Do Cats Attack Rabbits?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged
A cat smelling a baby wild rabbit. Do cats attack rabbits

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Rei

Cats would absolutely attack a rabbit if they get the chance to. The reason for this is because cats are predators, they naturally want to hunt and kill weaker animals like rabbits.

But that doesn’t mean that they can’t get along. Although unnatural because cats are predators and rabbits are prey, it’s possible to bond them especially if they grew up together. While older cats/rabbits are less likely to accept each other.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why cats attack rabbits:

Do cats and rabbits get along?

It’s certainly possible for rabbits and cats to get along. Just look at this video of the two playing together:

The best chance for your rabbits and cats to get along is to get them at the same time as babies so they would grow up together. This has the highest chance that the two would forget their rivalry.

You should also neuter/spay both your rabbits and cats for a higher chance of bonding. Rabbits and cats are both territorial. Neutering them would lessen their instinct to be territorial and aggressive.

Fair warning to everyone reading this, while it’s certainly possible for cats and rabbits to get along, you should still never leave them unsupervised. Both of them are animals that are governed by their instinct even if both are neutered/spayed.

Your cats could turn on your rabbit in an instant if their instinct to hunt suddenly kicks in.

Are rabbits scared of cats?

A cat and a rabbit sleeping besides each other

Yes, naturally rabbits would be scared of cats in the beginning. Their prey instinct would certainly kick in once they sense a predator is near them.

Keeping your cats around your rabbit can stress your rabbit out if they are not yet comfortable with it, which in turn could affect their health. So it’s advisable that you separate your rabbits and cats until both are comfortable with each other.

Keeping your rabbits in a cage while your cats can free roam is also not recommended. Your rabbit would feel threatened by the presence of the cat and because they can’t get away from the situation(due to being caged up), they would likely panic.

A rabbit can die of a heart attack if they’re scared enough. Just look at these rabbits that die due to being scared by fireworks.

Can a rabbit defend itself from a cat?

Rabbits have a few defense mechanisms to protect themselves from predators in the wild. Their first instinct would be to run away and hide to the nearest hiding place they know.

If the rabbit is a house rabbit being chased by a cat, theirs a high probability that the cat would catch it because rabbits can’t use their full speed in most home floorings. They also don’t have any hiding place as most wild rabbits have in the wild.

If that failed, they would fight back with everything they got. A rabbit can bite, kick, and claw it’s way out if it’s a life or death situation.

How to protect your rabbits from cats?

If you own the cat, never leave them unsupervised. The two of them are not friends, they are governed by their instinct. They could turn on each other at any time.

If you’re trying to protect your rabbit from your neighbor’s cat, you can try cat-proofing your house. Cat repellents, cat-proof rabbit cage, motion-activated sprinklers, and proper fences around your property would often do the trick.

Putting cat repeller sharp spikes in your fence would prevent your neighbor’s cat from trying to jump over your fence. If they do get past your fence, most cats would run away after your motion-activated sprinklers kick in because cats hate being wet.

If that too failed, a cat repellant like motion-activated ultrasonic cat alarms would startle the cat. If the cat somehow gets past all of that, a cat-proof rabbit cage would protect your rabbit from harm.

Summary

Cats and rabbits are natural enemies. Both of them are governed by their instinct, cats are hunters/predators, while rabbits are prey. While it’s certainly possible for them to get along, it’s still best that you never leave your cats and rabbits unsupervised because they could turn on each other in an instant.

While a rabbit can defend themselves from cats by running away, biting, and kicking, a house rabbit would likely lose to a house cat because rabbits would not be able to use their full speed due to most house flooring being slippery. Rabbits also have lesser option to hide from cats because they have no hole to burrow into.