be fur all over the place


Jenny-Rabbit 6 years ago

@ nicolevins

So did they eventually stop or do they still do that? i know its normal but i feel bad for my new bunny she's bigger but she's still getting pushed around (not hurt just bullied i guess i know my 1st bun is showing that this is her house and she is the boss and the other doesn't seem to care much but i still feel bad, i did not know you were supposed to keep them seperated for at least 2 weeks and then bond them for 1-6 months, we did it in a day and i am worried that we may have done something wrong)


Jen 6 years ago

Hi I have a 6 month old dwarf lop male and recently we bought a 6 month old lionhead female from an adoption center. We have been putting the hutches next to eachother so they can get used to one another, they seem pretty happy because they always lay next to eachother opposite to the hutches, but the male has started stomping his back legs and the female has started to do this too. I am not sure what it means, is it because of eachother or something else ?


ozzythebun 6 years ago

i have a mini lop named ozzy, do you think he needs a friend? its summer now so i play with him a lot but he might get lonely during the day.


bob 6 years ago

I have a baby dutch and a young mixed breed (both are females) should i try rooming them together? one is quite bigger than the other


Vikki 6 years ago

Hi i currently have a rabbit that i brought at easter for my children! He will be 5 and half months now and my children are wanting another male,Our current rabbitBugsy is very friendly and tame already would another rabbit change him?


elizabeth 5 years ago

my rabbit snowy is setling in very well exsept he trid to jump up the stars but evre thing is fine.

tancs for reeding


Y4REN 5 years ago

I. Have a rabbit its been mine for. About 3yrs its alion head then I bought a new one same breed the first time I got it it stayed in a box then the second day we let him out in my back yard he runs around and he luvs it but the first time my rabbits met they jumped my 1st rabbit tavsin atackkted my second rabbit cookie tavsin jumped on cookie then they stared to sniff noses then tavsin liked got used to cookie but now cookie is scard of tavsin wen evr tavsin gets next to tavsin cookie runs away! Are they ever gonna bond. Tavsins breed is not found becasuw my dad didn't ask the owner of the shelter cookie is aboy Will They evr Be frends how do u find out if its a girl or aboy plz tell me :D thx luv yaren


Y4REN 5 years ago

I. Have a rabbit its been mine for. About 3yrs its alion head then I bought a new one same breed the first time I got it it stayed in a box then the second day we let him out in my back yard he runs around and he luvs it but the first time my rabbits met they jumped my 1st rabbit tavsin atackkted my second rabbit cookie tavsin jumped on cookie then they stared to sniff noses then tavsin liked got used to cookie but now cookie is scard of tavsin wen evr tavsin gets next to tavsin cookie runs away! Are they ever gonna bond. Tavsins breed is not found becasuw my dad didn't ask the owner of the shelter cookie is aboy Will They evr Be frends how do u find out if its a girl or aboy plz tell me :D thx luv yaren


Y4REN 5 years ago

I. Have a rabbit its been mine for. About 3yrs its alion head then I bought a new one same breed the first time I got it it stayed in a box then the second day we let him out in my back yard he runs around and he luvs it but the first time my rabbits met they jumped my 1st rabbit tavsin atackkted my second rabbit cookie tavsin jumped on cookie then they stared to sniff noses then tavsin liked got used to cookie but now cookie is scard of tavsin wen evr tavsin gets next to tavsin cookie runs away! Are they ever gonna bond. Tavsins breed is not found becasuw my dad didn't ask the owner of the shelter cookie is aboy Will They evr Be frends how do u find out if its a girl or aboy plz tell me :D thx luv yaren


Y4REN 5 years ago

I. Have a rabbit its been mine for. About 3yrs its alion head then I bought a new one same breed the first time I got it it stayed in a box then the second day we let him out in my back yard he runs around and he luvs it but the first time my rabbits met they jumped my 1st rabbit tavsin atackkted my second rabbit cookie tavsin jumped on cookie then they stared to sniff noses then tavsin liked got used to cookie but now cookie is scard of tavsin wen evr tavsin gets next to tavsin cookie runs away! Are they ever gonna bond. Tavsins breed is not found becasuw my dad didn't ask the owner of the shelter cookie is aboy Will They evr Be frends how do u find out if its a girl or aboy plz tell me :D thx luv yaren


Rachel 5 years ago

Hey, really good advice but my rabbit is 2 years old and i dont know if it is too late to get him a friend. So should i just take him down to my pet store and see if he likes any of the other rabbits company?

Thanks for all the other advice, this has been really helpful.

Thanks again

:D


katlyn 5 years ago

i love the advice thanks a bundle!!!!!


Rabbitlover4ever 4 years ago

Another solution I would like to give is to put the new one and old one on leashes and introduce then to each other in your background. Don't push them against each other just make sure they are in the same room so they will proberly interact with each other in a way more friendlier way.


izzle808 profile image

izzle808 4 years ago

It is fine to have one rabbit as they like their own space and are quite territorial. Never put two males together! When they ...'get to that age' they fight and injure each other. (trust me! I've learnt from dealing with it!!haha)

a male and a female can be kept together in say, a double hutch that seperates and puts them together. A female and a female would be a little risky but could possibly work with some breeds if you had a big hutch. Females tend to be more temperamental than males, while males are more territorial. Nice hub btw :D


Horsey gal 4 years ago

Hmmm .. Good advise x


blahblah 4 years ago

i have a 1 and 3 month old netherland dwarf rabbit. i try to play with her but sometimes i am occuppied. should i get her a friend? (she seems a little lonely)


bunnypup profile image

bunnypup 4 years ago from United Arab Emirates, Dubai

I wish I could get another bunny but I'd probably be too much work for me. I'm a busy sometimes and I'm just being honest. My parents probably wouldn't allow me, and I think my bunny is just fine how he is. Great advice though!

My bunny's 1 year old and NOT neutered... He's a male.

I haven't seen any bunnies in the pet shops anyways.

(Yes, I got my bunny from a pet shop, I'm almost 100% sure there is no rabbit shelter around my place, I would have gotten my bunny from a shelter if I could, believe me.)


Debbie 4 years ago

I have had a male dwarf lop for about 8 months, Ive had him neutered and have now brought him a male lion head/netherland dwarf cross.

My older bunny keeps on humping the baby rabbit. There is no sign of aggression, and the baby seems to just keep still and let him do it! I just wanted to make sure this wouldn't hurt him? And how long do you think it would last?

How long would you advise until I could put them in the same hutch?

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