Do cats and rabbits get along?

Is it possible to have free ranging cat and rabbit under one roof? Cats are natural predators and in cat’s eyes, a rabbit is a prey. Rabbits will naturally view cats as a threat to their existence. Anyone wanting to have a cat and a rabbit for pets would always consider the prey-predator issue between these animals. The possibility that the cat would terrorize and kill the rabbit would dampen down the desire to get both animals as pets. Of course this would not happen is the rabbit is fully grown and the pet cat is just a kitten. However, cats and rabbits can get along. These animals can be good friends. Once properly introduced and socialized, rabbits can be seen sleeping with cats and cats can be seen grooming the bunnies.

The trick is to make the cat less predatory when it happens to meet the rabbit. It would also be necessary to acclimatize the rabbit so that it would not vault every time it notices the cat. Nothing would switch on a cat’s prey drive faster than the sight of a rabbit scampering for dear life. If you are a new owner of a rabbit how would you go about introducing the new pet to the resident cat? The pets must be introduced gradually. The fact that the cat would have the inclination to terrorize the rabbit is a big possibility. It would be best if the rabbit is confined in a cage while the cat is allowed to freely wander around the house. The cage should be large enough to allow the rabbit to do its usual antics. The cat will then get accustomed to the behavior of the rabbit. It would be helpful if the rabbit let out of the cage so that it would get accustomed to its new environment. However, while the cat has not yet accepted the rabbit it would be best to confine the cat in a cage so that it can watch the rabbit playing with its toys and getting familiar with the environment. Some owners take advantage of the ultrasensitive scenting abilities of cats. To introduce the scent of the rabbit to the cat, a cloth is rubbed on the rabbit’s body and then rubbed on the flanks of the cat. The process can be repeated with the scent of the cat introduced to the rabbit. This will speed up the cat’s acceptance of the rabbit and the rabbit will get accustomed to the smell of cat.

Animals have different personalities. The getting acquainted period may only take days in some but would take weeks in others. Pet parents should not rush things to prevent unwanted situations from happening. When the pet appears to have accepted each other, they can be made to hang out in the same room but close supervision is necessary. The cat and the rabbit must be allowed to sniff each other and to work things out their way but the pet owner has to be in the same room to intervene if necessary.

Introducing a cat to a rabbit and vice versa cannot be done instantly. The pet parent needs to be patient and persistent as the animals cannot be forced to change their personalities. All the pet owner can do is to make sure that the dominant animal would not injure the weaker one. The pet parent has to create an environment where the pets can exist harmoniously. Cats and rabbits can get along…the predator can peaceably exist with the prey. For a pet owner that has successfully done the task, it would be very satisfying to see the pets sleeping and eating together and playing with each other.

Comments