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happy bunny... but would he be happier with a second one?

2750 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ajlyche
I'm pretty new to the forums, and have only posted one question before- that only got one answer.. so I'm not sure if I am posting this in the right place- please let me know :)


I have a 4yr old Netherland Dwarf Rabbit named Sho'Nuff, and a 4month old Syrian (blackbear) Hamster. They get along fine- when the hamster is in the ball or in my lap. But I am wondering if my bunny needs a rabbit girlfriend (*he is fixed) to keep him company since I am starting school soon? He's been a solo-man indoor spoiled bunn for 4years. Does he really care at this point?
He is a happy bunny... but would he be happier with a second bunny? :confused:

Bunny Background (previous home & habits):
I adopted Sho'Nuff just a few weeks ago. he has always been an indoor apartment rabbit, who's never chewed on wires, dug holes, chewed up anything that wasn't given to him. At his old apartment, he didn't even have a bed / cage / box / hut / specified area for himself. He's a great bun, who doesn't do anything he doesn't want to, and won't eat anything he doesn't feel like. Very hard-headed, stubborn, and holds grudes at me if I do something he does not like (like move furniture, or drop something- causing a loud sound).

Bunny Background (current home * habits):
I live in a rather large studio attick of a house. Sho'Nuff has the whole place to himself. He has an upside down cardboard box w/ cut out door for his food dish, water dish, and veggie dish, a sideways cardboardbox with chew toys in it, and his rabbit home- a bid cardboard box about 4' x 1.5' x 1.5' :)
he has fluffing, towels, T-shirts, and news paper in there.
The only "neutral" space I would have for introducing a new bun would be my bathroom (of course, If i were to get one, i would look through foster homes & shelters first)

Hamster Buddy:
I recently got a Syrian (blackbear) hamster this week named Marley. She is in a self made bin cage (26 gallons w/ bin lid that has mesh for ventilation). She likes to roll around in her hamster ball for about 30 minutes, 4+ times a day.

Sho'Nuff & Marley together:
Sho'Nuff does not mind and likes to follow her around SO LONG AS- a barrier is put around his space. (hence- the blankets on the floor- that the hamster-ball cannot roll over.)

Point of this post: (sorry to get off tangent)
--> The way Sho'Nuff acts with Marley makes me think that Sho'Nuff would be very territorial if I brought in a new bunn? He does not like the hamster ball in his space, and poops all over his space to mark his territory & show me "i do not like what you did". -if I let the ball go over there (if i forget to put a barrier on the floor). I'm unsure, since he has been a solo-man for 4years... ?

(He seems to just sit/laydown in his box during the day. It's not till the evenings / nights that he lays on the rugs with me, or watches TV with me as he lays on & chews up his favorite phonebook. He seems pretty content.)

-->I am starting school on the 20th of June, and will be gone Monday-Thursday for almost the whole day. I currently, am home most of the time, but about 3x a week I do not sleep at home. I leave everything bunny proofed, with a small light on. He does not seem to mind this. but that ontop of all the hours I will be gone for school... ?

So he will be home alone much more of the day than usual.
Of course, I will still have plenty of time for him and my hamster. I am studying to be a Veterinarian Technician, and something like that would not interfere with my time and care for my pets. :)

The point of this post is this:
My Bunny is happy, but would he be happier with a second bunny? :confused:

[thanks for reading my long long long post, and any help or advice is greatly appreciated!] :)

[p.s sorry for the bad quality photos! taken with my phone & when it zooms it's not the best quality.] :geek:


He does bink, run around, and lay very relaxed, feet out and sometimes to the side. My dad does construction on the house alot, so sometimes he's on edge, but he knows where and when he is comfortable :) and he seems happy as can be. Although sometimes he sits with his butt towards me. but within 2 feet of me. I think that's a sign of happiness?? I hope he's not angry?? He seems relaxed- with his eyes have open :)
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i hope someone can help you with this :)
i personally think if the bunnys are properly introduced then they should be fine. But maybe someone else on the forum would have more info. Good lucl and congrads on going to school.
Thank you very much! I'm super excited! Just gotta say~ your kittens are adorable! My kitties are all grown up, but when they were just babies- fluffy was two or three times the size of all the other kittens just because of her fluff! :)
aww thanks :) there my little treasures even thou philly the momma of kimik is a little loopy in the head :)
Hm. Bunnies are social things that crave the attention and special grooming of a buddy. Now, granted, I only have one atm. My Acacia will likely remain a loner for her years due to a number of reasons which aren't suitable for your thread. Kaysh is also 4 and seeing that buns can live to be 10-12 I wouldn't think getting him a friend now is a bad idea. IF you're prepared for the extra costs of food, toys, vet etc. . .

