Rabbit Behavior

do rabbits hibernate

Do rabbits hibernate?

Did you notice many rabbits visiting your yard or porch during winter?

If that’s not the case, then where do all the rabbits go during winter?

Do rabbits hibernate?

By the time you finish reading this post, you will know what happens to rabbits during winter.

Rabbits go through their life as usual as many animals do. Like all other animals in the wild, rabbits struggle through the winter. However, that’s how nature works.

Let’s get into more details about rabbits’ survival instincts during winter and in freezing temperatures.

  • How do wild rabbits keep warm without hibernating in winter?
  • What do wild rabbits eat in winter?
  • Where do these rabbits stay in winter?
  • Why do I see many rabbits in my yard or garden in winter?
  • What can you do to help these cute fluffy animals?

Do rabbits hibernate?

The answer is NO. Rabbits are not one of those animals that can sleep throughout the winter. Animals that hibernate during winter can slow down their digestion process of the food they consumed.

Hence, the body slowly digests the food while the animals are hibernating. Unlike in rabbits, the digestion process is quick.

A rabbit cannot hibernate throughout the winter and expect to rely on the food they ate before a month.

Rabbits are delicate and small animals, and hibernating throughout the winter is not an option for them.

Instead, they need to live their life as usual all around the year, regardless of the season.

How do wild rabbits keep warm without hibernating in winter?

Many animals keep warm in winter by hibernating. Hibernating is staying put in place for a long time. Hibernating animals will not go out to look for food or prey. Their slow digestive system helps them with the process.

Fortunately, wild rabbits grow a thick fur coat during the winter season. Primarily this thick fur coat prevents rabbits from hypothermia.

The thick fur is not always enough to keep rabbits safe in freezing temperatures.

Rabbits also use their body fat to insulate their body temperature. Under their skin, they have fat that helps them to keep their body warm.

Seeing wild rabbits in winter, people think it is difficult for them.

True, it’s difficult to survive in freezing conditions.

That applies to all the wild animals during winter when food is scarce.

But I want to mention that rabbits have a thick fur coat and body fat that helps with body temperature insulation. Hence rabbits naturally have all that they require to live in cold weather.

With the thick fur coat, rabbits can get heatstroke during the summer season.

However, if the winter is too harsh, then the rabbit will get hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition when the body temperature gets extremely low, and at that point, a wild rabbit may not be able to regulate the body temperature back to normal.

Where do rabbits stay in winter?

There is a reason why you see rabbits on your porch or your garage during the winter season.

It’s common to see rabbits sitting close to each other in your garage. They stay close to each other to share the body’s warmth.

Your garage or abandoned houses can prevent rabbits from the chilling wind outside.

Mostly cottontail rabbits prefer to look for shelters.

However, most other breeds of rabbits would dig in burrows or find logs where they can sleep. Rabbits are prey animals, and they naturally have good survival instincts. They are intelligent animals to figure out things for themselves to live long enough.

Yet rabbits in the wild can live up to only two years, unlike domestic rabbits, can live up to 12 years.

What do they eat in winter?

Rabbits are herbivores, and their staple is hay or grass. Hay and silage are rich in fibers that help them with their digestive system.

During winter, snow covers most of the ground, and rabbits need to find alternative fiber-rich resources.

In cold weather, rabbits rely on dry barks or twigs. Anything rich in fiber and not covered in snow helps rabbit to sustain throughout the winter.

Likewise, any vegetation that is dry due to the cold season is suitable for rabbits.

Rabbits don’t hibernate, and they continuously have to find food yet scarcity.

Rabbits also eat their poop to absorb the most nutrition from their diet.

Rabbits’ delicate digestive system cannot absorb all the nutrition from the food at first. So, the rabbits eat their poop to pass it through their digestive system to get the most nutrition out of their food.

Why do you see rabbits in your yard in winter?

It’s normal for wild animals to flock where they have food available.

During winter, food is scarce in the wild. Wild rabbits looking for food may end up in your yard near your garden.

Many people complain that rabbits destroyed the garden at night. As rabbits are active during dawn and dusk only, it’s likely the rabbits destroyed your garden at the beginning of the day.

Flowers and fresh green leaves are attractive meals for rabbits in winter.

If they can’t find food in the wild, wild rabbits will get close to your garden where the food is available.

Rabbits are cute but can be destructive. When the conditions are harsh in the wild during winter, the wild rabbits may pick your home as their home too.

