Do Cats and Rabbits Get Along?

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

Are cats a danger to rabbits?

Yes, cats are dangerous to rabbits — some more than others. Cats are predators and hard-wired to prey on species such as rabbits. Whilst not all cats have a strong hunting instinct, an owner should always assume their cat may predate on a pet rabbit and never leave them together unsupervised.

Will my cat eat my rabbit?

Conclusion. Cats will kill and eat many different types of small animals, from mice to birds and up to rabbits. In fact, a cat might even kill a rabbit with no intention of eating it. Cats love to hunt and kill and it’s deep within their instinct to do so.

How do you introduce a cat to a rabbit?

The cat should be let loose while the rabbit is safe in a closed cage. Let the animals get used to each other’s smell, movement, and behavior. It will take a while before you can let the rabbit loose, but try to enable the interaction at least an hour a day.

Can a rabbit defend itself from a cat?

When cornered, rabbits can fight ! … Rabbits are sometimes able to fight off smaller predators, like some species of cats, by using their hind legs, claws and teeth. If a rabbit is attacking another animal, their goal is generally not to kill the predator.

Yes, really. What seems an unlikely combination, given the predator-prey context that first comes to mind, is in fact a common and often rewarding match. The key is to remove that stereotype from your mind and, more importantly, from the environment. In an earlier issue we described some of the friendships that have developed between these two. Now we offer ideas on introducing cats and rabbits in ways that minimize stress for all concerned.

Cats and rabbits are not natural housemates. Cats are instinctive predators, and rabbits are prey animals. This will automatically raise alarm bells for any prospective pet owner. That doesnt necessarily mean that putting cats and rabbits together is doomed to failure from the outset.

If two animals grow up together, theyll look past any rivalry and play together contentedly. This means that youll need to manage their dynamic, and ensure that neither pet grows jealous of the other.

This guide looks at the process of bonding a cat and rabbit, and running a successful multi-pet home. If you expect a cat and rabbit to share a home, youll need some house rules. If your cat is on higher ground, your bunny may interpret jumping down as an ambush.

Your rabbit will be housebound for a few days, so theyll need plenty of room to run, jump and play. Once the two animals exhibit equal levels of curiosity, carefully introduce them for playtime. Over time, you can start letting your cat and rabbit more without the confines of a cage.

As cats and rabbits are both territorial, theyre showing remarkable willpower to leave each other alone. If a bunny is an incumbent pet and youre introducing a kitten, the situation remains precarious. This means slowly and steadily introducing them to the house, one room at a time.

Older cats have had more time to hone their hunting, and theyre less interested in play. Every cat toy youll find in a pet store is designed to appeal to this predisposition. As The House Rabbit Society explains, bunnies are equally likely to be the antagonist in this relationship.

They dont need that kind of a hassle theyll find easier prey. This can lead to a rabbit chasing a cat, attempting to show their dominance. As Pet Health Network explains, this is a bacterial infection with variable symptoms.

Ensure the hutch has a roof, and any bars are too narrow to accommodate feline paws. Many felines and bunnies find common ground in the home, under the right circumstances. Watch your cat and rabbit, and ensure that both pets feel equally loved and valued.

As a House Rabbit Society Educator, one of the most comments I hear at community outreach events is: “I can’t get a rabbit, I have a cat.” That’s a logical assumption given that cats are predators while rabbits are prey animals. Surprisingly, however, in domestic (i.e., indoor) situations, cats and rabbits frequently get along fine and are a common combination.

The total opposite of Ernie was Merlin the black cat closest to Bridget in the photo. Connie Cowan: We have always had cats until our daughter brought “Mopsy” home from college back in 2003.

At the moment as I’m typing another of my cats is hanging out in our dining room bunnies’ hidey spot while they are lying on the rug in front of him. From Kellie McClure : Butters is a three year old flemish giant and Starbuck is a six month old tortoise shell kitten recently adopted off the streets.

Introducing a Rabbit to a Cat’s House

To keep your cat and rabbit happy, you’ll need to meet the needs of both pets. Cats and bunnies are similar in many respects.Both species are territorial. Neither animal enjoys any change to their routine. Perhaps most importantly, both become jealous if they feel they’re not the center of attention.The critical steps to a harmonious household that contains cats and rabbits are as follows:It’s easier if you bring a bunny and cat together when both animals are young. Both pets will be more adaptable in their early years. Equally, if they grow up together, neither will be able to appreciate life without the other.You can still make it work with adult animals. You’ll need to manage the introductions carefully, and be vigilant about watching them.

