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Rabbit bonding: getting ready for the new rabbit

rabbit bonding: getting ready for the new rabbit

Have you gone on some dates?  Do you think you've found a soulmate?  Before your new bun comes home, we've gotta do some prep work.

You will need to separate living areas at first…two ex-pens set up next to each other but far enough away so that the rabbits cannot touch through the bars. Each space must be complete with heavy water bowls, big litter boxes, toys, etc.

You will also want to place a towel and a broom next to this area, and within easy reach. These are there to help if aggression arises, and we’ll talk about this later.

You will need to designate a spot in the house, in a different room or area, to be neutral territory. It should not have anything in it that smells like either one of the rabbits. No toys, litter boxes, etc. that carries smells. (You can, of course, scrub a used litter box, making sure it has nothing left to carry smell, place new litter inside, and use it.) You also want to make sure the space is wide open – no places for either rabbit to get cornered. Huts, houses, tunnels, boxes – these are all potential spots where one rabbit can corner another, and a fight will ensue. Make sure your rabbits can’t run under couches or other furniture – block off furniture and media stands with pens. Imagine trying to break up a fight that is happening under the couch or behind the tv!

Lastly, do you have a carrier big enough for 2 rabbits? You will want to bring the rabbits home together, in one carrier. They will begin to bond during the ride, but when you get home, they will go in their separate spaces. If you are nervous about the rabbits being together, maybe ask a friend to go with you to keep an eye on things in the car.

Make sure you have a piece of carpet or towel in the carrier so that they have traction and feel secure and will absorb pee if nature calls. The rabbits will not have room to hurt each other and should calming ride home together. If for some reason, you are concerned they are fighting etc. pull over at the first safe time and remove one and place on the floor board. When you get home, you can carry one in the house and then take the carrier back for the second one.

Let's move to our new home!

Many thanks to Edie Sayeg of the Georgia House Rabbit Society for contributing to this series!

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