Rabbits are very social animals, and should be kept as a pair. The ideal combination is a spayed female (doe) and a castrated male (buck).
Males should be castrated if they are to be kept with entire females (although see below), or are being kept with other males and there is fighting. Un-castrated males may show sexual, territorial or dominant behaviour towards other rabbits or humans.
We strongly recommend neutering female rabbits. Malignant womb cancer (called Uterine Adenocarcinoma) is common in female rabbits over 5 years old. Entire females often become quite territorial and even aggressive once they reach sexual maturity (usually at 4-6 months)- they can bite, scratch and kick! They can also experience false pregnancies, during which their behaviour could become worse.
Neutered rabbits live healthier, longer lives due to the reduced risk of reproductive cancers and sexual aggression. They make better companions; as they are calmer and more loving.
When should my rabbit be neutered?
We recommend neutering male and female rabbits from 4-5 months old.
What does neutering involve?
Castration involves removal of the testicles through an incision on the scrotum.
Spaying involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus, through an incision on the rabbit’s abdomen.
Written by Laura Sullivan MRCVS