Do you own a bunny? If you do, you need to keep him protected. It is because rabbits are considered to be prey animals. They are very peaceful, having no defense skills which makes them prone to pretty much all the carnivores bigger than them. So, it would help if you kept an eye on them all the time. Keep them inside most of the time unless you are sure there is no threat around. If you are unsure if your other pets are a threat to your bunny, stay tuned, and find. We will be looking at the different predators that eat a rabbit. Please see our blog on why rabbits stamp their feet.
So, what eats a rabbit?
Considering that rabbits are prey animals, they are vulnerable to attack by cats and dogs if domestic and snakes, hawks, owls, foxes, eagles, and raccoons if wild. Wild rabbits have themselves to protect while domestic rabbits are in a better position considering that they are under the care of humans, which reduces the threats. It does not mean eagles and hawks cannot attack them. You should be responsible to keep your rabbit safe.
Let us now look at some of the predators to rabbits.
What Animals Eat Rabbits?
Depending on your geographical location, your bunny may be advantaged if some of the animals that eat rabbits are not available in your area. For instance, in New Zealand, you will not find any foxes contrary to the UK where the foxes are in plenty. The bunnies in the UK are vulnerable to the foxes more than any other predator. The point is, wherever you live, it would be great if you knew what you are up against to prepare yourself better. If you leave your bunny outside, always make sure he is locked in a secure cage.
I don’t think there is any country that lacks a dog. Dogs are everywhere, and we like to pet them. So can you pet a dog and a bunny at the same time? Yes, you can, but you have to keep in mind that some dogs are naturally oriented to attack and kill rabbits. Some have gone through training to chase rabbits. Some of these dogs include the Jack Russel Terriers, Weimaraners, redbone coonhounds, Basset hounds, and the beagles. These dogs will never hold themselves back at bunnies even when you command them not to attack. However, there is another group of dogs that might get along with bunnies. They won’t get along as friends, but there is a higher probability they will not attack. They include Labradors, Collies, and golden retrievers. Although they are somehow compatible, you should never take chances. Dogs can be very cunning, depending on how they have been brought up. Always keep an eye on both animals.
Cats, just like dogs, are potential predators. They are cute, but they also love meat. When rabbits are small, the chances of attack by bigger cats are very high. When the bunnies are fully grown, they have a better chance of survival thanks to their strong hind legs which gives them an excellent opportunity to defend themselves. Cats are also fearful, and so when they see a fully grown bunny, they may observe the rabbits from a distance waiting for an excellent chance to strike. Keep a close eye on your young bunnies all the time or else the cats might mistake them for mice.
Foxes do eat rabbits. They are hunters. Very experienced. They will never hesitate after seeing a bunny. That is an excellent meal. Those countries with foxes should have a very keen bunny owner. The owner also needs to have their rabbits protected by a robust enclosure. I would consider making the enclosure myself to be sure. Some of the hutches sold out there are made from cheap materials that cannot keep the foxes away. Rabbits in the wild are good at protecting themselves. They have strong hind legs and long feet that help them accelerate very fast.
Birds Of Prey
The birds of prey are a threat to rabbits. You won’t have to worry so much about them if you live in the cities. The more significant risk comes when you live in the countryside. You are more likely to find the eagles and hawks there. If so, you need to protect them from these birds. They are very good at hunting, and they stop at nothing. If you are to leave the rabbit outside, make sure there are hideouts, and they are is not open. Makes sure there is enough cover. Some areas are more inhibited by these birds, which means you need to take extra measures.
Big cats are a threat even to humans, so you need to be very careful if your area has wild cats. Bunnies make an excellent meal for them if they are not keen. The big cats include the leopards, the bobcats, and the cougars. Ensure where you live is protected, and the bunnies should not wander around so much. These cats will not attack the rabbits alone. They will feed on most domestic animals like chicken and bunnies. You are not ready for such losses so keep them safe.
If you know these animals, then you know that they are mainly kept to catch rabbits which means that if you have a ferret, you should not have a bunny for a pet. They are somewhat small in size, which leads to some of their defeat against big bunnies, but they stress the rabbits a lot whether big or small. Just keep them away from your bunny.
Instead of attacking the rabbits, children will hurt the rabbits in the name of fun which qualifies them to be a threat to the bunnies. Rabbits are not that strong, and any actions such as picking them up and dropping them may lead to injuries. Kids love to play a lot, and they will even throw things at the bunnies for fun. Keep your rabbits away from your children for safety reasons.
In the wild, rabbits have no one to protect them. All they have are their strong legs. For this matter, they are open to all the predators out there. Since rabbits cannot defend themselves efficiently, when the bunnies are small, their mothers will stay away from them to avoid attracting attention at the nest.
As a rabbit owner, you should know that your bunny has so many enemies, but this should not stress you out. Keeping him safe is easy. All you need is to have a solid hutch that you are confident with and have him a rabbit run. The rest lies in keeping an eye on him. That is all you need to keep them safe, and they will live a long life.
Now that we know what eats rabbits, that is your first step to keeping them safe. The remaining part is simple like I mentioned. When introducing a dog to your bunny, make sure you do it when they are both small; otherwise, it is going to be difficult later on. Dogs are not friends with bunnies so you might want to grow them together.
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