Cats are natural hunters.
They prey on smaller animals like rabbits.
And you can find them meowing everywhere.
So if you have some buns to protect at home…
What are the things you can do to keep the cats away?
Keep reading to learn:
- The different scents that cats hate.
- 11 simple ways to keep cats away from your rabbits.
- The possible reasons why felines are afraid of water.
- How you can reinforce your rabbits’ hutch from predators.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- How to keep cats away from rabbits?
- 11 ways to keep cats away from your rabbits
How to keep cats away from rabbits?
To keep cats away from your rabbits, repel them using scents they hate. Like citrus, coffee, and certain plants. Keep your yard free from critters and food scraps. Cover your rabbits’ run and install sturdy locks. As well as set up a motion sensor device that sprays water or emits ultrasonic sounds.
But if you have them both as pets, it’s possible for them to get along.
Keep them in separated cages or rooms first. Then slowly introduce them to each other.
However, if your bunnies made friends with an indoor cat…
This doesn’t mean that they’ll be safe from neighborhood felines.
So, read on to know what you can do about them.
11 ways to keep cats away from your rabbits
Did you know that cats’ sense of smell is 14 times greater than ours?
They have extremely sensitive noses. So one of the easiest ways to deter them is by knowing the odors they dislike.
And the smell that tops this long list is…
None other than, citrus!
“Why do they hate it?”
Apparently, other animals like dogs dislike it too. And it might be due to its strong, zesty smell.
“Are citrus fruits poisonous for cats?”
No, they’re not.
But they may irritate a cat’s throat or tummy if ingested in high amounts.
What to do?
You may do this in 2 different ways.
First option: Throw some fresh peels of orange, lemon, grapefruit, or lime in your yard. Put more in the areas near your bunny’s outdoor hutch.
Second option: Squeeze any citrus fruit. Spray it on old towels that you don’t use anymore or soak it in the juice. Then put them around your perimeter or surrounding your bunny.
#2: Coffee grounds
Don’t we all love the aroma of coffee?
Whether it’s from a freshly-brewed cup or grounded coffee beans.
But have you heard that cats steer away from this heavenly smell?
Yup. This is why it’s also a popular cat repellent.
Get some grounded coffee beans from your kitchen.
Then sprinkle some on your garden.
Preferably around your perimeter to keep cats away from your fence and rabbits.
But you might wonder,
“Why do cats hate coffee?”
Well, there’s no exact answer to this yet.
But like citrusy smells, cats might not also like it due to its strong scent.
While some believe that they avoid it because of their instincts.
Based on a study, coffee is toxic to cats and dogs.
Canines who ate caffeine tablets (weighing 0.004 oz/100 mg each) suffered from signs of toxicity.
And this method is said to be the 3rd most common reason for caffeine poisoning in canines and horses.
“Can coffee kill cats?”
As I said above, it’ll take a 0.004 oz (100 mg) caffeine tablet or more to poison a dog.
So for a healthy cat, they need to eat more than 1 cup of grounded coffee.
And this isn’t likely as they’ll avoid it instead.
Note: Sprinkle only a thin layer on the ground. Also, put some again every other 2 days or more since the smell will not last long.
#3: Cat-repellent plants
This is the last odor barrier that you can try to keep cats away from your (outdoor) rabbits.
There are certain plants that felines seem to dislike. And they’re as follows:
- Lemon thyme.
- Coleus canina.
The latter is also known as the ‘scaredy-cat plant.’
This is because it smells like skunk spray or dog pee (according to some).
Grow some of these in your garden. Or plant these in between your plants.
#4: Scarecrow sprinkler
The success rate of cat-offensive odors isn’t that high.
This is why it’s best to pair them up with other tips as well.
So aside from those scents above, what other things do cats hate?
Uhmm. The first thing that may pop into your mind is water.
And you’re right!
Felines dislike getting hit by water. (But some pet cats may also enjoy baths.)
It’s a motion-activated sprinkler.
Once it detects a cat or other animal in the area, it’ll spray some water to them. So this can keep other rabbit predators away too.
If cats get hit by this several times, they may learn that going into your lawn is unacceptable.
Reading recommendation: 21 Rabbit Predators + 11 Tips To Protect Your Bunny
Why are cats scared of water?
I also looked into it because I’m curious too.
Experts shared many theories about it.
