The Sacramento House Rabbit Society advocates adopting bonded rabbit couples when they are available.
Why would I want to have two rabbits when I don't have experience with one?
Good question! We make the following points:
- Rabbits are social animals & enjoy company when you are not with them. Rabbits can form friendships with other animals, but those animals would not share similar rest & activity cycles, and eating & grooming habits. No need to feel guilty about leaving your rabbit alone when they have a friend living with them.
- Daily rabbit expenses such as food & housing are low, so except for vet care, two (or more) can live as cheaply as one.
- Care for two rabbits does not take much more time than care for one.
- Having more than one rabbit gives you a good comparison for each other's behavior. That is, you can easily compare activity & eating/elimination levels between them. Changes in rabbits' health often happen quickly & it is easier to compare two rabbits than remember how your single rabbit was acting 2 days ago.
- Adopting one rabbit, then going through the bonding process when you decide to get a friend for them can be a traumatic experience for both rabbits & their humans. Adopting a pair guarantees that your rabbits are compatible. No muss, no fuss.
Will bonded rabbits show me less affection?
- Rabbits are individuals, but all are curious & enjoy time away from their mate in varying degrees. They still enjoy interacting with humans. Some of the most devoted also enjoy humans as much as their mates.
Would you ever separate a bonded couple?
- Once bonded, rabbits form deep, life-long attachments. You should typically never break them up. They care for each other in sickness & health. Often the healthy rabbit will provide emotional support when the other is sick or hospitalized. Veterinarians recognize this & some encourage boarding both when only one requires hospitalization.
- Occasionally when the couple is broken apart such as separation for medical treatment, the pair may not recognize each other as being a long term friend when rejoined. New smells from the hospital or medication may upset the partner & rebonding may be necessary.
- When one of the pair passes away, the survivor often displays grief by decreased activity, interactivity, & appetite. Introducing another rabbit friend is usually helpful at this time.
What is the most convincing argument for adopting a bonded couple?
- Watching them snuggle & groom each other.
The final word: You will be saving 2 lives!
last updated october 27, 2010