Do cats eat bunnies? Yes, cats are well-known for hunting down and eating bunnies. Often, we tend to overlook that cats are prolific predators, having a deep drive to hunt. While this drive might be a cute one if it’s directed at a shoelace or the latest toy, if we’re trying to assemble a big furry pet family consisting of different species, it can be problematic.
There is not a shadow of a doubt that cats are devoted hunters when it comes to outdoor prey. A cat is a born predator. Therefore, it is its instinct to hunt down prey. We all are fully aware that cats will readily hunt rats and mice, but why other small animals such as the bunnies?
Cats Are Carnivores
It’s not a secret that cats are carnivores. They are not just any carnivores; they are called obligate carnivores. This means that cats need meat to attain all the required nutrients to survive. As a result, animal meat isn’t just a significant part of a cat’s diet; it’s a necessity. For that reason alone, a cat’s diet generally consists of multiple animal proteins, and the bunny is one of them.
That is why one of the most popular cat foods featuring bunny as a glaring ingredient is Merrick’s Backcountry cat food. This cat food is prevalent among cat owners today. However, that’s just cat food, including rabbit as a protein. What’s intriguing is what encourages a cat to pursue, chase, and even eat a bunny?
- Related Cat Question: Do Cats Eat Squirrels?
Reason For Cats Killing Bunnies
When it comes to bunnies, you would wonder why cats would hunt them in the first place? Well, cats hunting down bunnies and eating them is normalcy due to the former’s predatory behavior. However, if your cat is well-fed, the only way it would kill a rabbit is the hunting instinct driving the cat to do so. For sure, several pets would only chase the bunny for the thrill of it. Cats do the same, too.
They enjoy playing with their prey, but they don’t always finish them off. Alternatively, the cat would only eat a small portion of the bunny, such as its head – to celebrate the victory. For different cats, such as the feral cat, it’s all about taking care of the small ones. The need and importance for food to survive is the real impetus. In their case, they are more likely to take the corpse to a sacred place that they consider safe and sound, away from all the other predators, and eat it. That’s their life cycle.
The Psyche Behind Cats and Killing
It’s no secret that each cat has a different and particular psyche that it follows. A large part of it is determined by the environment that it is living in. One way to understand their respective psyche is between killing a bunny and eating a bunny. Consider this: if a stray cat is super hungry and pursues a bunny, there’s a high probability that it will go on and eat the whole thing after killing it.
If a pet cat is regularly fed, the chances are that it will just kill the rabbit for the thrill of it and leave the carcass as it is. Though that’s not to say it will always be like this. There are exceptions in some cases. One other thing worth noting about cats is they usually prefer to eat the head of their prey. So, if a cat hunts down a bunny, the chances are that it will eat just the head and leave the rest of the body as it is. Thus, it is beneficial to understand the psyche of the cat. Whether they will go for a bunny as their prey or not, it’s their choice.
Is One Cat Bite Enough to Kill a Bunny?
Yes, even a single bite is enough to kill a bunny. Even if the bunny escapes the ambush and a cat fails to kill the bunny immediately, a cat’s mouth contains many bacteria inside it. The bite will most likely infect and kill the bunny. The majority of the time, if a cat administers a bite on the bunny unless someone intervenes, the cat will eagerly pursue the bunny until it finishes it off.
On separating your cat from its prey after you intervene, the bunny will be the one requiring immediate medical attention. And depending on the prey’s condition, you may be able to take the bunny to the hospital without much damage being done. Many emergency animal hospitals are fully capable of handling injured bunnies.
What If a Cat Gets Sick From Eating Bunnies?
If a cat has recently killed a bunny, there’s a distinct chance that it ate some part of it. In that case, it is recommended to take your cat to the vet for a check-up quickly. However, this should be a routine to take the cat for a routine check-up if you often allow your cat to be outside. Generally, it is unsafe to let your cat outside for longer hours unsupervised.
That’s not only because of the diseases it could pick up but also because there are larger predators that your cat could fall prey to. After the cat kills and eats a bunny, it is preferable to be on the lookout for Tularemia (rabbit fever). This infection is due to insect bites, consumption of an infected rodent, or mostly – contaminated water. That is why cats who eat rats, mice, bunnies, or other rodents are always on the edge of contracting Tularemia.
Conclusion For “Do Cats Eat Bunnies”
After evaluating both sides of the story, we can confidently say that the cats and bunnies have a complicated and somewhat confusing relationship. You wouldn’t know, but your cat might snuggle up to a bunny friend in the neighborhood after having just eaten the bunny in its cat food. While cats eat bunnies in many contexts, it is vital to take care of them if you often allow them outside.
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To learn more about the eating behavior of a cat, watch “Why Do Cats Need Meat To Survive” from BBC Earth down below: