If there are already other pets in the household, the purchase of rabbits should be carefully considered. Not all animal species harmonize with each other. Here you can read what you should pay attention to when keeping rabbits and other pets.
Basically, rabbits always need at least one conspecific to be kept with. If you live alone, you may become ill or develop behavioral problems. With “conspecifics” we only mean other rabbits and no animals of another species! These can by no means replace a second rabbit, on the contrary. If you already have other pets and want to get rabbits, you need to be extra careful because not all species can be kept in the same space, let alone the same enclosure.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
The most common animals kept with rabbits are guinea pigs. For a long time, this animal community was even recommended. But although rabbits and guinea pigs are kept and fed in a similar way, they are not related and are very different. Guinea pigs have a completely different phonetic and body language than rabbits. Rabbits, for example, groom each other and cuddle with each other to strengthen the bond. Guinea pigs don’t do this and are often “forced cuddled” by rabbits.
This means permanent stress for the rodents. Many more misunderstandings and frustrations arise due to the different languages of the two species. For this reason, both rabbits and guinea pigs need at least one conspecific.
Keeping rabbits together with rodents or birds
Smaller rodents such as pet rats, hamsters, degus, chinchillas, and pet mice usually do not get along with rabbits at all. It is not possible to exercise together in the apartment. If there is enough space, the animals can be kept in separate enclosures together in one room.
In contrast, rabbits and birds should not be kept in one room. The rabbits, which are sensitive to noise, are greatly disturbed by the chirping and screeching of birds. They need a quiet place where they can rest and sleep undisturbed.
Rabbits with dogs and cats
Cats and dogs are predators that have a hunting instinct and usually see rabbits as prey.
Dogs should never be left unsupervised with rabbits. The dogs will bark or even chase your rabbits if they stay apart. Even if the dog is behaving peacefully, it is possible that your rabbits will react instinctively with fear (e.g. flapping their hind legs or hiding in their house).
Even cats should initially only come into contact with your rabbits under supervision. If the cat chases your long ears or your rabbits show fear, the animals must remain separate. Cats and rabbits often avoid each other and live peacefully side by side. Dominant rabbits know how to assert themselves very well and even drive cats away from their favorite spots. If the animals behave peacefully with one another, they can be allowed to exercise together under supervision.