There are several other reasons for rabbits to come to your home during winter.

In the wild, when snow covers everything, rabbits have a hard time hiding from predators. Being prey animals, rabbits need to find a safe place to survive. If they think the small bush and plants in your garden are a safe place to hide from wild predators, they will stay in your garden for a while.

But that doesn’t mean these wild rabbits are entirely safe in your garden. These wild rabbits in your garden will also attract predators eventually.

Conclusion.

Winter is difficult for all wild animals. But all animals have their way to survive in winter.

Some survive by hibernating, but rabbits are not one of them. Rabbits need to live their regular life during winter regardless of the scarcity of food. That’s also a reason why there is a decline in the rabbit population every winter.

do rabbits make noise

Do rabbits make noise?

One of your house rabbits makes noise lately, and you fail to interpret what it is trying to say. This post is all about understanding rabbit noises and eventually have a better bonding with your rabbits.

If you understand the rabbits’ noises and why do they make them, you can help them with their specific needs at the right time.

That way, the rabbits will have a better bonding with you, and you will be an excellent rabbit guardian.

I divided the noises into three different sections:

  • Happy noises;
  • Warning noises;
  • Distress noises.

Rabbit Honking.

Rabbit honking or rabbit grunting is a lot similar to a rabbit oinking sound. If you don’t pay close attention to this, you will find it challenging to identify the noise.

Another way to determine whether your pet rabbit is honking or oinking is by looking at its behavior while making the sound.

A male rabbit typically honks or grunts to get female rabbits’ attention.

Both female and male rabbits will grunt and circle your feet to get your attention.

Rabbits may grunt while urinating and marking territory.

What should you do when a rabbit is grunting?

If your male rabbit is grunting and showing aggression, the best thing to do is to neuter your male rabbit.

Rabbits are very territorial animals, and unneutered males can show aggression towards a new rabbit.

Likewise, unneutered males will honk around females to mate.

Regardless, you have to understand this rabbits of both genders will often grunt when they are excited.

Pay attention to your rabbits; you can be a better pet rabbit owner.

Rabbit clucking.

Rabbits cluck when they are happy or relaxed. It is not a very common sound, but you will notice your rabbits clucking often.

To understand that your rabbit is clucking, have a close look at your rabbit.

Your rabbit will probably cluck when it’s nibbling on something or sitting relaxed.

This sound is similar to a chicken clucking but is low.

What to do when your rabbit is clucking?

Every time you see your rabbit is relaxing, it is best not to disturb them. Similarly, your rabbit will cluck when it’s contented. Therefore, let your pet rabbits have their space, and don’t interrupt.

Rabbit purring noise.

Rabbits purring is an overall sound you will hear if you are an excellent rabbit guardian.

A rabbit guardian understands her pet rabbit and does everything to keep her happy.

Rabbit purring is a noise your rabbit will make when it is happy and pleased. I believe this is the sound you want to hear more often.

Commonly you will hear your rabbit purring when you pet your rabbit.

Once you hear your rabbit purring, you will know how it sounds.

But the closest thing I can tell is rabbit purring is similar to a cat purring. But instead of making noise from the throat, rabbits make slow purring sounds by rubbing their teeth.

Sighing sound of rabbits.

Without close attention, you cannot understand when your rabbit is sighing.

Rabbit sighing is generally listening to someone breathing in and out while they are sleeping.

Of course, your rabbit’s sighing won’t be so loud. So you can only notice that when your rabbit is contented and very close to you.

Your rabbits will take a deep breath and breath out slowly.

I guess you understood what I mean.

What to do when your rabbit sighing?

Unlike human beings, rabbits sigh when they are relaxing. Thus don’t think that your rabbit is upset, and therefore it’s sighing.

Your rabbit makes sighing noise as it’s relaxed and likely doesn’t want to be disturbed by anyone.

Rabbit growling noise.

Rabbits growling is a warning from your rabbit! Like most other animals, rabbits also growl to tell about something that they dislike.

For example, if you invade your rabbit’s territory, then it may growl.

Other noises typically follow rabbits growling noise. Also, your pet rabbit may growl and lunge at the same time to warn you.

It’s a defensive move by rabbits.

How do you prevent rabbits from growling?

When you hear your rabbits growl, then understand whatever you did or doing in your rabbit’s territory, they don’t like it.

So immediately stop doing that so that your rabbit won’t be angry or stressed.