I am also a student and living from loan to loan another bunny is financially out of the question for me. Hay and food costs don't seem like that much but another mouth to feed is still another mouth to feed.

Factor in a couple of things, Sho-Nuff (love the gangsta name :D) is a neutered male, so he'll probably couple best with a spayed female. M-F bonds are the easiest. If you get her from a rescue you may ask for them to take Sho-Nuff and a volunteer will take them both for a week to a neutral terf to bond them. Someone with experience will be able to master this no prob. A couple people here did that with their bunnies.

Since Sho-Nuff is so trusted without a cage NEVER assume that another bunny will be. I don't know why he doesn't chew things that aren't his but I know from experience after time and time again that bunnies chew when you least expect it. "Oh, Acacia is so good she never chews cords" I boasted. Then while I was packing to move I found a chewed cable cord (unused), and now my computer and old lamp cords are nicely striped in green electrical tape. Then I learned to keep them out of reach always. No problem- walls, baseboards, wallpaper, stool legs, table legs, clothes, book spines, book cases, doors, carpet, tiles, basically anything within reach of a bunny is fair game. Bringing another bunny into the mix would mean 2 things: 1. She will most likely chew bc its Sho-Nuff that's the odd ball, 9-10 (I guess) bunnies chew everything. They just do. 2. A new bunny will change Sho-Nuff and he will gain new habits off of her.

I Don't like cages. I stopped caging my bunny when she was less than a year old. I don't like how restrictive they are. I get that. But I do reccommend setting up NIC barriers to totally absolutely guarantee a bunny proof room, rather than just "trust" him. I trusted Acacia up till a couple weeks ago when she climbed some clothes and got at my hair straightener. I didn't notice the extent of the damage until it blew up in my face. O.O

What I'm saying is, really think about the pros and cons of getting another bunny. It can work, but you'll have to make some changes with how you house them. You don't have to cage them totally, to keep them safe (especially since you don't sleep at your place when bunnies are most active <and baddest>) I would recommend making a NIC pen to contain them so you know they're totally safe. Acacia is only locked in her closet pen while we are out at school and asleep (though sometimes she sneaks out somehow -_-)

Bunnies can live perfectly fine alone as well. They will obviously lack the benefits of a buddy to groom their heads and talk to and nuzzle with. My bunny has always been a loner. She lived in the same house with a male before who only wanted humps and she lived with a female -separate pens- but they hated each other and I could never get them to agree with each other. Bunnies are picky and may or may not take to a bunny YOU pick out. Be careful, get in contact with a rescue and good luck!
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Thanks you so much for the awesome & helpful reply! He’s totally my little gangsta bunny, but he’s also a little bit too prissy to be one ;)

So in response to your message:

I’m mostly worried that he will be mad or territtorial:
Sho’Nuff will be mad at me for putting him through the ‘dating process’, and having someone else in his space. When he was first move to my house, and brought here via cage, he was so mad at his owner. He would not look at him, or let him touch him. He sat in the corner, nose up, and turned away. I'm afraid he will not like all the changes we must go through to get a second bunn, and to live with one.

He gets very jealous. He poops all over, and glares at me- ears back when I let the hamster ball to close to him. And when I pay too much attention to my hamster- he actually tried to hop into my lap (which he NEVER does normally, but chickened out-). He hops around his space- and does everything I always praise him for- like pooping in his box, or eating his veggies (which he normally doesnt touch), or chewing on his phone book, or hoping up to me. as if to show me “look! I am a GOOD Sho-Bunny!” (His nickname)

I’m definitely also worried as you mentioned, about his habits changing. Sho’Nuff is a great bunny- he’s never chewed any wires for 4yrs at his old home. But at my place, I think a little re-assurance is that my WHOLE room is hardwood floor (which he seems kind of afraid of). I have several large carpets out- that he seems to know as 'his space', and everything else in my room is pushed against a wall (wires included). All the walls / wires are at lease 6-8 feet away (from the carpets) in every direction. He’s never hoped more than 6” away from the carpets. And whenever I leave, I unplug everything, and put all the wires in baskets / things up off the floor.

Wires... Help??:
*However I’m still not sure what to do with my powerstrip for my TV/DVD and whatnot.. it still sits on the floor even though its unplugged and hidden behind the stand. Any ideas?? Should I maybe get a new TV stand that lets you hide the wires inside??

I want to definitely hide ALL the wires- I will also raise my speakers off the ground. & Thank you for your story! I definitely want to be 120% bunny proof!

I don't really like pens either. What kind of steps would I have to go through to completely bunny proof my room for a free roam bunny?

If all wires were in baskets / unplugged & up high, all papers / note books in bins, all clothes in my plastic dressers instead of in chairs. Would this kind of set up be okay?

adjustments for a lady friend:
But besides all this, I’m still in debate. I want what’s best for my bunny and I don’t want him to be lonely…

Since I’ll be at school for the most part, I’m kind of worried how the room should be set up when I’m away (if I do get him another friend).

my questions are:
Where should I keep the other bunny?

