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Can a Cat and a Rabbit Live Together?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 20, 2017
Can a Cat and a Rabbit Live Together?

It may appear to be very difficult for these two animals to live together, if not impossible, but nothing is further from the truth. In fact, rabbits and cats can become great friends as long as the first stages of communal living are taken properly and progressively.

If you're thinking about keeping both these animals under the same roof, you might be wondering whether a cat and a rabbit can live together at all. We at AnimalWised will answer in detail, and we will give you some tips to make it possible.

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Easier when young

If the rabbit was first to arrive in your home and the cat is small, there's a chance that the rabbit will try to attack it. This is because hierarchy comes instinctively to rabbits.

On the contrary, if the rabbit arrives to a house in which an adult cat is already established, it's very easy for the cat to act on its predatory instinct and view the rabbit as prey.

However, if contact is first made when both animals are young it is very easy to establish a harmonious communal living arrangement, where they consider the other animal to be a companion which forms part of the same new environment and dynamic. Of course, taking in these two animals at the same time is not always possible; let's overview other possible situations.

Can a Cat and a Rabbit Live Together? - Easier when young

If the cat comes later...

While these two animals can become great friends, you shouldn't force contact or presence on either of them. You need to understand that the rabbit is the cat's natural prey, regardless of when the cat arrived.

In such cases it's recommended to initiate contact from the cage. The smaller the cat is, the narrower the bars on the rabbit's cage should be so that it can't swipe its claws through the gaps. The rabbit's cage also needs to be big enough for the cat to examine, and get used to the rodent's movements.

You need to be patient, because this acclimatization period can last from days to weeks. It's better for contact to be made progressively. The next stage is to allow direct contact between both pets in one room. Don't intervene unless it's absolutely necessary. If the cat tries to attack the rabbit now, you should quickly spray it with water so that the cat associates water with its behavior with the rabbit.

Can a Cat and a Rabbit Live Together? - If the cat comes later...

If the rabbit comes later...

Rabbits are also highly sensitive to change and are easily stressed. This means that you can't put it in front of the cat right away. It's first necessary to let the rabbit get used to its cage and the room where it will be, and later the house itself.

Once it's got used to its surroundings, you can introduce the cat. Follow the same precautions as before, first with contact from inside the cage and later with direct contact. If you are patient and take care, you won't have any trouble with cats and rabbits living together. What's more, your two pets can form a great relationship.

Can a Cat and a Rabbit Live Together? - If the rabbit comes later...

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