To become a good rabbit parent, understand the few things when your rabbits growl:

Your rabbit will growl if you get close to their food;

Rabbits growl when they think someone is invading their territory;

If you hold your pet rabbit for a long time, and they don’t wish to be like that. they will growl;

Your rabbit will growl if they feel any threat from any other animal or even you.

Rabbit hissing sound.

Rabbits are prey animals. So they have different techniques to keep themselves safe from their predator.

When a rabbit feels in danger, it will first growl. If the growl doesn’t scare off the predator, the pet rabbit will hiss.

A hissing noise is what you expect. Rabbits make a hissing sound by blowing air between teeth and tongue.

Typically a rabbit makes a hissing noise when it is angry.

What to do when you hear your rabbit hissing?

If your rabbit feels unsafe around you and makes a hissing sound, you must give your rabbit all the privacy it wants.

If you are holding your rabbit’s hand, you hear a hissing sound; you should let your rabbit stay alone.

Because it means somehow you made your pet rabbit angry.

Leave your rabbit alone and give time for the rabbit to calm down.

It will eventually come back to you when it feels safe around you.

Rabbit teeth are grinding.

Many people say that rabbit purring and rabbit teeth grinding are similar. But I find rabbit teeth grinding and purring is noticeably different.

Purring is slow and low rubbing of teeth. However, teeth grinding is quite loud.

Also, rabbit teeth grinding is more frequent than a rabbit purring.

What should you do when you hear your rabbit teeth grinding?

If your rabbit is grinding teeth, it means your rabbit is in pain. Remember, these rabbits are good at hiding their emotions. A sick rabbit will never express how it feels. They avoid any weakness because they are prey animals.

Nevertheless, they will grind their teeth. So once you hear your pet rabbit grinding teeth yet no signs of weakness, you have to understand that your rabbit is sick or in some distress.

The only thing you can do when you hear your rabbit grinding teeth is to visit a vet. Only a vet can identify the reason for your rabbit’s pain and cure it.

Rabbit foot-stomping or thumping.

A rabbit also uses their rear legs to stomp on the ground to make noise.

This technique of communicating is unique to rabbits.

Rabbits do this when they are nervous. If you raise pet rabbits in a cage-free environment, you can occasionally see them stomping their rear foot.

Onc a pet rabbit sense danger or a nearby predator, they stomp their foot to signal other rabbits nearby.

Free-roaming pet rabbits can similarly sense danger and send awareness signals by making noise with their foot.

If you notice your cage-free rabbit is thumping, bring it back inside your house or someplace where your rabbit will feel safe.

Rabbit screaming or squealing.

A rabbit screaming is the sound you don’t want to hear from your pet rabbit.

A rabbit screams when it is terrified or when they feel they are about to die. A rabbit scream or squeals when they are truly uncomfortable.

It sounds similar to a baby screaming, and you will notice if your pet rabbit calls.

A rabbit screams when they feel they are in fatal danger.

As a rabbit guardian, you will keep rabbits safe from dangers. Thus, you will likely never hear your rabbits scream or squeal.

A house rabbit is rarely in danger from predators, and there is no need for them to scream or squeal.

However, if you are squeezing your rabbit and your rabbit is exceptionally uncomfortable and thinks of you as a threat, it will undoubtedly scream.

If that happens, leave your rabbit alone.

If you hear your house rabbit is screaming for any other reason, your rabbit might be in extreme pain. It can be due to health conditions.

If a rabbit is very sick, can’t tolerate the pain, it requires attention.

To save your rabbit from the pain, you must visit the vet as soon as possible.

Rabbit wheezing noise.

Rabbit wheezing noise is a sign that your rabbit has respiratory problems.

Rabbits make wheezing sounds when they have a partially blocked nose and trouble breathing.

The sound is similar to any other animal having a cold.

A rabbit guardian also can identify a wheezing sound by looking closely at the rabbit. If a rabbit is making wheezing noise, you can look at the rabbit’s nose, and it will likely have discharge.

Another reason for rabbits to make a wheezing sound is when they are stressed. Stressed rabbits have trouble with their immune system.

Likewise, an overweight rabbit makes a wheezing sound because fatty tissues block the airways of a rabbit.

Regardless of the reason behind a rabbit’s wheezing sound, you must always visit a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.

A good rabbit guardian knows how to take care of their furry friends.

Rabbits can sneeze and cough.

