Are you two content? It is possible for the prey and the predator to become the best of friends with some common sense and some patience.
They are both endowed with plush fur coats, ears and noses that act as barometers of their environments, and personalities that make people go “Aww” when they see them. On the other hand, one is a predator and the other is prey.
Is it possible for a cat, which is a predator, and a bunny, which is the ultimate prey, to coexist peacefully and harmoniously? The answer is yes, but with some qualifications.
In the same way that it is necessary to gradually introduce new animals, constant and stringent supervision is required at all times. Edward Binse, who works at Brian’s Bunny Barn in Guilford, advises customers to “Keep an eye on them for quite some time.” Binse continues by saying that rabbits prefer to live alone in a hutch or cage outside of the house and spend some of their time inside the house. It is best to socialize young rabbits and cats when they are both still quite young before the prey/predator instinct has had a chance to fully develop, “so that they continue to believe that they are the same.”
Binse claims that a male rabbit will spray or otherwise mark its territory with other rabbits, so he recommends getting a female rabbit if the bunny will be sharing its home with a cat. This will prevent the bunny from spraying. Binse also suggests going with a larger breed, such as a Flemish Giant, because they are more submissive and are able to hold their own when confronted by a cat. Binse goes on to say that English Spots have a pleasant disposition, are inquisitive and energetic, and would engage in significantly more interaction with their environment.
Our resident bunny expert, agrees. “The younger the rabbit, the more excitement there is for the cat, but the greater the risk for the little bunny. It’s not a good idea for a cat to mess with a larger rabbit, as they can be intimidating.
In point of fact, Amy Shapiro, who works for the House Rabbit Society, says that a lot of people report a complete inversion of the roles that are supposed to be played by house rabbits and house cats. According to what she’s heard, rabbits have a reputation for being more antagonistic in social settings than cats do. She is of the opinion that, on the most fundamental level, rabbits are social animals whereas cats are solitary animals, despite the fact that there is individual variation within species. Therefore, a large rabbit might charge a cat, thereby establishing that the rabbit is the more dominant of the two animals.
According to Edward Binse, rabbits are very adaptable. They have a wide range of personalities, just like people, and are very similar to us in many ways. According to Shapiro, many rabbits who do not possess the necessary social skills to coexist with another rabbit do much better when they have a feline companion.
However, according to Shapiro, the manipulation of the environment is the key to everything. When it comes to introducing new pets to one another, she emphasizes the significance of choosing companion animals that are compatible with one another and exercising patience and caution. A rabbit that is trying to escape and a cat that has not had its claws trimmed is an instant recipe for prey being eaten by the predator. This is the worst-case scenario.
The best time to make introductions is while the rabbit is still in her cage, which should be sturdy enough to deter curious paws and spacious enough to accommodate a hiding box, according to Shapiro’s advice. Keep the bunny in the cage with the cat watching from outside for as long as you reasonably can (use your best judgment here), so that they can become accustomed to one another. The next thing to do is to let them both out at the same time while keeping an eye on them. Let them investigate by sniffing and looking. Always have a spray bottle on hand, and if your cat gets too rowdy, don’t hesitate to use it! If you find yourself reaching for the spray bottle more often than usual, this is a sign that things have moved too quickly for you, and you should consider returning to the cage phase. Continue making adjustments until everybody feels at ease. According to Shapiro, all that is required is some time and careful monitoring. A harmonious relationship between felines and rabbits requires consideration of two issues.
The tendency of the bunny to nibble is one of them. Wood, or furniture made of wood, and electrical cords are two of the most common targets. In many cases, it is a fundamental matter of safety for the household as a whole as well as the rabbit herself to keep the bunny confined.
The second thing to consider is the utilization of a litter box. According to Susan, who works for Pets Press, rabbits can be housetrained, but cat litters should not be used around them because it could be harmful. She suggests using individual litter boxes for each, or selecting a litter made of recycled paper or pellets that is suitable for use with both cats and dogs.
Whether or not bunnies and kitties can feel at ease cuddling up to one another should be determined by using common sense. If you are familiar with your animals and have a good understanding of their personalities, you will be better equipped to create an environment in which they can live together without conflict.