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Thread: Rebonding after loss of a partner?

  1. #1

    Default Rebonding after loss of a partner?

    Hello all! New to this forum although long time bunny mother and enthusiast. I was hoping someone would have similar experience or could advise on rebonding a bunny after loss of a partner.

    Weíve recently lost our much loved 11 year old French lop Belle (f), leaving 6 year old Alfie (m). Belle previously had another bonded partner but Alfie has pretty much been with Belle his whole life. They were very close, Belle was the dominant although there was never any territorial or aggressive behaviour, she just stole all the food and he groomed her lots!

    The last few months were quite traumatic for us all after she had severe head tilt and paralysis (possible due to E. Cuni after other infection weakened immune system). The vet advised she was not in pain and suggested palliative care until she worsened, she kept fighting but started to get stressed and deteriorated so we took the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. Alfie had been so caring with her although he was obviously also upset by her condition.

    Iím not sure whether to consider getting another bonded partner for Alfie or whether he may be happier on his own due to his age and because he was so close to Belle.

    Both bunnies were originally outdoor bunnies but we moved them indoors about 18 months ago after Belles arthritis reduced her mobility and she was unable to use ramps. I offered them the use of the whole house but they preferred to stay in indoor pen (very large space) and they used outdoor run in good weather.

    I donít think Alfie would reach the same age as Belle (he is unspecified breed) but I have no idea. Although I would be happy to offer another bunny a home, particularly if an older rescue bunny, and I will do whatever is best for Alfie, I donít really want to get another bunny for Alfie to then pass on and then me be in the exact same situation with rebonding the new bunny. Ideally, in the future I would get a bonded pair and build a large enclosure in the garden or have them both as house trained bunnies with run of the house. Iíve also just had a baby so have felt quite under pressure recently.

    Has anyone had a similar situation? If he is in house with our attention will that be enough? Is there anything I can do to entertain and enrich? If I tried bonding would I know if he wanted a partner or not? At his age and after being with dominant bunny might he enjoy being in his own ? If I do bond should I try an older female bunny again? Is it time sensitive?

    He currently looks very sad but it has only been one day so I would wait a few months at least for him to grieve and adjust before making a decision.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013


    Hello, and welcome to RU, I’m so sorry to hear you lost Belle I haven’t been in your position before so can’t advise from experience, but it will depend on how Alfie copes in the immediate future, and how much attention you can give him, as to if he will adapt to being a single rabbit. There are lots of rescues around who would likely have a suitable partner for him, some will do the bonding for you if necessary.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  3. #3


    Hello! Many thanks for your reply, sorry I had missed the notification and just seen it now. Alfie seems to be ok considering, Iím home during the day as on maternity leave so he gets lots of attention but I think Iíll offer him the chance to bond. Contacted some local rescue centres just for an initial chat :-)

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Alfie is still fairly young at 6, almost middle-aged. We always advise to get a friend and an older female would be ideal. Hope some lovely bunny comes along.



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