Imagine being cooped up in a small space, say 4ft X 18 inches (120cm X 45cm), with nothing to do and no one to communicate with for the rest of your life. Sometimes you get attention but most of the time you’re ignored. How would you feel?

This is the scenario for a large portion of the 1.2 million* companion rabbits in the UK. When caregivers get bored, the lucky ones end up in a rescue centre, others are turfed out and left to fend for themselves.

Last year over 33,000 were taken to rescue centres, this year the number is expected to rise. The irony is that rabbits can make very entertaining pets if you get them in pairs and give them space to watch them interact. The best pairs are those from rescue centres. Rescue centres provide rabbits with neutral ground to become acquainted and form their relationship.

This works well because most have come from a solitary situation and love the attention given to them by another rabbit. Rabbits are very social animals and need companionship. So it is best to think of getting a pair from your local rescue rather than just one. The friendship they develop is a unique one and from a caregiver’s point of view a joy to watch.

When you keep rabbits in pairs you see how they entertain each other – playing, following each other, nibbling each other’s food, grooming, taking the mickey out of each other and snuggling up together. These are behaviours you don’t see with a rabbit on their own. Another advange is that if one of the bunnies is more timid he will often copy his friend and come out of his shell so he doesn’t feel left out.

The best pairs are: two neutered females and a neutered female with a neutered male. But the most wonderful combinations are those rescued bunnies that have formed their relationships in a rescue centre.

* PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report 2015