BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > And now Onto Bonding..
Last Post by MarkBun at 7/07/2008 8:00 AM (4 Replies)
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User is Offline Binkles
Titusville, FL
823 posts Send Private Message
7/05/2008 8:42 PM

Okay, so it has almost been two weeks now since Little-Bit was spayed, and I am happy to report that she is back to her normal, happy, hoppy, kissy self. 

So now that she's been altered, it's time to start thinking about my approach to bonding Bit (6-7 months old) to Binkles (4 1/2 year old solitary bun).

So uh, even after SCRUTINIZING the net and the BinkyBunny forums, I still feel the need to ask for suggestions.

First off and formost, given that her surgery was only two weeks ago, when do you guys think Little-Bit will be ready to start the bonding process?

Also, in the mean time, I've heard about tricks revolving around 'stunt doubles'. I had pondered this to myself before even reading about it. So on the subject of stunt doubles, do the doubles need to look like/ be the same size (roughly) as their counterparts? Should I place the doubles in a relatively neutral part of the buns' territories (ie, middle of the room, middle of the cage) or should I dare them to be placed in a more intimate location? (ie, next to litterbox, inside/ on top of hutch, next to food)

On the same track as stunt doubles, I've pondered other scent-crossing methods. Tell me if any of these sound like they'd be good or bad:

  1. -Rubbing one bun all over myself and then kidnapping the other bun for snuggle time on the couch. (Do note that Binkles hates snuggle time, but Little Bit loves it.)
  2. -Have my mom take one bun, I take the other, and have snuggle time simultaneously in the same room but NOT on the same peice of furniture. (But still within a few feet of each other) No direct contact.
  3. -Mixing up their towels.
  4. -Mixing up their food bowls.

Any opinions on that?

And also.

What does everyone think is the best scenario for a first date? The washing machine? The car? Something else? Imput please!


01/29/04 - 07/13/08

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
7/06/2008 6:42 AM
first off, i want to say that i got a huge giggle out of your number 1 suggestion. i am imagining you rubbing a bunny on yourself like you would a bar of soap... you could start by putting them in the same room if they're not already. have a few inches between the cages. do they have similar cages or condos? your next step would be switching cages. i did this every single night during the bonding process. i would just swap the buns... so they would have to use the other bun's litterbox, food bowls, toys, house, water bottle, everything. do this everyday for another week or two so you know that Lil Bit is fully healed up.

in the meantime, you need to try and figure out what kind of neutral space you have to work with. you want a small area, probably no bigger than an xpen area. otherwise they can ignore each other.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
162 posts Send Private Message
7/06/2008 8:33 AM
Hi Binkles - I am in the same boat trying to bond 2 females both spayed. See my tread in the Bonding section under Bonding 2 females. I waited almost 4 weeks before introducing and so far so good. I am thinking of swiching them into each others rooms for at least awhile today. I tried the petting one and the petting the other -they didn't even notice when I was doing it. Now that they have met twice if they smell the other buns scent on me they hop away and won't let me pet them. I've started washing my hands before entering each of their rooms which works most of the time but if one of them has rubbed on my clothes then the other just runs away.
Good luck and I'm going to keep copied on your replies since I assume you have 2 females too?

User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2008 5:29 AM
ah bonding, why do we do it! when i told my boss i needed a day off work to drive my rabbits 2.5 hours (it turned out to be 5 thanks to the M25 and M3. curses), to my dad's just so that my rabbits have neutral territory, he thought i was mad. and now i am taking another day off this week to go and collect them!

it is true about big spaces, my three now (one boy, two girls, one of the girls not neutered) just sit apart. i got a call from dad today saying he was just leaving them out, and that the two bonded already are sitting on the hutch in the garage and the unbonded one is hoping around wondering where everyone is. I might get dad to halve the space as it is a massive garage with just them hoping free in there. it is basically a big xpen and at night the wire is dragged across again to close them in apart from each other.

the other alternative is to leave them out like this all day ignoring each other, and then when i get back down there again, put them in smaller and smaller spaces and hope for the best. unfortunately i'm on a timer and have to take them back with me so it's all or nothing!

keep swapping around their litter trays, and perhaps, if they are both quite happy to be stroked, cuddle them both at the same time whilst sitting with your mum nearby. often grooming together can make them a bit more friendly. and keep feeding them treats whilst doing this to take their mind off the fact the other one is nearby!

some bunnies bond in an hour by the way, so think positive especially two lonely ones. you might find a couple of sessions in neutral territory and all is well. some of course, take months and months and months, but that's no reason to give up easier! some buns are just more friendly than others!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2844 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2008 8:00 AM
The stunt double should be just a standard 'stuffed pet' sized animal. I'm sure you can find something about the same sizes as the buns for about $10. It would be a good thing to start with this before the bonding. I would put the stunt double first with the new bun for a couple of days so that its scent gets on it. Then pluck a little fur from the bun (or some hair after brushing) and cut a small hole in the head/nose area of the stunt double and push the fur halfway into it and then put it into the other bun's cage.

I would wait another two weeks before starting any bonding as it should be a good month for hormones to disappear. Your first date should be in neutral territory. The bath tub is an excellent place. Don't let it go on for too long - five minutes is actually a long time if you're sitting there watching two buns. And try hard not to be apprehensive or scared during it as your old bun will sense it in you and think it is the other bun's fault and will try to chase it away so that you'll feel better.

I wouldn't put the scent on you yet as that could confuse the buns. You should try to smell like you so they have a common point of reference. If they both like you, and see that the other likes you, it could help in the bonding process. After the first date, you may want to swap out litter pans as this is a great way to cross the scents of one another.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > And now Onto Bonding..