Introducing a Kitten to a House Rabbit

If a bunny is an incumbent pet and you’re introducing a kitten, the situation remains precarious. Your rabbit will be used to their freedom, and will be suspicious of this interloper.The good news is that kittens are just as social as rabbits. This means the two pets are likelier to iron out their differences and become friends.You’ll need to get your kitten comfortable. This means slowly and steadily introducing them to the house, one room at a time.A new home is overwhelming for a cat. Throw a territorial bunny into the mix and they’ll be terrified. Don’t introduce the animals until the kitten is confident.Once you’re ready to introduce the animals, pick a room that neither pet is familiar with. If that’s not an option, make it an unknown location to the rabbit. This way, they’re less likely to be territorial and aggressive.From there, stand back and watch like a hawk. Let the two pets smell each other, and feel each other out. If they start to fight, separate them at once. If not, let them interact for a few minutes and repeat the trick the next day.This will take patience, but eventually, the two pets will grow to tolerate each other. If you’re lucky, they’ll even bond and play together.

Do Cats Attack Rabbits?

It’s always possible that a cat would attack a rabbit. After all, these two animals are natural enemies in the wild. When you add feline hunting instinct to the equation, conflict is likely.This could happen at any moment. Even if your cat and rabbit seem to have bonded, you can’t get complacent. Cats can turn at a moment’s notice, especially if frustrated.The best way to prevent cats from attacking rabbits is by tempering their instincts in other ways. This can be done through play.Felines only play one game – stalk, hunt, and capture. Every cat toy you’ll find in a pet store is designed to appeal to this predisposition. 20 minutes of playtime will exhaust your cat, and keep their hunting drive in check.As a result of this, your cat is less likely to chase your rabbit. If they do start a pursuit, you’ll need to separate them quickly.One of two things will happen if your cat chases a rabbit. The bunny may stand their ground, which will intimidate your cat. Alternatively, they may panic and flee. This will get your cat’s blood up.Once a rabbit is marked as prey to your cat, they won’t be able to control themselves. They’ll give chase until they get what they want. Even if your rabbit escapes, they’ll be terrified of your cat forever more.

Do Rabbits Attack Cats?

AsWhen a rabbit feels confident and comfortable in their home, they’ll become territorial. They’ll wander around like they own the house, marking territory as they go. Sound familiar? That’s right – it’s precisely the same behavior as a cat. Naturally, this can lead to a clash.The difference lies in how far a rabbit will take things. A cat may try to intimidate a bunny. Most of the time, a confident rabbit will bare their teeth and threaten them right back.This will deter a cat from going any further. They don’t need that kind of a hassle – they’ll find easier prey. The bunny may want to drive their point home though.This can lead to a rabbit chasing a cat, attempting to show their dominance. They may bite at a cat’s tail, or even try to mount them. This will provoke a fight-or-flight response.Neither of these will be favorable. Your cat will forever be scared of your rabbit, and they’ll live in fear. Alternatively, they’ll instinctively fight back – and probably win the battle.

Can Cats Get Sick from Rabbits?

It is possible for a cat to become sick when a rabbit is unwell. This usually arises when the two animals share parasites.Fleas will gleefully jump from rabbits to cats, and back again. If the bunny is sick, the flea can then pass the infection onto your cat. Other biting insects, such as mosquitos andThe biggest health concern involving rabbits and cats via insect bites is tularemia, aka rabbit fever. AsRabbits can also infect cats with respiratory sickness through proximity. If your bunny has snuffles, for example, this can manifest in a cat as Bordetella bronchiseptica.If your rabbit is living with ringworm, this will also be contagious to cats. In such an instance, you should quarantine your rabbit until they recover.Of course, all of this works in reverse too. These are known as zoonotic diseases, meaning they are intra-species infections. This means a cat is just as likely to infect a rabbit if infected.It’s arguably more concerning. Rabbits have weaker immunity than cats, and are more likely to struggle with infection. Avoid interaction between animals if one of your pets is unwell.