Bonding Quick Reference

A handy set of tips when you're bonding your rabbits!

Authored by:

Edited by:

Robyn Levy

Sarah Erickson

Getting started:


  • 1st neutral territory -- bonding space

  • 2nd neutral territory -- dating space. Bathrooms are good options

  • Side-by-side pens about 6” apart. With spacers so they can’t push the pens together (this is to ensure they cannot bite through the pens)

  • Switch litter boxes every day. You can also switch the bunnies back and forth between habitats to fully immerse them in the other’s scent.

  • Mirrored dishes and litter boxes.

  • “Teddy bun” to trade scents.

  • Pen covers – ensure no accidents from an escapee. Bunnies have long memories and it can be difficult to bond after a fight.

Dating Game:


  • Place bunnies side by side heads facing same direction

  • Couples massage

  • Share leafy greens

  • Do not allow fighting

  • Keep the dates short, increase time gradually

  • Always end on a positive note

Almost There:


  • Increase time of bonding dates

  • Let them stay together as long as you can supervise

  • Combine living spaces

  • Spend one night together

  • Lighten supervision after 48 hours of co-habitation


Good Signs:


  • Bunnies are not fighting

  • Ignoring one another

  • Grooming one another

  • Leaning into each other

  • Lying near one another in their pens

  • Self-grooming

  • Presenting for grooming

  • Sharing food


STOP:


  • Humping or chasing is not tolerated by the other rabbit

  • One or both of the bunnies seem excessively stressed (seek immediate vet care if injury occurs or if either bunny stops eating/pooping)

  • Aggressive grooming

  • Chasing is not tolerated

  • Both bunnies want to be “top” bunny

  • Nipping backside or underside

  • Grooming is too rough

  • Defensive stance tense overall body, ears back

Additional notes:


  • Stay positive and be patient

  • Slow and steady wins the race

  • Humping or chasing is normal as long as the rabbits are tolerating it.

  • Talk to your rabbits! Always keep a positive tone. Tell them they are “good bunnies.” Encouraging words creates positive energy for you and them!