Why Is My Cat Scared Of My Rabbit?

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged

Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Marjon Ramos

A cat that’s scared of a rabbit could be due to a size difference, age difference, or whether or not the rabbit is neutered. Most of the time, the cat is not really scared of the rabbit; the cat is just avoiding getting injured.

An unneutered rabbit exhibiting hormonal-related territorial aggression is the most common reason why a cat seems to be scared of rabbits. This can easily be solved by neutering both animals.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why your cat is scared of your rabbits:

Are cats afraid of rabbits?

Cats and rabbits are not natural companions. Rabbits being prey and cats being predators, it’s natural for them to fight sometimes.

Cats can be afraid of rabbits if the rabbit is aggressive due to hormonal-related territorial aggression. Rabbits are surprisingly good at defending themselves against predators like cats.

A rabbit can kick, claw, and bite if someone enters its territory. A cat that’s not interested in hunting would likely avoid getting injured by a rabbit and would just run away.

So if your cat seems scared of your rabbit, it’s likely that the cat is just avoiding getting injured and is not really “afraid” of rabbits.

Reasons why a cat is scared of a rabbit.

In order to properly find a solution as to why your cat is scared of your rabbit, you must first recognize why your cat is scared of your rabbit in the first place.

Here are the most common reasons why your cat is scared of your rabbits:

Your rabbit is larger than your cat.

If your rabbit is larger than your cat, then it’s only natural that your cat would be scared of your rabbit. In nature, size is extremely important when an animal is trying to gauge the level of threat.

There are several rabbit breeds that are as big or even larger than cats. One example would be the Flemish giant.

An adult Flemish giant could weigh as much as 10 kilograms (22 pounds). While an average house cat weighs between 3.5 kilograms (7.9 lbs) and 4.4 kilograms (9.9 lbs).

Also, some medium-sized rabbit breeds could be as big as house cats. The average weight of medium breed rabbits is between 2.4 kilograms (5.5 lbs) and 4.7 kilograms (10.5 lbs).

So if your rabbit is the same size or larger than your cat, it’s possible that your cat is scared of getting injured by a larger animal (a.k.a. your rabbit).

Your rabbit is older than your cat.

It’s also possible for your cat to get scared if your rabbit is older than your cat. An adult rabbit has a milder temper and is more territorial due to hormones, while a young kitten can be annoyingly playful.

So if your kitten seems like it’s scared of your older rabbit, it could be a combination of fear due to the size difference and that your rabbit and cat likely had a fight where the rabbit won.

Your rabbit is unneutered, while your cat is neutered.

A rabbit that’s unneutered and has entered sexual maturity would likely exhibit hormonal-related territorial aggression to anyone who comes near their territory.

While a cat that’s neutered would not have the same aggression, they would likely just flee rather than fight. That’s why it’s always recommended that you neuter your pets.

Neutering both your pets would make your life easier because neutered cats and rabbits are easier to train and are not prone to aggressive behaviors.

How to get your cat to like your rabbit?

A cat and a rabbit sleeping beside each other

First, keep your rabbit and cats in separate “territory”. I would suggest keeping your cat free to roam while your rabbit is inside their cage or hutch.

After a while, your cats and rabbit would get used to each other’s scent, behavior, and movements. You can tell that your cats and rabbits are used to each other when they’re both relaxed, even if they’re close to each other.

You can then start letting your rabbit loose together with your cat. But make sure that it’s supervised. This is extremely important. Do not let your cat and rabbit play together unsupervised.

Cats and rabbits are not natural companions. They are predators and prey. One wrong move and their instinct could kick in and they could end up hurting each other.

If your cat or your rabbit exhibits any sign of anxiety or fear, immediately separate them and try again another time. This would take time, so be patient and never force your cat or rabbit to play.

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By Marjon Ramos

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.