If you’re an animal lover, then you may always be seeking out new critters you can bring into your home. While cats are obviously popular pets, with almost 32 million American homes owning cats,1 rabbits are surprisingly popular pets as well, with approximately 1.2–3 million American homes owning at least one rabbit.2
Between these pet-owning homes, there must be at least some overlap, but will cats eat rabbits if given the chance? The fact of the matter is that cats and rabbits can coexist in the same home, but you need to remember that cats are apex predators and should take precautions to keep your rabbit safe.
Can Cats and Rabbits Get Along?
The good news for anyone hoping to keep cats and rabbits in a home together is that these pets can be safely kept in a home together. It is necessary to take precautions to keep both pets safe and secure, though. Without proper precautions, you may unintentionally set your pets up for failure. Failure in a home with a cat and rabbit can result in injuries, stress, damage to your home, and even death for a pet.
Even if your cat seems very laid back with your rabbit, you should never let your guard down and allow them time together without direct supervision from an adult. Many pet owners have made the mistake of letting their guard down, leading to devastating consequences.
Will Cats Kill Rabbits?
Whether your cat will kill rabbits or not is highly variable, and it is dependent on a variety of factors, including your cat’s personality, your rabbit’s personality, your home layout, and the environmental setups for both pets.
Cats are apex predators, though, and it should always be assumed that your cat will injure or kill your rabbit. While they may not, making the assumption that your cat is a threat to your rabbit will help you and other household members always be cognizant of providing appropriate barriers and supervision between these two pets.
What Precautions Should I Take?
If you’re planning on keeping a rabbit and a cat, there are some precautions you should take to keep everyone safe and happy. Your cat and your rabbit should never be able to access the same space without supervision. Even if your rabbit is in a cage during the day, your cat should be closed out of the room your rabbit is kept in.
Your cat has the capacity to harm your rabbit through the bars of a cage or baby gate. At least one securely closed door should keep them apart and everyone in the household should be committed to maintaining this separation.
When your rabbit and cat will be in the same room together, you should always be within arm’s reach so you can pull them away from each other if something happens. Children should not be left in charge of interactions between cats and other small animals. An adult should always be there and be paying close attention. Playing on your phone while you’re sitting 20 feet away offers too much opportunity for your cat to harm your rabbit.
Be very mindful of how sneaky and slippery both of these animals can be, especially cats. It’s not unheard of for cats to be able to slip underneath doors or into a room unnoticed. It’s extremely important for everyone to always be aware of where both pets are with absolute certainty.
Make sure to provide both pets with safe spaces that are only their own as well. This means providing your cat with quiet, safe spaces, maybe even high up on a shelf or cat tree, and your rabbit with an appropriately sized enclosure that offers an appropriate diet, clean water at all times, and safe and comfortable spaces to rest.
Cats have been known to attack rabbits due to their predatory instincts. No matter how well you think you know your cat, there is always the possibility of your cat harming your rabbit if left in a position to do so, especially if left unattended together.
Make sure the entire household is on the same page with taking precautions to keep both pets safe and sound, ensuring the home stays peaceful and happy.
Featured Image Credit: stefanoceruti63, Pixabay