Cats can devour rabbits, regardless of their size.
Since they’re so quick and agile, it doesn’t take many accidents for them to leap into your yard and devour your rabbit. Luckily, you can protect your rabbit and your cat from each other.
So, do cats eat rabbits?
This is a common question people have about cats, but the answer is confusing.
Cats and rabbits are enemies and hunt each other in the wild. However, domesticated cats usually love eating rabbits.
However, this does not mean you should let your cats eat wild rabbits. Wild rabbits are very dangerous.
Even though domestic cats love to eat rabbits, it’s never a good idea to let them hunt wild rabbits.
Do Cats Eat Rabbits?
Cats can, in fact, eat bunnies.
Cats have also been seen gobbling up whole possums and porcupines! The cats ate the porcupine’s remains, including his quills.
When your cat eats the remains of a carcass, it does not mean that he or she killed the animal.
Since it’s common for domesticated cats to hunt for sport, like birds, mice, and rats, it’s also not uncommon for them to go after small mammals that live outside your home as well.
Eating rabbits is bad because diseases can easily transfer from one to another. Also, rabbits are nocturnal, so catching and catching them when they’re active could be dangerous for your cat.
But cats can eat rabbit meat. It isn’t healthy for a human to eat the leftovers of a rabbit because its greasy meat is hard to digest.
Why Do Cats Kill Rabbits?
This is very dependent upon context: whether or not you’re feeding your domestic cat outside its natural habitat and whether you’re also feeding it rodents as prey or not.
Cats may also kill and eat other small animals such as squirrels or chipmunks.
For a well-fed kitten with a caring owner who has access to multiple rodent species as prey and no natural predators nearby, killing and eating a rabbit is not a big deal at all.
However, since we know that cats like playing with their prey before eating it, it is also likely that it would chase a caught rabbit around before eventually tearing into it like a wild predator would.
To celebrate, the cat should rub against trees and other objects to mark its territory and release pheromones that attract other cats and scare away predators.
The desire for food is the driving factor behind most cat behaviors.
Will a Cat Bite Kill a Rabbit?
Cats have a low pain threshold and will bite down on their prey with great force until they can’t hold on anymore.
Because of your size, you’ll be OK, but a small rabbit will suffer a lot of pain from a cat’s bite attack before it dies.
Cat saliva also carries bacteria that can cause serious infections in the wounds of rabbits.
As a result of the severity of the wounds and the bacteria present on them, a rabbit will bleed out and die within just a few minutes of being bitten by a cat.
Dangers of Eating Rabbits for Cats
Just because a cat can tear apart a rabbit doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to let your cat do it in your home.
Tularemia is often caused by eating an infected animal, which in this case would be a rabbit.
This often kills big populations of rabbits within a region when infected cats are introduced there.
Humans who hunt rabbits may unknowingly be spreading the disease without realizing it.
What Do You Do If Your Cat Catches A Rabbit?
If you see your cat engaged with a caught rabbit in your backyard, the first thing you should do is try to reach your pet and distract it from its meal.
Do that by waving your arms and making loud noises to distract the cat from its rabbit kill.
If that doesn’t work, grab your cat by the neck or hind legs and wrestle it gently away from its prey.
When cats murder rabbits, they will often try to eat the animal whole, so avoid stepping on its neck or head at all costs to avoid accidentally breaking those bones.
Offer a favorite treat or toy to coax the kitty away from the dead rabbit instead.
If given the chance, the kitten will lose interest, and you can pick it up and place it outside your home to dispose of the carcass properly.
If the rabbit is unwell, transport it to the clinic instead of leaving it outside for wild animals to eat.
How to Keep Rabbits Safe from Cats
The flip side of the coin is that you should try to protect your pets from the dangers of hunting wild rabbits.
If you are concerned about your indoor cat catching a rabbit in the backyard, you can put up a fence to keep them inside your yard.
Something made of metal that a cat can’t bite through works best for this purpose.
Many people also leave a piece of cloth on the fence that cats can rub up against to mark their territory, much like cats do when hunting live prey.
If you don’t have time to set up a barrier to keep your cat from catching a rabbit, you can put your pet’s food inside a secure enclosure that your cat can’t climb through or crawl under.
You won’t have to worry about your cat’s food being stolen by neighborhood cats, and your bunny will be safe from harm as well.
How Much Rabbit Meat Should Cats Eat?
The amount of rabbit meat your domestic cat should eat depends upon the size of the animal you consume. A larger rabbit will have more meat than a smaller one.
Cats usually don’t eat rabbit meat regularly because they usually prefer to consume rodents and birds instead.
However, if your cat catches a rabbit while out hunting and eating rabbit meat doesn’t disturb their stomach, go for it.
Rabbit meat can also be cooked into stews and other dishes to make delicious and healthy treats for your feline friend to enjoy.
Cats must eat meat, and commercial cat food is full of the protein, vitamins, and minerals that an adult cat needs to stay healthy.
As long as your cat is not allergic to rabbit, they will likely enjoy eating this tasty dish on occasion as a treat or a supplement to their commercial pet food.
Cats in the wild hunt and consume whichever type of animal they can catch to survive.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Daisies?
Cats will hunt, kill, and consume rabbits and other small animals if given the chance, but it’s up to you to keep your pets safe and healthy.
Be aware of your environment and your pet’s health and diet to keep your home from having any unpleasant surprises.
Rabbits are included in many pest control programs for this reason.
It’s in their nature to catch and eat other animals, but it’s up to you to protect your own animals from the risks that come from allowing this behavior to continue unchecked.
Because sickness is a possibility, you should only feed your pets healthy treats like raw meat in moderation.
The easiest way to keep this from happening is to give your pets a commercial diet made for their species.
Aside from that, you may also want to talk to your local veterinarian about keeping your pets safe around wild animals.
If your cat does escape, don’t be shocked if they return home with a belly full of fresh wild game.
It’s just your cat’s way of telling you they caught something on their own.