Rabbits are happiest when kept in pairs or groups, neutering allows them to do this without the worry of reproduction. It also prevents health problems, sometimes life-threatening, especially in females.
If you have a mixed-sex pair of rabbits, they both need to be neutered so that they can live together happily. Mounting may still take place between neutered pairs but will be due to dominant behaviour rather than reproduction.
For male rabbits castration can be undertaken at any age, as long as their testicles have descended.
The spay is a major operation for females and they are sterile as soon as they have been spayed.
Advantages to having male rabbits castrated:
- Stops breeding.
- Stops them spraying their territory, possessions and companions.
- Unneutered males occasionally develop cancer in their testes and prostate gland, castration removes that risk completely.
- Often assists litter training.
- After castration, testosterone levels will fall dramatically which should reduce aggression or get rid of it completely.
- Uncastrated male rabbits can’t live with any other rabbit safely.
Advantages of having female rabbits spayed:
- Reduces the probability of uterine cancer and pyometra (infection of the uterus/womb), both can be fatal.
- Less commonly, they may develop mammary tumours.
- Some unspayed females are aggressive and territorial.
- Keeping two unspayed females together, even if they are sisters, is very likely to result in serious fighting and the risk of injuries.
- Female rabbits are able to have kits from about 4 to 6 months of age.
- Rabbit pregnancies are short at around 31 days and there are several kits to each litter. Females are able to mate again immediately after they have given birth, so if the dad is still around, it’s obviously very likely that you will have a population explosion.