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I rescued a bunny, advice?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I know some of you out there also have rabbits, so I'd appreciate some advice.

I rescued an abandoned pet rabbit last Saturday and convinced my husband we needed to keep it (I've secretly wanted a rabbit for years). I've already had her checked out by the vet and she was declared to be in perfect health--even for being outside for at least a few days.

We got her a cage and accessories, and I read up on the internet about diet and nutrition and exercise. We also purchased a modular wire contraption that can double as a play pen.

My main concerns are about introducing the rabbit, Chestnut, to our cats. We set up the play pen into a protective fort to keep the cats from getting too close to her cage. But how will I know it's safe for her to run around in the play pen with the top open--won't the cat's jump in there and try to eat her?

And would it be okay to keep Chestnut in our garage for Thanksgiving week as my sister is staying in our office/guest room and we feel the rabbit would be too noisy at nighttime. I have lots of polar fleece I can arrange into a cage cover and the garage is insulated.

Any other tips or tidbits would be appreciated also. Can rabbits eat raw pumpkin?

post #2 of 12

great forum of bunny savy folks ... and the pumpkni is addressed
post #3 of 12
Aww! She is cute..congrats and thank you for rescueing her! Maybe you could rub an old tshirt on her and let her sit with it for a few minutes then let the cats sniff it and get used to her smell, then try to introduce them.

I guess I was lucky because mine never tried to hurt Sammy (my old bunny). Sammy would hop around the house and they would play with him and follow him to see what he was up to.. but they were more curious of what the heck he was then trying to eat him. I think because they hop around alot that it might scare the cats from trying to attack...but you never know. I guess you will just have to keep a close eye on them and take the rabbit away if the cats try to get too rough. My other rabbit that I used to have (Princess) would go after the cats and try to attack them. They can defend themselves pretty good if they want to... just be careful.

I would try to get her a bigger cage because that one is too small...I had Princess in a extra large dog crate and Sammy was in a big hutch.

If it is warm in the garage I don't see why not...just make sure that she is warm.

I'm not sure about the pumkin because I have never tried it.

A good site to go to is www.rabbit.org It helped me alot when I got mine.
post #4 of 12
my bunny passed away only a month or so after i found my kitten so i'm not that knowledgeable but my kitten and bunny got along well (i think). you can see from the pictures below that it would start out with snuggling like this:


but then quicky turn into this (my kitten loved to bite ears and any other body part, sometimes now, as a full grown cat, he still likes to bite my dog's ears. he never scratches though, but would sometimes kick with is back legs while playing/attacking) where you can see my kitten biting and kicking in a playful way:

play attack

and then it would eventually end up with the two of them on top of one another in some way taking a break before going at it again:

bunny as pillow

clam before another play/attack

i would get worried that my kitten was hurting my bunny but i would check my bunny over and there was never any broken skin (just a lot of cat spit on him), not even over the delicate ear skin so i think my kitten was being gentle (although he was never gentle with chewing up my boyfriend for fun). they would play rough and tumble like this every day and eventually i just let them do it without worrying because 1. the bunny was 5-6 pounds as he was full grown and my kitten at the time was only 3 pounds. 2. the bunny would often go up to the kitten and start the play sessions so i figured if he didn't enjoy it or was getting hurt, he wouldn't initate the play and 3. my bunny definitely had the ability to hop away and into his cage where the kitten couldn't follow or kick my kitten hard with his strong legs if he didn't want to play so the conclusion that i came to was that they loved each other. both of them tended to ignore my dog when they had each other. sadly my bunny passed away soon after i had my kitten (also sadly for my dog, without my bunny there to amuse my kitten, my kitten then turned his unwelcome attentions onto my dog and for months would try and play with my 80 lb dog by biting him or tackling him which he couldn't understand why the dog would jump up and run away from him)

so long answer to your question, i think if you introduce slowly to the cats one by one, you don't have to worry about your cats attacking the bunny in a mean way (although they very well might attack in a loving playful way). a bunny isn't really like a rat or something where a cat would have a natural predatory instinct toward, bunnies are bigger and generally i think a cat gets the idea that they're another member of the family.
post #5 of 12
www.rabbit.org, has lots of info on toys, spay/neuter, about body language. So much, also had info on intros to cats and dogs and bunny proofing whick i highly recomment. congrats and good luck!
post #6 of 12
I'm sooo glad you took in that poor bunny. My mom let a domestic rabbit go into the wild because she didn't want to take care of it and thought it would be fine because it was brown--I only heard about it days later--and I can only hope it found someone kind like you. Realistically, I have to face that it probably met a bad end... but I can hope. And be very, very mad at my mom, as usual.

Cuddle the rabbit for me, 'kay? (If it doesn't mind.)
post #7 of 12
Awwww, what a sweety! Good for you for taking her in
post #8 of 12
When I had my bunnies Bamber and Kitty, we would let them and the many cats play together. If the cats got too close, they would thump their feet, REALLY LOUDLY!! It was hysterical and they never hurt them. For rescueing a bunny in need!
post #9 of 12
it really depends on your cats temperment on how well the cat an bunny will do together and also if the bunny is willing to accept the cat i know my one rabbit is okay with dogs the other one i just got completely freaks out and jumps all over his cage i would just let them sniff wach other from a distance will one is in the cage and see if they seem to like each other let them take their time it really depends on both there temperments good luck
post #10 of 12
A few years ago, I had an indoor rabbit with 5 cats, and never had a problem, but I had the rabbit first and got most of the cats as kittens so they grew up with her and never bothered her. The one cat I got as an adult wouldn't "lower" herself to play with the bun . But, if they are full grown cats, I would definitely take the extra time to introduce them slowly. Get them used to her scent first before letting they meet her in person. But, it seems like most animals know when another creature is a part of the family, rather than a meal.

Keeping her in an insulated garage should be fine temporarily, especially if you have something to cover the cage with. Rabbits deal with colder temps better than hot temps. As long as she isn't in a draft she should be ok.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
post #11 of 12
ive seen many pet cats kill full grown wild rabbits im sure most of you have to

personally unless the cat is very gentle i dont agree with letting them play fight with rabbits one is a predator one is a prey species, cats are better off play fighting with other meat eaters like ferrets and dogs

its kinda like letting a wolf play with a sheep just something i wouldnt do, I dont think its fair for a rabbit to have to defend itself from a rough hyper cat
post #12 of 12
Quite often though cat are afraid of the rabbits in the home, I know that seems to be the case in my household. I have 5 cats and 3 rabbits in a small 2 bedroom apartment. The one cat Ceasar who I was worried about with them has turned out to be the best and doesn't mind even cuddeling with them
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