One of the questions every potential rabbit owner asks is whether to get a male or female rabbit.
While some argue male bunnies make the best pets, every rabbit is unique, so gender shouldn’t be the only thing that leads you to select a bunny.
Besides, you can house train any bunny regardless of its gender.
Let’s delve deeper into the male versus female rabbit discussion while focusing on arguments for and against each.
Male vs. Female Rabbit: Which Do I Get?
That depends on your reasons. One of my friends prefers female bunnies because she enjoys taking care of them when they’re pregnant. And when she is born, the tiny baby rabbits give her chills!
I thought that was weird until I saw her in action nurturing the kits. She finds it therapeutic, so it’s not like she has anything against male rabbits. In fact, she takes care of male kits (in case some are born) until they are of age and then gives them away.
I know some prefer bucks to avoid the idea of pregnancy and dealing with kits. Your gender preference doesn’t affect how great your bunny pet will be. And if your major concern is procreation, you can always neuter your bunnies.
Opinions on which gender makes the perfect pet are generalized. You will be surprised at how many rabbits break these gender stereotypes, so giving each bunny a chance would be best.
Arguments for and against choosing a male rabbit
Anyone who prefers male rabbits will give all the reasons why they are the best. In the same way, those against them have their reasons. The common arguments for and against male rabbits include:
Male rabbits are considered calm and less aggressive, making them perfect for beginner bunny owners. However, this only applies to neutered ones.
They also crave human affection and are easier to bond with than female bunnies. In addition, bucks are interactive and want attention, so they have no problem being picked up now and then.
They are perfect for anyone who likes holding cute, fluffy pets and enjoys companionship. These characteristics make them a great option if you have kids. You won’t have to worry about injuries, especially if they are neutered, and your buck will be a playmate for your kid.
It’s also assumed male rabbits are easier to house train than female ones. This is especially true if they are neutered because they will be less aggressive, hence less likely to litter.
Though I must say, the traits depend on personality and breed. Some male breeds may be aggressive and dislike being picked up all the time.
When it comes to neutering, the procedure on a male bunny is not complex, hence it costs less compared to spaying a female.
Male rabbits are territorial, so they dislike being around other bunnies. If you want your buck to share space with other rabbits, this would be an issue. And if you put two of them together, be ready for a fight.
Again, bucks have an active libido, so they express themselves sexually in different ways with less restriction than female bunnies. This means they may hump your arm when you pick them up or anything around them when you have a moment.
Most owners get them cuddly toys so they don’t pester other pets, in case you have several. However, active libido is dominant in intact males as neutered ones have fewer hormones, so they are calmer.
Another annoying habit is spraying. Boy rabbits spray all over, hoping to mark their territory, and the odor is so annoying. The good news, though, is that neutering solves this issue, though not permanently. Some breeds are more stubborn than others, so the breed also affects how your male rabbit behaves.
I should also mention that a male bunny is more likely to bite or scratch if they don’t want to be picked up. Though they are more affectionate, sometimes they are not in the mood, especially when anxious or afraid.
Arguments for and against choosing a female rabbit
Female rabbit owners have a million and one reasons why they are the best pets. Those against them also have their reasons. Some of the arguments for and against female bunnies include:
There are fewer sprayers compared to bucks. Actually, most don’t spray since they are less territorial, so there is no reason to mark their territory. But this depends on the breed and individual traits.
Less scent marking means less or zero odor to deal with. You don’t have to keep cleaning your house if you share your space with your bunny.
Do can also share space with other bunnies without having to fight every time.
Female rabbits are quite adventurous, so keep roaming around. This is a disadvantage if you have kids, as they may scare them away.
Besides, they are considered aggressive, especially when intact. As a result, they get destructive, chewing on things or scratching your carpet.
Spaying her is costly since the procedure is more complex. Leaving her intact is not an option. The stubbornness is too much. Doing things like being moody and more defensive can easily injure you or your kids.
This stubbornness makes it hard to connect with female bunnies. I guess that’s why most people assume they are less affectionate because they won’t be so easy to pick up. You can get a scratch anytime.
Does are not as territorial as bucks, but their maternal instincts lead them to behave like territorial males. She is usually overprotective, so she will not want anyone near her, especially when she has a false pregnancy episode.
These episodes occur when a doe believes she is pregnant and hence prepares a nest for her young ones. She will collect everything at her disposal to build a nest, sometimes even removing her own fur. This leads to littering, and worse, you can’t interfere with her preparations at this time.
If you do, the confusion makes her more aggressive, hence the double tragedy. The only way forward is by spaying her, so maybe you should turn a blind eye to the cost and go for it.
A doe’s natural characteristics make her too much work and may discourage a new owner. Besides, she doesn’t crave your attention, so a male one would be better unless you are patient enough.
Does Gender Matter When Choosing a Bunny Pet?
Though most arguments for and against gender bunnies are generalizations, some are facts, so we can’t just ignore them.
For example, regardless of location, neutering is cheaper than spaying, so anyone considering getting a bunny on a tight budget may prefer a male one.
I would say gender matters when you have personal reasons like your budget, but nothing more.
In addition, your reason for getting a bunny may affect the gender you choose. Most owners get bunnies for companionship, so get one that offers you what you need. In my friend’s case, a female bunny feeds her craving, so I would never advise her to go for a male bunny.
In addition, the argument that a doe is expensive to spay has no impact on her because she wants the doe to have babies so she can take care of them.
In the same way, I know of a bunny owner who only goes for male bunnies because they have more belly area to pet. Weird, right?
As weird as it sounds, people have their preferences. Most of the time, it’s less about which gender makes the perfect pet and more about which gender satisfies my needs. In my opinion, if you get a bunny that suits your preference, you’ll be willing to tolerate their imperfections and teach them to do better.
Why Both Male and Female Rabbits Make Great Pets
To start with, both can be neutered or spayed to reduce their unpleasant aggression and destructive nature.
In addition, you can train both genders to do better and do away with their imperfect behaviors. For example, both can be litter trained, so there is less littering in the house. In the same way, you can bond with any rabbit regardless of its gender, provided you are putting in the work.
Another thing is, that if you are patient with your rabbit, regardless of gender, they will learn and adjust to the surroundings.
A male rabbit of this breed may be calm, while a male rabbit of another breed is more aggressive. My point is that both male and female rabbits make great pets because the breed determines their behavior more than gender.
Some breeds will always be stubborn regardless of their gender, while others will always be calm, not because they are male or female.
In the same way, it narrows down to individual bunnies and their personalities. It’s not uncommon to find a female bunny with the calmest personality trait. This breaks the norm that female bunnies are always looking for trouble.
There are also those boy rabbits who don’t want human attention, so it would be unfair to assume all bucks crave human attention. The fair option would be to give each bunny a chance regardless of gender and not select bunnies based on speculation and norms.
Like humans, all bunnies are different and unique, so unless you have a specific reason why a female or male bunny is good for you, give all these cute creatures a chance.
Female or male, all bunnies deserve some human love, so this shouldn’t be your reason to ignore one gender.
However, it’s understandable if a specific gender caters to your needs or you have a tangible reason (like less money for neutering), so you must stick to a specific gender.
Gender norms should be the last thing to guide you when picking a bunny, and if you are still unsure, ask your vet and hear what they have to say. The bottom line, though, is that both male and female bunnies make great pets; they only need a little training and patience from you.