Do Cats Eat Rabbits? (Everything You Need to Know)

Yes, cats do eat rabbits. Cats are born hunters, and they tend to hunt and kill rabbits if they see one. In general, wild cats are the ones that will likely eat these prey animals. However, even domestic cats will pounce and hunt if they see one around. Unlike their wild counterparts, they won’t probably eat if they hunt it successfully. However, they might if they are hungry enough.

Cats come from a long line of hunters. Thus, they can be quite aggressive towards other animals. Since rabbits are prey animals, they’d likely be victims of cat play.

If you own one of these two animals and try to get another, it would be best to learn a bit more about these two. This way, you can ensure the safety of both pets.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Can cats eat rabbits?

The short answer is yes. Cats can eat rabbits, and they can even enjoy a good dinner of rabbit meat. However, it’s not ideal for them to do so since they can contract some disease.

When it comes to their dietary requirements, it would be best to keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores. Thus, they would prefer meat to any other kind of food.

It’s also the reason why many cats in the wild hunt down rabbits when they see one.

If you are wondering if you can feed rabbit meat, of course, you can. Although it seems a bit cruel for us to get rabbit meat, it’s possible and safe for our cats.

Be mindful, though. While rabbit meat is safe for a cat to consume, it doesn’t mean you can feed it raw.

Rabbit meat is only safe for cats when cooked. True enough, wild cats eat rabbits and other meat without cooking.

Raw meat may be tolerable for them since they are already familiar with and accustomed to doing so.

For our pets, however, they can get sick from eating raw rabbit meat.

It can result in contracting a disease called Tularemia. For this reason, always prevent your pet from hunting small animals like rabbits.

Can cats hunt and kill rabbits?

Cats and rabbits play their roles as predators and prey since time immemorial. Thus, it’s quite evident that cats can hunt, catch, and kill rabbits.

These animals come from a long line of hunters. Thus, they have in them that urge to hunt, despite being domestic.

Of course, when it comes to hunting and eating rabbits, the wild ones are likely more capable. Further, they are likely to eat these prey animals after hunting.

The reason is that wild felines hunt for their meals and to survive. Thus, when these cats see rabbits, they would have that killing intent.

On the other hand, domestic cats still have the urge to hunt. Thus, they would likely move around and stalk a rabbit if they see one moving nearby.

However, they won’t have that killing intent just like their wild counterparts. Their aggressiveness is most likely more on playing, although they may get a kill only by doing so.

The main difference is that house cats won’t likely kill for the sake of eating. They would do so for the sake of playing instead.

Thus, these pets will likely leave if the prey animal dies.

Can a cat kill the same size rabbit?

The short answer is yes. A cat can kill a rabbit of the same size. In fact, these animals can even take down rabbits that are bigger than them.

The thing about rabbits is that they are prey animals by nature. What makes them prey is that they are entirely harmless.

Rabbits may have that jumping skills and quick moves. However, they don’t have the killing tools to fight off predators. Further, they don’t even have that capacity to protect themselves other than escaping.

With this fact, felines take it as an opportunity to hunt rabbits since these prey animals pose no threat of fighting back.

Cats are wary animals. Thus, aside from being hunters, they are a bit more careful and smart.

They pursue only the animals they think they can handle. Of course, some of their curiosity extends to challenging other predators. However, in most cases, they target prey animals like rabbits.

Why is my cat killing rabbits?

If your cat is killing rabbits, then it’s likely because the rabbits attract it every time.

First, it is essential to keep in mind that cats are playful creatures. Thus, they would react to almost any movement they sense.

If many rabbits are loitering around your area, it’s likely that your pet sees them and marks them as a toy.

Moreover, the cat play may turn a bit aggressive if your cat finds it difficult to catch the prey.

If you’re worried about your pet contracting a disease, it would be best to prevent it from hunting.

You can do this by only keeping your cat inside your house. Please give it a toy to play with, so it keeps attention away from rabbits.

Moreover, you can give it some snacks or treats to make sure it’s not hungry enough to look for food.

Another thing to consider is to spend some time more with your pet to give it some attention. If your cat isn’t hungry, it likely lacks attention that it finds anything to focus on as time passes.

If you worry about their killing behavior, don’t worry. It’s something innate in every feline. No matter what training you give, cats would remain curious and playful animals.

Why is my cat killing baby bunnies?

Your cat is killing baby bunnies because it likely sees it as enjoyable and fun.

As I said earlier, these animals come from a long line of hunters. Thus, it’s innate to hunt, even though they don’t need to do so.

Baby bunnies can drive a curiosity out of a cat. Thus, if it finds one in a nest, it will likely go and take the baby home.

