Behavior | Care

Do Rabbits Get Lonely?

close up of a singe rabbit in a cage

As adorable as rabbits are, having one as a pet entails some responsibility. You’ll need to feed and exercise them, provide proper shelter and give them lots of tender loving care. Getting another bunny doubles the effort and expenses you need to put in to keep your rabbits healthy and happy.  

Pet lovers with busy schedules usually opt to have only one rabbit. But you may start to wonder if your fur baby will get lonely being by their lonesome. After all, rabbits are social creatures, they say. Rabbits in the wild usually live in pairs or groups, so they’re hard-wired to need someone of their kind around them.   

We know that your rabbit’s physical and emotional wellbeing is one of your priorities so let us help you figure out if being an only bunny can make your pet lonely.  

Should rabbits live with other rabbits?  

group of rabbits

Being social creatures, rabbits appreciate constant companionship. They do so much better when they’re in pairs or with a group, so your fur baby can become lonely living alone.  

But that doesn’t mean you have to get another bunny, even if you’re not inclined to do so. Not all rabbits are the same, so yours may just be the type who can be happy living on his own. Besides, you, as their owner, can fill the void and help your pet remain happy even if he or she is an only bunny.  

How can you tell if your rabbit is feeling lonely?  

Rabbits can’t talk, so your furry friend won’t be able to tell you that he’s feeling pretty sad. Still, some physical signs can indicate that something’s amiss. Pay frequent attention to your bunny because some of the symptoms of loneliness are subtle, making them easy to miss.  

1. Your rabbit won’t eat  

Rabbits love food so much that the rustle of their feed bag sends them running over. Given a chance, they’ll also spend the whole day munching on their hay. So when your pet finishes only a portion of their meal or, worse, completely loses interest in eating, that’s a red flag indicating that everything’s not right with your bunny.  

2. Your pet indulges in fur-pulling  

You may think that your bunny is just grooming himself, which is a natural rabbit activity  and is their way of keeping clean. But normal grooming behavior won’t lead to bald spots, which happens when your pet pulls at his fur. Stress, boredom, or loneliness can cause this obsessive activity and indicate that your fur baby is not happy.  

3. Your rabbit stops grooming himself 

Alternatively, a lonely rabbit may lose interest in grooming. Rabbits are clean animals. They diligently groom themselves, keeping their coat sleek and shiny. But when everything’s not right with their world, they may lose interest in maintaining their neat appearance. They may stop removing poop and urine traces from their coat, which gives them an unkempt look.  

4. Your normally active bunny becomes lethargic  

Rabbits are active and playful creatures. They’ll do lots of zoomies and binkies! They jump and run around. So when you see your bunny just sitting around all day, that can mean that he or she is feeling the effects of being on their own. A lonely rabbit may stop playing and instead will stay in one spot doing nothing. He or she tends to sleep more than usual and loses interest in his or her surroundings.  

5. Your rabbit displays destructive behaviors 

Rabbits need to chew because that’s one way to file down their ever-growing teeth. But if your pet is lonely, the chewing may escalate to a whole new level. They may bite  obsessively on a piece of furniture, for example, going back to nibble over and over even  after you repeatedly drove them away. They may even growl or snap at you for stopping  them.  

 6. Your lovable and huggable pet becomes aggressive  

Contrary to popular belief that bunnies are so gentle they won’t hurt a fly, some rabbits  can exhibit aggressive behavior, such as biting or growling. However, if your pet is  ordinarily placid and affectionate but suddenly starts snapping at you, that’s a clear signal that he or she feels out of sorts. Longing for companionship can be the reason behind the aggressive behavior.  

How to prevent loneliness? 

pair of rabbits on grass

If your bunny is typical of its kind, it will need companionship so it won’t get lonely. As such, you have the following options.  

Get another rabbit  

Giving your pet a bunny to bond with is the ideal solution if you see that your rabbit is becoming lonely. We recommend that you choose one who’s of the same age as your pet but of the opposite gender.   

Rabbits of a similar age tend to have the same energy level so your fur baby won’t be forced to adjust to their pal’s and vice versa. Meanwhile, rabbits of the opposite gender tend to fight less than those of the same sex. But have your pets neutered or spayed just the same. That’s if you don’t want to be surprised with a litter of bunnies later on. Spayed and neutered rabbits are also more docile than their unaltered counterparts.  

Rabbits of the same sex can still bond, so it’s okay if you want to get a female bunny for your female pet. There’s just a higher risk of incompatibility as the two might fight for dominance.  

Provide a companion of another specie  

If you don’t want to take care of two rabbits, but you have other pets, you can try if your bunny will respond to their companionship. We’ve heard stories of cats, dogs, and other animals bonding with rabbits. Just make sure you take all the necessary precautions when you introduce pets who belong to different species to each other. Rabbits are prey animals after all! If you’re uncertain what to do, you can consult an animal expert for guidance.  

Be your pet’s companion  

An only bunny will ultimately rely on you for companionship if he doesn’t have an animal buddy. Showering your rabbit with plenty of attention and affection can help drive the blues away. As much as possible, let your bunny out of the cage. A rabbit who roams around at will is less likely to get lonely. But first, make sure that your house had been rabbit-proofed for safety.  

Rabbit toys will keep your pet busy and entertained. Invest in several good ones for your bunny to play with.  

Like humans, rabbits do get lonely. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have only one rabbit. Providing your pet with the love, care, and attention it needs will go a long way in ensuring that your bunny won’t have any problems with loneliness. 

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, will you give it a share or two 🙂 Thank you! ~from Every Bunny Welcome

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