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9 Tips To Make Your Rabbit Cage “Cat Proof” (DIY 2022)

Cat Proof Rabbit Cage

When it comes to keeping cats away from bunnies…

Supervision can only do so much.

This also requires a lot of time.

And not every fur parent has plenty of this on their hands.

So, what can you do to secure your rabbit cage?

And is there a way to “cat-proof” it?

Continue reading to discover:

  • 9 practical tips to cat-proof your rabbit cage.
  • What you should do to reinforce an outdoor hutch.
  • The most recommended material for a rabbit cage.
  • The cat–repellent scents that are also safe for rabbits.
  • And so much more…

Cat proof rabbit cage: 9 tips


#1: Add a finer mesh to the outer frame

Is your rabbit’s cage mostly made of wire?

If so, and its holes are big enough for a cat’s paw to get through, you need to make some alterations to fortify it.

Most wire cages available in the market have gaps that are at least an inch. 

So the easiest thing you can do is to put a layer of fine metal wire mesh around it.

Put it on all sides of the cage. And make sure that its openings are smaller than 1 in (2.54 cm).

This way, a cat won’t be able to put their paw inside and attack your rabbit.

Also, bunnies are curious and they love to chew things. 

So make sure that there are no pointed wires poking out that can harm them.

Note: If your rabbit is a big chewer, keep a close eye on them after the installation. This is to see if they bite on the wire mesh around their cage.

But if your rabbit’s cage is outdoors…

#2: Strengthen its wire panels

Usually, outdoor rabbit hutches are made of wood and chicken wire.

If yours is like this, you may have to consider replacing the wire with a stronger one.

Why?

Chicken wire is quite thin and determined rabbits can easily chew through it.

So, it’s also possible for cats to scratch and break it.

But aside from neighborhood felines…

There are other bigger predators outside that may prey on your rabbits. Say, dogs and foxes.

“So what should I do?”

The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund a.k.a RWAF recommend welded mesh for outdoor cages.

This is sturdier than regular chicken wire. So rabbits and other animals will not be able to chew through it.

Welded mesh is available in different gauges. And typically, the ones with high numbers are on the thin side.

So if you’re going to buy one, they advise choosing the 16 g (1.2 mm).

Note: Do you plan to install only 1 layer of wire on your rabbit’s cage? If so, the RWAF also said to avoid fastening it from the outside. Since it might be easier for predators to detach it.

Reading tip: 21 Rabbit Predators + 11 Tips To Protect Your Bunny

#3: Cover it with a breathable blanket

Cover Rabbit Cage With A Breathable Blanket To Make It Cat Proof

Do your rabbit and cat share a room?

If this is your case, and they’re not introduced well to each other yet…

This is the easiest thing you can do at the moment.

Cover your rabbit’s cage with a breathable blanket. But make sure to leave one side open – either the top or the part that’s facing the wall.

Then secure it with sturdy pegs or wires.

But, never leave them unattended.

Both cats and rabbits have a great sense of smell. 

They can sniff each other’s odors. So the cat may investigate around your bunny’s cage even if the view is blocked.

Not all fur parents have another room or cage at home to separate their pets. So this could be your best bet.

However, this is only a temporary solution.

So why not try to make them get along?

It may not look like it, but rabbits and cats are more similar than you think.

Learn more: 11 Tips To Introduce Cats To Bunnies (Make Them Get Along)

#4: Make a reinforced DIY pen

Every rabbit needs a cage that’s at least 4 times bigger than their size.

But besides this, they still need to have a run or a larger area to jump around.

So if you want to give your bun more space or if you have more than 1 rabbit at home…

You can also build an enclosure and cat-proof it.

How?

If you want something that’s easy to install, you can buy an enclosure pen for rabbits or small animals. Preferably one with a top cover.

But you can also save money by creating your own.

You’ll only need a wooden base and posts. As well as welded wire mesh. And also, some carpentry skills.

Check out this short video to get an idea how to do it:

You might also want to know: Top 15 Things To Put In The Bottom Of A Rabbit Cage 

#5: Reinforce its roof

Cats love going through the top of any cage while swiping their paws inside.

