Are you a cat owner? Our feline friends are cuddly balls of fur, filled with affection. When your cat approaches you on the couch and rubs her head gently against your cheek, it’s enough to make your heart melt.
Our cats can seem gentle and well-mannered, and it’s easy to forget one significant characteristic in their nature.
They are killing machines.
Cats are ancestors of big cats, and that instinct remains in their genetics. How many times has your cat trotted into the house and spat a dead bird at your feet? They look up at you as if to say, “look what I did, aren’t you proud?”
So, are cats dangerous to rabbits? If you’re thinking about getting a bunny rabbit for your yard, think again. Your cat views the bunny as prey, and they may attack the rabbit. The thing with cats is that they don’t always kill because they’re hungry.
Cats can toy with prey for hours, and they will kill for fun – because it’s in their nature. The survival instinct in your cat means it hunts and kills weaker animals, and there’s no way to train this behavior out of your kitty.
Are you planning on bringing a rabbit into your household, and you have a cat? You’ll need to take precautions to protect the bunny from your feline friend. It’s possible to have the two animals live with each other, but it takes time to adjust them to their new living situation.
Are Rabbits Prey for Cats?
Rabbits are gentle and social animals. However, like cats, they have genetic programming – and they understand their role in the food chain. Therefore, rabbits instinctually see cats as predators, and they will avoid them.
If you bring a rabbit home and put it in front of your cat, it displays specific behaviors indicating that it knows it is in danger. The rabbit will try to flee, and it may thump its rear legs on the ground in an attempt to scare off the cat.
Rabbits don’t like displaying vulnerability to predators, so much so that they often sleep with their eyes open. This behavior helps them identify attackers and move away before they end up as dinner.
Are Cats Dangerous To Rabbits?
Yes, your cat is a serious threat to a rabbit’s life. Rabbits offer your cat plenty of fun for stalking as prey. Housecats are a threat to rabbits, and while they aren’t as aggressive as ferals or strays, they still enjoy the fun of stalking and killing pet bunnies.
If you have feral cats around your neighborhood, they’ll likely find their way into your yard and attempt to kill your rabbit unless your rabbit is huge and intimidating! Feral and stray cats are often hungry, and they’ll kill a vulnerable bunny for food. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they rely on meat for substance – your rabbit makes a tasty meal.
However, even if the feral or stray isn’t feeling hungry, they’ll still attack or toy with the rabbit. They may decide to maim the rabbit and watch it try to escape. The cat could torture the bunny for hours, then get bored and walk away, leaving it to die.
It’s a horrible scene to think about, but it’s nature. If anything, it serves as a powerful reminder of the instincts all animals have deep in their psyche.
Can Cats and Rabbits Ever Get Along?
If you have a kitty at home, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll kill your bunny. While it is a possibility, some cats just don’t care about chasing down bunnies. Lazy breeds like ragdolls are unlikely to kill rabbits, especially if they are adult cats.
It’s possible to slowly introduce your cat to your rabbit and get them to hang out, but there’s always that risk that the cat goes after the bunny the moment you turn your back.
To get cats and rabbits to cohabitate with each other takes a lot of time and effort, but it is possible with enough dedication on your part. You’ll need to ensure you supervise every interaction between the two animals and never leave them alone together.
The problem isn’t with your rabbit, and the bunny will probably never get used to being in the same room with a cat. It’s a highly stressful situation for your rabbit, and they’ll do everything they can to flee and hide.
The problem with the cat and rabbit relationship is your kitty. The cat might even display behavior showing that it’s friendly to the rabbit. However, these feelings can turn on a dime, and a few seconds is all it takes for your cat to kill the rabbit.
Some rabbit owners swear that their rabbits can fend of cat attacks. However, it’s not something we recommend you rely on with your cat and bunny relationship.
How Can I Protect My Rabbit from My Cat?
If you bring a rabbit home, you’ll need to ensure that you give it the necessary protection against your feline friend. Most people keep their rabbit outdoors in a hutch, and that presents a risk for the rabbit. Feral cats and stray will attempt to break into the hutch to get at your rabbit.
Anyone who knows cats understands that they are master contortionists and can squeeze through the tiniest gaps. Your cat can separate its collarbone, allowing it to squeeze through gaps you would think are impossible.
Make sure you get a wooden-framed hutch treated for weather resistance. Around the wooden frame, you’ll need to secure chicken wire to keep cats out. While it’s easy enough to build a rabbit hutch yourself, some people might not have the DIY skills necessary to build one from scratch.
Fortunately, you can purchase pre-built rabbit hutches online from Amazon. These hutches come with the right wire and wooden or plastic frames. Make sure you get a lock on the door, as a cat will play around with the door, trying to open it. If they catch the latch, they might open the door and get at your rabbit.
If you’re keeping the bunny indoors, you’ll likely have to keep them in a separate room away from your cat. If you go to work during the day and leave your cat and bunny alone, make sure you keep your rabbit in a pet carrier, away from your cat, preferably in a separate room.
Wrapping Up – Why Take the Chance?
Cats aren’t like dogs; it’s incredibly challenging to train behavior into them. Therefore, you can’t expect your cat and rabbit to get along. The two animals are on opposite ends of the food chain, and they are not meant to cohabit the same space with each other.
Even if you think you got your cat to live with your rabbit, there’s no guarantee that this behavior will remain long-term. The cat could get along with the rabbit for months and then suddenly decide to take a swipe at your rabbit. It’s just too unpredictable to take the risk.
Sure, we’ve all seen the cute YouTube videos of cats and bunnies playing and peacefully living with each other, but we assure you, it’s not the norm.
If you decide to bring a bunny home, make sure you separate the two animals and never leave them alone without strict supervision.