Rabbits sneezing and coughing noise is evident. You will know when your rabbit sneezes or cough.

They sound like any other animal sneezing or coughing.

There is no reason to be worried about your pet rabbits if you hear them sneezing or coughing once in a while.

All animals sneeze or cough to get rid of unwanted dust inside their airway.

If you hear your rabbit sneezing or coughing frequently, then it’s time to see a vet. Take your pet rabbits to the veterinary and identify why your pet rabbits sneeze or cough frequently.

Most likely, the reason is due to some respiratory issues.

are rabbits nocturnal

Are rabbits nocturnal?

As a pet rabbit’s guardian, you might be wondering why your pet rabbits seem to be active when you are off to bed.

If you think you are going to bed and your rabbits must go to sleep too inside their hutch, then you are wrong.

Rabbits don’t have a similar sleeping pattern as humans. Neither rabbits are nocturnal animals.

It sounds obvious if rabbits are not nocturnal, then they should be sleeping at night as humans do.

Are rabbits nocturnal?

Rabbits are not nocturnal. They are crepuscular animals meaning rabbits are active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Both wild and domesticated rabbits have the same sleeping pattern, and they are not nocturnal.

Rabbits are prey animals, and in the wild, they are always in danger from predators. Hence to prevent themselves from predators, they prefer to stay awake when there is less risk of predators.

Likewise, it is not so dark during the twilight hours, which helps rabbits stay alert by seeing nearby predators.

Rabbits are intelligent animals, and wild rabbits have an excellent survival instinct. They only go foraging and play outside during the safest hours.

Though domesticated rabbits don’t have dangers from predators, they have the same characteristics as wild rabbits.

You may have noticed your pet rabbits be very active during dawn and dusk. Especially domesticated rabbits seem to be active during the time while you are sleeping at night.

Why do pet rabbits are active at night?

You may think your pet rabbits are noisy during your sleeping hours. The truth is your rabbits don’t stay awake all night when you are sleeping.

Rabbits wake up around 3 am, and they are active until 6 am.

Then rabbits go to sleep from 7 am to midday.

They will wake up around that time to have some hay. Rabbits will go back to sleep around 2 pm and sleep until 5 pm.

From 5 pm until 8 pm, they will be awake and go to sleep until 3 am.

The sleeping hours I mentioned are not accurate. However, domestic rabbits typically follow this sleeping pattern.

It is to give you an idea of when your rabbits will sleep and when they are active.

If you observe your pet rabbits for a while, you will notice the sleeping schedule is somewhat similar to what I described.

I described these sleeping hours because many rabbit guardians have no idea of the sleeping schedule of their fluffy pet.

Hence, they often disturb their pet rabbits when they are sleeping. If you annoy your pet rabbit while sleeping, you will turn your rabbit into a grumpy one.

Imagine someone wakes you up when you are sleeping to play with you. How would you feel?

The same happens with rabbits too.

Rabbits don’t sleep like a human. They are crepuscular and not nocturnal. To have a bonding with your rabbits, you have to understand this.

Not knowing your rabbit’s sleeping schedule will leave you wondering why your pet rabbits are active when you are sleeping. But your rabbits likely wake up before you and go back to sleep by the time you wake up in the morning.

Can rabbits see in the dark?

Rabbits are not nocturnal. During the darkest hours, they are sleeping and relaxing in their burrows.

Rabbits pick the twilight hours to go out of the burrows so that they can see a predator nearby. At the same time, during twilight hours, most predators are not active.

Although rabbits avoid going out of the burrows during the darkest hours, they are not entirely sightless in the dark.

Rabbits can also sense or smell a predator nearby in the dark.

how do rabbits protect themselves from predators

How do rabbits protect themselves from predators?

Domestic rabbit guardians are aware of the danger of their pet rabbits from predators. Yet many rabbits guardians prefer raising rabbits outdoors.

But that is not the topic of this article today. In this article, I have explained how rabbits protect themselves from their predators.

Although a prey animal, rabbits surprisingly have many characteristics, which help them defend from predators.

Likewise, rabbits can protect their territory to keep their kittens safe.

Knowing about these will not ensure domestic rabbits’ safety, but it is undoubtedly an exciting read for bunny lovers.

What adaptations do rabbits have to survive?

Rabbits are cuddly animals, and nature has gifted them several defense techniques, to prevent themselves every day.

