Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Rei Garnet
Rabbits are social animals. In the wild, they would spend most of their days socializing with other rabbits inside their burrow.
The same can be said for domesticated pet rabbits. They thrive much better if they have another rabbit as a companion. This is why shelters and pet stores recommend that you get a pair of rabbits.
Rabbits that are alone most of the time are at risk of developing depression. A depressed rabbit would often refuse to eat or have a decreased appetite. This, in turn, could lead to dangerous digestive conditions like GI stasis, which can be deadly.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why you should get a second rabbit:
What are the benefits of having two rabbits?
Rabbits that are sold or adopted typically come in pairs because rabbits are social creatures. They can get depressed and bored easily when they don’t have a companion.
Therefore, if you’re a busy person and you don’t have as much time to socialize with your pet, having two rabbits would solve that problem. They could keep each other company while you’re gone.
Nonetheless, that’s not to say that you can’t own a rabbit when you’re working. Rabbits are crepuscular creatures, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn.
If you can spend time with your rabbit after you get home from work, then that’s typically enough. Just make sure that you are on the lookout for signs of depression and be ready to provide them with a friend if they really need one.
What are the benefits of having one rabbit?
If you don’t want to end up with 100 rabbits, then you might want to consider just getting one rabbit. However, you could get two rabbits and have them both neutered.
But if all you can afford is one rabbit, then that’s totally fine. A lot of people only have one rabbit, but they tend to be more hands-on compared to rabbit owners who have two rabbits.
Just make sure that you give them the extra love and attention to compensate for the lack of a companion. Besides, rabbits can bond with their owners and can be totally happy with just the two of you together.
Moreover, you won’t have to clean up as much poop since rabbits poop a lot. They can fill their litterbox in a day or two if you’re not regularly cleaning it.
Do rabbits get lonely without another rabbit?
Rabbits would naturally want the companionship of another rabbit. The reason is that, in the wild, rabbits live in large colonies where they interact with each other every day.
Rabbit experts recommend that the best way to take care of a rabbit is to mimic what they have in the wild. So it’s safe to say that a pet rabbit that has no other rabbit as a companion would be lonely even if its owners are interacting with them every day.
While it’s true that a rabbit owner could lessen their rabbit’s loneliness by playing with them every day, it’s still better to get another rabbit. All of us have a life to live. We can’t be with our rabbit 24/7 while two rabbits could keep each other company all day.
Is it ever too late to get a second rabbit?
No, rabbits can bond with another rabbit their entire lives given that they are still healthy and are neutered or spayed. The rabbit’s age is somewhat irrelevant when it comes to bonding two rabbits.
What you should be concerned about is whether or not your rabbit is neutered or spayed and what gender you want to get. The best pairing would be a male (neutered) and a female (spayed).
Male and female rabbit pairs have the highest chance of being bonded because the female would likely accept the male as the dominant one. While same-gender rabbits would likely fight for the dominant role.
Things to consider before getting a second rabbit.
In order to properly decide whether or not you should get a second rabbit, you must first understand whether or not it would be favorable to you.
Here are the pros and cons of getting a second rabbit:
Pros of getting a second rabbit.
- Your rabbit would be happier because they would have a friend.
- You can leave your rabbit for longer periods of time (with enough food and water) because two rabbits can keep each other company.
- Your rabbit would be more relaxed and less irritated.
- You will have another rabbit! I mean, look at those cute little faces!
Cons of getting a second rabbit.
- You would need to buy more food, so your cost would double.
- Getting a second rabbit would double the amount of poop and pee you need to clean. Other maintenance work, such as grooming, would also double.
- The second rabbit you choose might not bond well with your first. So you would basically have two single unbonded rabbits under your care.
- Even if your rabbits bonded successfully, sometimes they would “break up,” which would cause them to fight.
Can you introduce a baby rabbit to an older rabbit?
As long as you properly introduce your rabbits and both are neutered or spayed, then introducing a baby rabbit to an older rabbit is fine. If the baby rabbit is still not neutered/spayed, then do it as soon as possible before it reaches sexual maturity at around 3–4 months old.
Just make sure that the younger rabbit is old enough. Also, make sure that the older rabbit has a patient personality. As we all know, young rabbits are extremely playful, while some older rabbits don’t want to be bothered.
Reasons why you should not leave your rabbit alone for too long.
Rabbits get sad and depressed quite easily because they are naturally social creatures. That’s why most veterinarians and pet store owners would recommend that you buy or adopt a pair.
If you’re a very busy person or you won’t have as much time to spend with your pet, then consider getting a companion.
Depressed rabbits tend to develop a number of conditions, like a decreased appetite that could lead to death if they develop gastrointestinal stasis. Gastrointestinal stasis is a condition where the rabbit’s GI tract stops working due to a lack of food.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Can two male rabbits live together?
Yes, but you need to get them both neutered first so that you lower the risk of them killing each other.
Rabbits have a social system where one needs to be dominant and the other is submissive. If both rabbits had dominant personalities, they could fight and end up hurting each other.
Rabbits are very territorial and will likely fight if you put a new rabbit in an already existing rabbit’s cage.
2. What are the benefits of having two male rabbits?
One of the obvious benefits of having two male rabbits is that you won’t end up with more rabbits.
3. What is the risk of having two male rabbits?
Two male rabbits typically don’t blend well together, especially after they enter adulthood due to the risk of fighting.
4. Can two female rabbits live together?
Yes, two female rabbits can live together better than two male rabbits. But they also need to be neutered first to lower the chances of them fighting.
5. What are the benefits of having two female rabbits?
Two female rabbits are better than two males because they tend to fight less. So if you’re thinking of getting two rabbits but you don’t want them to reproduce, go with two females. But just to be sure that no fighting will happen, get them neutered.
6. What is the risk of having two female rabbits?
Two could also fight because they are very territorial, especially when they are hormonal. That’s why it’s important that you get them both neutered to stop those hormones from the ensuing chaos.
Getting a second rabbit would let you leave your rabbits alone for longer periods of time (with enough food and water). The reason is that two rabbits could keep each other company.
While it’s true that it’s possible to have only one rabbit, you would need to socialize with your rabbits more. Rabbits that are alone for long periods of time are at risk of developing depression.
Cite this article:
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
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