Do Cats Attack Rabbits?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Cats would absolutely attack a rabbit if they got the chance to. The reason for this is that 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.

On the other hand, older cats or 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 will grow up together.

This has the highest chance of making the two forget their rivalry.

For a higher chance of bonding, you should also neuter or spay both your rabbits and cats.

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 instincts, even if they are neutered or 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 freely 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 will likely panic.

A rabbit that’s scared enough can die of cardiac arrest or stroke.

Just look at these rabbits that died 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.

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Welcome to Bunnyhorde

Their first instinct would be to run away and hide to the nearest hiding place they know.

If the rabbit was a house rabbit being chased by a cat, there is a high probability that the cat would catch it.

Rabbits can’t use their full speed on most home flooring.

They also don’t have any hiding places like 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 its way out of 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 cages, 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 will 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 instincts.

Cats are hunters and 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.

The reason is that they could turn on each other in an instant.

While a rabbit can defend itself from cats by running away, biting, and kicking, a house rabbit would likely lose to a house cat.

Rabbits would not be able to use their full speed due to most house flooring being slippery.

Rabbits also have fewer options to hide from cats because they have no hole to burrow into.

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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.