Many rabbit guardians do not understand when their rabbits are sleeping and when they are awake. First guardians need to know that rabbits are crepuscular animals.

They are most active during dawn and dusk. Dawn and dusk is the transition period for most predators. During these hours, predators are likely going for sleep or taking a rest.

Thus rabbits can safely forage and play around during these times, avoiding their predators.

Perfect eyesight.

Having eyes on the sides of their heads, rabbits have almost 360 degrees vision.

This 360 degrees vision keeps rabbits extra safe from predators. No matter from which side a predator approaches for an attack, highly likely, the rabbit will notice the predator.

A predator may attack from the right, left, top, or behind. Rabbits have sight in all directions.

The rabbit will freeze or run depending on the severity of the attack.

Good hearing.

Rabbits have a range of hearing, similar to humans. However, rabbits can listen to higher frequency sounds than humans. Therefore rabbits detect noises which are far away.

If an animal is approaching the rabbit, the rabbit can immediately be aware of the danger in that situation.

Being aware of the predator in the vicinity will enable the rabbit to take quicker precautions.

Excellent sense of smell.

Have you noticed how your rabbits are always sniffing the air? This is a way for rabbits to detect danger.

Rabbits have a definite sense of smell. If they smell anything unusual in the area, they will take precautions.

Such rabbits can smell a predator approaching even from a far distance. Without the predator coming close, the rabbit can run for its tunnels.

The moment rabbits sense anything unusual, they will sniff to figure out any odd smell around them.

Rabbits are incredibly silent and odorless.

Rabbits being a prey animal, it is only reasonable for them to be silent. They are calm animals and do their things quietly. That way, they are not easily exposed to other wild animals. Interestingly another thing about rabbits is that they are odorless.

Many people ask me this question: do rabbits smell or not before adopting a pet rabbit.

The answer is satisfying. No rabbits do not smell at all. It is because they are self-grooming animals as well as nature has gifted them in such a way to keep themselves safe from their predators.

Being odorless, predators cannot detect rabbits quickly. Attacking animals cannot only rely on a rabbit’s smell to find the location of rabbits.

Because they are odorless, the attackers will be confused quickly with other smells.

Being quiet animals, the task of hunting a rabbit becomes yet more complicated for predators.

Rabbits have longer hind legs and short forelegs.

This combination helps the rabbits as well during a threat from a predator.

Rabbits can run very fast. They are swift and can run as fast as 25 mph.

The longer legs are a huge benefit for rabbits when they are running uphill.

A predator like a coyote cannot run as fast a rabbit while climbing uphill.

The longer hind legs of rabbits and shorter forelegs are a benefit for rabbits to keep their pace running uphill.

And rabbits understand this very well and use it to their benefit to stay ahead of their predators.

Rabbits live in warrens and feed near them.

It may sound exciting that rabbits like to live in tunnels. But there is a definite reason behind why rabbits construct tunnels as their home. Rabbits build their tunnels and sleep inside them.

Warrens are a group of tunnels that connects rabbits home with several exits.

Thus if a rabbit considers danger, they can hide in their tunnels. They can enter through one tube and exit through an opening in a different location.

A more significant predator cannot enter a tunnel with a small opening.

However, predators such as snakes might manage to enter a tunnel. Nevertheless, the rabbit can exit the shaft with an opening on the other side. Before the snake can reach for the rabbit, the rabbit will be out and lost in the wild.

Another interesting fact is that rabbits prefer to feed near the tunnel opening. Rabbits remain close to the tunnel openings most of the time they are active.

That way, anytime a rabbit senses an attack is approaching, rabbits can immediately run back inside the tunnel. As I have mentioned already, these tunnels are connecting with several other rabbit homes, which allows the rabbit to exit through another side.

How do rabbits fight predators?

Well, rabbits do not fight predators, but they have learned how to prevent themselves from attacking animals.

A rabbit will truly fight a predator when the rabbit has no alternative option.

In many cases, a rabbit fighting against a giant predator will ultimately result in the rabbit’s demise.

Foremost rabbits are prey animals. Wild rabbits know the number of threats they have, hence these wild rabbits always lookout for predators.

They have excellent eyesight, sense of smell, and good hearing. Similarly, rabbits are intelligent animals and have learned to use their characteristics against threats.

If a rabbit feels a predator is approaching them, they can signal other rabbits in the group by making a thumping sound.

Rabbits like to feed near the tunnel openings and remain in large groups.

