For some, a pet cat and a rabbit can be great friends. But since Bengals show their wild cat ancestry, could it still get along with a house rabbit? For owners and prospective owners that are enthusiastic about both creatures, let’s look further into this with these topics:
A Bengal cat might not get along with a house rabbit because of the Bengal’s wild ancestry. Bengals are bred from a mixture of domestic cat and the wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). It’s the ALC that increases the Bengal’s already present urge to hunt small creatures (like rabbits). For Bengals, just their ancestry increases their instinct to hunt, small creatures included.
According to Cat Time, Bengals have a high prey drive. Having a Bengal cat near small prey creatures like hamsters, small rabbits, and guinea pigs should not happen and they should be separated at all costs for the safety and protection of the small creatures.
It isn’t just the ALC ancestry in the Bengal that could make it want to hunt small creatures, the domestic cat side likely impacts this as well. Domestic cats may have the urge to hunt small creatures as well, not because of wild ancestry but because of natural feline urges.
The easiest way for a Bengal cat and a rabbit to get along is if the Bengal is interested less in hunting small creatures, especially rabbits, from their ALC instinct to hunt. Having less or no urge to hunt these creatures will immediately and quickly eradicate the Bengal’s urge and help these two animals be more accepting of each other and possibly even friends.
One way to get a Bengal to accept rabbits is by socializing the Bengal as a kitten. If the Bengal is socialized well with rabbits and in general as a kitten, it will know and understand that rabbits are friends and not creatures to hunt, kill, and/or eat.
The socializing of a Bengal kitten and a rabbit can be done by adopting or buying the Bengal as a kitten and bringing it into the home when it already has a rabbit. Having the rabbit as a pet in the home before the Bengal is brought in as a kitten will get the scent of the rabbit around the home and place the rabbit as a member of the household, and therefore an equal, for when the Bengal kitten moves in.
Check out the video below to see an example of a Bengal cat and a rabbit getting along wonderfully:
As stated, bringing the Bengal into the home as a kitten or at least at the same time as the rabbit will present the rabbit to the Bengal as an equal in the home. When the Bengal views the rabbit as an equal, it will see the rabbit potentially as a friend, sibling, or, at the very least, not food. If the Bengal cat can acknowledge the rabbit as an equal, it’s urge to hunt the rabbit will be greatly diminished or none existent and the rabbit will then be safe from being hunted, killed, and/or eaten by the Bengal.
When a Bengal and rabbit are meeting for the first time, whether as equal pets or a random interaction, it should be done slowly and careful to best monitor how well both pets are doing with the interaction. Cat Time advises that when the meeting is done in a controlled setting, it is the most safe way for these creatures to meet while keeping the safety of both animals in check.
Keeping the Bengal and rabbit in the same spaces will also help greatly. If the rabbit is kept away from the Bengal, the cat will likely see getting to the rabbit as a game and it may be more likely to kill the rabbit if it ever succeeds in this “hunt.”
Separating the pets will give the Bengal the idea that it and the rabbit are not equals in the home. An owner with a Bengal cat and a rabbit needs to constantly treat both pets as equals in the home. Preventing favoritism, pet specific areas in the home, or any other unequal behavior of the pets will further the idea for the Bengal that it and the rabbit are not on the same level.
Just because cats and rabbits don’t get along according to society doesn’t mean that the two can’t be handled, living in the same house, and maybe even friends.
So, what do you think about Bengal cats and house-sibling rabbits? Do you agree with what was said here? Comment below to let us know!