It can be quite challenging to have to introduce one rabbit to another, and we’ll tell you right from the beginning that it might seem impossible to get them to use the same rabbit litter box. To make your task a little easier, go through our recommendations below.
A successful introduction can be ensured only if the rabbits were either neutered or spayed before being face to face. Otherwise, the hormones will make them behave a little crazy especially if they’re the same sex. Hasty introductions usually result in serious injury or harm caused by chasing, biting, and a variety of other types of attacks.
It’s easier to start with two rabbits right off the bat, so if you haven’t gotten your first pet yet, you can buy a pair from the pet store. Most of the shops have already undertaken the bonding process, and that’s why the workers will be able to supply you with a pair that are already used to each other.
Getting two young rabbits from two different breeders or shops is a little more difficult, and you’ll have to be able to face several challenges. You need to make sure that the rabbits are not male and female because otherwise, you will end up with a litter. Make sure to neuter or spay your pets or just keep them separate until the surgeries are done. Naturally, you can keep them in the same room, so they get accustomed to each other’s smells.
While females are less known to become as territorial as males, once they reach sexual maturity they might manifest some aggression toward each other, as well. On the other hand, males are widely known for being involved in fights if they become sexually mature and are grouped together. The problem is not that they have a fight now and then – they get so upset that they can break their bond forever, so they’ll never be friends and always be aggressive toward each other.
Introducing two rabbits to one another is called bonding. Because every rabbit has a unique personality, one cannot assume that he or she might bond with another as easily as it might have happened in the past with another pet. Rabbits are, however, gregarious, so they will prefer sharing their life with a companion rather than living alone.
There are three things that one must take into account for a successful bonding process. One of them is that the right pairing is male and female, the second is that they both have to be spayed or neutered and that the introductions must be performed gradually. Introducing a female into a male’s living space or the other way around is a lot easier compared to doing the same with same-sex pairs.
Always start by putting two rabbits in neighboring cages, not in the same one. If you have a cage already and your original pet rabbit lives in it, you could let the new one run around freely around the enclosure or do it the other way around – take the rabbit out of his hutch and replace him with the new one, so he gets used to the bunny’s smell.
However, in most cases, the simplest and most effective introduction is performed through the use of two adjoining cages.
When you’re getting ready to introduce the two, it’s important to bear in mind that you don’t know what’s going to happen, so you have to be on the lookout for any reaction that could signify that things are going to turn sour. The best scenario is that they both really like each other and they’ll want to share their living space.
In most cases, though, they’ll have a tentative friendship, and they might not even manifest a particular interest in each other. If this happens, keep them in separate enclosures for the time being and make a plan of getting them acquainted every day for thirty to sixty minutes.
If one of them starts chasing the other, wait for a while but make sure that they don’t hurt each other. If they start fighting, separate them and keep them in separate cages or hutches for as long as it takes until they become friends or learn to live with each other. Keep in mind that this might never happen with males.
Bonding over stressful situations
While some circumstances might be stressful for both of the rabbits, the truth is that they might turn to each other when they have to. For example, if you take your pet rabbit out for a car ride and introduce the new one to him or her in that event, it’s quite likely that they will find comfort in each other. After all, they are already stressed enough – what would be the point of them starting to fight when they can barely handle the anxiety of a car ride?
Nevertheless, the types of rabbit relationships that are the most fulfilling and pleasant to watch are those that are developed over time.
If you are patient, you know that slow and steady wins the race in most of life’s situations, so it definitely pays off to get the bunnies acquainted to each other over a period of a couple of weeks or more so that they are perfectly at ease by the time they need to share their living space for an hour or two.