Once one rabbit senses danger, it can make sound by blowing its hind legs on the ground.

Rabbits have a few techniques to defend attacking animals.

Freezing.

Rabbits will commonly freeze at the spot when they notice a predator once they freeze in the place they can create a camouflage to hide from the predator’s eyes.

By freezing and blending in the environment, a rabbit can hide from the predators. The predator with lost signs of a potential meal will forget about the target and look for new prey.

Rabbit’s fleeing.

If a predator is pretty close to the rabbit, then blending in the environment is not reasonable anymore.

At that moment, realizing the danger, a rabbit will flee.

Rabbits can move swiftly, and taking quick steps to run away from the predator can save a rabbit’s life.

They can run very fast, and as I told earlier, they usually have their food near their home.

Going too far can be dangerous for them.

Rabbits also have an advantage over their predators while running uphill due to longer hind legs than forelegs.

Rabbits will hide inside warrens.

Rabbits will run and quickly get inside the tunnels they have built.

Most predators will give up once a rabbit enters the tunnel.

Because when the rabbit enters the tunnel, probably the rabbit will try to escape the shaft through an exit on the other side.

As rabbits’ burrows have numerous exits, it is best for the attacker to not wait on the other side of the tunnel.

Because indeed, the rabbit can leave the tunnel using any exit out of the multiple ones.

Also, if the attacker is a large animal in size, then inevitably, the attacker cannot enter the tunnel.

The tunnels are narrow and suitable only for rabbits to pass through.

A rabbit’s last resort is a fight.

Once a rabbit runs out of options and can’t figure out ways to escape anymore, the rabbit will stand its ground.

Rabbits can kick quite hard using their hind legs. A blow from their hind legs can hurt a small-sized animal.

A cat can be injured if a rabbit kicks with the hind legs. Likewise, rabbits can use foreleg claws to defend themselves.

A rabbit will not always succeed in its fight for defense, but many times they can escape the predators by fighting and fleeing.

However, fighting is the last stand of defense for wild rabbits. It is more common for rabbits to flee once they sense danger.

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separating bonded rabbits

Consequences of separating bonded rabbits.

Wondering whether separating bonded rabbits is the right thing to do, although you don’t have any choice?

You will rethink your decision after learning what may happen if you separate a bonded rabbit pair, even for a short while.

I have answered the most common questions in this article. The most common of all reasons to separate a bonded pair is due to desexing rabbits.

How long can bonded rabbits be apart?

Rabbits are very territorial animals, keeping bonded rabbits apart even for 24 hours can contribute to rabbits breaking their bond.

It sounds more straightforward that the rabbits will break their bond quickly. However, it is not easy for the rabbit pair to go through this stage.

Once separated, both the rabbits will mourn each other. If a rabbit is far from its partner, then the rabbit will be lonely and may act grumpy from loneliness.

In the worst-case scenario, one rabbit may forget the smell of the other for keeping a rabbit apart for a short while.

Once the rabbit forgets the smell of his/her friend, it is highly likely you have to work on the bonding stages again.

Now the question is why someone would separate bonded rabbits?

What will you face if you have to separate bonded rabbits due to desexing?

There can be many reasons for a rabbit guardian to keep their bonded rabbits apart from each other.

The most common reason to keep bonded rabbits apart is spaying/neutering.

Most rabbit guardians buy pet rabbits without doing proper research online.

They only discover that rabbits are different from cats and dogs once they bring their new pets home.

Why do I say this?

Rabbits are considered exotic pets and require quite a bit of maintenance.

Hence rabbits are not a starter pet.

The first problem a rabbit guardian will face once they buy pet rabbits, that their rabbits require spaying/neutering.

Can you take your rabbits to any veterinary and desex them?

Absolutely no. Because the regular vet in your area may not be specialized in exotic pets. Therefore you cannot desex them immediately after you buy them

Desexing them will be costly.

So what will happen if you cannot desex your pet rabbits immediately?

At this stage, rabbit guardians confuse themselves. They start raising the rabbits for a while without spaying/neutering them.

Meanwhile, when they keep the rabbits together in a hutch. These rabbits start to build a bond with each other.

So you may wonder what I am trying to mean.

What I am trying to say is once you get hold of an exotic pet veterinary and take your bunnies to spay/neuter. The doctor will suggest you keep your rabbits separate at least for two weeks to a month.

This duration of parting is standard after a rabbit is spayed/neutered until the rabbit recovers and is fully healthy.

