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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Rabbits keep fighting

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    • FreeRoamBunMan23
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        Hi everyone, this is my second time asking for advice in just a few days (although over different issues) – I must be doing something wrong!

        I’ve got two male rabbits, Patch (the black and white one) and Binky (the grey one). Both are about 7 months old. They came to me together at about 10 weeks old and were always very loving to each other although Patch was the dominant one and would often nip at or chase Binky to exert his dominance.

        They were neutered about 7 weeks ago and about a week later we came home to find fur everywhere. They had had a big fight and Patch had numerous cuts on them. That day, they came across each other twice more and both times they tried to fight immediately but I broke it up.

        They were separated by a baby gate but Binky got through and they fought again so we put up wire (as you can see in the picture above). They remained separated for about 3 weeks whilst able to see each other and then we tried reintroducing but they fought again after about a minute.

        Yesterday morning, the gate wasn’t so secure so Binky got through and I woke up to yet another fight which I broke up as quickly as I could. They hang out near the gate a lot and clearly want to get through, showing a lot of interest in each other yet when they both meet at the tiny gap they can make where the gate opens they try to bite or attack each other. Both seem to be the aggressors and Patch is clearly scared of Binky.

        Does anyone have any advice? I was going to try bonding them but I don’t have any truly neutral areas so just regularly swap over what side of the apartment they’re on. Now I’m afraid to even introduce them as it seems they’ll fight. I’d also ordered an x-pen as an alternate way of separating them but I’m starting to feel like they’ll just bite each other through the bars as there’s probably space to. I’m at a stage now where I suspect they might never be friends again and will have to be separated forever which is a massive shame given how close they used to be.


      • Wick & Fable
        Moderator
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          (Copy and pasted from my response to you on Reddit)

          If you cannot provide neutral territory to bond them, you cannot bond them, especially now that they have repeated instances of getting and fighting at each other. I understand rabbits can be very motivated to escape and get to each other, but it is very much the owner’s responsibility for the rabbits’ safety to ensure non-bonded rabbits are separated and to prevent experiences that make them hold hostility towards each other, damaging the likelihood of bonding.

           

          I would make preparations to have two single rabbits, at least for a while (a month at least), to get them settled and for you to figure out what are secure set ups for them individually. If you figure out a way to make neutral territory, you can try a session, but again, I would not recommend it until weeks of no contact.

           

          In terms of how close they “used to be”, that is all within the baby bond phenomena. Baby bonds are temporary and pretty much always fall apart, especially for males. It is not indicative of whether they will be compatible once post-puberty/neuters.

          The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


          • FreeRoamBunMan23
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              Thank you, just replied to your Reddit comment although I can copy it here if it’s easier?


          • LBJ10
            Moderator
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              If you are unable to create a neutral space, would it be possible to take them to someone else’s house to attempt bonding? That way they would both be in an unfamiliar environment.


            • DanaNM
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                You do need to have a very neutral space, especially with a challenging bond. Some ideas are:

                -the bathtub/ bathroom (after wiping it down with a 10% vinegar solution), or laundry room.

                -create a neutral area by putting down a new tarp, set up a new pen, and add some blankets around the sides so they can’t see where they are. It will still smell like home so this may not be a good first step, but would be a good “semi-neutral” space.

                -a relative or friend’s house, garage, or backyard. if you have a rescue in your area they may allow you to bring them in and do some bonding sessions there

                -a bin on a car ride (this could be very useful as well to get past the fighting). Not possible to do all of the bonding sessions this way, but you could do this for short sessions in between sessions at a friend’s house.

                . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


              • FreeRoamBunMan23
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                  Thanks for the responses, both of you.

                  I was planning to try the bath tub when I do start re-bonding them. I do have a friend who lives just five minutes down the road so I could ask him if I could use his place. He has a cat though but maybe we could leave the cat closed in one room and they could have their bonding sessions in another if he agrees to it?


                  • DanaNM
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                      The cat shouldn’t be a problem at all! Keeping it in another room if it’s pestering the buns should be fine, but it might even ignore them. And I think that sounds like a good option, especially once sessions get a bit longer!

                      I used to set up a pen in my friend’s garage when I lived in a studio apartment and it worked out great.

                      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


                  • FreeRoamBunMan23
                    Participant
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                      Oh really? I would’ve thought that a cat (as a predator) would naturally attack a rabbit (as a prey animal). We had a cat when I was young who caught and ate a wild rabbit so I assumed they were natural enemies. And would a rabbit not be terrified of a cat as it can tell it’s a predatory animal?

                      If so, that could work great as it would definitely be a neutral area since they’ve never been there. Thanks!


                      • DanaNM
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                        9038 posts Send Private Message

                          My cats have mostly ignored the buns, and more often than not the cats are afraid of the buns. It’s usually only an issue with baby rabbits or very small ones. Always a good idea to supervise to make sure things stay civil though, especially if the cat has a higher prey drive or is younger. My previous cat would occasionally chase one of my buns when he was younger. My current cats are definitely afraid of the buns.

                          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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                    Forum BONDING Rabbits keep fighting