Neutering Rabbits

Rabbits are commonly neutered in order to prevent aggressive behaviour between males or unwanted breeding between two or members of the opposite sexes. It is a well known fact that rabbits breed extremely rapidly and so to prevent a population boom within domestic rabbits, neutering is often advised by veterinary surgeons. Other reasons also include to reduce behavioural problems or to prevent certain diseases. Overall, it can be argued that neutering increases the average rabbit’s lifespan.

Some of the advantages of neutering rabbits are outlined below:

Overpopulation can be prevented

In all domestic pets overpopulation is becoming a real concern due to the number of uncastrated animals being able to breed. Charitable organisations are finding themselves overloaded with unwanted pets with no homes because there are simply too many of them. Many even have to be put down or euthanized. As a result, neutering rabbits can prevent overpopulation and allows animal charities to concentrate their time and money on other cases.

The neutered rabbit can be kept with other rabbits

Rabbits are sociable animals and usually require a companion to lead a happier life. Without the hormone induced territorial behaviour it is less likely for two males or two females to aggressively fight each other following the operations. This means they are safer after being castrated. It also allows males and females to be kept together since unwanted litters can be prevented.

Selective breeding

Some rabbit breeders sterilise certain rabbits to prevent them breeding undesirable offspring. In doing so, they can increase the numbers of rabbits with more favourable characteristics. These are usually done in order to maintain a steady “supply” of aesthetically pleasing animals although it may also be used to eliminate certain hereditary diseases.

The advantages of castrating a male rabbit

It can prevent certain diseases

Testicular cancers can be prevented following the removal of the testicles themselves. This is an example of how a rabbit’s life can be increased by castration.

It can reduce behavioural problems

When two male rabbits are kept together, even if they are siblings, they will usually fight extremely aggressively once they reach sexual maturity. These fights can sometimes prove fatal when deep or infected wounds occur from biting and scratching. This is an example of territorial behaviour. Other territorial behaviours which can be reduced include spraying, growling and mounting. Castration may also reduce excessive digging and chewing which are especially destructive if it is a house rabbit.

Litter train is easier with castrated rabbits

Entire male rabbits are much more difficult to litter train that the castrate. The usual method is to confine the rabbit in a small space, such as its cage, while placing a litter box in an area where it prefers to urinate and defecate. By gradually increasing the living space and using the same litter box the rabbit will eventually only use the litter box to urinate and defecate.

Castrated rabbits make nicer pets than their entire equivalents

The behavioural problems above support this statement and the rabbit itself becomes calmer and more affectionate. This means they are nicer to handle and, as well as the owners, the castrate will feel less stressed than if it were entire.

The advantages of spaying a female rabbit

It can prevent certain diseases

Uterine, mammalian and ovarian cancers can be prevented via their removal and this can significantly increase the life of a female rabbit. It is very common for female rabbits to develop these cancers after five years of age and so spaying the rabbits is definitely an advantage.

Pyometras (when the uterus fills with pus) can also be prevented of cured following the procedure. This disease is usually fatal if the rabbit is not spayed in time. It is therefore more advantageous to spay the rabbit before this can occur.

It can reduce behavioural problems

Behavioural problems such as urine territorial marking, pulling out clumps of fur and digging can be reduced. Due to false pregnancies aggressive behaviours, towards owners and other rabbits, such as growling and even biting can occur. Female rabbits, as a result, make better pets, since they are calmer and more affectionate.  


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