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Can I introduce my kittens to my rabbit?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Pidgeandsmidge, Jan 11, 2019.


  1. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    any one have any experience with this?
    We adopted our rabbit in June, he lives in the garden alone he has a huge run attached to his cage, but because he’s a bit grumpy he can’t live with another rabbit so we try and bring him in for at least an hour a day.
    He was small when we got him and while he’s not huge now (mostly fluff as it’s cold here) he is bigger than the kittens!
    So can you introduce them or is it not a great idea or just too soon?
    Thanks
     

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  2. Ringypie

    Ringypie PetForums VIP

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    I would be a bit worried..., when Flint used to go out there was nothing he liked better than a rabbit to munch on....
     
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  3. Smuge

    Smuge PetForums VIP

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    When Tali was a kitten she would chase flies around the house at full sprint meowing furiously in frustration at them. I imagine that she might not have been overly gentle with a ground based plaything
     
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  4. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    Oh heck!
     
  5. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    Oh no! Yeah these two are really rough on each other! Maybe I should do it now while he has the size advantage lol
     
  6. Smuge

    Smuge PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't think it is a particularly great idea, especially with rabbits being very aware that they are prey and that cats (especially two of them) aren't. But to be honest im just guessing
     
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  7. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah you could be right...
     
  8. Ringypie

    Ringypie PetForums VIP

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    Yeah it wasn’t very nice - he used to throw them around before eating them. We had a large bunny population living out in the sticks and he seemed to be on a mission to eat as many as he could. It’s a risk I wouldn’t want to take!
     
  9. Jesthar

    Jesthar PetForums VIP

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    The flip side of the coin is that a fully grown rabbit has very strong hindquarters capable of delivering a kick powerful enough to do a cat some serious damage, especially the larger breeds. I suspect most hunting cats only go after the baby/young bunnies; certainly I've never seen farm ferals with anything bigger, thugh admittedly they weren't the biggest of cats. They have a nasty bite, too.

    Personally, I wouldn't risk it. :)
     
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  10. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't risk it either.
    Can we see pics of your rabbit please as well:Cat
     
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  11. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    That’s him in his digging pit
     

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  12. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Are your kittens going to be allowed in the garden when they're older? If so, I'm going to go against the trend and say it might be best to try some cautious intros now, while the kittens are still smaller than the rabbit. I'd keep a barrier between him and them, and remove the kittens immediately if the rabbit seems stressed, but I had a kitten and rabbit when I was growing up, and because the kitten was smaller than the rabbit, she never seemed to see her as prey, even when the kitten grew up and was bigger than the rabbit. If your kittens will be allowed out when they're grown, they're bound to go to inspect the rabbit run, and I just think it might be better if they already know the rabbit and see him as something that's not to be chased. (Obviously even if they seem to establish an amicable relationship I wouldn't suggest ever leaving them alone together though!)

    Others may well disagree with me, but I'm only going by my own previous experience!
     
  13. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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  14. Pidgeandsmidge

    Pidgeandsmidge PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah that was my thinking, they can’t got out until they are spayed as that was in the rescue contract when I adopted them so April is the soonest, I’m waiting to see how big they get too as there are lots of dogs allowed to “roam” where I live with irrisponsible owners plus lots of cats who already have this street as their territory, they have never been out as there were at the shelter with their mom at 2 days old so I guess I just have to see if they want to in April and take it from there, I don’t live by any big main roads but there are a lot of tractors
     
  15. ribbon

    ribbon Resident idiot

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    @Pidgeandsmidge Your rabbit set-up looks absolutely amazing! I wish all rabbit owners understood that they need lots of space and opportunities to dig. I love it x
     
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  16. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Several of my kittens have gone to homes with (indoor) bunnies or hares. They aren’t left alone but are fine together under supervision.
    They’ll play together, and sleep next to each other. The cat will groom the rabbit as it would another cat.

    Google or Facebook groups would likely provide many stories of cats & rabbits happily together, along with introduction details.

    Cats don’t need to free roam. I think it’s also recommend to wait until they’re adults. Kittens don’t need to be 6 months for neutering, surprised a rescue didn’t have them done before rehoming, quite irresponsible of them.

    Free standing enclosures can be built or bought, or cat proofing the whole yard, along with taking cats out on a harness as safer options to enjoy some outdoor time.
     
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  17. madthelion

    madthelion PetForums Newbie

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    When I got my first Flemish Giant rabbit, Gideon, a couple years back, I actually introduced him to our full grown cats immediately, as he was living indoors and the cats needed to be taught not to chase him or anything like that. I just started with introducing them through the wire of the rabbit enclosure at first, and I was probably quite lucky that my bunny wasn't fussed at all by the cats, so was able to let them interact without the wire quite quickly. I always supervised all interaction between them though as my cat Cody who likes to think of himself as a 'hunter' would try to nip him sometimes, but my other cat Zac would never let Gideon get near him. I think since you've got kittens on your hands, rather than older cats who can be reluctant to learn, you should start introductions as soon as possible, so that the kittens never really see the rabbit as prey... the instinct will be there, but learning not to chase or hunt the rabbit can help. But take extra care since you've got a small rabbit breed! Gideon and Cody were actually best mates until I got a new rabbit. 20180322_162353.jpg
     
  18. Willow_Warren

    Willow_Warren PetForums Senior

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    I have both rabbits and a cat. I no longer bring my rabbits inside as they have more space outside and certainly in winter the temp change is not good for them.

    Years ago I used to regularly bring my rabbit inside (he used to live bombing around as my parents have a much larger living room). Although my cat was a fairly decent hunter she didn't was never aggressive towards the rabbit, however she didn't like the rabbit and got a bit stressed as he would hop over to her.

    I have no problems with my rabbit no cat outside together (of course there is always wire mesh between the two), my rabbits are extreme inquisitive of the cat and don't see her as a threat at all. Lola (the cat) will occasionally bound over to them, rabbit does two hops and they are nose to nose (mush between), Lola rather taken aback by the boldness. I have 12mm mesh in my run so Lola wouldn't be able to get a paw through or anything like that.

    You say your rabbit is adopted, i assume neutered. Has he ever tried to be bonded with a another rabbit? Sometimes it's just a case of finding the right rabbit for him :)

    P.s. Love the digging box!

    P.p.s. I see you have the runaround system, it’s great isn’t it?! Probably one of the best things I have ever bought for my rabbits:)

    Hannah
     
    #18 Willow_Warren, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  19. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    Nice to see positive rabbit & cat stories, but it seems supervision, slow intros and often good wire mesh are the key:cool:

    I agree about if you do decide to let the kittens outdoors, have an enclosure or cat secured garden, so they don't get into harms way.
    There is a thread all about ways to make a cat safe garden, at the top of the sticky threads.
     
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