You are here:

Rabbits/Bonding Rabbits

Advertisement


Question
I got my first bunny when she was quite young, I had her spayed and she is a little over 1 1/2 years, Rex/Floppyear breed mix, very energetic, playful and cuddly, but she has rabbitude and knows she owns this place. Her and I get along just great and she is very much attached to me. It's just her and myself. I got another bunny a week ago. It was somewhat neglected by the owner who had no time for her and didn't feed her right or clean her cage. It's a female as well, different breed, slightly bigger, about 2 years old, unspayed. So far, very quiet but curious. Still getting used to the place, I guess. But my first bunny is going berserk about her. She attacks her as soon as I try bonding (they are in separate cages and it got so bad that I only let them out one at a time), she barely eats now, constantly wants my attention and gets aggressive if I show attention to the new bunny. I wanted to get the second bunny spayed after she got used to my place. Didn't want her to have an operation, new place and new people all at once. I also tried the neutral ground in the bathroom and had somewhat success. My bunny was mounting the new one and she let it happen-but as soon as they were out of the bathroom, my bunny started fighting again. Also, my bunny leaves droplets all around the new bunnies cage, although she is usually a very neat bunny. The new bunny, although not spayed yet, stays remarkable calm and usually just tries to get away from my bunny. But I am wondering if spaying is really THE deciding factor here since I start to get the feeling that my first, spayed, bunny will not accept her period. Spayed or unspayed and I'm also getting worried about her not eating regularly and being so jealous. Any ideas about this?

Answer
Dear Elaine,

Welcome to the wonderful world of rabbit jealousy.  :(

It's usually not a great idea to bring a strange rabbit into the home of a resident rabbit without doing some careful introductions in a completely neutral territory first.  That the new rabbit is docile and submissive is promising.  But this may take very careful, patient work on your part if this is to happen.

You can find good articles on bonding here:

http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-a=00062824-sp00000000&sp-q=bonding

If things really don't work out, you may have to keep them separate.  But if your resident bunny continues to be unusually stressed and angry about the newcomer, it might be best and kindest to find the new bunny a home where she can be loved and not attacked by a jealous bunny.  You might be able to enlist the help of a local rabbit rescue group if you tell them the situation.  Find that group here, listed by region/state:

http://www.rabbit.org/chapters

I hope this helps.

Dana

Rabbits

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.