Rabbits and cats can make good companions, but you need to understand that they have some significant differences. Unless you already have experience with rabbits and knowledge of their needs and behavior, you must be willing to do some research and gain at least a basic understanding of them. Their needs are like but at the same time, very different from a cat’s needs. A rabbit that is confined in a cage to prevent house soiling will not be much of a companion for your cat. Therefore, house training your rabbit is a must. Without supervision, behavior training and rabbit- proofing your house, a rabbit can and will chew your belongings.
But there are benefits to consider as well. While each can be extremely competitive with members of their own species, cats and rabbits can have harmonious, non-competitive companionship with each other. Introducing a half-grown or mature rabbit of a medium to large size breed is the recommended preference. A younger or smaller rabbit can trigger a cat’s predatory instincts.
How to Introduce Them
Have a friend bring a rabbit to your home in a carrier. Set the carrier down in a quiet corner of a room and let the two see and sniff each other while they are separated. If they seem to get along, find a permanent location for your rabbit’s cage. Make sure the rabbit has a secure place inside his cage to retreat to if he feels threatened. At least once a day, lock your cat in another room and let the rabbit explore your home on his own. Observe them as the cat and rabbit get to know each other through the safety of the cage. If after about a week, they seem comfortable with each other, then leave the cage door open and let them discover each other without a barrier separating them. Wait at least another two weeks before leaving them alone together.
A relationship between a cat and a rabbit can be very close. It is not unusual to find them licking and grooming each other. Cats and rabbits will often play together, usually with the rabbit chasing the cat. This game breaks up the daily boredom and gives them something interesting to do. Neither one takes the game too seriously, and neither feels the social pressures of same-species interaction.
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