They often do this while playing with other cats too.

So it’s likely that your kitty may also do it on your rabbits’ hutch.

But even though the cat can’t reach your bun, this could still be stressful for them.

Well, imagine a predator lurking at you from above. I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to ignore it.

So for this, you may cover the top of their cage with a heavy material like plywood or wooden planks.

Interesting fact: Experts conducted a study about the hunting behavior of house cats. They found that each of them is ‘specialized’ on certain prey. 

Out of the 26 cats, 8 of them mostly hunted small birds, 5 on lizards, and 4 on black rodents. But they also observed that some cats have a 94% attack success rate on rabbits.

Check out also:  19 Alarming Signs That Your Rabbit Is Stressed + What To Do

#6: Add a more complicated lock on its doors

Have you seen a video of a cat opening a door?

Well, yes. They can do it. Most especially if a lever handle is installed on the door.

Why?

It’s easier to operate compared to cylindrical ones. So cats can open it by putting enough force and pushing the lever handle down.

Cats are clever pets, like rabbits and dogs.

So if your bunny’s cage is only locked by sliding latches, you may have to buy bolts that are harder to manipulate.

You can just install it near the existing lock. So there’s no need for you to remove the latch.

You may haven’t seen your cat at home unlock a door.

But you never know what could happen at night or while you’re not around.

So better safe than sorry!

#7: Install a clasp lock

Another alternative is adding a door clasp since you can use a padlock to secure it.

It’s easy to install as well. And this could lessen your worries about your cat.

#8: Surround it with citrus peels

Keeping the cat away is still a problem even if you’re done reinforcing the cage.

Remember, you only made it impossible for them to break into your bun’s house.

So it doesn’t mean that they won’t go near the cage. Then stare at your rabbit as if they’re sizing up their prey.

Most bunnies are nervous by nature. 

So if this happens, they’re prone to anxiety or worse, shock.

For this, you may consider putting scents that repel cats like citrus smells.

“What should I do?”

Place some fresh citrus peels around their cage. This can be from oranges, limes, or lemons.

Do rabbits hate citrus smells?

Some bunnies love eating oranges and lemons. 

So if yours is like this, there won’t be a problem if you put them outside the cage.

(One quick note: Avoid giving your rabbit too much fruit in a day. It should only be given a small treat since they’re high in sugar.)

However, other rabbits might also dislike citrus smells.

In this case, put the peels a bit farther away from their cage. Then monitor your bunny.

If they show a strong reaction to the odor, remove it right away. And try the other options below.

Some felines may avoid it for a long time. While others might get used to the scent after a few days.

However, there’s no harm in trying. Especially if you only want to keep your bun safe and happy.

Interesting fact: According to a study, 29% of the rabbits in the study are naturally anxious. And this number is similar to the cases of anxiety disorders in:

  • Rats – 25%
  • Mice – 20%
  • Dogs – 26.2%
  • Humans – 28.8%
  • Chimpanzees – 18 to 44%

#9: Lay banana peels around it

Some felines also seem to hate bananas.

Many people reported that their cats tried to sniff the banana they were eating.

But after doing it, they recoiled right away. Like it’s the most disgusting food they ever smelled in their lives.

Most of them won’t also eat it even if you offer them some. 

“Why’s that?”

Well, nobody knows.

We can understand their dislike of citrus smells since they’re pungent.

But bananas have a milder odor and taste. Plus, they’re non-toxic too.

So some people think it might be because ripe bananas give off a smell similar to ethyl acetate.

It’s a sweet fruity scent that we’re all familiar with.

So laying some banana peels around your rabbit’s cage might also work. 

But only if the cat has the same adverse reaction to it.

Some reminders

Aside from security, make sure to also provide comfort and privacy for your rabbit.

The most important thing to do is to give them a hiding place.

Based on RSPCA, this isn’t a want but a need.

Bunnies don’t only use it to play and entertain themselves. They hide whenever they feel stressed, afraid, and sick.

So putting one for your bun will help them if they’re threatened by the cat.

This could be a simple cardboard box, small den, or tunnel.