How would a pet rabbit get along with a cat?

Have any of you good doper pet-keepers had a rabbit-cat household? How did the two species get on? Did the cat try to kill the rabbit? Any chance both can be in the same place at the same time with or without the cage?

Legalkid moved on and left us a new pet. We have three cats. (Thank Bast she took the dog!) The rabbit is currently being kept closed off in the guest room, but the cats know something is afoot, so to speak. And that’s no way for Mr. Bunbun to live!

Any insight on this turn of events, and on whether the greater likelihood would be a happy household or an unhappy outcome, would be most welcome.


Our rabbits and our neighbour’s cat (which was virtually resident in our house) were sworn enemies. The rabbits were always in a run in the garden…the cat would try to stalk up on them (although she knew they were beyond reach), whereupon the rabbits would freeze. When the cat was within about a metre from the run, the rabbits would simultaneously spring up into the air, scaring the cat shitless. 'Twas excellent entertainment, but I suspect it’s bad news as far as your situation is concerned.

I used to know a guy who had a cat and a rabbit. They got along fine. It prolly helped that the rabbit out-weighed the cat by a good 8 pounds, but I never even saw the two of them face off, and I did spend a lot of time at this guy’s house jamming for a couple of years. The rabbit didn’t even mind the loud guitars. The cat would amscray, but the rabbit would just sit in the room with us and try and nibble shoelaces. YMMV

I think it might depend on the rabbit. Some are large and some are small. Some dart around and some just sit there.

Cats’ prey drives are stimulated by small fast movements. A large rabbit that ain’t too light on its feet would probably be ok, presuming the cat was not that territorial to begin with. However, definitely supervise their interactions and be prepared to separate them by force if the cat goes for the throat (might want to leash the cat to facilitate this).

I have a rabbit-cat combo.

They mostly ignore each other.

However, once the rabbit got to be as big as the cats, the cats didn’t appreciate being humped, so the rabbit got a swat in the face from the cats. Then the rabbit got fixed.

We had a cat and a rabbit when I was a kid that got along famously, but they were raised together which might have made the difference. It was always a lot of fun to put them in the yard to play. The cat loved to mimic the rabbit, and would bounce around on all fours like a madman.

Deliciously, if you’re the cat; otherwise not so much.

I read on a rabbit-rescue site once that rabbits are much more social creatures than cats: they spend a lot of their time figuring out what the social order in the group is, testing that social order, trying to improve their position within it. This means that rabbits can end up being fairly aggressive, if they think that they can improve their position through that aggression.

Cats tend to have more of a live-and-let-live attitude toward other creatures (unless they see them as prey, natch). So it’s not uncommon in a household for a rabbit to go completely psycho on a cat (“Who da man? I’M DA MAN! BOO-YAH, MOTHERFUCKER!”) and for the cat to respond with this terrified, contemptuous, “What the fuck’s your problem, asshole?!” look and give the rabbit a wide berth.

Leastwise, that’s what I read.


I hate to say this, but if your cats have any prey drive, they will kill rabbits if they possibly can, esp. if the cat is larger than the bunny. Before I took him in, one of my cats used to kill wild rabbits. :frowning: My only advice is, be sure the rabbit is bigger than the cat, or much more aggressive.

Left Hand
Very cool description. :slight_smile:

When I was a kid there was this huge black cat who was really mostly feral, but would occasionally hang out in our garage. He sort of adopted us, enjoyed being petted, but then off he would go again. He would hunt in the adjacent vacant lot and bring home his prey to eat; sometimes it was seagulls, sometimes it was rabbits.

On a cheerier note:
This is one of my favorite children’s books and is based on a true story of a rabbit and cat who become housemates. The illustrations are simple and lovely.

My friend has two dogs, two cats and a rabbit (a lop) and they all seem to get along fine. The cats have respect for the rabbit and don’t try to eat it.

I think after a while cats get bored when we have food as pets. My cat used to hop up to our bird cage, but doesn’t anymore. He also used to lick his lips and look at my fish, but now he’s bored of them too.

My aunt’s outdoor cat always brought freshly killed rabbits home. It was quite the Cottontail killing machine. I imagine that most cats would try to kill the rabbit especially if it was smaller. Most bunnies would probably resort to flight or fight in feline’s presence too.

