Boredom and depression are common symptoms of loneliness in rabbits. These are accompanied by destructiveness and hyperactivity in some rabbits (generally the smaller breeds), withdrawal in others. (Note: Call your veterinarian if your rabbit shows any sudden changes in behavior, as these may also be signs of physical illness.)
If you are considering a bunny I would urge you to check out some of our pairs. These great rabbits get overlooked frequently because people are a bit hesitant to take on a set. I can tell you there are some really nice advantages to bringing home two. They always have company even if you work long hours, only one cage to clean since they share everything, bonded pairs are adorable together, and my favorite part twice the rabbit kisses!! Oh and did I mention you do get a reduced adoption fee when you adopt two of our bonded buns? It’s truly a win-win situation.
If you find that Thumper really does not share your interest in living with rabbits, please consider a non-rabbit non-human friend for him. This is especially important for rabbits who are home alone much of the time. The solitude of an empty apartment would be unnatural even for the wild animals whom we label as solitary.I Think cats.
Some bunnies coexist contentedly with a feathered friend. Cross-species introductions, in which territorial issues are muted, run a swifter and easier course than rabbit/rabbit situations.
There are some medical reasons for not adopting a second rabbit.
Rabbits of opposite sexes who are not spayed/neutered should never be with one another. In addition to being good preventive health care, this surgery allows for smooth introductions and loving long-term relationships between same-sex partners as well as male/female pairs. We have discussed spay/neuter in many previous articles and consider it a cornerstone of medical and behavioral health for all rabbits.
An unneutered rabbit who is too elderly for surgery, or a neutered individual who is frail or sick may not be able to handle the stress of an introduction to another rabbit, but may be a good candidate for a guinea pig friend.
Two rabbits are generally not more expensive than one. Pellets, hay, fresh fruits and vegetables, and litter--shopping for two puts little additional strain on the budget. The exception is medical care. Both must be spayed/neutered, and even if you start with a spayed/neutered pair, one or both rabbits may become ill and require veterinary care.
(Estimated cost of having a bunny: http://myhouserabbit.com/new-to-rabbits/how-much-does-a-pet-rabbit-cost/ )
Other pets needing pairs:
Some other small animals that I’d like to draw attention to are our guinea pigs. Guinea pigs bond pretty quickly with other guinea pigs of the same sex usually and truly enjoy each others company.
References to adopting pairs:
The Case for Rabbits in the Plural