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Do Rabbits and Cats Get Along, Live or Mate?

Rabbits

Do Rabbits and Cats Get Along, Live or Mate?

If you are a cat and rabbit lover, there are many questions you may be having including questions like can rabbits mate with cats, can they share a litter, can rabbits and cats live together, among many others. Let us explore answers to this and other similar questions.


Before keeping these pets together or any other pet such as dogs, guinea pigs, and so on, you need to be certain they can get along well. Cats are predators whereas bunnies are prey animals. Can you keep both together? Or can rabbits live with cats?

Can rabbits and cats live together or get along?

Yes. “Rabbits can get along with pet cats and dogs” [1] since they are social animals and will enjoy the company of other furry critters. However, another bun will be the best companion if well bonded since felines are more of solitary creatures.

Furthermore, you need to ensure your cat does not have any predator tendencies or instincts. Otherwise, it may attack your bunnies.  Again, note that not all bunnies will get along with other pets since they tend to have slightly different personalities.

If you intend to let them socialize and live together, you need to introduce them to each other carefully since as prey animals, bunnies may tend to be very fearful. Therefore, they may be very stressed unless they feel safe while in their environment (or have a safe hiding place).

Until you are certain that your cat cannot attack your rabbit, you should never leave them together unsupervised. Always be there at any time are together.

Finally, groom them regularly including cutting your feline’s and bunny’s nails to minimize injuries in case a fight suddenly breaks out.

Bonding cats and rabbits

Besides their prey and predator relationships, these animals are both fastidious self-groomers making them clean animals. If careful introduced, they can live together in harmony especially if bonded while they are still young. 

Some of the important considerations you should make before you begin bonding these two pets include the following:

Consider their personalities

Before deciding on letting your feline friends and bunnies live together, first look at their personalities. For instance, “the combination of a cat and rabbit works best when the cat is calm and submissive, and the rabbit is assertive, but not aggressive.”[2] Otherwise, a submissive bunny will live fearing of being attacked while if your feline friend is aggressive, it will attack your bunny.

Do not forget to consider the rabbit’s territorial tendencies being social animals that need to establish hierarchy. This may not go well with felines or other pets especially if they try to challenge the hierarchy being established by your bunny. In such a case, a fight or fleeing may probably happen.

Finally, neutering your rabbit and cats will make them less aggressive and reduce their tendency to fight with other pets or bunnies. There are also many other benefits of neutering and spaying these pets.

Consider their sizes

Going for a rabbit larger that your feline friend will be ideal since as predators, cats hardly attack animals their size or larger than them. However, they at times can an attack larger animals including dogs.

Bond them slowly

When introducing them, you need to slowly do it over sometime while ensuring your bunnies do not remain defenseless in case of attack as this can cause injuries.

Firstly, begin with short and brief meetings after transferring their scents to each other (by rubbing them with the same piece of cloth) and slowly increase the time they spend together. All this must be supervised.

Secondly, ensure your rabbits have a secure space inaccessible by cats. The best scenario will be letting them interact while rabbits are in their cages. This is because bunnies can be frightened by unfamiliar animals, noises, and fright can make them die.

Only let them out of their cages or hutches is they are comfortable and in case they show stress signs, return them to their cages or separate these two pets.

Thirdly, in case of a fight, break it and ensure all aggressions are stopped. A scratch from a cat is likely to damage your bunny’s eye in case of a tiff.

Furthermore, consider the settings of where they have been bonded since your cat may chase a bun to whom he or she was friendly while indoors, if they meet outdoors due to the unfamiliar territory.

Finally, you need to know more about bonding a bunny and you can get the advice from professional especially from your local rabbit shelters or group to give you more insight.

Be on the look for contagious disease

Although most diseases cannot be transmitted from cats and dogs to rabbits, ringworms and some parasites might be transmitted including Cryptosporidiosis disease.

You may consider vaccinating your rabbit against rabies. However, as CDC notes, “small rodents like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs including rabbits and hares are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans”  [3]

Recognize their different needs

While keeping these two pets together, remember they have different dietary requirements, housing needs, littering trays, grooming, and so on.

Also, consider the various products you use on them. For instance, some products including Frontline (Apronil) that are safe for dogs and cats may possibly cause not only neurological damage but also death to your rabbits.

Can rabbits mate with cats

No. These animals cannot mate. Even if they did, their offspring will not be viable since only animals of the same species can viably mate. These two belong to different orders, i.e., whereas cats are carnivores, bunnies are lagomorphs.

Secondly, these two animals mate differently or have different mating behaviors. “ Female cats are induced to ovulate by the barbs at the end of the male cat’s penis. Male rabbits have smooth penises.” [4] This means that ovulation cannot occur unless there are barbs to stimulate it.

Can rabbits use cat litter

Rabbits can use some cat litter but not all of them. Any clay litters may cause respiratory issues or digestive system problems if ingested. Also, some of them may have harmful ingredients.

Secondly, those made from pine and cedar may be harmful to bunnies since they contain phenol which has been linked with liver disease in rabbits. If you use them, your bunnies will chew and ingest since chewing is one of their natural behaviors. Therefore, avoid those with pine and cedar shavings or pellets.

However, if they are multipurpose including brands such as Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter or Kaytee Small Animal Potty Training, you can use them.  

Cat meets bunny video 

If you would like to watch it, here is a video of these two pets meeting that will thrill you. Enjoy watching it now.

Conclusion

We hope this answers your various question including do cats and rabbits get along together as well as how you can bond them. Remember to bond them slowly, consider their personalities, supervise the bonding and understand your cat’s and rabbit’s body language and vocal cues.

Finally, as a multiple pet owner need to know which pets can get along or stay together in harmony including ferrets, guinea pigs, mice, dogs, among others

Disclaimer

All the information and other materials contained on this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to substitute consultation, advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed professional or veterinarian. disclaimer

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