Rabbits, being social creatures, grow with others’ company. These furry pets want another companion for making a bond so that they can be healthy, happy, and peaceful. If you have an adult rabbit and one baby, introducing each other is not an easy procedure.
It is difficult for baby kits and adult pets to make long-lasting bonds. The reason is the baby rabbits are not mature, and over time their smell will change. But, you can bring them to each other through careful methods. For example, allowing your pets to see each other from their separate pens and observing their face-to-face intercourses are better steps.
As the rabbits do not have powerful parental impulses, they can create a bond with their kits. Also, adult pets have certain habits and attitudes, and these behaviors continue to be a part of their life in several phases. By taking benefit of these natures, you can motivate the pets to have a good enough bonding between them. For this method, all you need is tolerance, motivation, and a few chances.
One-by-one Bonding Procedure
1. Choosing Your Pet Pairing
The rabbits are social animals and would not stay alone in the wildlife. Also, domestic rabbits develop several exact actions! Outdoor rabbits exist in groups of about 10 to 15 creatures. Every group will have at least one male that shows authority. You do not have to get anxious if you are not having enough time and resources to keep that many pets! If your pet has at least one rabbit for bonding, it will feel happy.
Every sex combination comes with several difficulties and success ratios. Baby rabbits from the same litter develop a bonding, and they have high chances of making a bond.
As the male pet is powerful and the female rabbit is submissive, they will get along with ease. These pets will have less desire to oppose each other. The chances of bonding are high between a male and female pair. So if you want to bond an adult rabbit with a kit, make sure that they are of the opposite gender.
Bonding also happens between two females and two males, but it is a very complex process. As the males are the dominant type, they will fight for authority over their territory. Also, two female rabbits can make a bond, but they will sometimes face the same issues, mainly if you did not spay them.
2. Spaying And Neutering
For every type of bonding procedure, this step is the most crucial. There are plenty of reasons why it is better to neuter or spay the rabbits before introducing each other. For example, if you do not want to handle endless litters of the kits, you have to follow this process.
If you are not ready, it is better to prevent your rabbit from getting pregnant. In wildlife, rabbits produce babies often and quickly. For every litter, there are many babies, and you have to take care of all the newborns. Many owners will think of this as burdensome. By taking your rabbit to the veterinarian, you can avoid this kind of situation.
Here comes the second problem. While introducing rabbits to each other, their sex drive can result in difficulties. The male and female rabbits have hormones that prepare them to be territorial and hostile. It is another problem that you might often face while trying to bond two rabbits.
If you neuter or spay the rabbits, they can escape from various health issues. Many rabbits tend to get reproductive organ cancer. This illness causes unbearable pain to the rabbit, and the treatment is costly.
Neutering and spaying your pets is one of the best decisions both for you and the rabbit! This process helps your pets to stay calm and healthy and make them survive for a long time. When the female is between four to six months, you can take her to the vet for neutering. For males, spaying them between eight to twelve weeks is better.
Consider giving a healing duration as the female rabbit remains fertile up to fourteen days after the surgery. Experts recommend six weeks of rest period because this gives them time to recover, and the hormones will scatter away.
3. Introducing Your Pet In Different Pens
Rabbits, being the natural territorial animals, declare the area as “their own.” You can see this kind of behavior in adult rabbits that are with you for a long time. Your pets will feel comfortable in their territory and do not like to share it with the new rabbit.
If you want to bond the rabbits, take it slow to avoid stressing or aggression of the rabbit. If needed, start this procedure by providing each rabbit a private area. It helps them to feel safe and comfortable.
It is better to put them in different and small pens at first. Provide your pets enough food, water, soft bedding, and plenty of areas to roam around, and smell the outdoors.
Keep their pens near, but make sure to give some space in between so that they can not touch each other. Check whether the rabbits can watch and smell each other or not. After keeping them in their pen for a few days, feed them at the exact time, so they will get along with each other while eating.
As the baby rabbits are young, they have extra power, so it is better to keep it in a separate cage until it gets old to be neutered or spayed. This method makes it easy for the adult rabbit to get along with the baby.
When both the rabbits are comfortable with each other’s presence, they will show a few positive signs, for instance, inhaling between the fences, chirping sounds, resting on the ground, honking, and more.
4. Face-to-Face Introduction
When both the rabbits are happy being with each other, you have to move to the following method!
Make sure to keep them face to face in any neutral area. If one rabbit feels that the other one is invading its place, bonding them will become impossible than usual. So, bring them into the rooms, where you did not take the rabbits often, like a restroom.
Remove all other objects from the floor and clean the entire surroundings. Keep a set of boxes and tunnel playthings so the rabbits will come there if they feel shy or nervous. Consider keeping many entrances so when a rabbit wants to come out, the other one can not block it.
Keep them on different sides of the room so that the rabbits will come on their own. The rabbits take time to be aware of the new surroundings.
See them from a close distance throughout the whole time. At this period, sniffing, orbiting, touching, climbing, and nipping are typical behaviors. These signs indicate that the rabbit is getting along and is creating authority. Small bites are ordinary but look for any aggressive behavior indications. Keep a water spray bottle to separate them in case of a fight.
Separate the rabbits after ten or twenty minutes. Do this procedure at least one time a day, but increase their time. After a few days, give them playthings and food, so they can play and eat while being together.
When both rabbits are lying down beside each other and are grooming or nuzzling, it is a positive sign. You can take it as proof that the rabbits are developing a good bond.
5. Keeping Both Pets In A New Pen
Keep them in the same cell if they feel comfortable with the presence of each other.
Get a cage with enough area for both of your pets. Before keeping them, clean the territory, and if possible, make sure that the pen is not emitting one rabbit’s smell. This method helps both rabbits to remain at ease because they can mark the area as their own.
Consider making their cage as much comfortable and safe as possible! Provide them with enough food, water, dolls, and sometimes a few tasty snack treats. Make sure that the cage has some places for the rabbits to hide and rest.
It is better to keep both your pets in the new cage. When they enjoy each other’s presence, there will be a few brawls but if you see serious fights, keep them away.
Over time, both the rabbits like to share their territory and will acknowledge each other! If the rabbits make a bond, make sure to leave them together every day. As they love and have a bond, it will stress them and change their behavior if you keep them away.
If the rabbits start to fight during any step, you have to start again from method one. Continue this process because, at some time, they will get along!
How To Bond Difficult Rabbits
Rabbits will reject making a bond in a few circumstances. If you are handling stubborn rabbits, here are a few final methods you can use.
For example, try introducing each other after they went through stressful incidents, like a visit to the veterinarian or a long vehicle ride. The rabbits would not have enough power to begin a fight, and sometimes they might find comfort by being with each other.
If possible, you can also keep the rabbits in the face-to-face introduction for a long duration. Keep a water spray bottle with you to stop the fights. Your pets might feel annoyed by the water spraying on them and will try to slow down. Sometimes, they might pout and will start grooming each other.
Rubbing a piece of banana near their forehead area will motivate the rabbits to snuggle each other.
Being the owner in this long run, you can only do this much. For some reason, a few rabbits are not ideal for each other. Even after following the above methods many times, if there is no change in your pets, you have to replace one of the rabbits and try the above steps with the new pet.