Rabbits are without a doubt one of the cutest and cuddliest animals in the animal kingdom. In fact, they are so sociable and likable that many people have started adopting them as pets over the years, even keeping them inside the home. While rabbit hutches are still immensely popular, some pet owners are now housing rabbits in cages inside their homes.
Heck, some are just letting them roam free inside the home, although this would be highly advised against. There is nothing with letting them out to roam, as they need freedom, but you don’t want a rabbit unrestricted in the home. It’ll get into more mischief than you would ever imagine. So, what eats rabbits?
Pretty much anything that eats meat. Rabbits don’t have much of a defense mechanism. They tend to stand still when confronted. So the animals that feed on rabbits are fox, coyotes, wolves, lynx, weasels, raccoon, large birds such as hawks, eagles, owls.
[Related Article: How Do Rabbits Survive Winter]
[Related Article: Rabbit Died Stretched Out]
[Related Article: Wild Rabbit Sitting In One Place: [Behavior Guide]
Regardless of where you are located in the world, it will probably be the domesticated dog that poses the biggest threat to your new guy. That’s right, there are specific breeds of dogs that have been specifically bred to hunt and kill rabbits.
Amongst some of these are the Jack Russel Terriers, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Redbone Coonhounds, Fox Terriers, and Weimaraners. Even if these dogs haven’t been bred to hunt and kill rabbits, you’ll likely want to avoid mixing the two in any household because it could be a real recipe for a disaster.
Even if you keep the animals separated, you are probably asking for trouble. If you have one of these dogs, you’ll either have to do away with the dog or the rabbits.
That being said, there are some breeds of dogs that are more than compatible with rabbits. These would include the Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and Collies. Just remember that dogs are part wolf by nature and can be cheeky at times. It’d be best advised to never leave the two alone completely unsupervised.
If something bad happened, you’d likely never forgive yourself. All in all, it really depends on the upbringing of the dog, but sometimes it is best to avoid any unwarranted risks.
Believe it or not, cats are another animal that could pose major threats to your new long-earned buddy.
It is true that rabbits can defend themselves to a certain point with their back hind legs, but they are without a doubt going to be second best to even the most inferior cats. Young rabbits especially need to be watched around cats.
This is because the younger of the species give of mouse vibes, which will be more than tempting to your feline. If you plan on keeping your rabbits confined to the backyard, you’ll want to make sure that their hutch is predator-proof.
If you are just thinking about letting them free roam in the backyard, you might want to rethink your decision.
Neighborhood cats can be pretty crafty and are natural hunters. It’d be nearly impossible to seal your yard off from a cat. Cats can climb, jump, swim, and hunt like it is nobody’s business, and if they want to get to your rabbits, they’ll get to them. The safest bet is a predator-proof hutch.
You might not love in an area where foxes are prevalent, but it is still pertinent to understand the threat that they pose to your cut cuddly little buddy.
Foxes love nothing more than a tasty meal, and that is exactly what a rabbit would be for them. When you really think about it, nature is kind of cruel in this manner, as it seems that it designed the rabbit specifically and stuck it on the lower end of the food chain for animals like the fox.
Foxes are even craftier than cats, so you’ll want to take double the precautions if you live in an area with a large fox population.
A fox-proof hutch with heave wire mesh and durable wood is without a doubt your best line of defense for your long-earned buddies. You’ll find an abundance of these items already pre-made online, but with limited carpentry skills, tools, and supplies, you can whip up your own in no time at all.
That being said, there are some models that are sold online, but a lot of these are just your basic mesh with various softwoods. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t suffice in a heavily fox populated area.
Always make sure you are going the proper research before wasting your time and money. In fact, building your own to meet these above-mentioned standards is probably your best option.
4. Birds Of Prey
Luckily, birds won’t be much of a problem for your new little guys. This is not to say that they can’t pose a threat in more rural locations, but if you are in a town or suburban area, you should be free and clear of birds of prey.
Hawks and eagles are probably two of the bigger threats that you’ll have to consider in rural areas.
These animals can easily snatch up a rabbit and they are known to do so. If you are going to free-range your rabbits in the backyard make sure that they have plenty of hiding places where they can get to in the event of an attack. You might want to consider keeping the rabbits covered permanently.
Rabbits are cute and cuddly to most humans, but these are just amongst some of the things that make them the perfect prey for more superior animals. As you can see, there are quite a few animals that pose major threats to rabbits. However, there is always a way to keep your new friends safe.
It might take a little innovation and work on your part, but if you want to give your rabbits the best life possible, you’ll house and confine them where they cannot be attacked. Or, at least where they will be able to survive an attack. Using the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem doing just that.