Helping Your Living Rabbit Handle the Death of his Bonded Pair

When my rabbit Meadow lost his best friend Cinnabun, this was a new field for me. I’d had rabbits before but always one at a time. Cinnabun died suddenly, and without cause, so naturally I was very worried about how Meadow would do without him.

I did some immediate reading on how to help Meadow cope with Cinnabun’s death and the first thing I found was from a vet who specialized in rabbits. He suggest I take Cinnabun’s body and show it to Meadow. It was awful and really difficult to do this, but Meadow hopped over, sniffed his dear friend, and said his goodbye (fairly quickly) and hopped away. And that was that. He knew he was dead and this way, would not be “waiting” for him to get back. If it’s not too late for you to do this step, I suggest it.

That first night, I slept in Meadow’s room. Camped out on the floor, left his cage open so he could be with me and have a cuddle buddy if he needed it, or give him the option of just being by himself. I don’t quite remember which he chose, but I think it made me feel a little better and get a bit of sleep, which I know I would have got none of staring at the ceiling in my bedroom.

The next few days I was a mess. We did a nice funeral for Cinnabun. For Meadow, we gave LOTS OF LOVE, HUGS, and of course TREATS. Lots  and lots of treats. And my Meadow loves massages, so lots of those too. I tried to be with him as much as possible. And again, I think it was more for me. I am not sure how animals grieve but I tend to think my animals have personalities and are smart, so I am sure he was sad. When I am sad, I don’t like to be alone, so I gave Meads lots of love and attention. For days, weeks, and months. Me and him. If his best buddy had to leave him, I certainly wasn’t going to. We both were going to be okay.

….And you will. You will all be okay. You, your family, your children, your other bunny. I can still think about my very first bunny Rabby and how I threw myself on the cage after she died, weeping. I can still remember how hard my mother and especially my father took her death. She was a great pet and she gave us all such happy family memories, it is still hard to think about her and not get sad.

As far as moving on and finding him a new buddy, make sure this is something you want to do. Because it may or may NOT work out. Seriously. For me, it didn’t, the first time around. ( I wouldn’t do it any sooner than 6 months, if you are thinking of it  – Please let your family and your rabbit properly grieve. ) Anyway, after about 6 months, we got a lop and turns out big ol’ lops aren’t the most lovey-dovey. Meadow is a European dwarf and ended up going from the dominant in his relationship with Cinnabun to the submissive with our big lop Blackberry. It didn’t work and honestly I was not about to put poor Meadow, who lost his best buddy, through being tortured into a submissive position. So these 2 had to be separated. You can read my other article about how to try and bond pairs and how it may not work – and also my other article on how I got my “engagement bunny” Bobby Carats, and how well he is working out with Meadow. Lucky for me, second time was a charm and lightning struck twice for my Meadow, who is now happy and cuddling with a new buddy. It’s a relief and I feel it was heaven sent for him from Cinnabun.


  • Bunny~Love

    I just read this and want to say you seem like an amazing owner to your pet rabbit. Meadow appreciates it I am sure!