Last Updated on December 18, 2022 by Rei Garnet
The best thing to do if your cat catches a wild rabbit is to call your local wildlife rehabilitators. If that’s not available to you, an emergency vet that specializes in rabbits would know what to do.
Be careful when handling wild adult rabbits. They can carry parasites and other zoonotic diseases that can be passed on to humans. It’s better to not handle them and call the proper authorities instead.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail what to do when your cat catches a rabbit:
Steps to take when your cat catches a baby rabbit.
Here are the steps you can take if your cat catches a rabbit:
1. Separate your cat from the rabbit.
You must separate your cat from the rabbit as soon as you find them. If your cat is biting on the rabbit, do not pull the rabbit because it could make the rabbit’s injury worse.
Instead, gently open your cat’s mouth to release the rabbit.
You should then separate your cat from the rabbit. I suggest putting the rabbit in a separate room where the cat would not be able to enter.
2. Make a temporary shelter.
You can make a temporary shelter using a simple cardboard box with a towel inside. You should also include some kind of heating element because a baby rabbit could get cold and die of hypothermia even if it’s warm where you live.
A plastic bottle filled with hot tap water should be enough. Just place it near the rabbit, but make sure that the bottle is not too close, or you’ll run the risk of accidentally burning the rabbit.
3. Do not feed them anything or give them water.
Our first instinct when we find a baby rabbit would be to feed them or provide water. But, a rabbit’s digestive system is delicate. One wrong move in this area could be fatal to rabbits extremely fast.
It’s better if we don’t give them anything and let the proper authorities handle this part.
4. Try finding the rabbit’s original nest.
You can try finding the rabbit’s original nest if the rabbit is not injured. If you find the nest, just leave the rabbit there and try to make the nest look as undisturbed as you possibly can.
If the rabbit is injured, it’s better to skip this step and call the proper authorities because a cat bite is filled with bacteria that should be cleaned properly for the rabbit to have a chance to survive.
5. Call your local wildlife rehab.
Calling a wildlife rehab is your best option if you have a wild rabbit under your care. They would know what to do and they will be able to give you proper instructions.
If you cannot find a local wildlife rehabilitator, you can try contacting a veterinarian that specializes in rabbits.
What to do if your cat catches an adult rabbit?
If your cat catches an adult wild rabbit and it’s not injured, you can simply release it back into the wild. But most likely, your cat would have injured the rabbit even if you don’t see any open wounds.
The best thing to do is to just get your cat to go inside your house and leave the wild rabbit alone. It’s risky to handle an adult wild rabbit because they could fight back and injure you instead.
Wild rabbits can also carry parasites and other zoonotic diseases that can be passed on to humans, such as tularemia, so it’s better if you just don’t try to help them.
If the wild rabbit is so injured that it can’t walk on its own, you can call your local wildlife rehabilitators. They would know what to do exactly.
What to do if your cat catches a rabbit and kills it?
If your cat killed the rabbit, you should simply properly dispose of the carcass and keep your cat indoors as much as possible to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
Be careful about letting your cat hunt wild rabbits. Wild rabbits can carry parasites and other diseases that can be passed on to your cats. Wild rabbits can also carry zoonotic diseases that can be passed on to humans, like tularemia.
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