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Thread: Rabbit chasing and nipping at the others bottom.

  1. #1

    Default Rabbit chasing and nipping at the others bottom.

    Hi all,
    Iím new to the forum.

    Iíve recently bought two female rabbits Ė Mabel and Tilly. The two are sisters and were brought up together. Both are three months old and un-neutered. Mabel is black and white, I knew from the start that she was more outgoing. Tilly, who is brown and white, is more reserved and shy.

    Recently, Mabel has been chasing Tilly around the cage. If Tilly is relaxing, Mabel nudges her out of the way by the bottom. No matter where Tilly is, Mabel wants her out of the way.

    Today I have found clumps of white fur, that belong to Tilly (she has whiter fur, especially at the bum) and Iíve witnessed Mabel chase after Tilly again, this time Tilly cried out. I immediately took Tilly from the cage and have decided to separate them into separate cages and plan to let them out together during the day.

    I know that this could be a sign that Mabel is more dominant? The ďbossĒ? Yet, there are times during the day when the two girls sit, lay and cuddle together.

    I bought two rabbits because I was advised that they would appreciate the company. I know that many of you would suggest getting them neutered, but in the past, I have had a bad experience with this and lost my pervious rabbit due to the anaesthetic.

    Iím just wondering if anyone could give any advice? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe kattymieoww's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Their hormones are kicking in and sadly two non spayed girls,even if they are sisters will fight,you may need to separate them especially now one is hurting the other.I have no experience with two females together,so hopefully someone with the knowledge to help will see your post.

  3. #3


    Hi there, welcome to the forum.

    I'm sorry to hear that your girls are fighting. As kattymieoww has said, it is very unlikely that two unswayed females will get along.

    I appreciate your concern with regards to the general anaesthetic as I have previously had the same worries in the past. However GAs in rabbits are much safer than they used to be, especially when performed by a 'rabbit savvy' vet.

    If you would like helping finding an experienced vet you can make another post in Rabbit Chat titled " Rabbit savvy vet needed in ... " and enter your general whereabouts.

    Hopefully this link will provide you with some more information with regards to the benefits of neutering and the GA:

    In the meantime it would be advisable to keep your girlies apart, as if they do have a fight it can make re-bonding them trickier.

  4. #4
    Warren Scout 0XBunnyta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    it'll be from bringing them home to a new place that the dominance is really kicking off to establish themselves and because of their age, they're starting to come through a bit more now like stroppy teenagers One thing I think that comes with experience of bonding a few different pairs/ groups is that it can look scary and there can be a lot of fluff but sometimes its better to let them establish and then relax into their group/ pair when then the reconciliation grooming starts. Bunnies fur is very dense so a tiny nip of hair being pulled out can look quite dramatic when if it was us, it'd be like a couple strands and not really hurt all that much.

    The only time to separate is when they are both going after each other head to head or actually manage to draw blood. if its only been a couple of hours id put them back asap so they do not lose their bond or you may end up with two separate rabbits, any longer than a day or two and they start to not really recognize each other. I've been on vet trips before with a pair from a of a quad and popped them back fine with no issues after a couple hours.

    If they start fur pulling when you put them together don't be alarmed it does look scary but as long as there is no immediate danger they should sort their problems out. Mine always have a scuffle here and there anyway over dominance if there's a new space or extra tasty treat and they've been bonded years. Especially around this time settled pairs or groups can have scuffles, we refer to it as spring fever haha.

    I wouldn't be too worried about the GA it is a horror story and i'm so sorry it happened to you but cancer is of high prevalence when unspayed and they will bond so much better. Where people say non-spayed females cant live togther is a case by case basis really depending on the personality but i should think at this age it is the moving that has done it and not that they're official fighting.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    Hello there! I have kept unneutered sisters together but one is always the boss and the underdog has to know her place. It works better if they have quite a bit of space so it's easier for the submissive one to get out of the way. I wouldn't like to be the submissive rabbit in an indoor cage though as life will not be very pleasant. Your girls won't be old enough to be spayed for another 2+ months so you will have to decide what you are going to do. Once spayed you will need to allow hormones to settle before you can try re-bonding them, in a neutral area. This might not be easy. All this should have been explained to you at the time you were buying them, but the shop just wants to sell them. Boy/girl bonds are the easiest.

  6. #6


    Rabbits typically nip bums, sometimes its a "move out my way" or showing dominance. I personally don't worry to much about that. When you find clumps of fur and blood is when you worry.

    I'd look at getting them both done though as it's common for unneutered females to get cysts in their lady bits. Look for vet recommendations in your area, many vets (especially chain) don't have great small animal knowledge. My old vet didn't know about RHD for instance. My new vet does over 100 rescue buns per year and loses only 1 per year on average.



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