-->Should I keep her in a cage outside Sho’Nuff’s "carpet island"

-->Should I make a second area like Sho’Nuffs little “carpet Island”

--> If I do make a second "carpet island" for a lady friend. Should I put her 'space' in a pen like they make for babies / or puppies.

-->How tall do the pens need to be?

Wait & see...:
I will definitely consider getting a second bunny. But at the moment, with all the learning with Sho’Nuff, and changing my schedules, and how much he’ll see me, and how our daily routine will change, plus new steps to bunny proof, including a pen—might just be enough changes for him for now. Seeing how he handles things, or if he really does seem lonelier while I’m starting school, we may or may not try bunny dating for a new friend. :)

Thanks so much for all your advice & info! and if you could help w/ any of these questions it would be soooo extremely appreciated! :)
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Your welcome :D
Consider this: If you get a new bunny friend you will most definitely have to be around for supervision for a couple weeks, if not months, to moniter their behavior.

I would attribute his jealousy to the hamster in a less anopomorphic way. Bunnies do get jealous when you, as their only current buddy, is spending time with someone else, but for the most part he was displaying fear and stress to a new changing environment. Aside from his old owner's voice, he simply doesn't care or remember him. Bunnies are just simple structured prey animals- no room to fit in complex emotions and feelings bc of their naturally short lifespan. Now that they live longer better lives indoors, evolution has taken its grip but nothing considerable yet. His excessive pooping is bc he is marking his territory. You'll see more of it with a new buddy!! :D Successfully litter trained bunnies don't even do this once they are fully acclimated and comfortable with their surroundings.

As for the wires, NIC squares lined against the wall with the wires behind it should suffice. They have short nuzzles and shouldn't be able to get at them too hard. Unplugged wires still are fair game. He may get the urge to check it out some day, chew it, get bored, move on.. When you come home you should be checking on them just in case! Hardware stores sell PVC piping. It's sooo cheap! Get it cute there and feed all your wires through it and viola! If bunny chews it he at least will not get electrocuted on the tv cords etc. Milk crates and PVC is the cheapest way to re-design your entertainment area, rather than buying a new stand. ;)

Generally bunny proofing includes keeping the animal contained in a safe place while you are out. Hiding cords, plastic, plants and anything else that isn't made for small animals should be contained. The House Rabbit Society has LOTS of info on proofing, diet, toys, etc. for ideas. I'm still apprehensive on the 100% free range thing TBH. A new bunny would definitely need a pen, at least. You can make one out of NIC (2 high should suffice) or buy a grossly over priced one from a pet store made for rabbits or puppies. Those are made high enough but don't include a shelf, which bunnies like to hide under and jump up on. Also, watch out for baseboards, legs of things, doors, anything on the floor, if they can jump on the furniture then watch out for anything within reach of that as well. Why I would suggest a temporary pen for while you are gone.

If you're going to be gone for most of the time as a student then ask yourself if bringing another animal in the house is necessary at all? I'm not aware of the hours involved here but lonliness is a silent killer. I mean, if you're there every single day to play and nourish each pet and spend quality time then sure. But stopping in to feed, say hi and leave again would only make the 2 bonded bunnies feel less inclined to come visit you when you come to visit them... Understand? A single bunny needs a lot of stimulation and attention. A bonded pair requires less human interaction but still not ideal if you'll be gone out f the house all day. The full needs of bunny(s) won't be met. Getting him a buddy just to fill the gap that you aren't there will not make him more of your friend, as some people here with bonded bunnies have noticed, once you get them a friend they care less for the human.. Even if it is in smaller doses. So you'll be losing your friend, and become more of a slave to him!! :p

-->Should I keep her in a cage outside Sho’Nuff’s "carpet island"
*Do you want to cage one and not the other? If they are to be bonded they will need to be together to nuzzle and groom.

-->Should I make a second area like Sho’Nuffs little “carpet Island”
*If you at least build a pen around it. Bunnies prefer to feel carpet under their feet since they lack pads for grip. Some hate tiles so hard and will just freak out.

--> If I do make a second "carpet island" for a lady friend. Should I put her 'space' in a pen like they make for babies / or puppies.
*Again, if you want them to be really bonded they will have to share the same space. changes will have to be made to accommodate them both.

