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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question rabbits attacking

hi. i'm new to the forum so i apologize if this question has been asked already.

my problem is that i have two spayed female rabbits- Thimble and Sniffles. I got Thimble in January- she is about 9 months old now, and I got Sniffles in May, she is about 5 months old.

THey have been together for 2 months now and still hate eachother. I haven't been able to do much bonding activities for fear that they will seriously hurt each other. I have to keep a play pen around Sniffles cage to protect her from Thimble when Thimble is out free. They bite each other viciously - and just recently Sniffles bit Thimble in the nose and lip after Thimble bit her in the butt

I don't know what to do! I'm scared to take them for car rides b/c i'm scared they will kill eachother. I have put them in the bath tub and in the playpen in a neutral area but they still fight- THimble being the usual aggressor. I have even taken them outside in the playpen to get them to bond in fear of the great outdoors, but as long as Thimble knows i'm around she will attack Sniffles. is this territorial?

I was very close to Thimble before i got Sniffles- she slept with me and everything. I thought getting her a friend would be good for her because my schedule will be changing and i won't be home as much next year. I intended to get a male companion for her, but the person I got sniffles from mistook her for a boy, when she was really a girl...

I feel just awful about them hating eachother. Is there anything i can do to help them get along or at least be able to co-exist? I feel bad that Sniffles doesn't get as much free time out - but it's for her own safety. But i love her and could never give her up to another home now. I would always be scared that she was being harmed or neglected.

Please help!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 03:36 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I have had similar problems. My rabbits were fine together until they got to butt sniffing, then all **** broke loose.
One thing you can never forget is that rabbits are like people. They don't like everyone they meet and see.
There are many things you could try like letting them together in a neutral space and if they start fighting, separate them. I have tried to bond my two rabbits a lot, but they still don't get along. Make sure both rabbits get plenty of attention and time to run around. You don't want them getting jealous.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Smile thanks

Thanks! I guess i'll just have to keep trying, and maybe they will get along someday and maybe not. it's just hard to balance their time out equally! they'd both be so much happier if they could just be friends, i wish they understood that!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 10:13 PM
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I know exactly how you feel!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 08:28 AM
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This was my exact scenario... well almost. I got my two bunnies at 6 weeks of age, and was told that they were both boys. Not knowing anything about rabbits I decided to get two so that they would keep each other company. However, I had learned (after having them with my for one week) that they would begin to fight at 12 weeks of age due to hormones, and must be seperated. I couldn't image it... they snuggled, and loved each other. But like clockwork they did in fact decide that they would start circling and I got nervous and decided that they needed to be seperated. It took one year from then to get them to be friends. But it was pure heck doing it. They fought just like you described. It was awefull. I used the car ride method... and it worked fantastic. However when they were out of the car all things turned hellish again. I would recommend that you do use the car ride method, and most likely there will not be a problem between them so long as the engine is on. Anyways, we tried on and off for weeks at a time through that year. Our final attempt took 8 weeks to achieve. And it was basically just the same thing day in and day out. You have to allow them to work it out. I don't mean let them fight. But keep at it, and when they fight, grab them and force them to snuggle side by side while you stroke them and talk reassuringly to them. Once they settle down again, then let them back up. If they fight you may want to do a car ride and put them back together again afterwards. Depending on your rabbits, it is possible to make friends of them... however, the difficulty often doesn't make it worth it.

Even once my girls were bonded the one would constantly be humping the other. They never fully decided who was boss. So after they were bonded and friends for 6 months... I decided that I just had to adopt a lop boy bunny to add into the mix. The result has been that after much work both girls love the boy, and he loves them as well... but now my girls hate each other. So I would always suggest that you do not get a third bunny. If you decide that your girls will not work out, then I would suggest getting two boys and keeping two couple seperately.

I know exactly what you mean about "if they would just get along they would both have more freedom, and a friend, etc" and how frustrating it is that they just refuse to understand that.

After two years of on and off bonding now I have come to the conclusion that I must re-home one of my girls. I fear for their safety constantly. I would never even consider such a thing, however, I have met a wonderful person whom I trust and know will provide a loving home, with lots of room to run (i.e. no cage) and where my one girl will have her very own boyfriend. It's been such a termoil past 2.5 years... and I wish you MUCH better success that I had.


P.S. One thing to note... that if your girls are not spayed they will not be able to bond (most likely). Their hormones will keep them fighting. Spaying, in my opinion, is a must.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for sharing your experience with your bunnies! I think it gave me the hope to start trying to bond them again! I haven't tried the car rides yet, and i think i will now. Now that I trust the method more after hearing your rabbits didn't fight as long as the engine was running.

I forced them to snuggle before and they behaved but once i let go of them they'd start fighting, so i gave up rather quickly. I think i should just be steady with that and the car rides and hopefully i will see signs of improvement!

They are both spayed, so that is one good thing at least. I hope they will get along sooner or later, or perhaps i will try getting them each a fixed boyfriend. hehe. thanks again.
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