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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Is my bunny’s relationship with my cat too rough?

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    • Eiru
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      Hello, I’m new here! So, I’m a baby bunny owner. My little Simon is a 2 months old Holland lop and is a very joyful bunny. He binkies all the time and is very friendly. I have a cat, Kitana. She was curious about him at first and now wants to spend time with him pretty often. He is in absolute love with her and is constantly trying to get her to groom him. The problem is she isn’t a cuddler, she licks him for a bit but she gets tired easily and starts biting his head or trying to play with him. He doesn’t do anything, it even seems that he enjoys the biting. I get scared everytime so I keep an eye close and always try to stop her but he insists on being with her. I spend a lot of time checking if he’s fine because sometimes I’ve found little fur on her claws. He never got hurt and loves her deeply so, is there any chance she would hurt him or I’m being too wary?

      Also, once I was studying so I let them together with me for a while, I got distracted and when I turned it seemed like they were fighting?? He was aggressively nudging her and trying to get under her and she kicked him with her back paws. I got her out of the room asap and checked him but he was completely fine. I got SO stressed. Am I being overprotective or this could end up badly?


    • Wick
      Moderator
      4541 posts Send Private Message

      I think you should keep them separated, especially with your rabbit being so young. How a cat plays is very different from a rabbit. Predators play in very different ways than prey, so even if your cat is being intentionally friendly, your cat can still seriously harm a small rabbit.

      Also, your rabbit’s demeanor will change at puberty so it may begin responding in a way that can cause harm in the interactions.

      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.


    • Hazel
      Participant
      2524 posts Send Private Message

      Agree with Wick. Keep them seperated and after he’s been fixed, maybe you can try some supervised interaction. One thing though, even if the cat is just being playful, I wouldn’t allow any of that. A simple scratch to the bunnie’s eye can have very bad consequences. If you let them be together, the cat has to know that the rabbit is not a toy, nor a playbuddy. If she can be around him and relax without putting her paws or teeth on him, great. But if she can’t, you have to stop that interaction immediately so the cat learns it’s not allowed. Tiring her out with playtime (away from the rabbit so she doesn’t associate him with rough housing) before letting them spend time together should also help. And make sure to keep her nails clipped just to be safe.


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
      Participant
      2118 posts Send Private Message

      Yes, separate them. He’s a dwarf breed, and they can get their puberty at 3 months. Within a couple of weeks his hormones are going to go crazy. If you think their relationship is rough now, wait until he starts to mount everything in sight, but preferably the cat, multiple times a day.

      Hormonal bunnies are more likely to be grumpy and frustrated as well, which is an extra cause for fighting. Their puberties can be pretty dramatic, the HRS has an article about it:

      https://rabbit.org/journal/4-10/sexybunnies.html

       

      Our little Breintje was so angry every time he was humping my knitting projects and I pulled him off of it! He did a lot of revenge peeing as well because he didn’t know what to do with all his feelings. After the operation the hormones died down within weeks, and our little offender turned into a lovely little cuddlebug 🙂


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5257 posts Send Private Message

      Agree with others, that is too rough. A young bunny is especially easily hurt, and remember that cat’s only play 1 game called “hunt”. You need to teach your cat what is and is not allowed with the bun. I would have a squirt bottle on hand, so anytime he even considers using a claw or tooth, he gets a squirt of water to the face. I agree with Ellie that waiting until after your bun is neutered to let them interact is prob the best bet, because unneutered bunnies are a little too persistent in seeking affection!

      The fact that your cat licks him is very cute and it sounds like they will have a good relationship in the future, you just want to establish the right boundaries and wait until your bun is a little less fragile (and naive!).

      . . . 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.  


    • Azerane
      Moderator
      4459 posts Send Private Message

      I have two cats and two rabbits. I got my cats as kittens after I already had the rabbits. I never allowed any contact from my cats because I didn’t want to encourage anything. I allowed them to sniff noses, but any paw lifting from the cats, any hint at play behaviour and they were immediately told off and separated from the rabbits. As kittens they wanted nothing more than to play with them but cat play behaviour is just one step away from hunting behaviour. So a non contact relationship was what I deemed safest so that I could set very clear boundaries.

      It didn’t take my cats long to understand at all because I was consistent from day 1. My cats now go in the rabbit playpen to look out the window but they don’t try to interact with the rabbits.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Is my bunny’s relationship with my cat too rough?