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Cats and Rabbits

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm getting ready to adopt my first kitten, and I already have a 1 year old, 2lb Netherland Dwarf rabbit named Toby. I've heard a lot of positive experiences when it comes to introducing a new cat to a resident bunny, and that cats are usually one of the more successful pets you can friend to a rabbit.

Does anyone here have any experience (positive or negative) with rabbits and cats together? I'd like to get a young kitten since my bunny is very small and pretty timid, so that way the cat isn't any bigger than Toby and doesn't intimidate him too much. I'm hoping even that the lack in size difference will toughen Toby up enough to the challenge where he'll assert his territory a bit with the kitten, which I've heard many rabbits do in the beginning and helps establish the boundries with the new cat.

Any opinions? What were some good methods others have used to smooth the cat-rabbit introduction?
post #2 of 19
The ONLY time I had a rabbit and cat in the same house at the same time was when I had my Cornish Rexes and got my son a Rex rabbit to keep in his room.

When I brought my most laid back Rex cat to meet the bunny in person, the rabbit charged the cat and ran him out of the room. The cat went and told the others about the "attack" rabbit and NONE of the other Rexes would even try to see that rabbit!
post #3 of 19
I think it's important you get a very young kitten in the case so they grow up together and see each other as friends instead of dinner. Once that relationship is established their shouldn't be an issue.

I had Mini Rexs and kittens together and it wasn't an issue. A mini can kick pretty hard when they want to & if the kitten got too rough, well they didn't do it twice!

A netherland dwarf is an awefully small rabbit though. I'd be worried with a kitten over 4 months.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm hoping that in getting a kitten it'll be small enough to not seem immediately like a threat to Toby and won't see Toby as a meal in return. I doubt Toby would ever charge any animal, he's pretty passive and nervous.

For the first while after I bring the kitten home, it'll probably stay in his safe area downstairs and I'll start introducing blankets from one another with their scents to each other. The bunny has his own room that he stays in, blocked off by a baby gate so I'll introduce the kitten to him very slowly on separate sides of the gate -- when they seem pretty cool with one another on opposite sides, I'll try bringing the kitten inside the bunny room.
post #5 of 19
Hmm, my cats are SCARED of my rabbits, but they're great big (6-ish pounds) spayed females who don't tolerate any nonsense, LOL. A little 2-pounder might be looked upon as a snack. If you get a little kitten, then he'll grow up with the rabbit and hopefully there won't be any issues.
post #6 of 19
I agree, with a kitten, they will look on the bunny as a family member and not prey. I brought home a kitten (about 6 wks old and abandonded) when I had my bunny and the kitten's first reaction was to arch up, hiss and run and hide. I kept the separated for a while and kept plexiglass around Bunny's enclosure at home...until I came home one day and Jasper had gotten in and they were laying there grooming each other! Later I brought home another kitten that "adopted" Bunny as her mom and even tried to imitate her hopping. They all got along great, and if one of them got too rough Bunny would put them in their place.

Bunny was also not a dwarf but more of a 5-6lb rabbit. You may want to keep a closer eye since your bun is a dwarf, but I think bringing the cat home as a kitten it SHOULD be ok. A lot depends on the Toby's personality (does she put up with crap, or not?).

Good luck, and post pics of Toby!!!!
post #7 of 19
Poor quality scanned polaroids, but this is tiny Spaz (less than 2 pounds) with her bestest friend Buttons, my mini-lop (3 pounds).


Here is Buttons without a kitten attached to her head.


They were bestest buds, Buttons would use Spaz's litterbox and vice versa, Spaz would even curl up and sleep in the bunny cage with her.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm really not sure how Toby will react to the kitten to be honest. He's pretty timid towards people he doesn't know, though I know the woman I originally bought him from a year ago owned cats and there was a picture of him on the couch with one of them so I'm hoping he'll be okay with them.

Pictures of Toby:

This was the picture on his kijiji ad where I bought him from. He seemed to have gotten along with this cat, though I'm not sure how impressed the cat was, lol.


This is him a bit older after I got him. He's about 1 1/2 years old now and just over 2 and a half pounds. So still a very tiny bun!


I'll try to remember to upload some more recent pictures of him in one of the other forums here, I have a bunch that haven't been put anywhere online yet to access. I love him to bits, he's my little boy~ *Hearts*
post #9 of 19
i used to have a rabbit and it worked out fine. he wasn't scared at all of the cats but they never fully lost their fear of him. i never left them alone together though because i was never sure if my bunny would be safe in the end
post #10 of 19
IMO you shouldn't be adopting a kitten under 10 or 12 weeks old cause they need important social time with mom/siblings, so that might be a problem in getting a "young" kitten.

And and adult rabbit probably would be more able to take care of themselves against a kitten then a small baby rabbit.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO you shouldn't be adopting a kitten under 10 or 12 weeks old cause they need important social time with mom/siblings, so that might be a problem in getting a "young" kitten.

And and adult rabbit probably would be more able to take care of themselves against a kitten then a small baby rabbit.
The youngest kittens our shelter puts up for adoption are over 2 months old, usually a bit older so that's no problem.