Best of luck on your desicion. It is up to you but that's why we're here! :D I had bunnies for only 4.5 years and it's been a roller coaster of good times and destruction. Love and heart ache. Keep us updated, I hope this info helped :)
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After researching for about a week, and asking around with other people and their pets, and Sho’Nuff previous owners, and babysitters. I’ve actually started to think that Sho-bunny is just fine as a sexy single man :)

He’s quite happy when I am home- which aside from running errands, (and school) is pretty much the rest of my day. My classes will be about 5-7 hours Mon-Thurs. I’m pretty much a homebody, so I’m starting to think, that Sho (given enough attention when I am home), will be just fine being a little bachelor. I think that he’s pretty spoiled, and lives a fair life. My room temperature is monitored so that it is an ideal temperature for him.

[FONT=&quot]My only note is that, since I will be gone more of the day than usual- I will definitely invest, and really work on a complete- and I mean COMPLETE bunny-safe room. Which I really should have looked into before. Even though he is a well behaved little man, it only takes once (as you have mentioned before). :)

About the pooping to mark his territory: is it good then to have the hamster-ball blocked from Sho’Nuff’s ‘space’? I currently just lay blankets down in kind of a rolled up- long tube style, so that Sho’Nuff can still hop over it, lay on it, or nudge it, but the hamster can only gently bump into it. Sho’Nuff seems to be pooping in his space less, and his bunny-body-language seems more relaxed than upset or displeased.

About the not remembering his old owner: is that proven? Maybe Sho’Nuff just has funny preferences, but I have noticed- that he only really lets males pet him. I’ve layed on the floor, tried treats, talked to him, and he likes to sit close to me (about 2ft away) and he sometimes comes up to me for a sniff. I’ve only been able to pet him once. But whenever my boyfriend comes over, Sho just hops right on over, and bows his head down, and lets my boyfriend pet him right behind the ears for about 30seconds & He likes to put his little front feet on his back when my bf lies flat on the ground.
Sho’Nuffs first owner was a male as well, very much like my bf. I thought maybe my bf just had a good essence. (all my animals seem to love him naturally- and any other animal he comes near). But I noticed today, that Sho’Nuff let my male cousin reach right out to him, and pet him! Sho’Nuff bowed his head just as with my bf and let him pet him for about 30seconds as well. He kept hoping up to him, asking to be pet again about 3 more times in 2 hours! Does Sho’Nuff have a male preference naturally? Or could this possibly be because he misses or loves his past owner so much?? He will not do any of these things with my sister- who always comes over to visit. Or my Mom? Or even me.

About Bunny Proofing:
where can I get NIC Squares? Are the expensive / do I have to order them online only? Is there something else I can buy in stores or use to improvise to make this kind of thing?

I will definitely find a way to create a barrier around my TV cords + get that protective plastic over them or a PVC pipe just to be sure, I will also raise my speakers off the floor, and put another barrier around my microwave stand (with cords) + my air filter(with cords) QUESTION: how high should these barriers be?

Questions / Need ideas for:

What should I do about bookcases / shelves?
1) I have a bookcase with dvds that’s about 7’ tall or so, but it’s on the complete other side of the room about 12’ away from Sho’Nuffs “carpeted island”. Should I be worried about that? He’s pretty scared of the hardwood, but he also gets curious. But never makes it past one step.
2) I also have a wooden table, with wooden legs, and wooden chairs, I use this table to hold all my rabbit and hammie supplies in a bin on top. Sho has only sniffed at the air around the table- but again, it’s on the hardwood about 2-3 feet away… should I be worried about him chewing it?

3) I have two, open shelved book cases about 4’ tall & 5’6” that is actually in his “carpeted island” area against the walls. He seems to ignore things, sniff a little. But ignores them. But the fact that he sniffs over there and IS infact curious makes me a little bit nervous. Should I put those NIC barriers or something like it around them? Or get different shelves that have doors? Or should I just move them all together? I’m not really sure where I’d put them though…
4) Sho’Nuff has never jumped onto anything, but again- doesn’t mean he will. Should I be worried about my bed that is about 2’ off the ground, it’s about 2’ away from his “carpeted island” so I’m not sure if I should worry about this either. but I am a little more concerned because it is right up against a dresser that has my hamster’s bin cage?

5) Sho doesn’t seem to have a chewing problem, but almost all my furniture is wooden. My bed, a coffee table, a chair (in reach), and a few random bookshelves not mentioned before** against walls. All of these things are about 2’ – 6’ away from his “carpeted island” but I really want to make sure I can have a rabbit proof home.

I guess all in all it might just be easier to get him a NIC pen around his “carpeted island”. Seems like less of a hassle… But I still want everything to be bunny proofed whether or not his “carpeted island” is pen-ed in or not.
This you mentioned should be 2’ high. I would probably not put shelves in it however.

Terribly sorry for the long novel I am asking you to write, well technically I’m asking anyone to write! : ) but understandably, I just want my bunny to be happy, healthy, and safe. Thank you (& anyone else) for answering these questions or any advice at all! I know its a lot! But it’s sufficiently improving the life of one little bachelor :)
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