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Rabbits/Should I neuter?


Hi Dana,

About 2 months ago I got my first rabbit, a dwarf hotot. I don't know how old he is, but he is definitely an adult. He isn't neutered and I've been debating having it done.

He doesn't have any behavior issues. He never sprays or humps, and he is very friendly and sweet, and not at all territorial. From what I understand, those are the main reasons to have a male neutered. I don't want neutering to change his personality; I've done some searching and found stories of rabbits who changed for the worse after neutering and lost their unique personalities.

I know reproductive cancers are common in females, but from what I've read, it's rare in males. I don't know if that's correct. Obviously I wouldn't want him to get cancer.

I know that neutering is a simple procedure, but I'm still so worried about him having surgery. I would hate for something to go wrong.

Do you think I should get him neutered?

Dear Hannah,

To be honest, if you are absolutely sure you will never think about allowing him to choose a (spayed) mate, and if he has no behavior problems, I can't think of a really good reason to subject him to a neuter.  I know this is against the Party Line of the House Rabbit Society, but it is what it is.

However, you might find in a few months that his behavior *does* change for the worse.  He could start spraying, humping, and being generally incorrigible.  Part of that is "teenager" syndrome, and part is just good ol' testosterone.  But at this point, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  It's not as if he's going to wander down the street impregnating other rabbits on the loose.  :)

Testicular cancer happens, but it's pretty uncommon, and usually seen only in older males.  If his testicles remain healthy (and you can usually spot it pretty quickly if they're not!), then I honestly don't see why they can't stay attached to him if he has no behavioral problems and will always be a single bunny.

I will say, though, that bunnies are almost always happier in bonded pairs.  It will not be possible to bond him if he's intact, as he'd drive a female insane with his constant attentions, unless she has only a hysterectomy, and not an ovariohysterectomy.  But that's opening a whole 'nother can of worms.

So those are my thoughts.  Hope they help.  Only you can make the decision.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


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:

Find a rabbit vet at 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.


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.

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

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

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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