While cats are considered predatory animals and rabbits are considered prey, it is entirely possible for domesticated cats and rabbits to get along.
However, getting a cat and a rabbit to live together and play together is a process; you can’t just assume that they’ll become fast friends.
In order for them to actually get along and be able to share the same environment, they will need a proper introduction. It’s best to introduce both animals to each other when they’re very young. That way they’ll get used to one another as they continue to grow.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely for an older cat to be able to accept a rabbit. Therefore it’s best to keep your home rabbit-free if you have an older cat.
Bringing A Rabbit
If you already own a cat and want to bring in a rabbit, there are a few things you will need to consider before making that step.
Ask yourself a few questions like, does my cat play well with other animals? Is my cat territorial? Does my cat get aggressive or skittish when around other animals?
If your cat is too territorial and doesn’t get along well with other animals, a rabbit should not be put into the mix. However, if your cat is flexible and able to interact well with other animals, a rabbit might be welcomed into your home.
When you first bring a rabbit into your house, it will need a secure place to stay. Provide them with a cage that gives them enough room to move around in and set it up in one part of your house.
How To Introduce Your Cat To Your New Rabbit
Your cat will become curious and approach the cage to see who’s arrived. With supervision, let your cat sniff around the cage to get a sense of the rabbit’s scent.
Try to do this in increasing time intervals; start off with 2 minutes the first day you bring the rabbit home and increase the time by just a few minutes everyday.
Increasing the amount of time your cat gets to approach the rabbit will help you, the owner, understand the way your cat reacts to the rabbit and you can get a sense of how the rabbit is reacting to the cat.
Bringing a Cat When You Already Have a Rabbit
If you already own a rabbit and want to bring in a cat, also ask yourself if your rabbit is territorial. Your rabbit will be used to running around the house and may even have a favorite room, so it may take a while for the rabbit to adjust to having a new animal around.
First, let your new cat get a feeling of the house; take them into every room for a few minutes every day so your cat gains confidence in being able to explore and wander around.
Once you’re sure your cat is confident, slowly introduce them to your rabbit. Because the rabbit was the first in the house, pick a location in your house that your rabbit isn’t too familiar with or take them to a family member’s house or friend’s house to meet.
The unfamiliar location won’t make your rabbit feel territorial and it’ll likely focus on the cat rather than protecting it’s space.
They may sniff each other for a bit or even brush up against each other but as long as neither of them goes into attack mode, they should be fine. Always supervise the introduction to make sure that neither animal gets uncomfortable or aggressive.
If you’re still nervous about introducing both animals to each other, you can start off by introducing them to each other’s scent. To do that, you can switch out some of their items.
For example, if your cat and rabbit have a blanket or toy that they constantly use, put the rabbit’s item in with your cat’s area and place the cat’s item into the rabbit’s cage.
This will get them used to each other’s smell so they won’t be too surprised when they officially meet.
All in all, cats and rabbits can get along and live together in the same house as long as they are introduced properly.