Rabbits/Bonding

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QUESTION: Hi

I have a 2 year old female indoor rabbit. I have been thinking about getting a friend for her. She's a very affectionate rabbit and enjoys lots of cuddles. I just can't stop thinking she would be more happy and  active if she had another bunny to run around with. I have to prompt her to get moving by re arranging boxes/tunnels and sitting with her in the evenings to get playing. What benefits would there be to getting a friend for her? Do certain breeds get along better? Do most get along once the bonding process has been done properly? I am just a bit anxious if they weren't to get along.

Thanks

Natalie

ANSWER: Hi Natalie

I strongly recommend bonding as two are always happier than one! You will need to make sure your girl is spayed first if she's not already though as only spayed/neutered pairs work. The easiest bond is with a neutered male but it's not quite as simple as that. Bonding can be tricky as it's an art of matching personalities. Size, breed, age, these things don't matter for a pair, it's the all important temperament!

If you have a good rabbit rescue near you they can help you. If not, try this forum for advice: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/forumdisplay.php?60-Behaviour-amp-Bonding

The best benefits for a bonded pair are they will be more active, cleaner and more relaxed (or double trouble if they hear the treat bag open!). And seeing two snuggled up together is the cutest.

Have a read of the forum above and see if you have any rescues near you.

Good luck!
Cat

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: That's good to hear size, breed etc doesn't make a difference. My bunny has been spayed so I will be having the male done too. I am just worried about getting everything right that I can to make it work. My bunny is very territorial when it comes to her blanket and putting down food. I don't know how she would react to another. Perhaps rescuing a rabbit would be better as you know the personality?

I just thought it may get my bunny moving more and maybe enjoy eating more hay which is a problem we are experiencing at the moment!

Thanks for your quick reply.

Answer
Hi Natalie

Yes a pair will usually encourage more curious roaming around. What part of London are you in? If you're North or East (or indeed, North East!) the rescue I volunteer for could help. They're based on the Cambridgeshire/Herts/Essex borders near Royston but rehome to London. They do the bonding on site you see so will take all that panic of choosing the right bun away from you. They are here: http://www.rabbitresidence.org.uk.

Thanks!
Cat

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Cat

Expertise

I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.

Experience

I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

Organizations
I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

Education/Credentials
I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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