The Art of Socializing Rabbits

Rabbits are inquisitive, playful, and sociable little animals. Like us hoomans, they have an in-built need to bond with other members of their own species. 

As a pet parent, it’s important to take this aspect of rabbit care into consideration when adopting a bunny. The best thing you can do for their health and hoppiness is to give them at least one furry roommate to brighten up their day!

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at rabbit behavior and why bonded pairs or groups are preferable to solitary floofs. Plus, read on for a step-by-step guide to socializing rabbits, so that they can happily share digs without ruffling each other’s fur.

Two bunnies sitting on the stairs together

Understanding the Social Nature of Rabbits

To understand a bunny’s social nature and why rabbit companionship is so crucial to their well-being, it’s helpful to observe their natural behavior in the wild. 

Typically, rabbits in the wild live in groups, digging interconnected burrows that form a network of underground tunnels (aka ‘warrens’). Warrens provide living and nesting areas for the colony, with several emergency exits in case of danger.

These floofers love company so much that some groups can be made up of 20 or 30 rabbits! Each colony follows a social hierarchy - where at the top of the pecking order is a dominant male and female (who usually get the comfiest sleeping quarters!).

Benefits of Rabbit Companionship

As prey animals, rabbits get an a-bun-dance of benefits from living in such a tight-knit community. The whole colony can rest safer, knowing that every bunny is watching out for the other, and ready to thump their legs to warn of any dangers.

While temperature drops can be counteracted by the bunnies huddling together for warmth. Something that works even for bunnies living cozily indoors, especially mothers looking after a litter!

When two or more bunnies live together, they can encourage one another to stay active. In fact, your bunnies will have the best of times zooming with their furry roommate. Playing with a friend is always more fun, and you’ll notice that rabbits binky with joy more often when they have company!

Two rabbits together on grass

The Risks of Loneliness

Nobunny should feel lonely! While your rabbit will appreciate all the love and affection you bestow upon them, it’s no substitute for interactions with their own kind.

Rabbits who don’t get to socialize are at risk of developing feelings of loneliness and even depression. Some of the signs to watch out for include:

  • Lethargy and a lack of curiosity
  • A loss of appetite
  • Fur pulling
  • Pacing
  • Aggression
  • Persistent chewing and other destructive behaviors
  • Quiet and distant

All bunnies have different temperaments and personalities, so keep an eye out for any noticeable changes in their behavior. One or more of these warning signs could indicate loneliness, stress, or potentially an underlying health condition. If unsure, always bring them to your local bunny-savvy vet for a second opinion.

Solitary white rabbit at home

Introducing Rabbits to Each Other

Introducing bunnies to one another can happen at any stage of their lives. Whether your pairing will be successful or not will be down to numerous factors and while some matches might not be meant to be, there are a few things you can try to improve your chances of success.

Things to Consider When Pairing Rabbits

While some pairings may be love at first sight, others may take a little longer to ‘click’. Whatever the case for your bunnies, keep the following facts in mind to increase your potential for a successful rabbit pairing:

  • A neutered male and female are the easiest pairing.
  • Same-sex pairings can still work. However, you’ll always want to ensure that they’re neutered - as their hormones are likely to cause them to quarrel once older.
  • Rabbits of a similar age and size generally make for good pairings. Although they can differ in age and size and still get along just fine (make sure to supervise them, so that if they squabble, you can separate them before they get injured!).
  • Never rush an introduction - it’s important to go at your bunnies’ pace. Be prepared for multiple bonding sessions!

Please bear in mind that once bunnies are bonded they should never be separated (unless one of them passes away), as this will cause lots of stress and anxiety.

Two rabbits sniffing each other

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bonding Rabbits

Step 1: Introduce your rabbits to each other’s scent

Slow and steady wins the race! Before you let your bunnies meet face to face, pop some of their cage accessories in each other’s space (e.g. a fleece liner or toys). This will help them get used to the scent of their future housemate before they officially meet.

Step 2: Separate your bunnies with a cage divider or parallel runs

Create a divide between your bunnies by setting up two parallel exercise runs and gradually moving them closer together. Or by adding grids to create a divide between your buns that can later be removed. This way, they can get used to each other’s presence in a carefully controlled environment. 

