Do cats eat rabbit?

Can a cat and a rabbit become friends? In spite of the prey-predator factor it is possible for these animals to exist harmoniously if both were reared in the same household since they were young. Do cats eat rabbits? Cats don’t normally eat rabbits probably because of the small difference in size. However, cats will forever be predators. A cat that sees a scurrying baby rabbit will be off in a flash. Rabbits are prey in the eyes of a cat and the sight of the scampering small animal will turn on the cat’s innate hunting ability. Cats are excellent hunters and it is highly possible that the small rabbit will be killed and eaten until all that remains would be bits and pieces of the rabbit’s fur.

Cats are first and foremost predators. Cats are also obligate carnivores. Cats in the wild as well as the feral and stray cats in urban areas would not pass up the chance to capture a prey. Unlike companion cats that are provided sustenance by their owners, these animals depend on their own resources to survive. These ownerless and homeless cats become opportunistic them from killing and eating baby rabbits?

Cats have been domesticated for hundreds of years. A domestic cat, especially an indoor pet may have kept its hunting instinct in the toy bin along with its toys. These cats are seldom given the opportunity to hunt as most urban households have fully controlled rodent population. But it must be realized that the cat’s inclination to hunt is not kept under lock and key. There will always be something that will trigger the cat’s hunting instinct. And we know how excellent hunters cats are. Aside from the needle sharp teeth and the razor sharp claws, cats have the ability to immobilize the prey only with its mesmerizing look. A cat that has grown with a rabbit in one household may have been socialized and accustomed to the sight, smell and antics of a rabbit. It is possible for these animals to become friends. Cat and rabbit will be seen eating together and sleeping together. The predator-prey context was removed. However, cats would chase an animal that scampers away. The play activity of a cat with another animal of different species can immediately transform into a hunting activity. Once the rabbit runs away it would be all hunting systems go for the cat. Although the rabbit is killed the cat may not eat the animal considered as prey. The cat may not hunt and eat the rabbit it has grown with but if it sees another rabbit outdoors, it will surely chase.

The cat’s instinct to hunt was significantly modified with domestication. A lot of pet parents have been successful in introducing and socializing the cat and the rabbit so that the prey-predator stereotype was removed from the minds of these animals. However, it would still be necessary for the pet owner to take necessary precautions to keep the rabbit safe from the clutches of the cat. An indoor cat would have a very small chance of facing predators thus it would be alright to keep the claws of the cat trimmed to prevent it from inadvertently hurting the rabbit. Rabbits are thin skinned and the scratch made by an untrimmed claw while the animals are playing can get infected and later develop into an abscess. The pets can play but supervision is very necessary even if the animals have become friends. If the pets cannot be supervised it would be necessary to keep the rabbit in its cage or keep the pets in separate rooms.