Raccoons are often known as wily, sly, and smart creatures. These “masked bandits” are wild animals who happen to be omnivores. That means they eat both fruits and meat as part of their diet. But do they eat rabbits?
This article is about raccoons and rabbits and what you can do to protect them from these smart and sometimes, pesky animals.
- 1 Will a Raccoon Eat My Rabbit?
- 2 How Do Raccoons Catch Rabbits?
- 3 What Can You Do to Protect Your Rabbits from Raccoon Attacks?
- 4 Will a Raccoon Hunt My Rabbit All the Time?
- 5 What Advantages Do Raccoons Have Over Pet Rabbits?
- 6 What Advantages Do Pet Rabbits Have Over Racoons?
- 7 Final Thoughts
Will a Raccoon Eat My Rabbit?
It’s not common for raccoons to eat rabbits but it can happen. Raccoons are mostly nocturnal animals and their diet consists of fruits, nuts, insects, small mammals, and birds.
Rabbits are mostly crepuscular animals. This means that they are most active during the twilight and dusk. Because of this, they don’t have good eyesight when it’s pitch dark.
Rabbits can still see in the dark (to a certain extent) but they’ll have to rely on their other senses to escape predators. Raccoons are most active in the pitch of night so they have an advantage over their prey during these times.
Small rabbits are more susceptible to raccoon attacks because they are smaller and easier to carry off. Giant rabbit breeds might not be easier to catch for dinner but a raccoon attack can still be enough to scare them.
If a hungry raccoon can get to your bunny then there’s a good chance that it will eat it.
Fact: Rabbits can die of fright. So it's best that you protect them from predators that prowl at night.
How Do Raccoons Catch Rabbits?
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so they are most active at night. Outdoor rabbits that are kept in hutches are often the ones who fall prey to raccoon attacks. When a raccoon spots a rabbit, it will stalk its prey until it’s close enough to attack.
The raccoon will then fight the rabbit, scratch it with its claws, and bite it with its teeth. Once the rabbit is injured, the raccoon will kill it and eat it. Some bigger rabbits can win the fight against raccoons but it can leave them severely injured.
Raccoon bites and scratches can get infected and would need immediate attention from a veterinarian to make sure that your bunny did not suffer any other injuries and to make sure of their health.
So if you have outdoor rabbits, be sure to keep an eye on them at night! Otherwise, they may become raccoon food.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Rabbits from Raccoon Attacks?
There are a few ways to protect your bunnies from night predators such as raccoons. They’re quite simple and not too much of a hassle. Some of the best ways are enumerated below:
1. Make their hutches as secure as possible
If you have outdoor rabbits, it’s important to make sure their hutches are as secure as possible. raccoons are clever and strong, and they can easily harm your bunny if they get into the hutch. Here are some tips for keeping raccoons out:
- Raccoons are strong climbers, so make sure the hutch is surrounded by a tall fence.
- Raccoons are also good at squeezing through small openings, so check that the bars on the hutch are close together and that there are no gaps.
- You can also deter raccoons by putting a light near the hutch, as they don’t like well-lit areas.
2. Keep your bunnies inside your homes at night
Your home is the safest place for your bunnies to stay home at night. A lot of nocturnal predators are a threat to your bunny’s safety. Besides, even if you have a secure hutch, a raccoon trying to get to your bunny can still frighten them a lot.
Rabbits have a naturally high heart rate, and giving them a terrible fright can prove to be fatal to them.
3. Secure your trash cans
Raccoons are scavengers, they might get into your trash in search of food and find your bunny sound asleep and then decided to go for them instead. To avoid this situation, always ensure that your trash cans are secured firmly to discourage raccoon attempts.
4. Install motion sensor garden sprinklers
Raccoons don’t like water and getting sprinkled by water more so. Installing motion sensor garden sprinklers can deter raccoons from getting into your bunny’s hutches.
5. Do not leave water unattended
Water can also attract raccoons. As much as possible, do not leave any water around at night. It will discourage raccoons from creeping into your backyard and reduce the chances of them attacking your bunnies.
Will a Raccoon Hunt My Rabbit All the Time?
No, raccoons don’t have rabbits at the top of their list all the time.
Some raccoons who just ate are most likely to ignore rabbits when they come across them. But, a hungry raccoon who sees a fluffy rabbit will most likely attack it.
What Advantages Do Raccoons Have Over Pet Rabbits?
When compared to pet rabbits, raccoons have several distinct advantages. For one, raccoons are much more comfortable living in the great outdoors, while pet rabbits tend to thrive in enclosed spaces such as cages or hutches.
Additionally, raccoons are far better equipped for life in the wild than domesticated rabbits.
Unlike pet rabbits, raccoons have incredibly strong jaws and sharp claws that allow them to easily adapt to a wide range of outdoor habitats. They are also very good at finding food, even when resources are scarce.
What’s more, raccoons are known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills, making them very adept at surviving in challenging environments.
All in all, raccoons have many qualities that make them perfectly suited for life outside of captivity, thus giving them an edge over their pet rabbit prey.
What Advantages Do Pet Rabbits Have Over Racoons?
While raccoons are certainly skilled predators and climbers, rabbits have a few tricks of their own up their furry sleeves. For one thing, rabbits are much faster than raccoons, so they can easily outrun them.
Rabbits are also very good at confusing their prey. They will often run in different directions to make it more difficult for raccoons to catch them. The movement of their tails also helps to throw off predators in pursuit.
On top of that, they are skilled jumpers and can easily leap over fences or other obstacles. All of these factors make rabbits much better at evading predators such as raccoons.
Raccoons might seem safe and non-threatening but they are predators due to their omnivore nature.
If a lot of raccoons live in your area, it is better to put ways to ensure that your bunny stays safe from any attacks.