Some tasty treats can help them make positive associations with their furry friend. On top of distracting them from the pressure of the interaction!

Make sure to also add quiet hideys where they can retreat in case they feel stressed or threatened by the interaction.

Rabbit hiding in a Kavee fleece liner

Step 3: Pick a neutral space to introduce your rabbits

Opt for a bunny-proofed room or thoroughly clean their cage to create a neutral meeting spot (we don’t want anybunny to get overly territorial!).

Step 4: Let them establish dominance while watching for signs of aggression

It’s important to allow bunnies to establish a natural hierarchy, with one rabbit taking a dominant position and the other taking a submissive stance. Normal behaviors include circling, licking, chasing, and mounting. However, be prepared to separate them if you spot the following rabbit behaviors: 

  • Defensive and territorial displays over food or toys
  • Excessive circling, mounting, and chasing
  • Boxing (rabbits standing on their hind legs in preparation to fight)
  • Lunging and grunting
  • Flattened ears
  • Excessive fur pulling

Eventually, a dominant rabbit will mount the other and lower their head. The submissive rabbit will then lick the other rabbit’s head in acceptance.

Step 5: Repeat the process as many times as required

For your bunnies to bond, you’ll need to reintroduce them a few times over the next day or two, until you see any bonded behaviors forming. It’s also best to house them separately when you can’t supervise them.

Bonded rabbits will typically enjoy eating food with one another, grooming each other, and cozying up together for a nap. So once you start to see these signs, you can breathe a sigh of relief and leave them to their own devices!

Two rabbits on a couch

Socializing Rabbits with Other Pets

Rabbits can live alongside other household pets like cats and dogs, however, it’s important to introduce them in a careful and controlled manner.

How to Introduce Rabbits to Other Pets

Introduce your rabbit from the comfort of their cage, where they can find plenty of hideys to retreat into in case they feel frightened. Hold cats and keep dogs on a lead to avoid any sudden movements that could scare your rabbits, and approach their cage with caution. It’d be easier to get them used to each other by introducing them at a young age.

Always remember that dogs and cats have an in-built prey drive, so even if the initial meeting goes well, they’ll always need closely supervising (yep, even if you’ve opted for a cage with a lid). Larger animals can cause damage to a small rabbit even if they don’t mean to, simply because they’re larger and may not realize their own strength.

One day, they might bond well enough to spend time together when your bunny is free-roaming, but you’ll want to keep a very watchful eye even if they’re BFFs.

If your pets don’t get along, the kindest course of action would be to limit their interaction as much as possible. Keep your rabbits’ cage in a room that’s off limits to other household pets, or at least minimize their interactions as much as possible.

Dog next to rabbit on a couch

Creating a Social Environment with Kavee Cages 

Here at Kavee, our modular C&C cages provide an excellent environment for introducing bunnies in a safe and controlled manner. Just add in some grids to create a barrier between the buns you’re introducing and remove them whenever you feel ready!

They’re also large enough for a pair of rabbits to live comfortably together. The problem with many traditional pet shop cages is that they’re too small for bunnies to hop freely, stand on their hind legs and stretch out. Your rabbits will get on much better when they don’t feel as if they’re on top of each other.

Make sure to provide plenty of toys, hideys, and a couple of food bowls to reassure your bunnies that there is enough of everything to go around!

Two rabbits in a 6X2 Kavee C&C cage


We hope that after reading this article, you understand how providing a furry friend to your bunny is an important part of rabbit care. When adopting a bun, it’s best to ensure you have the space, time, and resources to cater to at least two sweet floofs (besides, who wouldn’t want double the cuddles?!).

When introducing your rabbits, be patient. A slow and steady approach will generally result in the foundations for life-long friendships.

To give your rabbits the best possible chance of a hoppily bonded pairing, check out our range of indoor rabbit cages. These can be adapted to house multiple buns safely and comfortably for harmonious rabbit companionship. Ah, don’t you just love a hoppy ending!
How tosRabbit care

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