Can Rabbits Use Cat Flaps (Read This Before You Try)
If you have a rabbit and a cat you may be wondering if a cat flap is a good idea to use for access.
Can rabbits use cat flaps?
Rabbits can be trained to use a cat flap. They are intelligent animals, like cats. Therefore they have the ability to pick up a few skills if they are trained. They are even known to relax comfortably on a sofa given a chance.
So, now you know that you can. But, are cats OK with rabbits? How can you protect your rabbit from your cat? Are there other cat items a rabbit can use? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.
What is a cat flap?
A cat flap is a convenient opening in a door for a cat or other animals, to get through at their own convenience. It is often referred to as a pet door, cat door, etc. But, essentially, they are one of the same things. Some are simple flaps, while others are designed to control access using a microchip or tag.
Cat flaps started as simple holes in a door but as technology evolved they have become more and more sophisticated. Rabbits are similar sizes to cats so they have an opportunity to re-use them assuming that they are trained to do so.
Are cats OK with rabbits?
Cats and rabbits can get along in a domestic environment. However, cats are actually rabbit predators and will hunt them in the wild, or left alone outside roaming. But, they can be trained to live together in harmony.
Not all cats will instantly get on with rabbits and it may take some time to introduce them. Its also advised taking proper precautions to avoid your rabbit getting hurt.
It’s similar to a dangerous dog, for example, a rottweiler, can they attack humans? yes, they can. But, can they also make great family dogs? Well, yes it has been done many times over. So, like rabbits and cats, it’s possible but care is needed, are you with me?
Can rabbits defend themselves against cats?
Rabbits can defend themselves against some species of cats. And, if the cat is smaller than them they may stand a chance. But, in general, they don’t often get away from their predators. They can try and use their speed, claws, or even their teeth to escape.
The reality is large animals like most dogs are just too big for a rabbit to fend off. But, they may be able to outrun some of these animals. Or get away to a location where the larger animal cannot get to.
Would a cat kill a bunny?
A wild cat would definitely kill a bunny or an adult rabbit. This is a means for survival and a call of nature. Also, due to the size of a bunny, or other small animals they prey on, such as mice, they may need several of them within a day to survive and feed their family.
In a domestic environment, they may still kill a bunny or an adult rabbit. But, it would be less keen to do so because it does not rely on that kill for survival.
Although it may be easy to assume that a domestic cat won’t bother a rabbit because they have all their meals catered for them, right? It is still an instinctual behavior. They are wired to chase (But, do they also like to be chased? Click here) small moving animals
How do rabbits protect themselves from danger?
Rabbits rely on their senses to keep them safe. They have a great sense of smell, hearing, and sight and use it to their advantage. Also, movement is what I would call their “cheat code”. Meaning, if they sense a predator is too close, they will freeze.
This lack of movement will make them hard to detect by their predator. And, if this doesn’t work they will make a run for it. And, they are pretty fast, up to 18 mph. To make life even harder for their predator, they will not just run in a straight line.
They will purposely move from side to side making it awkward for their attacker to grab hold of them.
What do you do when a cat brings a baby rabbit?
If your cat brings home a bunny rabbit you may be wondering what you can do to help it out. If it is in a bad way, meaning blood is visible or other injuries you won’t be able to help it yourself. The best thing is to call for help. Consult your vet for the best person to take it in.
It may seem tempting to try and take the rabbit in and care for it. And, while this sounds noble, it is likely to do more damage than good.
It’s like if you catch a fly in a glass, you may want to look at it and offer it food for your own curiosity or interest, but the best thing is to let that fly go.
How do I protect my rabbits from my cat?
If you have a rabbit and fear local cats attacking it there are some simple things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening:
01. Protect your fence
Firstly, you need to look at your garden fence, is it good enough to stop a cat from getting through? or over? If not you need to replace or update it to stop this from being an issue.
02. Clever sprinklers
An effective way to keep cats away from your rabbit is to use a sprinkler system that has a motion detector (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). It will fend off any cats that get near your rabbit cage while you sleep or put your feet up.
03. Citrus fruit peelings
Another cheap way is to use citrus fruit peelings. Cats don’t like citrus fruits so you can use that to benefit your situation.
Could the rabbit also use cat litter?
Rabbits can use a cat litter tray. However, the actual litter is not ideal for them. They need other softer materials such as straw. They prefer one known spot to poop each day and why not a litter tray?
To make this happen you would have to train your rabbit from a young age. Do not expect your rabbit to pick this up from an adult very well. I am not saying that is not possible, but it may be more work than it’s worth.
Rabbits, like us humans, like their habits. So, when you try and switch things it could take a while for them to adjust.
How can you protect wild rabbits from your cat?
If you have seen your cat bothering a rabbit warren or bought in a bunny you may be able to save the others by being proactive.
To do this you need to use an old container, maybe one you used to move into your home that is no longer needed. You will need to modify it lightly for this. Basically cut a small hole in it.
This hole needs to be enough for the rabbits to get out of, remember they can get out of small holes, but small enough to stop your cat from getting in. Place this over the rabbit warren to protect them.
This will allow the mother to come and go at her own convenience and keep the bunnies protected while she is away.