The cats’ fear of water might be due to its shock factor.
But it may also be connected to their ancestors.
Cats evolved in arid areas. So they’re not too familiar with other bodies of water or rain.
Also, it might be uncomfortable for them to have wet fur.
It adds up to their weight. And as a predator (prey for some animals), cats need to be light and agile at all times.
#5: Water gun
If buying an automatic sprinkler isn’t possible…
You can also do it manually – by spraying cats with the use of water guns.
In fact, many rabbit parents have already tried this method. And it has a good success rate too.
Although you need to be there in your yard and catch the cat burglar in the act.
Note: This is also a method used to stop cats who aren’t behaving well based on VCA. It’s not physical punishment. But, it can be a double-edged sword too sometimes and cause fear.
#6: Motion sensor ultrasonic repellent
Aside from incredible noses…
Cats also have amazing hearing.
They can perceive higher frequencies. And these are sounds we can’t hear.
Research shows that a cat’s hearing range is around 48 Hz to 85 kHz.
So to deter them, there are ultrasonic alarms that you can buy online.
These are electronic devices that you can set up outside.
They have motion sensors too. So they’ll emit high-frequency noise whenever animals like cats are around the area.
Based on a study, the use of this lessened the stray cats in a garden by 78%.
So the sounds can scare felines away. But they’ll be inaudible to us so don’t worry.
However, rabbits also have a great sense of hearing. This is why the device shouldn’t be installed near them.
“Where should I put it?”
Install it at least 13 ft (4 m) away from your rabbits. This is because experts say that the device emits ultrasonic noise up to that distance.
Note: Check your rabbits’ reactions first after putting the device on. If they look stressed because of its noise, remove it right away. You may consider the other tips here instead.
#7: Complicated locks
Never underestimate a cat’s intelligence.
If your rabbits got their attention, they’ll do anything to come near them.
So, what kind of lock is installed in your rabbit hutch’s doors?
If it’s only a latch, consider replacing it with a bolt.
It’s way sturdier. Plus, it’s also harder to open.
So even a young kid will have a hard time figuring it out at first.
You might also want to check out: 21 Proven Ways To Instantly Calm Down A Scared Bunny
#8: Enclose their run
Your rabbit’s cage might be secured.
But what about their run or large space where they can roam around?
If it isn’t covered, not only cats but other predators like dogs and foxes can go in there.
And you don’t want this to happen.
So, install wooden panels with welded wires on top of their run.
This is enough to keep them safe whenever they’re out there playing.
Note: Dogs and foxes can dig tunnels towards your rabbit’s cage and run. So if these have no solid flooring, your rabbits are in danger. You can move it to a paved area. Or you may install wood flooring instead.
#9: Cat-proof your fence
One of the traditional ways to cat or bird-proof a fence is by installing spikes on it.
However, those things are so sharp and they can kill those little animals. So it’s considered inhumane.
I’m not telling you to do that.
There’s a new and safer way to cat-proof your fence. And it’s by installing rollers on top of your perimeter walls.
“How does it work?”
These devices are composed of paddles. And they’re put on top of the fence.
Now, if a cat tries to climb over your wall, their paws will come in contact with those paddles.
And when it does, it’ll spin, making the cat lose its grip and balance.
Note: For this to be more effective, your fence needs to be at least 1.8 m (6 ft).
#10: Ensure that your yard is critter-free
Besides your rabbits, cats may also stay in your yard because of critters.
They might be attracted to go inside because of these. And this could put your rabbits’ lives at risk.
So, make sure to clear any bushes or cramped areas that can become a habitat for mice and such.
Also, check your carports and porches for any holes where critters can stay or hide.
Do this to add more security for your bunnies. And also for your peace of mind. Since you’ll worry less about pesky critters.
#11: Make your place uninviting for predators
Food scraps can also invite stray cats into your yard. And your outdoor rabbits will not like these unwanted visitors.
So, remove any leftovers inside and outside your fence.
Also, put lids over your trash bins.
Cover them up to not expose any food scraps. As these could also lure other scavenging animals.
If you have grills, clean them as well to remove stains and odors.
Lastly, avoid feeding cats outside your fence if you don’t want them to stay in your place. And put your rabbits in danger.
Be consistent with this. And keep your yard clutter and scrap-free and you’ll see, there would be fewer cats and other visitors around.