Rabbits that have loving mates are happier, healthier, and just plain adorable. Watching two buns snuggling, kissing, and obviously so completely in love with each other really warms the heart. Matching them also lessens their chances of loneliness. But don't worry - they'll still need love and attention from you.
Before you run out and buy a buddy for your bun, please read this article first. You can't just throw any two rabbits together and expect them to get along. Doing so can result in severe injuries or worse. Rabbits are very particular about who they'll allow to live with them and can fight to the death to protect their territory.
Matchmaking is a delicate process and is best done by an experienced matchmaker unless you've done extensive research, can be home to supervise, and feel comfortable and confident you can do it yourself. You will also have to be prepared for the possibility your rabbit may reject it's new mate and you'll then be responsible for two separate rabbits for the rest of their lives. (Not an issue if you go through a matchmaker.) We recommend opposite sex bondings. Spay/neuter is always necessary to avoid fighting.
We provide matchmaking services here at Rabbit Rescue, Inc. by appointment only. The process is as follows:
Normal rabbit matchmaking behavior includes circling, mounting, grunting and fur pulling. Our matchmaker Natalie has been doing this since long before starting Rabbit Rescue and is great at reading rabbit body language. She'll know within minutes who your bunny prefers. When signs of acceptance are observed, the buns usually go home with Natalie for the rest of the process..... (anywhere from a few days to a week) as neutral territory is essential for a successful match. The foreign surroundings also encourage the buns to draw closer together for comfort, making the match even stronger. When Natalie sees them grooming each other and sleeping together they're ready to go home.
You of course have the option of completing the matchmaking in your own home, but this should never be undertaken without some training. Going about it improperly can undo a perfect match at best - and result in serious injuries at worst.
Newly-matched buns should spend their first few days back home (if possible) in an area your rabbit has never been before...someplace he/she won't consider "mine". If there's no place your bun hasn't been, wash down every surface you can (floors, carpets, bedding, bowls, bottles, litterbox, toys, etc.) to eliminate your rabbit's scent. This will lessen his/her urge to defend territory.
Keep them in a limited area at first, slowly expanding their area as the new bun gets used to his/her new surroundings. Even buns with impeccable litterbox habits may experience a "Honeymoon Period" where their first instinct is to mark his/her new territory. Potty accidents by both rabbits may occur during this phase... another reason to expand their territory slowly. (A week to settle in, a week with limited freedom, more freedom by week three and so on.) You can also expect some mounting which will taper off over time. Before you know it the newlyweds will be a happy and well-adjusted part of the family.