One of the most important aspects of rabbit ownership is taking steps to ensure that your rabbit is safe. An essential part of rabbit safety is understanding that rabbits do have natural predators.
You may naturally think of cats and dogs, but there are other animals you need to be aware of. For example, do roadrunners eat rabbits?
In this article, we’ll focus on how to keep your bun safe from predators. You’ll learn about what predators target rabbits, how to deter predators, and much more in this guide.
Table of contents
- Do Roadrunners Eat Rabbits?
- What animals are rabbit predators?
- How to Keep Your Rabbit Safe from Predators
- Best Rabbit Hutches for Protection
- Think Like a Rabbit Predator
Do Roadrunners Eat Rabbits?
Let’s begin with the most pressing question: can you trust your bunny around a roadrunner? The answer is absolutely not! Roadrunners are extremely aggressive birds. They are known to eat young rabbits when given the opportunity. Even if you live in an area where there aren’t any roadrunners, you must pay attention to the natural predators in your area.
What animals are rabbit predators?
Because rabbits are considered prey animals, they have many predators. If a rabbit cannot naturally protect itself by hiding, it is vulnerable to a predator attack.
Other than the roadrunner, there are several birds that prey on rabbits. Owls, hawks, eagles, ravens, and crows are all rabbit predators. Many of these birds can spot your bunny from quite a distance and are patient enough to wait until the perfect moment to attack.
In addition to neighborhood cats and dogs, you may find that there are other pets that can target your bunny. Family pets, such as snakes, lizards, and ferrets, can become a threat to a rabbit when the two meet.
Wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks, can also be a threat. Other wild animals to watch out for include:
- Mountain lions
If you are wondering if an animal is a threat to a rabbit, first ask yourself if the animal in question eats meat. If it does, it can be a threat to your rabbit’s safety.
How to Keep Your Rabbit Safe from Predators
Keeping your rabbit safe from predators isn’t a difficult task, it just takes a bit of time and effort. In general, if your bun is left alone where a predator animal can get to it — it isn’t safe. Here are a few tips and suggestions to keep your bunny well protected.
Keep Your Rabbit Indoors
Keeping your rabbit indoors protects it from a wide range of outside threats. Domestic rabbits can thrive in indoor habitats. All you need is a bunny-proofed home and time to devote to potty training.
If you have other inside pets, you’ll want to create a bunny-only zone for your rabbit’s safety. The perfect bunny spot will give your rabbit access to plenty of space to run and play. Add in a few toys, food, and water, and your rabbit will be safe and content inside.
Keep an Eye on Your Rabbit Outdoors
You may want to let your bunny have a chance to run and play in the grass and sunshine. Rabbits do best when given plenty of free range time in the great outdoors. This is the perfect time to spend time playing with your rabbit. If you are outside without covered protection, pay close attention to your rabbit at all times. It can only take a second for a bird of prey or a neighborhood cat to make a dash for your pet. Pay attention to both your rabbit and what is going on around you. Never leave a rabbit unprotected outdoors.
Have a Designated Outdoor Rabbit Space
A well-built rabbit hutch offers the best protection for your rabbit when outside. We never recommend leaving your rabbit in a hutch outdoors for long periods of time. Instead, think of a hutch as a temporary outdoor space for good weather and a change of scenery.
While often convenient and portable, a wire cage or pet kennel can be upended or even smashed by some predators. If your rabbit is only on a short trip in one of these, you still need to keep careful watch. These structures are not appropriate outdoor rabbit-safe areas.
For extended periods of time spent outdoors, you should have a hutch designed to protect your rabbit against the common predators in your area. A solid hutch will allow your bunny the freedom to explore a new area outdoors and get some fresh air.
Best Rabbit Hutches for Protection
Even though you can purchase a rabbit hutch at most farm stores, you’ll want to pay attention to a few key factors to keep your rabbits safe from predators. Here are a few guidelines to follow for keeping your rabbit safe when in an outdoor rabbit hutch.
Rabbit Hutch Construction Considerations
First, look at the construction of your hutch. You want to have solid wood framing, strong wire mesh, and a combination of a welded wire floor and a solid floor surface. A solid floor not only gives your rabbit a chance to rest its feet, it prevents a predator from trying to grab a bunny’s foot from underneath.
The top of the hutch should not only be covered, but it should also offer shade. Most rabbit hutches stand at least 2 to 3 feet off the ground. This protects the rabbit from predators and keeps their area sanitary. If your rabbits are potty trained, make room in a corner for a litter tray.
Pay close attention to the latch installed on your rabbit hutch. Many latches are fairly simple. You may think that as long as the door cannot be pulled open, your rabbit is safe. Unfortunately, predators can be rather tricky. Raccoons, squirrels, and even foxes have been known to open simple latches. The safest latch for a rabbit hutch is one that takes multiple steps to open or requires the use of two hands.
You should also keep in mind the comfort of your rabbit. Because rabbits love to hide in burrows, a rabbit hutch should also have an enclosed area where your rabbit can find a cozy spot to get away from it all. This keeps your bunny stress-free and happy.
Safe Locations for a Rabbit Hutch
Make sure you place your rabbit hutch in a stable location. Predators will often jump up on a hutch, and they can knock it over and injure your rabbit. One popular location for a hutch is against another building, such as your garage or a garden shed. This provides stability, shade, and a solid wall of protection on one side of the hutch.
The best location for a rabbit hutch on your property depends on many factors. You want to keep your rabbit hutch in a shady location that isn’t too windy. While the morning sun can be lovely, a direct afternoon sun can cause your rabbit to overheat.
Creating a Rabbit Yard
If you want your rabbit to have the full luxury experience, a rabbit yard can provide a free-play area that is both fun and safe. However, it takes a bit of thoughtful design to keep it safe.
Because rabbits love to dig, and so do predators, you will need to dig down at least two feet and place a wire mesh in the dirt. Then simply cover the wire with dirt and seed it. If you do this well in advance, it will have time to grow a nice layer of bunny-approved grass.
The sides of a rabbit yard should be enclosed with a strong wire mesh and connect with the underground wire mesh to prevent predators from entering. While a mesh cover will keep birds of prey out, consider adding a solid roof for shade and all-weather access. Just like with a rabbit hutch, you will want to make sure to use a predator-proof latch for the access gate.
Think Like a Rabbit Predator
When looking at your home, yard, hutch, and rabbit play areas, take the time to think like a predator. See if you can easily get access to your bunny. Can you pry open the sides of a hutch? Are there large trees or poles for birds of prey to watch over your yard? Is there a lot of brush and undergrowth for predators to hide in?
Taking the time to make sure your bunny is safe is a vital part of pet ownership.