You can prevent this by keeping your feline pet indoors and giving it toys to divert its attention.

Moreover, it would be best to feed your pet to forage for baby bunnies.

This way, you’ll also save your cat from the risk of getting a disease from eating rabbits.

Will my cat kill my rabbit if I get one?

Your cat may get aggressive and kill your rabbit if you get one. However, you can also prevent such by introducing both pets to each other.

Still, with a cat, you can never be sure of your rabbit’s safety. For this reason, it would be best to separate both pets if you plan on getting both.

It’s the only way you can ensure none of the pets get harmed when you aren’t around.

If it’s the first time both pets meet, consider taking the introduction on a gradual process.

As a general rule of thumb, it would be best to assume that the cat is a danger to your rabbit. This way, you will always be cautious and keep your rabbit safe from your cat.

How to befriend a cat and a rabbit?

cat and rabbit together

Befriending a cat and a rabbit takes some time and patience. It’s not something that will happen in a day. Your best bet is to do a proper introduction for the two.

Introducing a rabbit with a cat is necessary if you wish to own and take care of both in a single house.

Even so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be hard.

Here are a few steps you need to ensure that both your cat and your rabbit will be comfortable in each other’s company:

Supervise your pets.

Always supervise your newly introduced pet with your old pet.

Unlike smaller pets, cats and rabbits are big enough to cause a stir and land a fatal blow to their fellow pet, although it’s only the rabbit that’s in danger.

Without supervision, things may get out of hand, especially in their first weeks.

Keep both pets separated when you aren’t around.

When you aren’t around, always make sure you separate them and don’t give them access to each other.

Allow both pets to see each other only when you’re with them. This way, you can be confident that your cat won’t do any harm.

At the same time, you can be sure your rabbit won’t get stressed enough from seeing your cat.

Intervene only when necessary.

Only intervene if one of your pet looks to be in any danger.

Some cats have higher hunting instincts. These types are the ones that get excited with a moving animal quickly.

If your cat is the same, a constant watch is necessary. You may have to intervene more than usual until both animals become comfortable with each other.

Even so, it doesn’t mean that after some time, supervision won’t be necessary.

The best thing is to let them out and play together only when you are around.

Can cats get sick from eating rabbits?

Cats can get sick from eating rabbits. Like other small animals, rabbits may carry bacteria in their system.

If your cat killed a rabbit, it’s likely they chewed and ate a part of it, at least.

For this reason, it would be best to take your pet cat to the vet for a check-up.

Such vet appointments should be regular if your cat plays outside all the time.

One disease that your cat may likely get is Tularemia or rabbit fever.

To avoid such unwanted incidents, always make sure you supervise your pet when playing outside. Moreover, please take it to a regular check-up to ensure its health.

What to do if my cat catches a rabbit?

If your cat catches a rabbit and it’s already alive, your best bet is to call an authority, like a wildlife rehabilitator.

If you are familiar with the area and know where your cat got the rabbit, it would be best to take it there again.

Still, you should only do this if you find the rabbit uninjured and can move freely.

If the animal has many injuries, it would be best to call the authorities and ask for assistance on this matter.

Can a rabbit fight off a cat?

Rabbits don’t have the killing tools to fight off potential enemies. Still, these animals may fight back if they find themselves cornered.

Moreover, if rabbits see the animals that pursue them are smaller, they may use their hind legs and teeth.

Take note, though. Rabbits aren’t aggressive animals. Thus, if you see one fighting another animal, it’s not an intent to kill. It is likely an intent to protect itself and to survive.

How to keep cats away from rabbits?

If you have both pets, but your cat keeps on harassing your rabbit, then you may want to do some measures to keep it away.

Here are some tools you can use to keep cats away from rabbits.

Put some cat-proof fences.

Cat-proof fences are fences that have rollers at the top. It spins if a cat or any other animal tries to climb. You can use such to guard your rabbit.

Apply some cat repellants.

Cat repellants usually come as spray or scent. For instance, felines hate the citrus smell. Thus, spraying some citrus-scented concoction can keep your pet from going to your rabbit.

Use a motion-activated sprinkler.

It’s not a hidden fact that cats hate water. Thus, using sprinklers to prevent them from getting near is an effective way to keep your rabbit safe.


Cats do eat rabbits, and they will hunt and kill one if they see it. These animals come from a long line of hunters. Thus, you can expect them to be quite aggressive to prey animals like rabbits.

If you’re planning to get both pets, it would be best to learn the necessary precautions to keep your rabbit safe.

Moreover, it would also be best to prepare for a lot of patience as you introduce both pets to each other.


Image credits – Canva, Wikimedia

[1] Cats and Rabbits –

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