Should I Neuter Or Spay My Rabbit? (Complete Information)

Many owners get confused while adopting a rabbit to make them neuter or spay. They need to learn the essential facts about neutering or spaying a rabbit. So, should I neuter or spay my rabbit? How important neutering/spaying is? What changes can occur in a rabbit after neutering/spaying? Let’s find out all your answers in this article.

Neutering or spaying rabbits is essential for their healthy life span. It makes rabbits calmer and prevents life-threatening problems. However, there can be some complications during or after the surgery. Consider consulting about elective surgeries and post-operative care by the vet. 

This article will discuss the importance of neutering or spaying rabbits, what changes occur after being sterilized, how long it takes to recover, and many more. So, let’s find it out.

Neutering or spaying my rabbit

Neutering means removing a male animal’s reproductive organs (like testicles), whereas spaying means removing a female animal’s ovariohysterectomy (reproductive organ). In addition, the neutering procedure is done for male rabbits, while the spaying process is done for female rabbits. 

Spaying or neutering is essential for a rabbit’s healthy life span. Also, it has been believed that spayed or neutered rabbits live longer lives than unspayed or unneutered rabbits. 

Neutering or spaying reduces the rabbit’s territorial behavior or aggression and decreases the risks of health problems. Other benefits of spaying or neutering include preventing testicular disease, false pregnancies, and mammary gland condition life mastitis.

Surgery of neutering and spaying is conducted according to a rabbit’s age and breed type. Once a rabbit ages 4 to 6 months, neutering and spaying can be done.

The ideal age for neutering male rabbits is between 3 and 5 months, whereas female rabbits can be spayed between 4 and 6 months when they reach their sexual maturity. Those rabbits who reach middle age, like 5 to 6 years old, are considered too old for surgery because it could be risky for rabbits who are too younger or too old.

There are benefits of neutering or spaying a rabbit, but there is no surgery that goes without risks. There could be some complications while conducting the surgery. 

Although the surgical procedure has rare risks, some complications can occur, such as internal bleeding, anesthetic reaction, post-operative infection, or suture reaction. 

Therefore, doing homework and learning everything about these elective surgeries is essential. Also, make sure to tell everything about your rabbit to the vet about its health or any signs of previous underlying problems to minimize the risks.

How important neutering or spaying is for rabbits?

If you want your rabbit to be less aggressive, friendly, healthy, and live longer, then neutering or spaying them is essential, especially in female rabbits, because they are more aggressive than male rabbits.

It could be challenging to introduce two rabbits together in their first meeting because unneutered or unspayed rabbits usually show their dominance or can become pregnant. And a female rabbit can produce more than 14 babies with each litter and will deliver them every month, which means they can have 168 babies in a year. Neutering or spaying can reduce the reproduction risk and anger issues in rabbits.

Also, there are many other behavioral and health benefits of spaying and neutering the rabbit:

  1. It reduces aggression, spraying urine ( territorial mark), or mounting in the rabbit.
  2. It prevents reproductive cancer risks such as uterine, mammary, testicular, and ovarian diseases.
  3. It helps to make rabbits healthier and calmer.
  4. Due to their calm disposition, spayed or neutered domestic rabbits are more accessible to bond.
  5. Rabbits become more reliable towards litter box habits.
  6. It eliminates false pregnancy in female rabbits.
  7. It helps to increase the healthy life span of rabbits.

Also read: Are Rabbits Aggressive?

What changes occur after neutering or spaying a rabbit?

Neutering or spaying can make a massive difference in the behavior of rabbits. Unneutered or unspayed rabbits usually have hormonal aggressions and want to mate with the opposite-sex rabbit. They can mount your arms or legs, circles around you, bad litter box habits, and spay their urine as the mark of their territory.

Once your rabbit becomes spayed or neutered, the aggressive behavior automatically reduces in a few weeks after the surgery. In addition, it helps to reduce hormonal aggression like mounting or urine spraying marks and helps a rabbit to become calmer and healthier.

However, do not expect your rabbit to stop its aggressive behavior permanently. Even after the spay or neuter surgery, a rabbit can become aggressive to protect its possession like food, toys, or litter box, and its territories like its pen or cage.  

Also, if your rabbit is neutered or spayed, you must not handle or pick them up for at least a month. Give some time to your rabbit after the surgery of spaying or neutering. Otherwise, they can become aggressive because rabbits’ hormones take time to settle down after the surgery. Especially for female rabbits, you should pick or handle them for at least four days after the surgery. 

How much time does a rabbit take to recover from neutering or spaying?

It takes a few days for a rabbit to recover from the neutering/ spaying surgery. Usually, male rabbits recover faster than female rabbits. However, waiting for at least 30 days or a month to introduce the rabbits to each order or to see their normal behavior is essential. 

