Posted: February 13, 2011, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I have two 3-year-old female rabbits (they are sisters). I took them in after a friend couldn’t commit to caring for them anymore (they are house rabbits). I got them when they were both 1 year old. They haven’t been spayed. Last week they started fighting, after two years of peaceful existence together. Every time they see each other, they exhibit their ready-to-attack positions. I’ve taken them to the veterinarian, and she couldn’t give any suggestions about what to do to help, or any reasons why they have begun this fighting. They can’t be in the same room, because they just charge at each other.
A: What you describe is probably occurring because the rabbits haven’t been spayed. Rabbits can be very hormonal if they are not spayed or neutered; in turn, they can be more territorial, which may cause some fighting. Female rabbits also have a high chance of getting uterine cancer when they are not spayed, so it would be a good idea to spay them anyway.
Once they are both spayed, be sure to provide them with a nice big living area that contains a couple of big litter boxes filled with rabbit-safe litter on the bottom, and piled up with hay on top; add hidey-houses and chew toys.
You should follow bonding instructions to get them back together before you put them into a new living area alone.
I have noticed that more same-sex rabbit pairs tend to get into a spat or fight than opposite-sex bonded pairs. That isn’t to say that all same-sex bonded rabbits will fight, as we have many at the Bunny Bunch that are totally in love.
If you do have a hard time trying to get them back together, adding a male rabbit into the bonding may do the trick, as it will change the dynamics of the relationship.
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