Bunnies are such funny creatures. They are social animals, but very picky about the company they keep. Are you bonding rabbits? Here are some tips!
Good shelters will know the personality of their rabbits and what kind of personailty will go well with your rabbit. Be sure to let your own rabbit have a say in who their special somebun will be. It will make the bonding process a lot easier! Bring your bunny along for some speed dating and see who your bunny shows a special interest in!
When you have your potential new family member at home, that's when the hard work starts!
Take the bunnies for car rides (one person driving, one person with the rabbits ready to break up any fights). A slow 10-15min around the block is great. Keep in mind that your rabbits should be secure at all times in moving vehicles, but you should be able to access your rabbits quickly. A top loading carrier fastened to a seat beside you usually works best for these purposes. Have an oven mitt handy to break up any potential fights. When you get back home, return them to neutral territory. Putting them both in an empty bathtub works as well, as it is much harder to fight on that slippery surface.
Neutral territory should be any area where you rabbit does not usually have access to and has not been before. If your rabbit is free range, it’s a bit more difficult to do this, but going to a friend’s place may work as well. Start off with a small area (4ftx4ft) in a few minute increments daily. Try to end on a good note, such as right after they groom each other, or petting your rabbits side by side without incident. Slowly increase the space and time, but standby with an oven mitt in case you need to break up any fights. Some have used water bottles to spray and break up fights, however if it is a really heated fight, you need to get in there right away. Our opinion is that the goal is to break up and redirect. Water bottles may just give your rabbits a negative feeling when interacting with each other. Sharing vegetables or hay is a great way to see how comfortable your rabbits are with each other. During this stage, it is also helpful to switch their litter boxes so they can get used to each other’s smells. After doing this for a few days, you can get the bunnies to switch living areas each day to minimize any territorial battles. When you feel comfortable enough to leave them in their neutral space alone, they are ready for the next step!
Last step! Bonding in their own territory. Similar to the neutral territory approach, start off with a small area for a few minute increments. End on a good note, and increase space and time slowly. The last step is always the famous 24h monitor where you camp with them overnight just in case any fights occur. This is usually best done on a Friday night, so you have Saturday and Sunday to slowly step away. Some scraps from time to time is perfectly normal, as long as it does not continue for long periods of time.
1. Be patient. When you bring a rabbit in to your home, they are just getting used to you and their new surroundings. If your new fuzzy is agressive or scared, be sure to give them the space they need.
2. Let your rabbit choose their mate. Although you may have preferences on rabbits you would like to adopt, watch to see who your rabbit shows particular interests in.