Cats + rabbits 4eva (or: Stop licking my eyeball, you sandpaper-tongued freak.)

We love kitties. We love bunnies. But what happens when we want our little fearsome predators and our little gentle herbivores to coexist? Horrible, horrible things? Love at first site? General awkwardness? Cuddles?

My boyfriend Gary and I decided to try it out. He has two cats, Wallis and Tibault, and I have two rabbits, Ellis and Linda. I had received the seal of approval from both of his cats, and he had received the seal of only-mild-disapproval from my rabbits. (Which is about where they rank me.) So, we decided to move in together.

Then he confessed his fear of the blood-drenched horror that could ensue. He, like many a cat owner, had seen his fluffy friends do unspeakable things to smaller animals. I tried to reassure him by telling him I wouldn’t write off the bunnies so fast – they’ve got some sharp teeth themselves, and those back legs could probably gut an inexperienced attacker. Somehow, this only made his vision of the worst-case scenario even more ghastly.

I asked around. Marcy, the founder of SaveABunny, has cats herself, and while she doesn’t let them near the rescue buns, the cats and the rabbits she lives with seem to coexist peacefully. Several of the other SaveABunny volunteers also have cats. The all-around advice was to take it slow and keep an eye on them.

The day Ellis and Linda and I moved in, we decided to keep the bunnies in the bedroom with the door shut and allow minimal contact. Better safe than sorry. “Right?” “Right.” “Right.” “Ah, what the hell, let’s throw ‘em in together and see what happens!”

We took it one cat at a time, in the smallest room of the house – the bathroom.

If they could all speak English, it would have sounded something like this:

Ellis: “Hey, a corner. I like corners. Yay.”

Linda: “Ooh, a laundry basket. Neat! Hey what’s that?”

Enter Wallis.

Wallis: “Holy crap what are those things?!?!”

Gary: “Wallis, these are rabbits. That’s Ellis, and that’s Linda.”

Linda: “Hi! I’m a rabbit!”

Wallis: “Gary where did you find these unspeakable abominations?! And why did you bring them into my house?!”

Linda: “You smell funny.”

Wallis: “God why do they hop like that???? I can’t take it!”

Exit Wallis. Enter Tibault.

Tibault: “Hey guys, I’m here. What’s up?”

Me: “Tibs, these are my rabbits. Ellis and Linda. Bunnies, meet Tibault. We call him Tibs for short.”

Linda: “Oh hi! You smell funny too. Hey look it’s Ellis!”

Ellis: “I do indeed like corners. The darker the better.”

Linda: “Oooh, I wonder what’s behind the toilet!”

Tibs: “Bunnies you say. Hmm. I’m a cat!”

Fast forward three months. Wallis has finally stopped fleeing the room every time she sees a rabbit. Ellis approaches the cat situation like he approaches most situations, with mild disapproval. Linda, after an initially strong curiosity about the cats, now mostly ignores them. Tibs, the attention whore of the family, has had a hard time accepting the unwillingness of the rabbits to either play with him or let him lick their eyeballs, which for some reason are irresistible to him. Gary and I are trying to resist the temptation to fit just one more adorable rescued animal in our one-bedroom condo. The answer, according to both physics and the homeowner’s association, is always no.

Overall, the cat-rabbit experiment has gone significantly better than our worst expectations, and significantly better than my previous dog-rabbit experiment. We keep trying to get all the animals to cuddle together on the bed, but so far no luck. I promise I’ll post a picture if it ever happens. So far I just have these:

Tibs: "Let's play! I'll be the cat, and you be the rabbit."

Ellis: "How about you be the cat, and I'll be over here."

Ellis: "Don't. Go anywhere. Near. The eyeball."

Tibs: "Dammit. Why does he thump at me every time I try to wash his eyeballs?"

A sort of harmony. Note: Wallis is nowhere to be seen.

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “Cats + rabbits 4eva (or: Stop licking my eyeball, you sandpaper-tongued freak.)”

  1. misa Says:

    wow, i’m totally impressed with how well that worked out! i’m also impressed that your condo lets you have 4 animals, we have a limit of 2. :(

  2. khargosh Says:

    My cat and rabbit wouldn’t contact each other, but they enjoyed observing each other. Their early introductions typically went like this: *bun noses forward* *cat hastily backs away* *bun hops forward* *cat turns and runs away* Later the cat came to terms, while the rabbit was confidently indifferent about the whole thing, if that makes any sense! I could swear my cat would shake her head every time she watched a binky. Once in a while they did play chase together, bunny always chasing kitty and never the opposite. (This was absolutely hilarious to me.)

    Horrible, horrible things can be avoided if the buns are decent sized.. wouldn’t risk a smaller bunny.

  3. bre Says:

    i think the bunnies r cute !:)

Leave a Reply