If there live two rabbits in the backyard (whole garden at day, predator save enclosure at night), should I worry about free tramp cats?

  • 1
    Can you please clarify your question? Are you afraid the cats could hurt your rabbits or do you feel sorry for doing something the cats wouldn't like? (As a fellow German I see what Google translator did here, but this translation is so bad I honestly couldn't understand it without running it back through Google translator) – Elmy May 3 at 6:14
  • @Elmy I'm guessing it's a translation error. In Dutch for example worry and sorrow would translate to the same thing. Worry makes a bit more sense in this context. – JAD May 3 at 9:14
  • Oh please excuse my fault. "worried" is the better translation! – Allerleirauh May 3 at 10:41

Even though @Elmy has a point I am going to assume that you are worried stray cats might hurt your rabbits.

This is definitely something you should mind. Cats can prey on pet rabbits.

In my experience you should keep your outside rabbits in a cat save enclosure, especially if you know there are cats around. Something like this save rabbit enclosure or this other save enclosure.

I have seen cats hunt rabbits down and kill them and my own cats have done the same.

As you can probably not keep all animals from entering your garden you should protect your rabbits.

Maybe also read this Guide on how to care for outdoor rabbits, it in addition points out that rabbits can die of simply having to be too close to a predator.

  • Thank you for the answer. The first link for "save rabbit enclosure" shows round grid pens. For this ones it is very important to hinder predators (for example cats or dogs) to circle the rabbits. If they can do so, they will rush them until their hearts will stop because of fear. – Allerleirauh May 4 at 2:05

(This experience report applies for western Europe)

I have two dwarf rabbits (one male neutered 4 years old and one female 2 years old) since two years. They spend their daytime in the backyard and their nighttime in a predator save enclosure (no income for predator, more than one opportunity to hide for the rabbits). We have surely one cat in the neighborhood, wich is now almost 3 years old. In the backyard are a lots of opportunities (which we had built) to hide for my rabbits, which the cat can't come in.

At first time the rabbits were only supervised in the backyard. We overwatch all activity through the windows, so we do not influence the behavior from the rabbits and other (wild) animals. We discovered, that the rabbits have enought instinct and reflex to overlook and warn each other in case of the cat enters the garden. Because there are hiding every metre, they are safe before the cats instinct is triggered. Only one time we have seen the cat have physical contact with the rabbits: our female was sitting with her back in the hiding tunnel (more than one entry) and boxes the curious cat with her front paws in the face. The cat runs away!

After this situation and the knowledge they could and will hide, we left them in the backyard unsupervised for almost 5 hours per day. The rest of daylight they stay in backyard too, but with us around. The night they life in almost 6 square metres enclosure.

We made this decision because of the following thinking and reasons:

Rabbits love their freedom. They need to explore, run and rove around to visit their favorite places. So they can bear for example temprature differences until daytime. (Search for sun in the morning, lay in the shadows while middle of the day)

Rabbits can speed up to 60 km/h (little more than 37 mph) so they need all space they could become.

Humans take risks as "okay" in exchange for more life quality. For example they like to drive cars for comfort against the fact, that more people die driving than going.

Our rabbits waits impatient every morning until we open the enclosure door to the backyard.

We life in an environment with a lot of residence buildings, so the risk of predators at daytime is very little.

We feed our rabbits "ad libidum" which means in short they have everytime enought "no risk" food to eat and can choose time, amount and additions (like garden plants) of their food theirself. Because of this, we know, they will not eat toxic plants because of hunger. But they explore and test our garden plants and eat this ones they need.

For more Information you can visit this site: kaninchenwiese/aussenhaltung (please excuse, this site is in German language, but I have not found an equivalent site in English language yet)

(Once again: This experience is located in western Europe. Other places can require other behavior)

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