Pet rabbits can be kept alone if they are given daily attention and socialization from their human companions. It's best if single rabbits are kept as house pets so you can spend ample amounts of time petting and playing with them.
If you don't want a second rabbit, you can help ease your rabbit's loneliness yourself: Give your rabbit at least an hour out of its cage each day. Spend some time playing with it at its own level on the floor. Rabbits love to dig, knock things over and toss things in the air.
Rabbits are social animals, and, like us, can suffer from loneliness. Though there are exceptions, most rabbits want and need another rabbit for company. For this reason, we always recommend keeping rabbits in groups of two or more.
Rabbits are a social species and have evolved to live in groups. In the wild, rabbits do not live alone. Rabbits kept as companions are not biologically different from their wild counterparts and so their innate need to be kept in the company of other rabbits is just as strong.
In general, rabbits will be happier in pairs than when they are single. A second rabbit can prevent depression, and even help to minimize boredom and troublemaking behaviors. However, enough social interaction from humans or other pets is also okay if getting a second rabbit is not possible.
Because rabbits are social animals, they will often get depressed if they are left alone for too long. A rabbit who is treated like a cage animal and left alone inside their enclosure day in and day out is very likely to become lonely and depressed. Instead, it's best to treat rabbits as companion animals.
Offer your rabbit a treat.
If your rabbit is scared, give him/her their favorite food to calm them. Don't do it too often to avoid obesity. Put a small piece of fruit on your hand and approach your rabbit gently. The rabbit will slowly understand that humans can be trusted.
Because rabbits are social animals, they require daily interaction and attention. They aren't happy languishing in a cage day after day. For several hours daily, they need time outside the cage, to socialize, exercise and explore. To be comfortable with their people, they need frequent, gentle interaction.
Rabbits like to play and need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Ideally you want to provide them with up to 4 hours daily of supervised time out of their cage.
While female – male bonding tends to be easier, you can certainly bond two females or two males together. Next, each rabbit will require its own space with their own personal things.
Staring is very common in rabbits. It's likely your rabbit stares at you out of love and happiness, but they could also be hungry, or confused. Rabbits also have a transparent eyelid that they use while they sleep, which may make it seem like they are staring.
Rabbits are capable of a wide range of emotions including jealousy, anger, fear, grief, love, irritability and insecurity. Understanding what is really going on in any particular rabbit's head may take months or even years of patient observance, particularly when you do not know the history of the rabbit from birth.
Offer a treat
The easiest way to apologize to a rabbit is to offer them the treat. For many rabbits, this will immediately get you back into their good graces and they will no longer hold a grudge against you. However, even for rabbits who refuse the treat, the act of giving them something yummy doesn't go unnoticed.
The best way to gain your rabbits' trust is by simply spending lots of time being near them, while allowing your bunnies to approach you in their own time. By sitting quietly with them in a safe enclosure, you'll show your rabbits that you aren't to be feared and that you can be trusted.
You may worry that your rabbit will be lonely. If you spend a lot of time with your rabbit, they will undoubtedly miss you when you're away, the same way you miss them. The two of you have developed a bond and friendship that your pet rabbit also understands.
Rabbits can also exhibit distress at separation. As with dogs, symptoms include destructive behaviours such as chewing on slippers and carpets and reverting to unsavoury toilet habits. In many cases the remedy is broadly the same: a softly, softly approach to separation, building up steadily each day.
They are hardwired to have social needs and can quickly become lonely and even fall into a depression if those needs are not met. The best way to help our rabbits and meet their needs is to bond them with another rabbit. However, this is not always possible.
Caring for your pet rabbit
It is important that you understand all the requirements for caring for a rabbit before you buy one. Rabbits generally live for 5 to 8 years depending on their environment and breed, but they can live for as long as 12 years.
Rabbits enjoy the company of other living beings. In addition to human friends, your rabbit may get along with another rabbit, house cat, guinea pig and well-mannered dog. All introductions should be closely supervised.