Rabbits won’t be happy if they are alone.
While rabbits can survive without another companion of their own species, it’s not recommended for their health.
Rabbits are sociable animals and need to interact with other rabbits often.
That is why it’s best to consider buying rabbits in pairs instead of one lone animal.
That said, you can still make up for the loneliness by providing enough care and attention to your pet yourself.
This may work with some rabbits but not all. So, this article will explore why it’s important that rabbits don’t live alone.
Can Rabbits Live Alone Happily?
Rabbits typically live in large colonies in the wild.
Therefore, instinctively these animals seek social interaction. A lack of it could cause the following problems.
Rabbits That Live Alone May Get Depressed
Rabbits that live alone can easily get depressed.
In turn, that can affect their physical health.
Your rabbit may not live a long life. Moreover, in that case, it will certainly be miserable for whatever years it does survive.
How to Tell That Your Rabbit Is Depressed
You can tell if your rabbit is depressed if it doesn’t respond when you call it.
You must note that some rabbits don’t answer calls. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean your rabbit is depressed.
Other symptoms could be a general sense of being withdrawn from activities.
It may even not show interest in drinking and eating in some extreme cases.
Rabbits That Live Alone May Get Bored
In addition to loneliness, rabbits that live alone will likely get bored quickly.
Bored rabbits can start engaging in destructive behavior.
Excessive Chewing Is a Common Type of Destructive Behavior
Destructive behavior can occur in various ways, but the most common is excessive chewing of certain items.
It will most likely chew its toys, hutch, and whatever other household items near it.
Excessive chewing will undoubtedly destroy things in your home. What’s worse is that it could also harm your rabbit.
Monitor Your Rabbit for Signs of Loneliness
It’s always important to continue monitoring your rabbit for any signs of loneliness. Other than the destructive behavior and possible depression, you should also look out for hyperactivity.
Considering rabbits get bored when they don’t have a companion, your pet may become hyperactive.
It will have a lot of pent-up energy because it’s unable to spend it on exercise and play.
When Is It Suitable to Keep Just One Rabbit?
It’s best to only consider getting a single rabbit in two situations.
The first is that you and/or a pet sitter provide your rabbit with adequate attention.
The second is to have another pet (not another rabbit).
Give Your Rabbit Attention and/or Consider Hiring a Pet Sitter
You can keep your rabbit happy if you are home for several hours during the day.
Thus, you’ll be able to spend time playing and interacting with your pet rabbit.
Your pet rabbit will stay physically and emotionally healthy if you provide it with proper companionship.
So, you won’t be able to leave your rabbit alone for several hours every day.
When getting a pet, you have to think about its long-term health and wellbeing.
So, even if you may be working from home or have a job with short hours now, you may not later.
Your rabbit will have to stay alone if you start working long hours and can’t be physically present. So, you can eliminate that problem by hiring a pet sitter.
Educate Your Pet Sitter on the Complexities of Your Pet
It’s in your best interest to hire a pet sitter for your pet when you don’t have enough time. Make sure to let the sitter know your pet’s likes and dislikes.
This way, you’ll ensure your rabbit does fun activities.
Let Your Pet Sitter Know If Your Rabbit Can be Handled
You should also consider letting your pet sitter know if your rabbit is comfortable with being handled.
Your pet sitter could hurt your rabbit if they don’t know it doesn’t accept physical contact.
Let Your Pet Sitter Know When and How to Groom Your Rabbit
If you are hiring a pet sitter, then it’s best to let them know when and how to groom your rabbit.
Regular grooming will keep your pet healthy, especially during shedding season.
Research Various Potential Pet Sitters
It’s a good idea to research various potential pet sitters before you settle on one.
The pet sitter will essentially be responsible for the care and affection of your pet. So, it has to be right.
Consider Hiring Your Pet Sitter While Your Rabbit Is Young
Considering you want your rabbit to be happy without a partner, it helps to hire a pet sitter while it’s young.
This way, you can help your rabbit get comfortable with the sitter early on.
So, if you cannot give your pet attention, later on, it will still have companionship through the sitter.
Your rabbit may get stressed if you try to make the shift from you to the sitter drastic.
Make a Routine to Ensure Your Rabbit Gets Enough Attention
It can help to make a routine about when you will play and interact with your rabbit.
The advantage of that is that you’ll ensure your rabbit gets attention. In addition to that, it’ll help you stay organized.
In turn, you’ll be able to manage other work while still making sure your pet is happy.
Keep the following in mind when creating a routine.
- Rabbits wake up when the sun rises and want to be entertained. It’ll help you sleep a little longer if you keep toys inside its hutch. This way, it can entertain itself on its own.
- Rabbits are most active early to mid-morning. It’ll want to jump, run, and play. This time of day is perfect for a bit of supervised outside play and exercise.
- Let your rabbit nap from mid-morning to late afternoon. Your pet will get tired after exercise and play. So, now’s a good time for you to tend to your other work without distractions.
- You could relax and let your rabbit sit in your lap in the evening when it wakes. Make sure not to force it to rest on you. Some rabbits don’t like being handled.
- Some rabbits may want to sleep in your bed when you go to bed. So, it could help strengthen your bond with your pet and help it feel happy by letting it do so.
Your Companionship May Still Not be Enough
The idea of being there for your rabbit instead of another one may not always be ideal. This is so even if you have enough time to be with your rabbit.
Some rabbits prefer not to be handled by their human owners. This may be the case even after months of bonding with it.
In that case, you may not be able to provide it with the same level of comfort that possibly another rabbit might. In turn, it could start to feel lonely or bored.
Get Another Pet for Your Rabbit
There are various pets that could be great companions to your rabbit. In that case, you won’t need to be solely responsible for dedicating time to give your pet attention.
That said, this may not work as well as you may hope in some cases. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Consider Getting a Guinea Pig
On the surface, it may seem like a guinea pig could be a good companion to your rabbit. They’re both small animals.
However, the two animals have different play styles and diets. Therefore, there could be potential miscommunication between the two animals.
The miscommunication could lead to other potential issues, including stress in your rabbits. It could also lead to fights, which may cause injury.
So, think twice about this decision.
Also read: Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Food?
Consider Getting a Cat or Dog
You could also have a cat or dog to keep your rabbit company. However, that can be a great risk.
This is because often cats and dogs are seen as predators by rabbits.
As a result, your rabbits may constantly be anxious and afraid of the larger pets. Sudden movements or chases by cats and dogs may only worsen the situation.
Larger pets could also greatly stress your rabbit. Rabbits typically get stressed easily.
Moreover, the symptoms of stress can be extremely dangerous. Your rabbit could also die if it’s highly stressed for a long time.
In fact, one of the major reasons why rabbits live in colonies is that it helps them stay safe against predators.
So, you’ll have to make sure your rabbit can live among cats and dogs before you rely on that option.
Last Few Words
While it is possible to keep rabbits happy even if they’re alone, it’s not a safe and sound decision to do that.
This is because you likely won’t have enough time to give a rabbit the attention it needs and deserves.
A much better decision would be to get rabbits in pairs. Rabbits can bond for life, and they typically get along well with each other.
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- Can Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Live Together?
- Can Rabbits Die of a Broken Heart and Loneliness?