Can Cats and Rabbits Get Along?

Updated on April 21, 2013
A.P. asks from Dedham, MA
10 answers

I have a 7 year old cat and I am thinking about getting a rabbit, most likely a Holland or mini lop. I'm just worried that the cat will react badly to a new pet and I know a cat can seriously harm a small animal like a rabbit. I had a rabbit many years ago, then after a couple years we got a kitten (my current cat). She would chase the rabbit around the house so much that we eventually stopped letting the rabbit out of his cage more and more which I always felt bad about because he used to run around all the time before the kitten. But I didn't want to see him being chased around then stay behind the couch the whole time. I think from the cats perspective it was more of a playful thing, she was young and energetic and liked to chase things. There were a few times she actually pounced on the rabbit, I'm not sure if she had claws out or anything (he didn't seem hurt after) but it still freaked me out and of course the rabbit didn't like it.

My bunny died years ago and I've always wanted another but I'm reluctant just because of the cat. I'm hoping that it will work better now that my cat is older and doesn't chase things and pounce like she used to. Nowadays she is much lazier and more mellow, but I'm just not sure how she will react.

Has anyone had experience getting a cat and rabbit to co-exist, or even be able to hang out together? Does it just depend on their personalities? Will a cat always want to pounce on a bunny? I plan on getting a decent sized hutch for the bunny that will have 2 levels and plenty of space, but I do want to be able to let it out to run around the house sometimes.

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answers from Anchorage on

My cat and my rabbit got along just fine. We even had two dogs as well, and they all ran around together.

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answers from Redding on

I had the most precious mini angora lop. She lived in the house because she was too tiny to be outside. She got bathed and blow dried and brushed.
We had a little halter and leash so we could take her outside for walks. She loved riding in the car.

My cat was older and very mellow. The bunny actually chased her wanting to play and the cat would sometimes play with a little ball that had a bell in it with her. The cat would bat the ball and the bunny would chase it. It was pretty cute. If the cat wasn't interested, she just went and got on my bed.
But the bunny had toys and loved to be held. We just left the door of her cage open and when she got tired or hungry, she just went back in her cage on her own. She was a really sweet pet. She lived for 8 years.

My cat was really the best cat ever. We had moved several times and she was totally bonded to me and my kids. We also had birds and she never tried to get them when they were out and flying around. I guess she was secure in her own space, the first lady of the house for sure as far as other pets went. She didn't bother with them too much. I could have the cat and the bird on my bed and they would just take a nap. Bird on my chest, cat on my tummy.

Some animals will get along great and some won't.
Can you "borrow" the bunny to see how things go with the cat?

That might be the only way you'll know how they'll interact.

Best wishes. Bunnies are so fun.

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answers from Columbus on

Well, I worried about the same thing with our cat when we got guinea pigs. She was scared to death of them. Even now, she has gotten used to them and will go up and sniff them, but then will walk away. Bunnies are pretty big and can beat the tar out of cats if they want to. I suppose it depends on the personality of the cat or the age (our cat was 13 before she had to share her home with anyone else furry).

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answers from Columbus on

Our three cats at the time got along with two guinea pigs. It will depend on the two. Start with holding the bunny or cat in a carrier while bunny hops might help. I would not 100% trust, but with supervision. Our guinea pigs were kept in huge cardboard boxes of the cats liked to sleep curled up with them.

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answers from Dallas on

I am rabbit sitting for a friend that is in school right now away from home and can't have him in her housing. I have 3 cats. Fortunately the bunny is as bif as the cats (about 10 pounds) so I don't worry too much about it to tell you the truth. The cats for the most part are just curious about him. I let him run around the house at night for about an hour while I clean his cage and my kids give him attention but otherwise the bunny is just content to stay in his enclosure. The cats just watch the bunny and sometimes try to smell him but he usually hops away before they get close.

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answers from San Francisco on

It's hard to know.
We got our rabbit when our older cat was about 8. She was curious but his thumping feet (and sharp nails) were enough to deter her from messing with him too much.
Now our bunny is almost 10, and we got a male kitten a little over a year ago. I have caught him "stalking" and chasing the rabbit a few times so I try to keep the door to the office closed most of the time (that's where his cage is, but he hops around freely in there.)
I think the biggest thing is you need to be prepared if it DOESN'T go well. Maybe if you adopt from a rabbit rescue group they will agree to take the bunny back if it doesn't work out (?)



answers from Salt Lake City on

I grew up with both. Our rabbits lived outdoors in a hutch, and were let out to browse in the yard in a mobile chicken wire pen. Our cats were indoor/outdoor cats who roamed freely and were hunters of rodents and birds. We never had any issues with the cats bothering the rabbits - in fact, one of the cats and one of the rabbits became buddies. They would take turns chasing each other, and would actually snuggle up and nap together.

When we had baby rabbits, we did watch the cats more carefully, and we did not put the little ones in the open pen. One of the cats liked to watch the young bunnies, but never made any move to harm one, and the young bunnies quickly adapted to being watched because they came to trust that they were safe in their hutch.

One thing that may have been a factor - our rabbits were full sized rabbits, so they were roughly the same size as the cats. For that reason, the cats may not have considered them prey.



answers from Roanoke on

My best friend has a cat and a rabbit. She got them separately at different times. They play, and fight occasionally, but they do just fine. No injuries that I've heard. They're both litter box trained and cute as buttons. :)



answers from Austin on

We had cats and a rabbit together... I know we got the first 2 cats and had them for quite a while, but I don't remember which came first... the 3rd cat or the rabbit.... (It was a full-size rabbit.....)

Anyway, for the most part, the cats and rabbit all got along..... of course, the rabbit wasn't roaming the house if we weren't there... he was in the cage.

As a funny aside....... occasionally the rabbit and the third cat would "fight"... that is how we found out the bunny was a male.... he kept mounting the poor cat!



answers from Louisville on

My 3 pound bunny chases my 25 pound cat.