We had a cat who wasn’t fazed by the bunny, as far as food, but there were more scrumptious animals available. The cat did, however, hate it when the bunny would try to hump him. Which was as frequently as possible.

AAAAGGGHHHH! You guys are giving me the “Typical Legal Answer” – “It depends!”

So, maybe, maybe not. Maybe we should keep the bunny and maybe our cat (at least one of them, anyway) will disembowel it!

Think we should give it a try? We have no idea how old the bunny is, but he seems about a five-pounder. About half the size of the smallest cat. He’s got real floppy ears, so we’ll assume he’s a lop-ear. He’s cute as the devil (but what bunny isn’t?). Should we wait and see if he grows?

Maybe we just don’t know what we’re getting into – what the heck’s a “run,” Gorillaman? And bunnies hump??? And get “fixed”???

Thanks for all the answers! You guys are the greatest – I laughed out loud at **Madd Maxx’s ** response!

For those of you who have the combo - do you just let them run loose together?

Again - thanks for the input.

Count me in as another “give it a try under close supervision”. I have no experience with rabbits, but I have shared a home with two cats that got along quite well with my pet birds.

O’Brien the Budgie was actually brought home to be a companion to my ex-cat Conan after we had to give up his pal Schrodinger. Unfortunately, we ended up giving Conan up as well, but for a couple of weeks, it was hilarious watching the two try to play together. Conan would pounce on the floor inches from O’Brien, then sort of sit there and wonder what to do next. He would lie down, O’Brien would try to preen his whiskers, Conan would jump away. Sometimes if O’Brien was sitting on a basket or rung of a chair, Conan would try to pet her with his paw. It was soooo cute… Conan, btw, had been raised from kittenhood around a cockatiel, which escaped one fine day while I was at work when the Mango Tree left the balcony door open so the cat could go in and out, then didn’t supervise the bird. Since then, I’ve been quite the harridan when it comes to the pets. Mom’s actually starting to listen, even.

But, to get back to the OP, cats can get on quite well with prey species if they’ve been raised around them. Even if they haven’t, a cat that hasn’t learned to hunt (kittens have to be taught this by their mamas) and has been an indoor kitty all its life may not regard the “prey” animal as food. At worst, there may be a bit of chasing and pouncing, claws retracted, followed by a look that says, “tag, you’re it. Um, you’re supposed to chase me now. Oh, you’re no fun anymore, I’m going to go play with mom’s knitting wool.”

A cat that’s an outdoor kitty may be more of a problem. It may have been chasing birds and other small animals and figured out how to kill them, and that spells trouble for bunny.

I’ve never done this myself, but I’m on a couple of rabbit listservs, and there are a lot of people who have rabbits and cats (and maybe a few dogs and some guinea pigs, too). I’ve heard Creating a Peaceable Kingdom has really good info about having different kinds of animals together.

Right now, I just have rabbits, but I want a dog.

Lops are lovely. They have the cutest little smooshy faces! Got any pictures?

We weren’t the owners, but we pet-sat for a neighbor who had two cats and a fairly large rabbit. They seemed to pretty much ignore each other. The rabbit stayed in its cage when no one was there, but it was allowed out sometimes.

Man, those were some ugly cats.

I have neither pet. However, there is a wild rabbit that lives in or near my backyard, and a black and white cat that comes for regular visits, and who may be a stray.

I had the good fortune to spot them both just the other day… I’d seen the rabbit, gone to get my camera, and was inching towards it, taking pictures every few steps … and the cat wandered into the yard. It didn’t seem too terribly interested in the bunny.

Both, however, were terrified of me, it seemed, and scurried off when I called to the kitty.

Then I later saw the cat lazing around on my back porch, and I was mowing the lawn a few feet away - didn’t seem bothered, but when I turned off the motor and called to him, off he bolted. Maybe it’s my voice.

I have a friend who has always had cats & rats together- PLAYING with each other!

I swear a few years ago, I saw a news report about a family that raised cabbits- was I hoaxed?

I just googled cabbits. Never mind.

For those wondering- yes, they do exist (cats with rabbit-like backlegs); no, they are not cat-rabbit mixes, just unusually-formed cats.

The news story never actually claimed they were mixed, btw.