Rabbits are highly social and love spending time with other bunnies. Most of all, they value their bonds with their owners deeply and don’t like being left on their own for long.
But, sometimes, you have no choice but to leave them at home while you go about your day.
How long can a rabbit be left alone? Read on to find out!
How Long Can A Rabbit Be Left Alone?
Lone rabbits, or unbonded rabbits, can be left alone for one working day’s span, or about 6 to 10 hours. A pair of bonded rabbits can be left alone for longer than that, typically up to 24 hours.
It is not advisable to leave rabbits alone for longer than this period of time, as they rely very much on their owners.
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone For The Workday?
Most rabbits can be left alone for a typical working day. This is usually for about 6 to 10 hours.
Regularly having some time alone won’t harm even an unbonded rabbit, and with a companion, rabbits are likely to do just fine being without you for that span of time.
When you get home from work, bring your rabbit out of their cage and play with it out in the open.
This is also the best time to feed them their dark leafy greens and pellets, allowing you to bond with your rabbit over food after a long workday.
A regular, habitual schedule will further help a rabbit handle being alone during your working hours. Sudden routine changes may cause stress, so try to make these alterations gradually when possible.
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone For 24 hours?
If your rabbit is not alone and has another rabbit to spend time with, 24 hours is a relatively doable amount of time for a rabbit to be left alone. It is the absolute maximum that you can go with “alone time” for a pair of bonded rabbits.
Rabbits are social creatures. A lone rabbit, or several unbonded rabbits, cannot handle spending such a long time without you.
If your rabbit doesn’t have a close companion, 24 hours is too long!
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone For A Week?
You should never, ever leave your rabbit alone for a week. This is much too long and puts your rabbit at risk of danger from stress or escape.
Rabbits need the chance to run around and stretch their legs and must do this for at least two hours per day.
Being cooped up for more than a day will drive them nuts and cause them to go stir crazy and become very anxious. It could also cause a withdrawn personality, depression, or aggression.
Rabbits kept this way may try to gnaw through their coops or cages to escape. Given that much time and desperation, rabbits can certainly escape these clutches easily.
If you have to be away for a week, look into options for leaving your rabbit with someone who can care for them properly.
Reliable pet care can be a real lifesaver when it comes to longer trips away from home.
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone For The Weekend?
It is not a good idea to leave your rabbit alone for longer than 24 hours at a time, even if you have two bonded rabbits.
It’s tempting to just think that an extra day alone won’t hurt them, but this is far from the case.
Aggression, depression, anxiety, stress, and escape antics are all likely if you leave your rabbit alone for a while weekend. It takes just 24 hours for the side effects mentioned before this to crop up.
Can I Leave My Rabbit Alone Overnight?
Emergencies may require that you’re away from your house all night long. Luckily, most rabbits can be left alone overnight if you come back in the morning.
Think about it: your rabbit is technically “alone” while you sleep at night, too. The hours that your rabbit spends sleeping at night will help to pass the time and will make the isolation less noticeable.
Just remember to rush back as quickly as you can, especially for a lone or unbonded rabbit!
What Things Does A Rabbit Need Before Being Left Alone?
1. A Big Hay Feeder
A hay feeder ensures that your rabbit always has some hay when you’re gone. Using a large feeder guarantees that the supply will last while you’re gone.
Adjust the amount inside based on how long the rabbit will be alone.
2. A Big Water Bowl
Dehydration is dangerous to all animals. Your rabbit needs sufficient water to be healthy. It is much better to give them too much water than too little.
If you’re worried about your rabbit knocking a bowl over, try investing in a special rabbit bottle for the side of your bun’s cage.
3. Some Varied Rabbit Toys
Having a selection of rabbit toys that you can rotate every day or week will keep your rabbit entertained.
This prevents boredom and the potential acting out that may come from it.
4. Timer Lights
If you have the technology available, try setting your lights to turn on and off at your rabbit’s usual schedule.
This prevents disturbed sleep patterns and helps maintain a sense of normalcy and routine while you’re gone.
5. A Big Litter Box
If you’ll be gone for a while, chances are that your rabbit will fill their litter box. This can cause them to try and use the toilet elsewhere, leaving a mess for you to clean up.
A larger box will give them more space to do their business cleanly.
6. Early Introductions
If you plan to get new items or equipment for a rabbit that you’ll be leaving alone soon, try to introduce your rabbit to all these items early.
A few days is sufficient, but ideally, your rabbit will have been getting used to the new equipment for a few weeks before you leave.
Alternatives Other Than Leaving Your Rabbit Home Alone
1. A Pet Sitter
A pet sitter will be able to look after your rabbit when you’re not able to. You may choose to hire one during your workdays, for weekends when you’re out and about, or only for long trips away.
Whatever the case, the sitter can take care of your rabbit and provide much-needed socialization and basic care.
It’s a good idea to introduce your rabbit to their potential sitter well in advance.
Suddenly being left alone with someone unfamiliar can cause high levels of fear and stress, especially if you’ll be gone for a while.
Let the rabbit sitter come by to visit your rabbit a minimum of two times before leaving them alone together. Use playtime to encourage bonding!
2. Family or Friends
You can easily ask family members or friends to look after your rabbit if you have to be away for prolonged periods of time. Most of them will probably do it for free.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to instruct them well if they don’t have rabbits of their own.
It’s worth noting that for some friends or family, caring for a pet may not be sustainable for more than very rare occasions.
You should make sure that your rabbit will be looked after by someone who has the time and energy to devote to their care. Like with the sitter, introduce your rabbit to their temporary caretaker twice in advance.
3. Pet Hotels
A lot of pet hotels or boarding houses are for cats and dogs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ones that accept rabbits. Try to scope out potential pet hotels in advance before committing.
You want to make sure the environment isn’t too chaotic so your rabbit isn’t too stressed out.
Do note that the sudden change may be a severe cause of panic for a rabbit. You may not want to opt for a pet boarding house if your rabbit’s temperament is not conducive to such change.
Boarding houses for small animals are most recommended, away from barking dogs.
Remember, your rabbit does not understand that this change is temporary!
Rabbits can’t be left alone for very long, even as bonded pairs. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to prepare a rabbit for an absence, and you can find people to help you take care of your bun if you have to be away!