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I've had two indoor cats for years and a few months ago I adopted a Holland lop rabbit. The transition for the cats has been fairly easy because we kept the bunny penned up unless we were around to keep an eye on things. About a week ago, the cats started to misbehave, and I realized that all of the events have been happening around the bunny's pen. They've started peeing in things around the bunny's cage (like their cat bed, my schoolbag, any shoes we keep lying around), and last night when we opened up the bunny's pen I caught one of them trying to use the bunny's litter box.

I know that change is difficult for cats, but we didn't have any problems until about a week ago. The cats haven't acted aggressive towards the rabbit at all (in fact, one of the cats runs away from the bunny), but I think they feel like the bunny is invading their territory which is why they think they need to mark the house around the bunny cage. How can I get them to stop?? I can't keep the rabbit penned up all day, but I don't want the cats to feel like I'm replacing them. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • I'm absolutely no expert here, but have been in your shoes, and can happily report that after a while, all four cats adjusted to, and even loved, all four bunnies! Your assumption about the cats marking territory sounds correct, and I hope someone can help you, but by any chance, has your bunny just hit puberty? You don't mention its gender or age, but my males began to spray after puberty, and the cats reacted in a similar way to yours. They stopped after we neutered the bunnies. – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 20 '15 at 0:21
  • The bunny's a 2-year-old spayed female, so I don't think that's the issue... She's usually good about using her litter box but sometimes she does leave little poops around the house, so maybe that's what the cats are reacting to. – pocketlizard Apr 20 '15 at 0:32
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    I think most of the rabbit specific answers are addressed in the related question linked above. Echoing the comment by Sue, I would work towards increasing the time the the cats and rabbit spend together until you are comfortable leaving them together all the time. Cats and rabbits using each others litter box is occasionally problematic and may be worthy of a separate question on how to stop. The rest of your question is about modifying cat behavior, I will defer to cat experts on that. – James Jenkins Apr 20 '15 at 17:19
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I'm not a bunny expert at all, but I've only done so much research recently because I'm looking to get one.

Possibly, if you try to let it out while the cats are near, but not too close. You need two people or more, for this yourself and another person pet and give both the bunny and cats a treat while they notice each other. Just reward good behavior.

In general, while they're near, soon you can get closer and closer but if someone gets hurt, take it a step back. Soon, they should be fine if they were being territorial and the bunny did not hit puberty.

I hope this helps and please remember I'm not any kind of expert.

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