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I'm considering adopting a bunny (a small one, lionheart or minilop), the thing is that in Switzerland the law makes it mandatory to own at least 2 bunnies otherwise it's considered as a big issue for the health condition of the bunny (stress, fear etc).

However in France (why would it be a problem in Switzerland but not in neighbors countries) it is not mandatory at all, I am actually wondering if that's a real concern or the attention and carefulness could compensate it ?

I actually consider adopting one bunny at first, see how it goes (especially in term of space and time) before deciding if I may adopt one more. But I don't want my bunny to be sad the whole day because it feels lonely or stressed.

  • Would you be around a lot or working? – SerenaT Aug 9 '19 at 13:15
  • I'd be working until 5pm 5 days / 7 – stbr Aug 9 '19 at 13:15
  • If you are German speaking you can visit www.kaninchenwiese.de for a lots of interesting information about all aspects of rabbits life. Maybe it is interesting for you to change the viewpoint from "cage animals" to "flat mate" like cat or dog :) rabbits are amazing pets, if they have the space and companionship to express like rabbits ;) – Allerleirauh Aug 19 '19 at 6:54
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Rabbits are animals that need lots of companionship. They can also form bonds with humans but that requires people to be around almost constantly.

In this scenario your rabbit is very likely to form a bond with you, following you around, lying down at your feet, perhaps even sleeping in your bed. If you work from home and/or are at home most evenings and weekends, this is enough companionship for your rabbit and being the sole recipient of a rabbit's love is very fulfilling and heart warming. For those who cannot afford more than one or are unsure about committing to two rabbits, this is ideal.

So if you are the only person around it might not be ideal for your rabbit to be alone.

In general, living in a bonded pair as free range house rabbits is probably the most ideal way for rabbits to live as they have companionship both from you and from another rabbit. It takes more work than you might think as all rabbits are different and their relationships (like our humans ones!) are often complex. However, if you are able to make the commitment and are prepared for the extra cost and time involved, it is a very rewarding experience. Please refer to the links below for more information on bonded rabbits, the bonding process, rabbit bereavement and companionship.

There are several questions concerning lonely rabbits on this site, maybe look around and make a decision based on that.

Pet Exchange - Prevent single rabbit from loneliness

Can bonded rabbits die of loneliness

Bunnyhugga - One or two rabbits

  • Thanks for the answer, as I am always at home during the evening and week-end it should be alright, thought I'm thinking about the mornings / afternoons but as James Jenkins stated it, rabbits are crepuscular so if they sleep while I'm at work it would be perfect ! – stbr Aug 12 '19 at 11:28
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In the bunny community there are different points of view on the answer to your question. SerenaT has a great answer and you should consider all the points there.

Another thing to consider is that bonding rabbits is not easy. There is a lot to be said for starting with a bonded pair.

On the other hand rabbits are crepuscular for the most part they are going to be sleeping/resting while you are at work and while you are asleep.

A lot also depends on bunnies personality. Just like people, they are all different.

If you are going to have a single rabbit, it will be important that there is enough to keep them entertained when you are gone. Like toys and digging boxes.

Ultimately I think it depends less on the issue of you being gone for 9 hours a day and more on how much time you will directly interact in the morning, evening and weekends. If you will be consistently and positively interacting with the bunny mornings and evenings and a good part of the weekend, then you and the bun can be a happy couple. If you going out a lot of evenings and being away even longer on the weekends, definitely consider starting with a pair.

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If your concerns base on time and space you should see the "one or two?" question under this aspects:

Space:

If you want to give your rabbits the space for a real rabbit life, you can imagine 6 square meter (approx. 7 square yards) for one or two rabbits (there is no difference here, because two rabbits could be socialized very well, and can life "close" together).

Indoor this means a little room, or part of a little room. (If you now ask "there are so nice little cages, why 6!! square meters?" I want to imagine you this: rabbits can reach speed of 60 km/h (approx. 37.3 mph) and love it to run. Think about rabbits more like about cats than mice.)

Additional they need daily access for minimum 8 hours to a big and interesting area, like your entire apartment, or the garden (for outdoor rabbits look on this question: How do I ensure the safety and good health of my outdoor rabbit?).

For the afford of making this area save for your rabbits, it is not important, if you have one or two.

(And if you choose the "nice buyable cages" because you are a child (and the parents do own the money and the power), or it is really really not possible an other way (like in a shelter with comparatively small space), then you should buy this one for two rabbits have space in it, because the smaller "for one rabbit" is to small anyway...)

Time:

(I assume you think about the daily/weekly needs of your rabbits, because they affects your all-day-life more like monthly/yearly events, like the visit to the vet)

If you have rabbits you need time for feeding and cleaning. This times do not change between one or two rabbits.

The time that would change is this: If you have one rabbit, you have to be the "official" partner of this one. You have to groom it, interact with it and entertain it the whole day (and night: rabbits are active day and night, they rest no longer than 2 hours at once).

If you have two rabbits, they groom, entertain and "talk" among themselves. You can "visit" them whenever you have time, they will be happy about any interaction. But you know also your bunnies are lucky if you are at work, or sometimes in holidays (with rabbit sitter).

You can do all the things, you want to do with the rabbits in your free time, but you have no sorrow about the health of your rabbits if you have to "cancel one rabbit meeting".

If you have time for one rabbit, you have time for two. And your rabbit will choose a second rabbit, if you ask it.

So in conclusion:

Space afford do not differ between one or two rabbits.

Time afford will be higher for one rabbit, than for two.

If you want to minimize time and space afford, you have to choose two rabbits than one.

  • Thanks for the precious informations, I do understand that it is better to have 2 rabbits when we don't have much time to give them so they can entertain each other but I'm not sure about the last sentence about space affording, why would 2 rabbits need less space ? Your first part about space means the opposite to me. – stbr Aug 19 '19 at 8:46
  • "If you want to minimize time and space afford, you have to choose two rabbits than one." ... if you have two options with same afford, both are the minimum. Maybe it is a very mathematical sentence :) one rabbit DO NOT need more space than two rabbits. – Allerleirauh Aug 19 '19 at 9:44

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