Rabbits commonly experience post-treatment soreness for a few days. But, it is essential to ask the vet how to manage the pain of surgery at home because it is vital for a healthy and quick recovery.

Also, after the surgery, the rabbit must start eating within 24 hours. In addition, you can provide hay, pellets, fresh veggies, and water to your rabbit. However, you must consult your vet if they refuse to eat or drink.

The first night after the surgery can be very painful or risky for a rabbit. So at that moment, don’t pick or handle the rabbit. Instead, it would be best to provide a quiet and warm environment to rest. 

Also, if you have two pairs of rabbits, you can allow neutered/spayed rabbits to stay together only if they interact calmly. It could be comforting for a rabbit to see its companionship that helps to recover faster and reduces stress. 

After surgery, a rabbit can follow its routine, return to regular activities, and interact with the owners in 3 to 4 days. However, it is essential to limit the exercises of a rabbit for at least ten days. In addition, ensure to supervise your rabbit’s behavior after surgery, including pooping patterns.

The pooping should be regular in a few days, but if you notice that fecal is slowing down or stopping, you must immediately consult your vet. 

Things to consider after the surgery

Most rabbits heal without any problems and recover well from surgery, but it is crucial to keep an eye on them, monitor their incisions, and ensure they are eating.

Here are some things you should consider once you bring your rabbit home:

  1. Keep things quiet and gentle; don’t handle too much: Do not pick or hold your rabbit once they have come home after the recovery. Also, try to keep everything the same in your rabbit’s cage. They are prey animals. They feel secure when they see the place is familiar. For the following five days, change the litter boxes and bedding of the cage daily to keep the incisions dry and clean.
  2. Give space to rest peacefully: Usually, male rabbits recover faster from the neutering surgery and become normal within 28 to 48 hours, whereas female rabbits take more time to recover and take about 2 to 4 days to return to normal behavior.
  3. Once you bring the rabbit home, provide fresh water and regular food: Provide fresh hay, green veggies, pellets, and water to the rabbit. Your rabbit may not eat or drink anything on the night of surgery, but it must eat urine and pass its droppings by the next morning; otherwise, you should consult the vet.
  4. Give medicine as directed by the vet: The vet may prescribe the pain relief medicine in liquid form to you, which is vital to give to the rabbit for at least three days to enhance the recovery. Before the medication, if a male rabbit recovers, then you may stop the medication. However, it is essential to give full three days of medicine to the female rabbits to recover. 
  5. Don’t allow your rabbit to exercise for ten days: Limit the exercise of your rabbit for ten days so that they do not jump on and off stairs or furniture; otherwise, it could cause serious issues.
  6. Do not allow neutered male rabbits to reunite with unspayed female rabbits: Neutered male rabbits should not be reunited with unspayed females for at least four weeks after surgery. For 3 to 4 weeks after surgery, male rabbits—especially those one year or older—can still have live sperm in the tubules of their reproductive tract, which may result in pregnancy. 
  7. Check the surgical area of your rabbit twice every day for a week: Do not clean or touch the surgical spot. Instead, you can see it by gently putting the rabbit down on the ground or on a counter covered with a towel, leaving the back feet on the floor while you lift the front legs to reveal the abdomen or scrotum. Every incision must be dry and free from discharge, excessive swelling, bleeding, or opening. 
  8. Ask your veterinarian: Please get in touch with the clinic for any queries or worries about your rabbit after surgery. Get in touch with an exotic animal veterinarian if you think there is an emergency.

You can give the pain medication to the rabbit by the syringe if your rabbit does not like the taste. Because of that, you can smash a banana and add pain medicine to feed it by the syringe so your rabbit can quickly get it in its mouth.

The syringe should only be inserted with the tip in the corner of the mouth, not into the throat. Push a small amount of pain medication mixture at a time in its mouth corners so it will not cause choking. 

Does a single rabbit need to be neutered or spayed?

To prevent aggression or terrorism in rabbits, even single rabbits must be neutered or spayed for a healthy life span.

Unspayed female or male rabbits frequently develop aggressive tendencies toward other rabbits and their owners, which makes it challenging to handle. 

Spaying and neutering a rabbit has numerous advantages. A fixed rabbit can live a healthy life and reduce urinary tract infections or cancer risk. Also, neutered or spayed rabbits become calmer and easier to handle and train for the litter box. 

Also read: How To Choose A Second Rabbit?


  1. Rabbits should be neutered or spayed to prevent aggression or life-threatening issues.
  2. Spaying or neutering is essential for a rabbit’s healthy life span. 
  3. Neutering or spaying can make a massive difference in the behavior of rabbits. 
  4. It takes a few days for a rabbit to recover from the neutering/ spaying surgery. 
  5. To prevent aggression or terrorism in rabbits, even single rabbits must be neutered or spayed for a healthy life span.

Reference: NCBI, Rabbit

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