Fine Alone Or Pairs?

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PikaPika

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hi :)
so, I don't think its a debated topic, but I've heard a handful of people say rabbits are fine alone, and a handful of people say they need to be in pairs, one of my local shelters even made a rule that you have to go home/ adopt 2 rabbits unless you have one at home already. What do U think?
 

JBun

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I think it depends on the rabbit and the circumstances. First is if the rabbit will even bond with another rabbit. There are some rabbits that seem to hate others of their kind. So it could be very difficult to find a rabbit with a personality like this, a compatible bunny companion.

Then it has to do with the rabbits living situation. If the rabbit is outdoors(or indoors too) and only visited a few hours or less per day by the owner, or doesn't enjoy human company, then yes, it would be best to find a rabbit like that a compatible bunny friend(both spayed/neutered) to bond with. If the rabbit is indoors, likes to spend time around people, and gets several hours a day quality time spent with people, then I think a single bun can do fine in those circumstances.

The differences in recommendations you're seeing, may in part have to do with the location of the person giving their opinion. Generally in the UK and some parts of Europe, rabbits are often kept exclusively outdoors, so for those rabbits it is better for them to have a bonded companion, as generally most people don't spend several hours outdoors each day with their rabbits. Here in the US, the main push in pet rabbit sites is for rabbits to be kept indoors. And indoor rabbits when given a lot of quality time with their human companions(where the rabbit enjoys human company), can be perfectly happy with that.

So as long as a single rabbit is getting lots of human companionship and behaves in a manner that shows it's happy with this living situation(not just hiding out alone by itself most of the time), then my opinion is there's nothing wrong with this.
 

Catlyn

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My take on it is that it largely depends on the individual rabbit, their setup and where they live, and also on the people that take care of them.
I haven't heard that rabbits die of loneliness if they don't have a bunmate. But generally speaking, duos are better than solos. Single rabbits never get to perform social behaviours like grooming and nuzzling up to a fellow bun, and they would never feel 1000% relaxed since no other rabbit would be on the lookout for danger.
Outdoor rabbits (shed, hutch, aviary etc) and those that do not get a lot of attention from their humans (maybe the rabbit is housed in the garage) would usually do best with a bondmate since they wouldn't really have anyone else to hang around with. My first boy was super social and cuddly but lived in a shed alone for half a year because i was working with my parents to get him indoors. I didn't see him struggle with being alone.
Indoor buns that live where people tend to be active, they generally do better with being solo since someone is constantly around. If a bun isn't super duper affection-seeking to you, i would want to get them a bondmate. Storm is my remaining boy, sassy and bossy, doesn't fancy that much affection from us. He did just fine as a solo until i convinced dad to still get him a bondmate. We never thought that such a boss might want to get along with any rabbit, but we were proven wrong as he quite liked having a submissive bun pal like Lümi was. (I could never imagine Lümi being absolutely solo bun. He wanted attention every waking hour not spent on eating and toileting., and he got all of it. Well, whatever i could share with Storm also needing attention from time to time) They had a wonky bond but Storm was still depressed after his fellow bun died suddely. So now we're trying to get him and Iris to accept one another.
Long story short-it isn't always strictly nescessary to have a pair instead of one but it would definetly be the better option for the buns.
 
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Niomi

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I used to keep outdoor rabbits in pairs. I had 4 pairs. Out of those 4 pairs, only one pair was bonded. They were a brother and sister, spayed and neutered pair that were together from birth. The other pairs, if I put them in eight feet pens, they would stay on opposite sides of the cage from each other. In a smaller cage, they just tolerated each other. They never fought, but they never groomed each other. As the rabbits got older, I put them in separate cages. The reason for separating them was health reasons. If one stopped eating, the other would eat all the food. It is easier to check their food intake etc. if they are not together.
 

odyssey~

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i personally believe rabbits should be in pairs whenever possible. if circumstances do not allow due to money, family, landlords, bunny refuses to bond after multiple continous tries, etc then it's okay to keep one rabbit, as long as they get enough human interaction. but if you know that your rabbit is lonely and doesn't get much interaction at all then I would say try for a bond as much as you can. human-rabbit bonds most likely won't be as close as bunny-bunny bonds would ever be since we can't communicate and interact the same way, which is why i say that rabbits should have a friend. also, i'm pretty sure that domestic buns came from european rabbits which live in groups in the wild, meaning that they naturally have at least another bunny to be with. pros to pairs- enrichment for the buns, less boredom, not as lonely, double the cuteness for human owners, etc. cons- more expensive, more space.
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the reason i only have one bunny when i support rabbits being in pairs whenever possible is because unfortunately i didn't do nearly enough research prior to getting odyssey, and my parents won't allow a second rabbit now. :C
 

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