How To Keep Cats Away From Rabbits? How to Protect Rabbits from Cats? Keeping cats away from your rabbit colony is one of the most challenging aspects of raising rabbits. Cats are carnivores, so they naturally want to hunt and kill faster, smaller, and more agile animals than themselves.
Indeed, keeping your cat away from the rabbit requires constant vigilance, and often, the use of rabbit-safe deterrents.
Besides, you can make it difficult for your cat to access the rabbit by installing structures such as cat-proof fences, designing your rabbit a hutch, and training your cat among other methods.
Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that you corral your rabbit or build a fence, these two can prove to be effective. Here are some simple tips that can help you keep cats away from your rabbits.
1. Build A Physical Barrier
You can accomplish this in many ways, such as securing the rabbit in a bin away from the reach of the cat, using a long string to tether the rabbit to a secure location, or using a harness to tie the rabbit so that it doesn’t go to the cat’s area.
The most reliable way to keep a cat away from a rabbit is to build a physical barrier. This can be as simple as a wooden frame that surrounds your rabbit’s space or as complex as a fully enclosed playpen that prevents the cat from accessing the rabbit.
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2. Consider Installing Cat Proof Fences.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective means of catproofing your rabbit is using cat-proof fences. This fence can be made from wood, plastic fiber, a steel wire, or chicken wire and securely fastened to the ground. The mesh size should not be less than 13cm x 13cm.
Most cat-proof fences work on the principle of keeping a cat from jumping over the fence, using a grid, or the bottom of a tube.
You will need to use a sharp wire cut to fit into each side of the rabbit hutches. The cats will always try to catch the rabbits, but by putting up these fences, you create a barrier, thus preventing the cat from reaching your rabbit.
4. Build Your Rabbit Hutch
To keep your rabbit safe, you need to design your rabbit hutch in a way that discourages cats and keeps them away from your rabbit.
Cats are territorial and will chase away predators and prey outside their home range. Because of this, cats are less likely to approach a rabbit in a hutch than in an open space.
You can replicate this by making your rabbit hutch as unattractive as possible.
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- Tips for Use: A litter box with hay would be recommended if he/she has been well trained. If not, suitable litter, recycled newspapers, puppy pads or fleece mat on the bottom would be good choice to clean up. For boredom chewers, providing them some wood sticks, newspaper or fresh vegetables on a regular basis.
- More Care for Bunnies: It is harmful to rabbits feet when standing on wire mesh floor for long time. What's more, allow the bunny increasing amounts of time out of its cage, under supervision. It is recommended that rabbits NOT be kept outdoors when temperature is above 85-90 degrees in case of heat stroke.
As long as your rabbit has a secure area to hide in, it should be able to stay away from your cat. Having a few hiding places around the cabinet will give your rabbit somewhere to escape if your cat tries to chase it.
Your rabbit will be safer this way, and your cat will get the message that it isn’t welcome around the rabbit! It is also very important to build a fence around the entire hutch. This fence should be at least six feet away from your rabbit, and it should be made of wire mesh.
5. Learn How to Design A Rabbit Hutch
When designing your rabbit hutch, you need to keep a few things in mind. Your priority is to make sure that the hutch has enough space for your rabbit to move about freely. This will help prevent the rabbit from being bored, leading to destructive behavior, such as chewing on wires.
It is also important that the hutch has a secure roof that prevents your cat from getting inside.
Choose a location that is out of reach by cats.
Cats tend to avoid open spaces so that you using them to your advantage is a good idea. You can secure the rabbit inside a cage or cabinet and let the cat play around the sides and front of the enclosure to keep it away from the rabbit.
This will also limit the rabbit’s sight and, therefore, its ability to target the cat. Cats often prefer to target what they can’t see, and once the rabbit is inside the cage, you can close the gap between the two with a blanket or piece of cloth to prevent the cat from approaching the enclosure.
If you choose where to position the rabbit, choose a location that is out of the reach-for instance, a higher shelf in a closet, or a catio on the roof, for example. If you don’t have a choice, make sure the cat can’t reach the rabbit with its claws.
You can achieve this with a few simple tricks, such as hanging a large towel over the rabbit’s enclosure to create a false ceiling or installing a large-diameter pipe into a wall to create a tunnel.
6. Use Cat Repellent
Another great way of keeping cats away from your rabbit is using cat repellent.
The most common is to make a mixture of onion, garlic, and oil and place it around the rabbit hutch.
Cats do not like the smell of these vegetables and will stay away. You can paste the ingredients or use the powder form. However, the effectiveness of these cat repellents is temporary, so it is recommended to use spray.
Indeed, cat repellent spray is the most effective way of keeping cats away from your rabbit. Some of the ingredients used in making these cat repellent sprays include lemongrass, citronella, and catnip.
Pay Attention to the cat repellent spray; since some are made using awful chemicals that can harm your rabbit.
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7. Get a Cat Proof Rabbit Cage
Early this year, a friend recommended I try a cat-proof rabbit cage, and fortunately, it helped. I know it works because I use it.
Indeed, these cages help keep cats away from your rabbit. The cage is not only light and durable but also cost-effective.
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8. Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers.
Motion-activated sprinklers will deter cats from going past a certain area where your rabbits could be gracing. These sprinklers work by sensing movement and sending water to the area where movement is sensed. If it is not sensed, the sprinklers will remain silent.
Motion-activated sprinklers can be used to deter cats from feeding on backyard rabbits. These sprinklers can be installed near the feeding area and turned on at dusk when your cats are active.
By morning, they will have given up and left the area, and you and your rabbits will be free to enjoy a few more delicious meals.
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9. Plant Lemon Trees
Cats are notorious for their hunting instincts, making them frequent prey for rabbits. The best way to keep cats away from your rabbit is to prevent them from having access to your rabbit.
The first and most obvious way to do this is to keep your rabbit inside, especially if you live in an area with harsh winters. If this isn’t an option, you can try growing a lemon balm plant, which has a natural scent that cats find off-putting.
Indeed, this is one of the most natural ways of discouraging your cat from climbing your rabbit hutch is by growing lemon balm trees around the cabinet? Lemon balm is a mint-family plant, which acts as a natural deterrent for cats.
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10. By Training Your Cats to Stay Away From The Rabbit
Do you know that you can train your cat not to hurt your rabbits? However, this training may require a professional pet trainer. This is achieved by getting your cat and rabbit together.
At first, it will be natural that your cat will threaten your rabbit, but by doing it all the time, they will soon finally get used to one another. Besides, this can be a good way to reduce the stress and anxiety your cat experiences around the rabbit.
If you’re determined to train your cats to stay away from your rabbit, then there are some facts you need to know about cats and rabbits.
For instance, rabbits are generally afraid of unfamiliar sounds or loud noises. This means that you will be required to train your cat in an area with minimal traffic and quiet.
Besides, it is highly recommended first to let your cat familiarize yourself with your house before you can introduce them to your rabbits or other animals.
If this is not possible, try to make it feel as familiar as possible. For instance, you can introduce the cat to your dog if you have one.
Remember, you need a little bit of dedication and patience before your cat gets used to your rabbit. Moreover, you can use rabbit toys to train your cat to stay away from it, and over time it will master to stay away from your real rabbit.
The above are some tips on keeping cats away from rabbits whether you own both of these pets or you are afraid a neighbor’s cat might come and hurt your rabbits.
However, for more accurate results, combining two or three methods is recommended. This way, both your rabbit and cats will live without feeling threatened by the other.