Friday, November 21, 2008

Question from the Audience: Rats and Rabbits?

A question from Chad L. in Ridgewood, NY:
Q: I have a question concerning rabbits' behaviors with other animals. I currently have 3 rats and they are the most friendly social animals ever. I was wondering what your thoughts would be if I brought a rabbit home. The main area of concern is when they are all out together, obviously they would have constant supervision but do you see any reason from you experiences that would make you think that they would not get along? Thank you for your help.

A: Rabbits are social animals and are able to bond with dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, not to mention live happily with each other. You've got nothing to lose by taking your rats to an animal shelter and hosting playdates with a few potential rabbits. Be prepared to acknowledge that not every rabbit will be open to bonding with a rat--many rabbits might be overwhelmed by three quick-moving rats, but the combination could work out for some laid-back individuals. You might want to try a rabbit that has in the past gotten along with guinea pigs.

Of course, you will have to go through the full introduction procedures in a neutral territory under constant supervision, and I would encourage keeping them in separate cages even after they become friends. You'll also want to be aware that your interaction with rats and rabbits will be quite different, as rabbits prefer to stay on the ground and approach you, whereas rats, from what I gather, love crawling over you, etc.
Overall, if you do adopt, keep a close eye on them and make sure your rats don't act aggressively with the rabbit and vice versa. Be prepared for the chance that they might have to be kept separated. But I don't see any reason rats and rabbits can't become friends. Good luck!

No comments: