Thursday, June 13, 2024

Do Cats Eat Rabbits?

Is your cat chasing your new small bunny lately? Well, then this question would have indeed crossed your mind do cats eat rabbits? Let’s discuss this below.

Do Cats Eat Rabbits

Cats are better renowned for hunting tiny rodents and birds, but they’ll also go after rabbits. According to studies, feral cats eat “the plentiful prey within the location for that time of year.” That is, if there are more rabbits than anything else, cats will go after them. It’s crucial to note that the study only looked at feral cats, who are the wild cousins of domestic cats.

All in all, there is no assurance if your feline partner steps out for some adventure, it won’t chase some local bunnies.

As per a study, one of the researchers planted miny cameras to spy on their cat’s behavior and activities. The results were very intriguing for everyone because the cat hunted for fun and not for food. Almost in 70% of cases, the prey was killed and left uneaten.

While this may make our cats appear as tiny maniacs, this passion for hunting has created cats as such excellent mousers throughout the years, even when they aren’t hungry!

Is Eating Wild Rabbits Safe For Cats?

With all of this knowledge regarding cats catching and consuming a rabbit, it may appear that it is acceptable to allow it to happen, right?

Most likely, it is not. Tularemia, an uncommon but potentially lethal disease, can be spread from rabbits to cats. Tularemia causes “tumor-like lumps and abscesses in the affected animal’s liver,” according to VCA Veterinary Hospitals, and spreads when a cat eats diseased organs.

The death rate is high among cats because of Tularemia. As per VCA Hospitals, this disease is luckily curable. However, the cat has to have urgent treatment with proper medical attention. Treatment is mainly done by using intravenous fluid therapy and some antibiotics. But, as mentioned earlier, the cat has to be hospitalized early to decrease the chances of fatality.

The fatality rate among cats with Tularemia is significant, even with early detection and treatment.”
As if that wasn’t horrible enough already, Tularemia is also a zoonotic disease, meaning it can spread from animals to people. Tularemia is an uncommon disease, but it poses a severe public health risk, and it’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t let your cat chase and devour wild rabbits.

Is it Dangerous for Cats to Consume Rabbits?

If your small fluffball has hunted a rabbit outside, there is a good chance that it might have binged on it.

If so has happened, you must cut the roaming time of your cat.
Not only because of the diseases your cat may contract but also because there are numerous larger animals and hazards that your cat may encounter.

Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” is one ailment to be aware of after slaughtering a rabbit.

Insect bites, polluted water, or, most commonly, the ingestion of an infected rodent induce the infection.

Cats who consume rabbits, rodents, and other animals are in danger of developing rabbit fever, which is unusual in most transmission cases.

How To Look For Tularemia In Pet Cats?

The Most Common symptom of Tularemia is pneumonia in cats. Along with high fever, swollen lymph nodes appear on the neck and head. Yellowing of eyeballs and sore belly are also signs of Tularemia. Temperatures can reach extraordinarily high levels, occasionally exceeding 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t leave your cat unattended because the disease can affect the functioning of the vital organs, resulting in death. The very first thing you should do to save your cat is to rush to the doctor immediately. Another thing you should know is that you your family members, and other pets are also under threat if your cat gets infected. Keep children away from the infected cat because if the cat scratches them by any chance, the virus will transmit to them.
Blisters can appear in three to five days if the cat attacks anyone in the family.

However, It necessitates your cat’s hospitalization for aggressive treatment. It would be best if you catch your cat as soon as possible to offer it the best chance of survival. Even if none of the signs are present, you should have your cat evaluated following the rabbit attack.


So, do cats eat rabbits, even when they stay together? Well, cats have an instinctive desire to pursue wild rabbits. The dynamics can be unmanageable when predator and prey share the same shelter.
So, how do bunnies and cats get along? With the proper introductions, they indeed can, but it will also depend on the particular animal.

Rabbits that are scared and fast to flee may activate your cat’s prey drive, so keep an eye out for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible For Rabbits To Be Poisoned By Cat Saliva?

In their saliva, cats have extremely powerful viral “poisonous substances” harmful to rabbits and other tiny animals. If left untreated, a puncture wound or scrape can poison a rabbit with inflammation, resulting in its death.

Is It Possible For Rabbits To Protect Themselves Against Cats?

Rabbits can defend themselves against smaller predators, such as cats, by using their hind legs, claws, and teeth. The purpose of a rabbit attacking another animal is usually not to slay the predator.

If My Cat Attacks My Rabbit, What Should I Do?

In cats’ mouths, there are many bacteria, and even a tiny puncture wound might result in a fatal illness. Hence, keep the rabbit in a dark and quiet place, without food or drink, and consult a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.

Serina Russow
Serina Russow
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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