My rabbit is an adult. He's completely full grown, but 2 1/2 pounds is as big as most Netherland Dwarfs get. It's just their regular full grown size.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beans_etc View Post
I'm really not sure how Toby will react to the kitten to be honest. He's pretty timid towards people he doesn't know, though I know the woman I originally bought him from a year ago owned cats and there was a picture of him on the couch with one of them so I'm hoping he'll be okay with them.

Pictures of Toby:

This was the picture on his kijiji ad where I bought him from. He seemed to have gotten along with this cat, though I'm not sure how impressed the cat was, lol.


This is him a bit older after I got him. He's about 1 1/2 years old now and just over 2 and a half pounds. So still a very tiny bun!


I'll try to remember to upload some more recent pictures of him in one of the other forums here, I have a bunch that haven't been put anywhere online yet to access. I love him to bits, he's my little boy~ *Hearts*
All I can say is Toby is just adorable!!!
post #13 of 19
Eeeee! His coloring is exactly the same as my Pansy. She's a lot bigger though! Shes a Dutch/French Lop mix. I was hoping one of her ears would lop a bit but it eventually stood up.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
For the first week I only let Iroh and Toby see each other from opposites of the gate to the bunny room. Surprisingly enough, my timid little bunny came right up to the gate to check out the new kitten. He'd sniff around and then Iroh would do something silly like go and dart his paw through the gate and the bunny would jump back. Nothing aggressive though on either part.

I waited until I'd taken Iroh to the vet to make sure he was healthy (and get a claw trim) and then the second week I actually let them meet face to face in Toby's room, and low and behold it actually went like I hoped it would -- when the kitten got too close, Toby let out an angry little grunt and charged him. After a couple times of being charged by the territorial bun, Iroh got a bit more hesitant and kept his distance while he explored the bunny room.

The crazy thing is that while Toby angrily chases Iroh around, you'd think the kitten would want nothing to do with the bunny room -- and yet it gets to the point where I'm constantly trying to keep Iroh OUT of the room when I go in. I keep the door closed but when ever I go in Iroh is right there behind me trying to leap over the gate. o_O I've put some double-sided tape on the top of the gate to try to deter him from climbing it, but it hasn't worked very well.

I've been trying to do daily supervised interaction between them, but nothing is really improving. I was hoping that once Toby got his little territorial jollies out the first few times he'd calm down, but every time the cat comes in he starts up again. And all the while, Iroh seems to be getting bolder -- instead of running away when Toby charges at him now, he's pawing back at him and I'm worried that Toby's going to end up getting cut from a kitty swipe. (I think part of the trouble is that the only time I can do these interactions is in the evening, and that also seems to be the time when Iroh is at his most rambunctious playful mode.)

Not really sure what to do at this point. If they can't get a long then I'd at least like to have it so the cat doesn't both even checking out the rabbit but he's obsessed with that room. I'd like to get back to normally leaving Toby's door open (I feel bad that he can't see us walking around the house anymore) but not if it means he's going to have to keep defending his turf from the cat.
post #15 of 19
I am at almost the exact same point with my rabbit and kitten.

The rabbit is a fixed male I have had for almost 7 years, alone. The kitten a 6 month old street rescue recently fixed.

She has been with me for just over two months, but had ring worm and ear mites so they were seperated. Now she has a clean bill of health she is a bit big and aggressive for the rabbit.

He used to roam the house, now he is limited to one room. I try limited introductions but she keeps going back to swat at him and chase him. I am worried he will get hurt tring to run away.

I also only have evenings to spend with them.

How is your situation a year on, any tips or advice?
post #16 of 19
IMO you guys are playing russian roulette. I would never trust a cat and a rabbit together. They may. when young, be friends but sooner or later the play turns into hunting and stalking and the rabbit will lose.

If I got a rabbit with my guys - they would NEVER be allowed to interact with each other then the rabbit in a cage. My guys would torture the rabbit! So I don't have one. I love the Dutch and Rex rabbits and wouldn't mind owning one again, but I'm not about to take a risk!

And keep in mind you never know how strong of a hunting instinct your cat or kitten has!
post #17 of 19
I have 4 rabbits and the cats and they get on fine, infact Floss loves them, she climbs in the rabbit hutch when the lid is open and stays in there with them I think you will be fine.x
post #18 of 19
I think that maybe a kitten wasnt the best choice here. I know my cat was a rambunctious little thing. now shes more mellow but at only two years i still wouldnt let her around my rabbits without supervision. I cant let her either because these rabbits are pretty important to me seeing as how i show them and i cannot take any risks. But as playful as a kitten is, I think the better option would have been to look to adopt a cat who has been around rabbits before. Maturity level would ease the cat from playing so much and its curiosity would be subsided with a sniff and a ok this is my territory understanding.

Good luck though. BTW toby is adorable!
post #19 of 19
one of my cats I have to watch while my smaller bun is out, because she tries to play with him, and doesn't know how to be gentle. my other cat though, i can trust completely not to play roughly or even pay any attention to the buns, unless they get in her space.
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