But the problem in such cases is when you take your rabbits to the vet, the vet may refuse to spay a female rabbit unless she turns six months old.

So if you desex one of the rabbits before the other rabbit in the pair, that will result in a more extended period of separation for these two rabbits.

Nevertheless, if you do not have any choice other than a separation bonded rabbit due to desexing, you will have to go through the bonding stages.

Steps to bond rabbits are not complicated at all. However, in cases like these when a bonded pair remains separated for a while, and the guardian intends to bond them again, the condition becomes challenging.

Once a rabbit’s bond is broken, they will forget the smell.

If you try to re-introduce a neutered male rabbit to an unspayed female rabbit, the situation will be critical.

Although these rabbits were paired before the female rabbit being extremely territorial might act violently towards the male rabbit.

I am not saying this situation is usual; however, expecting such an incident is common.

What happens once a rabbit pair breaks bond?

Separating bonded rabbits can result in loneliness in rabbits. A rabbit will not understand what has happened to his/her partner. Thus the rabbit will mourn and feel alone.

Not having a playmate and being lonely will cause anxiety in rabbits. Stress in rabbits can deteriorate the health of a healthy bunny quickly.

Can rabbits bond again after short separation?

The short answer to this question is yes. I cannot say that for sure, because I have never done that. I never separated my bonded rabbits.

Rabbits can bond again after separation, but the process will be a lot more challenging than the first time.

See, when a rabbit pair is broken or if a rabbit from the air remains away from the other rabbit for a while, then eventually the rabbits begin to forget each other.

They will mourn the loss of their friend, but the bigger problem is they will forget the smell of each other.

If the rabbits forget each other’s smell, they will behave like new friends once they see each other.

So as a rabbit guardian, the steps for bonding these rabbits will be similar to starting from zero again.

Not just starting from the beginning, the circumstances may be even worse.

Because most likely, you have separated the pairs from each other only because you have spayed/neutered them.

And in case you have neutered the male first and the female is unspayed, the female rabbit will act very aggressively towards the male rabbit. The female rabbits are very territorial, and she will think of the neutered male rabbit as a competitor now in her territory. Although they were friends before, they have forgotten each other’s smell and do not recognize each other.

In most cases, it is difficult to bond rabbits after they have been apart from each other for some time, but the task is not impossible.

Do you need to spend more time with them after separation?

Yes, once a rabbit loses the partner, the rabbit will be lonely. At that moment, a friend is essential for rabbits.

A rabbit, being apart from the partner, needs someone who can play and cuddle the rabbit.

A rabbit guardian cannot do everything for the rabbit, similar to another rabbit.

However, the rabbit guardian can spend more time with the bunny and give her a companion.

Rabbits do get bored quickly, and after losing a friend, a bunny will act anxious. Therefore support from the rabbit guardian is necessary.

As well as giving the bunny to play some rabbit chew toys may help with her boredom.

Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?

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Need other things for your rabbit?
Click on the links below for:
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Rabbit cages and houses
Rabbit health and hygiene

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  • Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkins?
    Pumpkins are believed to be rabbits’ second-favorite orange vegetable, right after carrots. These winter squashes are mostly used as holiday pies, but they’re also packed with nutrition that’s important in a rabbit’s diet. Pumpkin is not toxic for rabbits but they should not be fed with it too often or in larger amounts. If you …

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  • Can Rabbits Eat Bell Peppers?
    Picking the appropriate fresh vegetables to supplement your pet rabbit’s diet can be an excellent way to turn out their nutrition. While bunnies receive most of their nutrients from fresh hay, attaching a regular supplement of fresh greens and veggies will equip them with vital vitamins and minerals. While most vegetables can aid in keeping …

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  • Can Rabbits Eat Cilantro?
    Cilantro gives a touch of fresh taste to a variety of foods. Just like any other spices, cilantro also carries antioxidants that can remove dejected and unwanted metal particles in our bodies. It has also been proven that cilantro carries an element that can fight off Salmonella. Thus, providing its partaker a more salutary digestive …

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  • Can Rabbits Eat Corn?
    Fresh, dried, or cooked corn, all of them are not safe for your bunny. It is very unfortunate to say because some bunnies love to munch on fresh and sweet corn very much. While the hull of corn kernels carries complex polysaccharides. Normally, rabbits find it hard to digest complex polysaccharides. So, corn is considered …

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