Owning a cat can make it a bit difficult to keep rabbits, as you might be wondering are cats dangerous to rabbits. Too keep your animals safe you will need to find an area in your home and garden which is excluded from your other large animals.
In the wild Rabbits are prey for these large animals including felines and canines. It’s exactly same as a lion living in your home. Even if you were safe in your room, you would be a little anxious most of the time.
Think carefully about whether you can maintain the distance between two types of animals. You will need to keep your large animals away from your rabbit cage, as large animals aggressive staring can disturb your small pets.
Can Cats Live With Rabbits?
Pet cats and pet rabbits can coexist in the home if properly introduced. However, if your cat exhibits predatory behaviour, introducing a rabbit to the home can be dangerous for the rabbit. This is because in the natural preditor-pray cycle rabbits are the prey, and cats are natural predators.
Can A Cat And Rabbit Be Friends?
Yes, indeed a cat and rabbit can indeed be friends if adequately taken care. Even they can be best buddies if you raise both of them together from their birth.
We now discuss the ideas of introducing cats and rabbits in ways that reduce stress for all both aniamls.
Cats need space to run and play, as do rabbits. But running/hopping rabbits can be cat victims. The best option is to set up barriers between both of them. However, it is essential to note that giant rabbits are far more territorial than cats, capable of self-defence, and can potentially injure cats.
Also, being in each other’s presence can be very stressful, and over time this stress can lead to health problems. If your rabbit is roaming free day and night (although it should have a “home base” for safety), there should be someone present at home all day to monitor its interaction.
What Is The Bes Living Situation For Rabbits And Cats?
When it is time for the rabbit to exercise in a round pen or a separate room, the cat should not access these areas. Try to set both animals to success by minimizing the cat ability to trigger rabbit hunting or chasing.
It may be better to introduce the rabbit when the cat is asleep or full of food because then the cat will be less likely to chase the rabbit. The introduction’s area should be free from stress so the rabbit will never feel danger and keep itself away from defensive or territorial behaviour.
A cat that lives with a house rabbit can still chase or stalk a rabbit it used to meet outside. Environmental indicators will set your cat in motion. The cat might even pursue his friend-rabbit if they encountered each other outdoors.
Many people report a complete reversal of the expected role between the house rabbit and the house cat. Cats are more socially competent than rabbits. On a fundamental level, rabbits live in groups, and most cats prefer to live alone. Social or pack animals such as dogs, rabbits, and humans depend on the person in charge and follow the lead.
Domestication has transformed these instincts into situations where most domestic cats like to live alone or with at one companion at max. And of course, there is individual variation in species behaviour, from the gregarious cat to the human hermit.
Some animals prefer the company of other species on their species. Many rabbits that lack social skills work much better with their feline than to live with another rabbit.
What Would Happen If A Rabbit Ran Away From A Cat
Usually, when a rabbit runs away from a cat the situation will require environmental manipulation (human work) to resolve. If the rabbit runs, the cat’s instincts tell her something far different from the avoiding stance she usually takes in social situations.
Cats play only one game, and it is called hunting. All that adorable and shy behaviour with the catnip mouse, rabbit or the game called feather at the end of a string is stalk, capture, and deliver the fatal bite.
The most challenging cat/rabbit encounter occurs when you introduce a shy and a small rabbit and an adult cat whose claws have not been trimmed recently. In this or any other situation where the cat chases, the early acquaintance should safely occur with rabbit.
You should also give the rabbit a place to hide in a cage, like a cardboard box (this is a general policy for all rabbits, especially shy ones). Any cat that communicates with a rabbit must have trimmed paws no matter how friendly it may be.
Cat owners should remove curved, sharp tips once a month if they will be living with rabbits. Your veterinarian can show you how to do this.
Even mild swat of your cat’s untrimmed claw can give your rabbit a noticeable scratch that may later convert into an abscess and cause potential health condition for your bunny.
Will A Rabbit Chase A Cat?
A cat can also run away from a rabbit. This usually happens with a larger more dominant rabbit species. To show its dominance the rabbit will usually charge up to the cat. The cat usually backs off and retreats. Most rabbits will only chase until they feel safe after that they will go away.
If you are introducing a new rabbit to a resident cat, you may need to give rabbit some time to establish it’s the territory in your home. It is usually best to keep the new animal, whether cat or rabbit, first in a small space, either in a cage or in the same room.
Change in place is a stress factor for rabbits as it is for humans. Brining a rabbit into its new home for the first time is more than enough stress for a rabbit.
Please don’t put him in a position to get used to new territory, new humans and new cats at once. Wait until your rabbit is confident and comfortable before introducing it to the cat.
Although cats and rabbits’ physical and social dynamics and behaviours can affect intimacy and coexistence at home, their introduction’s primary stages are mostly the same.
You may also be interested in our article on How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?
The Best Procedure For Introducing Rabbits And Cats:
1. Find a neutral place:
Choose a neutral, well-lit, safe place in your home that is not often used by rabbits, as they are more territorial than cats. The area should be free from clutter and any strong smell of any animal.
2. Secure the rabbit in a safe cage/enclosure:
Protect the rabbit either in a large rabbit crate/cage with a hiding place or a pen that can hide the rabbit. Only allow the cats and rabbits only visual access to each other at first.
If the cat does not respond to the rabbit or does not show chase behaviour with a startling and flight response, you can move the cat’s crate/pen closer to each other, allowing them to sniff each other through safety barriers.
3. Be prepared to remove the cat from the area in the event of a predatory situation:
As long as things are going well, let the cat and rabbit talk like this for at least an hour, make adjustments and take breaks as needed. Make sure to form positive associations for both animals and reduce or eliminate any negative associations (frightening behaviours from both cats to rabbit or rabbit to cat are unacceptable).
After several days of such hourly sessions, and after feeling confident that the animals may not harm each other in any way, move on to the next stage of the introduction; an uninterrupted introduction.
4. Uninterrupted introduction:
At last, allow both cats and rabbits for uninterrupted introductions. The area must be monitored, and there must be space for the rabbit to hide from the cat when she decides to chase or attack the rabbit. Under no conditions should the two animals be forced to communicate or tolerate each other.
Cats can be dangerous to rabbits if they:
- Are not properly introduced.
- The cat has a high predatory nature
- The rabbit does not have a safe place to retreat to
- If they are left unattended.
- If the cats nails have not been trimmed.