Can rabbits live together? Yes, rabbits can definitely live together! In fact, bunnies absolutely love it why not see this in our collection of rabbit friends here?
Because rabbits love bunny company so much many experts commonly suggest that we should really be asking the opposite – “can rabbits live on their own?”
We will explain below that although rabbits do tend to love being together there is no reason that they must be kept together at all.
The “one bunny or two” question is very common and it can be very confusing for beginner and advanced rabbit owners alike. This isn’t helped when experts commonly don’t agree. Nobody seems to talk about the pros and cons of keeping rabbits together.
I found it very difficult to get the answer to this question when I was newly caring for rabbits. That’s why I’m writing this post for the me in the past as a potential bunny owner. I hope it helps you in your decision – one rabbit or more?
The Pros of Keeping Rabbits Together
One reason that many people agree that keeping more than one rabbit together is a great thing is that there are actually quite a few pros for your rabbit’s mental health.
Rabbits Are Naturally Social Animals
Simply put, rabbits are naturally social animals. In the wild they live in warrens of up to 15 rabbits. Being with other rabbits socially is hard-wired into your bunny’s brain.
Domestic rabbits are much closer to their wild friends than cats and dogs are. This is because they have been domesticated for less time in their history. Rabbits were first domesticated around 1,500 years ago whereas dogs were domesticated around 8 times as long ago.
So we definitely shouldn’t discount how your bun would live in the wild when deciding whether she should have a bunny friend.
Solitary bunnies can miss the natural grooming and communication which only buns can have together.
If You Can’t Spend at Least 2 Hours Interacting with Your Rabbit Daily
Rabbits who live on their own will crave attention from you more. If you’re not able to give at least 2 hours to them each day, then this can be quite damaging for your rabbit. If you are out at work all day, then definitely consider a rabbit friend.
They can become lonely and bored which is bad for them psychologically. It can also be bad for your things as a bored bunny is much more likely to be a destructive bunny.
If Your Bunnies Live Outside
If you do choose to make your rabbit a “backyard bunny” (which we do not recommend for a variety of reasons) then you should not consider allowing them to be without a bunny friend.
If your rabbit lives outside there is no way you can spend the required social time with them to meet their basic needs. Such bunnies can become reclusive and even aggressive.
If you have to have your rabbit live outside (please don’t if you can help it), please at least make sure he has a bunny friend to share his day with.
The Cons of Keeping Rabbits Together
Although there are a number of pros to keeping rabbits together there are a few downsides for you, the owner. You should carefully consider these if you want to make the right decision.
If You Want More Attention from Your Bunny
Are you getting your bunny because you plan on spending your day with them to keep you company? Able to spend a good deal of time (at least 2 hours) socialising, stroking and grooming them a day?
If so you might want to consider keeping a solitary bunny. Although they won’t be getting the communication that only rabbits can understand (body language etc.) they will naturally adapt to you being part of their colony.
For example, our rabbit Daisy lives on her own (with us!) and she isn’t even slightly upset or depressed:
More Rabbits = More Work + More Expense + More Space Required
Although not quite twice the work two rabbits are nearly there. Yes, two rabbits share the same cage, the same food bowls and eat the same foods.
However, more buns make the cage messier, more quickly and so require more frequent cleaning. More rabbits also mean more food to prepare – that daily salad doesn’t chop itself! (link to food article here).
Also, you should think about whether you can actually afford double the food bill and double the vet trips (vaccinations + check-ups + emergencies) and double the insurance.
If cost is the reason for getting one rabbit rather than two however you should really reconsider getting a bunny friend at all. Rabbits can be very expensive even with medical bills alone.
There’s no telling what problems will arise and you need have plenty of wiggle room in terms of cost before getting one.
Can Rabbits Live Together? Other Important Points to Consider
There are a number of things which make it far easier for two rabbits to live together. The most important thing is:
Make Sure Rabbits Living Together Are Neutered
Neutering greatly reduces many bunny behaviours that can become negative when they get together.
Unneutered males will try to exert their dominance more and can become more aggressive to do so if unaltered. They will also mark their territory with their urine more – you have been warned. Unaltered females will be more protective of their cages / space (i.e. the nest).
All of these behaviours can become more extreme when pairing un-neutered buns (for obvious reasons) therefore neutering is virtually a must when bonding rabbits.
Choosing the Sex of Your Bonded Bunnies
The sex of the rabbits you chose will greatly affect how positive their relationship can be. Therefore, this needs to be considered carefully.
A neutered male and female couple are probably the easiest and most rewarding (for your bunnies) choice. They will offset each other like Ying and Yang. This is the most natural pairing for rabbits as they will often make pairings like this in the wild for life.
Can Two Male Rabbits Live Together?
Same sex rabbit couples can be more of a handful. They are much more likely to become aggressive and territorial – even when neutered. Male rabbits are particularly prone to aggressive dominance behaviour.
This can completely eliminate any benefit of getting your rabbit a bunny friend.
Can Two Female Rabbits Live Together?
Although less bad due to their lesser natural territorial instincts two female rabbits can often fight also. Even when neutered their natural drive to create a nest (and not have that disturbed by another bunny) can cause tension. Particularly if the rabbits share the same pen.
So can two male or two female rabbits live together? If they are from the same litter and neutered as young as possible – before their hormones get stronger (this is around 6 months – link to rabbit.org) then same sex couples can work out.
However, if you have the choice we would go with an opposite sex rabbit husband and wife. These comments are by no means a rule – different rabbits have very different personalities (as I’m sure you know). What’s good for one rabbit can be less good for another.
Bonding Bunnies Can Be Hard Work
Before getting two bunnies you should know that bonding rabbits is not as simple as “leaving them to get on with it” (like we would with cats and dogs).
Rabbits, being prey animals are naturally cautious and worried about anything new – even their own kind. Once bad fights occur they can cause grudges that last a very long time also.
However, don’t let this put you off getting your bun a best bud. As long as you follow a slow process of bonding then everything will be fine. You just need to know that this process will require an investment of time from you.
So Can Rabbits Live Together?
So as you have seen above – rabbits can live together and actually it can be great for them. They’re naturally social and love to share their lives. However, there are a number of considerations you should take into account before adopting your new bunny friend.
Can rabbits live together? Definitely yes! Why not see how much they love it in our collection of cute rabbit friends here.