When I decided it was time to get my first bunny (all those years ago), I was advised to get a neutered male bunny.
Bob the bun was a delightful pet, and it was really magical to bond with him.
A few years later, after Bob had died, I got a female rabbit. Sally was also a great bunny, which got me wondering which was better as a pet, a male or female rabbit?
Male vs Female Rabbit: Which Ones Make Better Pets?
Neutered male rabbits or altered bucks are considered the best rabbits to get for a pet rabbit.
Unaltered bucks will spray and may also become aggressive and territorial, which could make them unsuitable as pets.
Female rabbits or does may be preoccupied with breeding and raising kits, which could also make them territorial and protective.
As a result, female rabbits may not make the best choice for pet rabbits.
Also read: How Much Does It Cost to Neuter a Rabbit?
Why Do Neutered Male Rabbits Make Good Pets?
Bucks or male rabbits can be neutered just like dogs or cats can be neutered or castrated.
The benefit of having this procedure done is multifold.
An altered or neutered buck will not have the urge to mark his territory, which will equal a cleaner house for you.
Having a buck spray all over your house is far from pleasant.
Neutered bucks are much calmer than other rabbits, making them easier to handle and pet.
When you can handle your rabbit much more confidently, they will also bond more easily with you.
Sexual Behavior Disappears
If you want to hold and cuddle your male rabbit, you won’t appreciate them suddenly humping your hand in public.
This mating urge is driven by the buck’s hormones. By neutering your buck, you remove their hormonal drives, making them disinterested in mating behavior.
When you neuter your buck, he will be less likely to spray you, grunt and bark at you, or kick at you, making him a safer option as a pet.
It is also best to have your buck neutered as soon as they reach breeding age. Older bucks that are neutered may still retain some sexual urges.
Do Unaltered Male Rabbits Make Poor Pets?
While you can choose to have an unaltered buck as pet, there would be some risks to manage like aggression, territorial displays, and sexually driven behavior.
However, with good socializing and training, you can successfully bond with your unneutered buck, and they can be fabulous pets.
The challenge is that it isn’t easy to bond with an unaltered buck rabbit as a pet.
The unaltered male rabbit’s libido can drive them to seek sexual satisfaction anywhere, and your other pets may object to a humping bun bothering them night and day.
Dominance can be an issue with an unaltered buck as a pet.
Keep in mind that bucks can kick at you and bite if they decide to fight or become belligerent toward you due to hormones.
Do Unaltered Female Rabbits Make Poor Pets?
Female rabbits or does can also make good pets. It requires training and socializing to get any animal to be a healthy and safe pet.
Does have a naturally nurturing temperament, but when your doe has kits, she may become protective.
A correctly socialized doe may have no issue letting you near her kits, but if she’s a protective mom, she will kick or bite to “protect” her young.
This kind of behavior may also make her a poor choice for a pet.
Do Spayed Female Rabbits Make Better Pets?
A spayed female rabbit or doe is a better choice as a pet if you really want a girl rabbit.
Since the doe can no longer kindle, she will be more mild-tempered, and she will be more curious about the world around her.
A curious rabbit can be trained and will be a willing partner to hang out with and pet.
Is It Really About Rabbit Gender When Choosing a Pet?
I had always loved my pets to have freedom from stereotyping.
So I considered whether it was really about the rabbit’s gender to decide whether or not they would be a suitable pet or not.
Did it really all revolve around the rabbit’s gender?
Factors Influencing Which Gender Rabbit Makes the Best Pet
No matter what gender rabbit you have as a potential pet, be sure to spend quality time getting to know them.
Whether your rabbit is a buck or doe, be sure to gradually introduce them to the home environment.
Don’t rush them to allow your touch. You need to earn your rabbit’s trust. Start with grooming and gentle petting.
Take it easy and wait for them to show they are comfortable with you before you pick them up.
Rabbits are generally quite clean on themselves. Whether you opt for an altered or unaltered female or male rabbit, spend time grooming and brushing your bun to earn trust.
Brushing will help your rabbit bond with you and accept your touch.
If you have bonded with a male rabbit, but he tries to dominate you or sprays all over your home, then consider having him neutered to remove such behavior.
His hormone drive isn’t a reason to get rid of him. Instead, help your bun be healthier and cleaner by neutering him.
Altered male rabbits are much cleaner, calmer, and healthier.
Should your bonded female rabbit become aggressive when you have other rabbits nearby, it could be a sign that she is of breeding age and feels the need to become territorial.
This is not a reason to get rid of her or a sign that she’s a bad pet. Instead, have her spayed to remove any sexual aggression.
Being spayed will help your bun be safer, healthier, cleaner, and happier too.
Consider Whether Your Vet Can Spay or Neuter a Rabbit
So you want to order a bun from a breeder, but the bun isn’t spayed or neutered yet.
You may mistakenly assume your local vet can perform a quick snip for you, but that may not be the case.
Not all vets are trained in how to anesthetize and spay or neuter rabbits.
It may be a better option to have your new rabbit spayed or neutered by the breeder’s own registered vet before you take ownership of them.
You should certainly discuss the options with your vet as you will need to ensure your rabbit has regular vet checkups to keep them healthy.
Your vet will be your partner, and they will need to take care of your new bun pet.
Why Spaying or Neutering Helps Calm Your Pet Rabbit
Animals have strong reproductive drives. Bunnies cycle into fertility once a month, and they go into a sort of sexual fog when they feel the need to mate and reproduce.
Spaying or neutering your bun helps their body chemistry become more regulated, and they feel calmer.
At this point, you can start mentally stimulating your bun with toys, games, and training.
A spayed or neutered rabbit will also have a longer life expectancy, making them better suited for a lifetime friendship as your pet.
Some Common Questions about Males vs Females Pet Rabbits
Below are some common questions people often have about whether a male or female rabbit is a better pet.
Is it better to have a male or female rabbit?
Male rabbits that have been neutered will have a much more curious personality. Altered bucks want attention. They may snuggle up with you and dive into your jacket’s pocket.
Altered male rabbits are less aggressive than female rabbits, making them better suited as pets.
Are female rabbits great pets?
Female rabbits can be kind and caring pets, but they are often preoccupied with breeding and protecting their hutch and young.
Altered female rabbits often become more docile to work with, making them better pets.
When spayed, a female rabbit can potentially become calm enough to make a good pet.
Which rabbit is best for a beginner rabbit keeper, a buck, doe, or altered bun?
If you have never kept rabbits before, then consider getting a spayed or neutered rabbit as this will ensure they have less aggressive behavior, are cleaner, and are less stressed.
When a rabbit is unaltered, they have certain reproductive and dominance drives that may increase their fear, aggression, and tension.
As a result, an unaltered rabbit may become stressed, refuse your attention, and sicken and die.
Whichever rabbit type you choose—unaltered male or female, altered male or female—be sure you spend time getting to know your bun.
Don’t assume after a day or two that your rabbit is defective or “doesn’t like you” as it can take up to six weeks before a rabbit really bonds with you.
As a general rule, unaltered rabbits may be more dominant, aggressive, and fearful.
They have hormones raging through them every month, and it will be difficult to bond with your bun when she’s having litters or if he’s humping the females (or searching for females) all day.
Spayed or neutered rabbits are ideal pets. Male neutered or altered rabbits are far more docile than female spayed rabbits, and these males will rather sit quietly with you and snuggle while you watch some Netflix than the spayed female will.
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