Quantcast

New bunnies... questionable bond? Aggression?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

NotaCocoaPuff

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
12
Location
florida
So I recently adopted two female rabbits, about 6 months old. They are sisters and I was told they were bonded. I have only have them about 3 weeks but I've noticed that although they snuggle, one of them seems more aggressive. If I try to pet my brown rabbit (Rue) the white rabbit (Basil) will push her way to my hand and nip at the brown rabbit. I've noticed that Basil has become more social whereas the Rue is more likely to hide and prefers not to be touched. That being said I notice tonight that when my husband has Basil then Rue sits quietly with me.
I'm worried that the Basil is getting more aggressive and is preventing Rue from socializing. I'm worried that they are not actually bonded and that this aggression might continue.
On a side note they are not fixed yet. They will be getting fixed in the next few weeks so I am hoping maybe that helps.
Any thoughts on this?
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
7,669
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Arizona, USA
You're lucky they are still getting along at this age. Hormones can cause rabbits to get aggressive - toward people and/or to other rabbits. It would be a good idea to keep a close eye on them because they could suddenly turn on each other (because of hormones).

This is why rabbits are generally not considered bonded until after they have been fixed. If possible, I would get them spayed as soon as possible. The sooner the better.
 

NotaCocoaPuff

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
12
Location
florida
I was told they could not be spayed until they were at least 6 months... is that correct?
Should I separate them until after they are fixed?
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
957
Location
Austria
My opinion (I have 2 pairs of intact does, plus a male with a spayed doe): Your rabbits are doing fine. Bonded does not mean that there isn't any sign of working out a hierachy. As long as there is no severe fighting (like trying to gut the opponent, real, not figuratively) things are still working out, humping, chasing, lumps of fur flying - all quite normal rabbit behaviour. What you describe, as far as I get it, is just social life. They are different characters, and all behave differently. Hormones keep that game interesting.

I would not seperate them for longer than about 12 hours. It can lead to one of them getting the idea that this is her territory, or something like that. Their hierachy is fluent, seperating them can cause to undo that equilibrium they've sorted out.

Imho, it really helps when they have enough room and dividers to go out of each others sight when they feel like it.
 
Last edited:

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
7,669
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Arizona, USA
They can be spayed as soon as the vet says he/she is willing to do it -- typically around 5 months of age but depends on vet and his assessment of your rabbits.
 

NotaCocoaPuff

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
12
Location
florida
Ok. We are trying some new things with them... we are feeding them their salad separately since Basil steals everything from Rue. We also are giving them attention separate of each other. I'm starting to realize that young rabbits are much harder to litterbox train and socialize (or at least to my late Mr. Rabbit who was a year old when we got him). I'm hoping that spaying them will help because they are more work that ever thought possible (that's coming from someone who owns 2 horses as well). These two just are not picking up on litter box training and they seem to poop everywhere to mark along with urinating everyone (especially Basil).
 

K1marie

Lionel and Murphy
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
141
Reaction score
36
Location
Saratoga , NY
I am in the middle of a bonding nightmare myself, but I can tell you that if they use their litter box more than elsewhere - they are probably "trained"....just marking and establishing their territory (turf warfare) by pooping and peeing. They like to be neat and use a litter box- but they will try to claim the common area. I helped control it by not giving them any pellets shortly before I let them out loose - I felt like I was just giving them more "ammunition" !!
 

NotaCocoaPuff

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
12
Location
florida
I am in the middle of a bonding nightmare myself, but I can tell you that if they use their litter box more than elsewhere - they are probably "trained"....just marking and establishing their territory (turf warfare) by pooping and peeing. They like to be neat and use a litter box- but they will try to claim the common area. I helped control it by not giving them any pellets shortly before I let them out loose - I felt like I was just giving them more "ammunition" !!
I use pee-pads like for dogs, to cover the floor. Makes easy cleanup. I’ve noticed there are pee spots more than not.
Do you think the pee pads encourage them not use the litter box?
I don’t like the idea that they are stepping in their pee throughout the day if they pee on the tile.
I added a second litter box last might so hoping that will help. Of course this morning they peed on the pee pad just outside the litter box so who knows.
They are only six months old so I’m guessing that it may be an age factor as well But boy do they stink
 

K1marie

Lionel and Murphy
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
141
Reaction score
36
Location
Saratoga , NY
I think its a matter of experimenting as far as the pee pads. There is something to be said for keeping their scent there so that they don't keep remarking it (which if you clean it up - they will do) I have a wood floor - and I would have bunny tracks everywhere - so I used a grooved boot mat under their litter box - so that it wouldn't puddle but I could keep the urine there. Mine would chew and play with a pee pad. You DO want a littler box on each side of the "border" and when I pick up poops - I put them in the OPPOSITE box - so the scent of both is in both boxes. My two are not yet bonded - but the turf war has almost COMPLETELY stopped b/c they have realized its fruitless - since both areas are shared - I would rotate who's on which side.
 

Latest posts

Top