Rabbits are like other species on this planet. They live, and they also die. But there are many reasons why death occurs in rabbits.
One of the most common questions asked by first-time pet owners is, can a rabbit die from loneliness? Unfortunately, yes, rabbits can die from feeling lonely. But don’t worry; this can be prevented.
This article will provide you with a useful answer. We’ll also give you additional tips and pieces of advice regarding how to keep your rabbit healthy. So if you don’t want to miss a thing, keep scrolling!
Loneliness in Rabbits
Rabbits are considered playful animals, but they can also die from loneliness. There are cases of animals dying a few days after their close companion passes away. The grieving process is very stressful for them, and there are instances when they cannot bear the weight anymore, so they die.
They are like humans too. Rabbits can feel distressed if they are shocked by their environment. That is why understanding this kind of behavior in rabbits is essential for us to become responsible owners.
Moreover, it also helps us determine what kind of intervention we need. Always remember that a lonely rabbit is an unhealthy rabbit. We must be sensitive enough to determine whether or not our rabbit is happy or sad.
Reasons Why Rabbits Become Lonely
1. Rabbits are Sociable Animals
When you own a rabbit, it’s expected that they need a companion. Although you can be considered as their partner, having another rabbit by their side will ease loneliness in rabbits.
Remember, rabbits are social animals. Animal Welfare Victoria also added that living in groups is natural for rabbits. They prefer it actually than to live alone. This helps them to protect each other if there is a threat nearby in the wild habitat.
Now if you buy a single rabbit, they will feel sad. They don’t have someone to play with and bond with. It’s always advisable to bring another rabbit to help your pet from feeling alone.
2. Rabbits are Isolated
The National Library of Medicine stated that isolation could affect loneliness in animals. When your pet is deprived of playing outside, they feel sad, which leads to a more serious problem of depression. The Dodo also claims that lack of interaction could result in behavioral changes.
Part of rabbit care is ensuring that your pet has an active lifestyle. Aside from keeping them healthy, you should provide your rabbits time to play outside. Engaging with them while playing is also ideal to form a connection and trust between you and the rabbits.
3. Rabbits are Shocked
Your rabbit likes to be in their safe space always. They are prey animals, so their instinct tells them to avoid vulnerability. Now, if your rabbit is in a new environment or a shocking event is happening near them, they can feel depressed.
You can prevent this by familiarizing your pet with different situations. For example, you plan to bring them to another house. Introduce your rabbit and ensure they are calm when you do so. Do not force or shout at them when roaming different areas of the house. This is their way of familiarizing themselves with the new house.
But, of course, keep them close to them to intervene when they are crossing the line, like destroying house plants or getting aggressive.
Signs of a Lonely Rabbit
Fortunately, there are some observable signs that help us know if your rabbit is lonely. Look at the list below to guide you better.
1. Avoid Interaction
If you think that your rabbit shows no interest in your presence, then they most likely feel sad or lonely. You will notice this when you are calling them in their name but not giving attention to you. They will also avert eye contact with you.
Although there are also instances when they suddenly seek the owner’s attention and strangely begin nudging at them, you must watch out for these signs.
2. Loses Appetite
Once your rabbit starts feeling lonely, it will also lose its appetite. Even if you offer your pet their favorite foods, there is a probability they will ignore it. They don’t want to be disturbed and just want to stay in their safe space. But not eating food has a lot of risk in rabbits. You must observe your pet often if they have behavioral changes.
3. Becomes Aggressive
Another sign that your rabbit might be lonely is that it won’t show any signs of willingness to play with you. Some rabbits don’t like being picked up, becoming more aggressive and restless. There is also a possibility that they will try to bite you if you suddenly touch them. You need to be careful in approaching an aggressive rabbit to avoid problems.
Preventing Rabbit Loneliness
There are risks for your rabbit when they become lonely. For this reason, as the owner, you must prevent this from happening to your pet. Here are some of the tips to avoid feeling lonely in rabbits.
1. Introduce a New Companion
One way to help your rabbit is to introduce them to a new companion. You can adopt a rabbit that fits the personality of your old rabbits. But you must note that this step might be crucial. Introducing new animals can also distress the rabbit. Ensure that you make time for them to get used to each other. Do not place them both immediately in a single cage because it can start a fight.
2. Spend Time With Your Rabbit
It’s also advisable that you spend time with your pet. When they are playing outside, take advantage of that by engaging yourself with your pet. You can do activities such as hide and seek or other training activities. In that way, you can also connect with them, which makes you and your pet happy.
3. Feed Them With Their Favorite Foods
Rabbits love eating, so giving them their favorite foods or treats will make them happy. But you must also know the limitations. Remember that rabbits have a sensitive digestive system, and overconsuming foods will lead to diarrhea.
4. Schedule a Visit To the Veterinarian
Visiting the veterinarian is also critical if you think your rabbit is lonely. As you’ve read above, severe loneliness can lead to early death in rabbits, so veterinarians are the best people to contact to prevent this.
However, before trusting a veterinarian, check out their credentials and reputation. Make sure that they are qualified to advise and treat lonely rabbits.
- At times, rabbits can feel lonely, and unfortunately, it can also cause death in them.
- Part of the owner’s responsibility is ensuring their rabbit lives its best life. That includes ensuring they don’t feel lonely.
- There are several claims about why rabbits feel lonely. For example, a rabbit will grieve and feel depressed if one of its companions suddenly dies. You must intervene with them and make them happy to avoid further problems.
- Rabbits are social animals, so they prefer to live in big groups rather than alone. So it’s expected that when you own a rabbit, they need another companion rabbit to avoid loneliness.
- Signs that your rabbit is lonely; Avoiding interaction, Losing appetite, and Becoming aggressive.
- Here are the things you can do to prevent your rabbit from feeling lonely; introduce them to a new companion, spend time with them, and offer your pet their favorite treat.
- It’s ideal to seek assistance from a trusted veterinarian when it comes to helping your rabbit from feeling lonely.