How to Tell if Your Rabbit Is Lonely

Опубликовал Admin
27-02-2019, 20:00
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Rabbits are very sociable animals who want constant companionship. They do their best when they have another rabbit to spend time with. A human can fill that void, however, it will require almost constant attention from you. Expect your rabbit to need more attention and do everything in your power to give it company.

Recognizing a Lonely Bunny

  1. Expect your rabbit to be lonely. In the wild, it would be with other rabbits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you only have one rabbit, you can give it some companionship, but it will still be lonely at night or when you are away at work.
    • Sometimes a female rabbit will be fine on its own. If you do not notice hyperactivity or withdraw with a female rabbit, it is possible that she might be content by herself.
    • On other occasions, a rabbit will be too territorial to get along with another rabbit. At that point, you should consider getting a different species of pet. These will provoke fewer territorial feelings, but can still be a source of company.
  2. Pay attention when it nudges, bites, or digs on you. When a bunny nudges you with its nose it is trying to tell you to do something. Often this means that it wants you to pet or play with it. It can escalate this behavior to even more direct and forceful modes of expression.
    • This nudging might progress to soft biting. This is also a way to get your attention. If you pretend to be hurt, the bunny should respond by nipping more softly and less frequently.
    • Your bunny might even begin to dig with its front and or back legs directly on top of you, as if it were trying to dig you up. This is definitely a plea for attention.
  3. Watch for destructive behavior. A lonely rabbit will sometimes become hyperactive and angry. Although it is not uncommon for rabbits to dig at things, this destructive behavior will accelerate rapidly. Watch for the rabbit gnawing at carpet and other furniture. Their behavior can even become self-destructive.
    • A lonely rabbit can begin to pull at its fur and overeat. It might even damage its own teeth while pulling at the bars of its cage.
  4. Watch for signs of withdraw. Alternatively, some rabbits will become depressed. They will withdraw from you and others, refusing to interact even when you reach out to them. It will take some more effort to get these rabbits back in a good mood.
    • A withdrawn rabbit might hide or stay in its cage. It might not respond when you try to pet or play with it.

Giving a Bunny a Furry Companion

  1. Get your rabbit a companion. The best companion for a rabbit is another rabbit of the opposite gender and approximately the same age. Two bonded rabbits should snuggle frequently and make quiet sounds of affection. Be careful though, when introducing a new rabbit to your household, some rabbits just can’t get along with each other.
    • Consider finding a group of rabbits that have experience together, because you know that they will get along. If you are introducing a new bunny into the household, try to get it from a shelter. That way, if they don’t get along, you can exchange it for a new one at little to no additional expense.
    • You can try keeping a single rabbit, but it will require a considerable time commitment on your part to keep it happy. Be prepared to spend time with it everyday.
    • Don’t forget to have your rabbits spayed and neutered. If you don’t, you might very quickly be responsible for a litter of babies.
  2. Prevent fighting. If your rabbits have a tough introduction, they might never get along well. Begin by leaving them in separate spaces and introducing them to each other about 20 minutes a day under close supervision. Introduce them to each other in a neutral space, that neither of them perceives to be their own territory. Once they show signs of bonding, like cuddling and rubbing their noses, they can share the same space.
    • Keep a water bottle on hand to discipline the rabbits if they fight.
    • Ideally, you should bring both rabbits back home at the same time. That way, neither of them will perceive it as their territory and they will have no cause to fight over it. If you already have one of the rabbits, try to get them to socialize in a room that don't often spend time in.
    • Males and females make the best pairings.
  3. Find a friend from a different species. If you have introduced several new bunnies and found that yours is too territorial for friends, you should try to find a pet of a different species to act as a companion. Guinea pigs, birds, and cats are often easier for bunnies to get along with than other rabbits.
    • Rabbits also shouldn't be allowed to live with other rabbits that aren't spayed or neutered. If your bunny has not been fixed and is too old to endure a procedure, you might also be better of finding a companion of a different species.

Giving Your Bunny Human Companionship

  1. Give your bunny several hours outside of its cage per day. Rabbits love to explore, move, and sniff around. You should let your rabbit out of its cage daily. However, you should also make sure that it doesn’t tear up your house. Watch it closely or create a room specifically for your bunny, with fewer valuables and no carpet.
  2. Get down on the floor. Rabbits like to be close to the ground. While it might seem like picking it up would be a good way to bond, your bunny probably will not appreciate that. You should get down on its level and spend time near the ground with it. If it seems receptive, get closer and pet it.
    • If the rabbit is not comfortable with you being in its space, it will begin to growl. Take a step back and give it some time to approach you.
    • It might take some time for your rabbit to warm up to you if it is shy. Take it slow.
  3. Pet your rabbit. Rabbits are most comfortable being pet when they are relaxing after a meal. Approach it slowly and pet it on its forehead, cheek, or back. They usually do not like to be pet on their ears, stomach, tails, or neck, or feet.
  4. Play with your rabbit. Bunnies love to get out and a play. They particularly like to knock things over, dig, and toss small toys. Give your rabbit something like bowling pins that it can run into and knock over. Buy some toys or even make homemade toys.
    • For toys that your rabbit can toss around, consider hard plastic baby toys and plastic balls with bells inside. Often a simple piece of cardboard will do, like the inside of a roll of toilet paper.
    • If your rabbit loves to dig, consider making a pit for it to dig in. Consider a straw mat or boxes full of shredded paper
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