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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cat too curious of bunny

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    • simply.lily
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      Hi everyone, so here is my issue. I have a 3 year old female cat named Luna (spayed) and a 3 month old female bunny named Lyra. I have had my bunny for about 2 weeks now and I don’t know how to fix my cats behavior. So Luna is very curious about the bunny, has never tried to bite her or hiss at her or anything, but she has a problem of jumping into the bunnys enclosure which scares her. They smell each other through the cage and at first she wasn’t scared of the cat but now she gets scared when she comes by the cage. It seems to be that she isn’t trying to be predatory, she seems just curious about her.

      She will also try and swat at her through the cage bars while laying down almost like shes trying to play with her. The bunny will run and the cat will sometimes follow her, sometimes wait for her to come back. I have tried to let the bunny free roam in my room while the cat is in there and luna will follow her and kind of chase her but never attack her or anything. I don’t know if she’s just trying to play or if it is predatory, either way the bunny is starting to get scared of the cat and I want them to get along so i can let the bunny free roam without being scared. Any advice is helpful!!


    • simply.lily
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      PS: when swatting, it isnt always “aggressive”, she will do it softly sometimes and will sometimes touch her softly with her claws like she wants to play with her and run around. I will try and add a video if I can.


    • Wick
      Moderator
      4541 posts Send Private Message

      Regardless of your cat’s intention, it’s actions and how they’re perceived by the rabbit is what matters unfortunately. Dogs and cats often play in ways that involve scratching and play biting — you can imagine that if your cat intends to play with your rabbit in that nature, the outcome won’t be good.

      There are some articles on rabbit.org regarding introducing cats and rabbits and what signs to look out for. The worst scenario is establishing how you can keep them apart permanently.

      https://rabbit.org/rabbits-and-cats/

      https://rabbit.org/can-cats-and-rabbits-get-along/

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5236 posts Send Private Message

      Hi there, I have a very curious and rambunctious cat who often likes to go into the bun’s enclosures. The issue I see for you now is that your bunny is very young, so is more vulnerable to being hurt and more fearful.

      With my cat, when the bunny gets scared, he gets more predatory. Remember, play for cats is predatory. They tend to test things out to see what they will do, so if the bun runs they can start to see them as prey. When they buns stand up to him (either aren’t scared, or fully chase him off), he leaves them alone.

      For now, since your bunny is very young, I would minimize their interactions. When your cat goes near the cage, squirt her with a water bottle. Don’t let your cat be around the bunny unsupervised (even when the bun is caged), and for a bit, don’t let the bun exercise when the cat is in the same room.

      This will be a bit cumbersome at first, but you want to avoid a situation where the bun learns to fear the cat and thus initiates it as a game of “cat and mouse” for your cat. When you do start allowing them to be around each other, have your water bottle handy and squirt your cat anytime she does anything remotely threatening to the bun (including the swatting thing, I know exactly what you’re talking about).

      I have a suspicion that once your bun gets older, she will stand up to the cat and you won’t have a problem. I’ve also noticed that once cats learn that the rabbits are WAY faster than they are, they kind of give up trying to chase them. My bunnies currently are definitely the boss of my cat. He will sometimes go in their condos to try to sleep in their beds LOL but never tries anything predatory with them. But I did have a very scared foster at one point, and that was a different story.

      I’ve also found it really helps to distract the cat with a more appropriate toy while the buns are exercising, and don’t use any toys that remotely resemble a bunny. I usually bust out my wand toy (that has a feathered bird type lure on the end) to exercise my cat if he’s acting a bit too rambunctious around the bunnies. Keeping your cat stimulated and exercised will reduce her interest in your bunny.

      Hope that helps!

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5236 posts Send Private Message

      One other thing I forgot to mention, is that I do trim my cat’s nails whenever they get sharp, just in case he swipes at anyone. 🙂

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • LBJ10
      Moderator
      15038 posts Send Private Message

      I completely agree with the others. Whether or not your cat intends to hurt your bunny is beside the point. What matters is how your bunny perceives things. If she is scared, then that could escalate your cat’s play to “oh, this might be prey”. As bunnies get older, they tend to become less flighty and more bossy. So waiting until your bunny is older before allowing interaction with your cat is probably a good idea.


    • pinkiemarie
      Participant
      282 posts Send Private Message

      I also have cats and bunnies and I very much agree about the spray bottle! The cat in this situation is the one that is going to need to modify her behavior. One of my cats likes the rabbits and they’re friends. Another of my cats is a total psychopath and I had to train him that bunnies are totally and completely off limits at all times. It sounds like you cat is just looking for a friend and just being curious so get her trained with the spray bottle to behave calmly and nicely around the bunny and hopefully eventually they can be friends!

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Cat too curious of bunny