Rabbits are jolly, playful animals that often need some companionship to survive. When rabbits live in the same household, they bond with one another and become attached. Just like us, rabbits also enjoy being in social scenarios.
When rabbits get separated, they do indeed miss each other. Rabbits go through a mourning process when one of them dies. This phase consists of your rabbit drinking water excessively, digging the carpet, and chewing on its fur. It is best to leave the rabbit’s body in the cage for about an hour after it passes. This way, you are giving your rabbit a chance to learn about its companion’s death on its own.
- How Rabbits Bond
- What Happens When A Bonded Rabbit Passes?
- What If You Cannot Keep the Deceased Rabbit in the Same Cage?
- Why is it Best to Leave the Dead Rabbit in the Cage?
- What if My Rabbit is Not Getting Better?
- Where Can I Find a New Rabbit?
- What If I Can’t Find Another Rabbit?
- How to Help
- Consult Your Vet
How Rabbits Bond
Being extremely social, rabbits love creating bonds with each other. Hence, it is never advised to separate two rabbits that are emotionally attached or bonded.
Unfortunately, separation may sometimes be your only option. In situations where one of them is sick, separating them is pretty unavoidable. As fast as rabbits are at forming bonds, they can forget them at the same rate too.
It is best never to separate bonded rabbits for over 24 hours. You can’t risk one of them acquiring a new smell or going through another change once they meet again. This could result in a loss of familiarity with each other and would ultimately lead to contention.
However, if they are separated for under 24 hours, they will start to miss being around each other. They form a bond with one another the same way humans do. So, they miss each other a lot when they get separated. The worst part is that, unlike us, they cannot communicate with each other on where, how, and when they are going!
What Happens When A Bonded Rabbit Passes?
It is difficult for a rabbit when it mourns the loss of another rabbit that it was emotionally connected to. So, show a lot of love and affection to a bonded rabbit when its partner dies. If you observe your rabbit continues showing the same abnormal behavioral pattern, it must be taken to a vet.
If the situation doesn’t get better, replacing the old rabbit with a new companion is also a great option. This way, your rabbit can create a new bond with its latest friend, distracting it from the loss of the old one. You will observe your rabbit starting to feel better, and it will have a much easier time getting past the grieving stage.
What If You Cannot Keep the Deceased Rabbit in the Same Cage?
Let’s look at a situation where your rabbit has not died in its cage. In this case, its surviving companion will mostly not figure the death of its friend. As some time passes, they may show abnormal behavior such as grief and distress. It is essential to keep an eye out for such behavior so that you can act accordingly.
Once you start observing your rabbit’s well-being go off-track, you need to show it some extra affection. You must also pay closer attention to their drinking and eating patterns. If you see it getting detached from its surroundings because of the loss, just remember that it’s normal. It may take some time to get back to normal, but that is most likely what they need in such situations. You can also take your rabbit to the vet to ensure that its digestive functions are carried out correctly.
Why is it Best to Leave the Dead Rabbit in the Cage?
The idea may sound a little off but hear us out. Since you cannot convey to your rabbit that its friend has died on your own, leaving your deceased rabbit’s body in the cage is necessary. This way, your other rabbit will get an opportunity to find out for itself that its companion has passed away. You will probably see them grooming the dead rabbit and, finally, accept the loss. It is better to keep the body in the cage for as long as you think it is correct. Generally, one hour should do; if not, you can keep the body in the cage for an extra hour or two.
As we said earlier, this idea may sound a little twisted at first, but it indeed does work. Leaving the rabbit’s body in the cage will give your surviving bunny to understand the situation and move on to grieve its loss. Once you think you’ve given your rabbit an appropriate time, you can clear the body from the cage and say goodbye to the way you want.
What if My Rabbit is Not Getting Better?
If your rabbit’s appetite or eating routine does not change and you notice its health start to deteriorate, you must find a replacement for its lost companion. This way, you give your rabbit another rabbit to spend time with and bond with. Hopefully, it will help your rabbit move on from its ex-buddy and focus on making new ones.
If you observe concerning behavior such as aggressiveness towards other rabbits, it is best to consult your vet for advice. You will have to jump in if you find your rabbits in such a duel.
Where Can I Find a New Rabbit?
An excellent place to start looking for a buddy for your rabbit is the local animal shelter. If you can, try to take your bunny with you to see which rabbit they hit it off with the best!
There are chances that your rabbit may still have some contention with its new companion. In these situations, it is best to contact your vet and ask them how to go about it.
Keep an eye out for any ads on social media or other classified advertisements. You can also ask around to see if anyone is giving their bunny away in your neighborhood.
What If I Can’t Find Another Rabbit?
Rabbits are energetic and agile animals. They would always like company and responsibility.
Not everyone can handle growing multiple rabbits at once. In a scenario where your rabbit has lost its companion, you may not be able to find a new rabbit immediately. One idea is to get your bunny a stuffed toy for some comfort. Getting a rabbit-like stuffed toy for your rabbit will give it something to bond with. It’s a good idea to help your rabbit get over the mourning of its companion and a way to ensure that they don’t get too lonely!
Finding people around your neighborhood that have a rabbit or two is an excellent idea too. You can set a fun little play date with them for your bunny. It is a perfect way for your rabbit to have some social relations and start bonding with other rabbits. The best part about this is that you don’t have a new rabbit to take care of!
How to Help
As discussed earlier, showing extra care, and paying more attention to your rabbit is vital. You can treat them to more vegetables as rabbits really enjoy them. One red flag to look for is to see if they have stopped eating and started consuming excessive amounts of water. If you observe this continuing for a considerable period, you need to start getting concerned. It is best to take your rabbit to the vet if your rabbit doesn’t go back to normal.
Consult Your Vet
Rabbits live near one another. Many times, rabbits cannot stay in the same cage as another rabbit with an illness. If one of them has a transmittable disease, there are high risks of all rabbits contracting the disease.
Keep an eye out for any potential symptoms that your rabbit(s) might be experiencing. If you don’t find your rabbit recovering, ensure consulting your vet about it.