Rabbits must live in pairs or groups. In the wild these incredibly social animals live in densely packed warrens in colonies and although they may look different, domestic rabbits are still very similar in behaviour and temperament to their wild cousins. Like most prey animals, they rely on other rabbits to help them sense danger as well as for companionship so living alone is frightening as well as lonely.
Just like us, being under constant or high levels of stress can cause health problems, both mental and physical so having company for your rabbit is essential. Guinea pigs are generally not a good choice of friend for a single bunny as they communicate and behave quite differently and would never naturally mix. The best solution is one male rabbit and one female for a closely bonded and happy pair. So to prevent you ending up with lots of extra, unplanned additions, neutering and spaying is very important!
Neutering a spaying doesn't only prevent unwanted pregnancy in rabbits. A staggering 80% of female rabbits will develop cancer by the age of five if they are not spayed. This is because of the very high hormone levels that make them so proficient at producing babies in the wild. If you want your girl to have a long and happy life, spaying is one very important way to do that. Bonding a pair of rabbits which can be a delicate process to begin with (a service we offer at Raystede) is made more complicated and likely to fail if the female is not spayed as she will be far more aggressive towards the male.
Finally, its not just the girls who need to spayed to ensure peace, harmony and heath with your bunnies. Male rabbits who are not neutered are more likely to display unwanted or problem behaviours such as spraying, humping and aggression towards you and other rabbits. At Raystede we spay and neuter all of our rabbits. If you have a lone rabbit that you wish to bond with a Raystede bunny, we will ask that they are spayed or neutered.
To prove this, we will never ask you to perform invasive surgery, simply to show us on your vet records that the procedure has been done. This way we know we are setting up the bonding for the best possible chance of success, preventing an unwanted pregnancy and ensuring the health and well being of the rabbits involved. We are always happy to discuss bonding, spaying and any other questions you might have about rabbit care and health so never hesitate to ask.