Neutering your rabbit will prevent them from breeding, however that isn’t the only reason to get them neutered. Other reasons neutering is beneficial for your bunny are;
You Can Keep Them With Another Rabbit
Rabbits need to live with another rabbit or rabbits, and shouldn’t be housed with guinea pigs. If your rabbit is neutered, it makes it a lot easier to keep them with another rabbit. Rabbits are complex social creatures, and really do need the companionship of another rabbit.
Same-sex littermates can be kept together, however, as they become mature they could fight and fall out. Females reach maturity at 4-6 months, and males at 3-6 months. Fighting can literally start overnight, and even if you do get them neutered immediately, you may not be able to bond them back together. Males have been known to try and neuter each other, which can be very severe and can even lead to death.
Having them neutered before they reach maturity will help keep their relationship calm and happy. Many people know that you can keep a male and female rabbit together, but they should both be neutered. An entire male with a neutered female will attempt to mate with a female, which will annoy her and could cause a fight. Likewise, an entire female in with a neutered male isn’t a good idea either, as the female can be territorial with the male and again, a fight could start.
Entire Rabbits Behave Differently
Entire male rabbits will spray urine everywhere – all over their hutch, on their bedding and even on you. It really isn’t pleasant and they will have a distinct musky odour which is really strong smelling. Most entire males will try to hump everything, from your shoes to other animals to things in the garden, meaning your rabbit will be very frustrated most the time from their hormones.
Female rabbits can be quite aggressive if left entire, and many will guard their hutch. Some female will growl and lunge at you if you enter their space and can even bite. Over time, this behaviour can worsen and it is avoidable if you have them neutered as soon as they are old enough.
Neutered rabbits are calmer and easier to litter train. The longer you wait to neuter, the higher the chance these undesirable behaviours will not go away after neutering. This is because the rabbit’s hormonal behaviours will become learnt, and they will realise they will get what they want if they behave in a certain way. For example, if your female rabbit wants you out of her space, she will lunge and know that this will cause you to back off. Neutering as soon as you can help your bunnies stay calm and happy.
There Are Enough Rabbits In The World
Baby bunnies are adorable, however, rescues are overflowing with rabbits and many have long waiting lists. According to the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF), 67,000 rabbits are given to rescues every year in the UK, and this number doesn’t take into consideration those rabbits who are sold or given away privately or those who are set free. Rabbits have an average of 6 babies at a time, and the male can mate with the female as soon as she has given birth. If the babies aren’t split at the right age, the babies can mate, which means a population boom!
They Are At High Risk Of Getting Cancer
Uterine cancer is really common for entire female rabbits, and up to 80% of them will develop this cancer by the time they reach 5 years old. Neutering prevents this, and the older your rabbit is, the riskier surgery is.
Even if cancer is found and she is spayed, there is no guarantee that cancer hasn’t already spread which could be fatal to your rabbit. Not only this, but an emergency spay will be considerably more expensive than a routine spay. Most of the time, the rabbit won’t show any symptoms and will deteriorate until it’s too late. Male rabbits can get testicular cancer if left entire, which again, can spread to other parts of the body.
What If Your Vet Advises Otherwise?
Unless your rabbit has a health issue that would make anaesthetising risky, your rabbit should be neutered. If your vet is against neutering, you should question how experienced they are with rabbits and find another vet who is. It’s really important to find a vet who is experienced with rabbits, as most are good with cats and dogs, but not all of them are good with bunnies.
Remember, neutered rabbits are happier and healthier, so speak to your vet about getting your rabbit neutered.