Rabbits vs Cats – Pet Comparison

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

rabbits vs cats

People looking for a quiet, calm pet have felines as their first thought. Cats are docile and calm creatures, so they do not require much time from their caretakers.

But did you know that rabbits also make great quiet pets? While they are active animals, they would not cause noise and chaos in your home.

However, it is essential to note that caring for a bunny is not the same as caring for a cat. So, we’ll discuss the difference between rabbits vs cats to help you choose which pet will work best for your needs and demands.

Cats Rabbits
Appearance Large and muscular Small and fluffy
Predatory Behavior Predator to small animals and prey to the larger ones Wholly prey
Diet Rely on a meat-based diet Feeds on grass, hay, and leafy greens
Behavior Independent Dependent on their human companion and like living in groups
Reproduction Undergo a gestational period of 63 to 65 days and produce up to 8 offspring Undergo a gestational period of 31 to 33 days and produce up to 12 offspring
Temperature Tolerance 60-80°F 60-70°F
Lifespan About 15 years About 10 years

Comparing the Similarities Between Cats Vs Rabbits


Are rabbits like cats? At a glance, it is clear that there is no physical similarity between a cat and bunny.

But a deeper look will reveal that these animals are very much alike, apart from the fact that both are zodiac animals.

1. Domestication


Both cats and rabbits were domesticated and turned into house pets by humans thousands of years ago. Today, these animals make excellent pets due to their affectionate personalities.

2. Intelligence


Apart from their quiet demeanor, cats make fantastic pets as you can litter train them. So, cleaning after them would be easy, although the task can be more tiring with rabbits, considering how they produce up to 500 pellets a day.

But a rabbit’s intelligence is also high, so you can teach it to do its business in a litter box. So, if you do not have enough time to clean up your pet’s mess, bunnies and cats are great companion animals.

3. Curiosity


Rabbits and felines are curious creatures. So, once you bring them as pets, you can expect them to go around and explore things.

These animals may even visit the tightest corners to investigate objects that are new to them.

4. Grooming


One of the most notable similarities between cats and rabbits is their grooming habits. Both animals groom themselves extensively, using their tongues to get rid of dirt from their fur.

5. Sleep pattern


Felines and bunnies are crepuscular animals, which means they are active at dusk and dawn while asleep during the day and night. The reason is that bunnies and cats are prey animals in the wild.

By being awake during dusk and dawn, they can avoid their predators, which are already tired from hunting throughout the night.

But since these animals tend to jump and run at incredible speeds, they may disturb your sleep when playing around.

Differences Between Cats and Rabbits

1. Appearancecats-and-rabbits-live-together

Cats are generally larger and more muscular than rabbits. While both house pets have claws, a feline’s claws are retractable, while a rabbit’s claws are not. In addition, rabbits do not shed as excessively as cats, making them more suitable for people with allergies.

Rabbits are also softer and fluffier to hold than cats.

2. Predatory Behavior


Although cats can be prey in the wild, they also act as predators of smaller animals. So, they may mimic hunting behaviors while they play.

On the other hand, rabbits are wholly prey animals. This fact makes them skittish pets, as they often expect danger from their surroundings.

3. Diet


If you compare cats with rabbits, it is evident that cats are carnivores; they require a meat-based diet. Meanwhile, rabbits are herbivores, relying solely on grass, hay, and leafy greens for their diet.

A rabbit is a great option if you need a pet that does not require an expensive diet, as you can get their diet almost anywhere. However, you need to be careful when feeding your pet rabbit with grass, as some plants are poisonous to them.

4. Behavior


The excellent hunting abilities of cats make them independent animals. When hungry, they can wander around to look for mice and other small animals they can feed on. However, they can scratch your furniture when bored or as a way to mark their territory.

Rabbits are dependent on their human companions. They also live in groups, so you must bring home at least two rabbits if you want this species as a pet. Although they won’t scratch your furniture, rabbits may chew on things to keep their teeth healthy.

5. Reproduction


Rabbits have a shorter gestation period than cats and can produce up to 12 offspring per litter, while cats usually have litters of 1–8 kittens. A rabbit’s pregnancy lasts for 31 to 33 days, while a cat is pregnant for 63 to 65 days.

If the thought of 12 little bunnies jumping around does not sound good to you, a rabbit may not be a good option for a pet.

6. Temperature tolerance


Cats can tolerate some temperature swings, as they have a natural ability to regulate their body temperature. However, they are best suited to a moderate and consistent range around 60-80 °F.

Rabbits, meanwhile, are sensitive to extreme temperatures and can suffer from heat stroke or hypothermia. If the temperature gets out of the 60-70 °F range, they’ll become stressed and/or ill.

7. Lifespan


The average lifespan of a rabbit is ten years. On the other hand, cats can live for up to 15 years. Regardless of which pet you will get, it is worth noting that you have to commit to it for a long time.

Pros and Cons

1. Cats

  • Low-maintenance
  • Entertaining and affectionate
  • Does not require a lot of space
  • Controls pests like mice and cockroaches
  • Can help lower a person’s stress and anxiety
  • Quiet and docile
  • Can cause people to experience allergies due to their shedding
  • Likes scratching furniture

2. Rabbits

  • Calm and easy to live with
  • Lives for a long time
  • Can learn tricks and litter training
  • Does not require a lot of space
  • Does not make too much noise
  • Requires a lot of clean up as they produce up to 500 pellets a day
  • Cannot stand extreme temperatures
  • Likes chewing on things
  • Highly dependent

Should I Get a Rabbit or a Cat?


Deciding on whether you should get a feline or a bunny depends on several factors. These factors include your lifestyle, living situation, and personal preferences.

While both animals make fantastic pets, they have different needs and personalities.

  • Felines are low-maintenance and independent. If you have a busy lifestyle, a cat will make a great pet, as you can leave them alone for hours as long as they have food and water.

In addition, cats can quickly adapt to various living situations.

  • Meanwhile, rabbits are social animals, so they need more care and attention than cats. They have sensitive stomachs, so they require a proper diet to stay healthy.

In addition, bunnies love doing zoomies, so they need more space than cats.

Tips for Keeping a Cat and a Rabbit in the Same Home


Do bunnies and cats get along? If you have seen the viral video where an irritated cat rides around on bunny, you know that it’s possible for cats and rabbits to live together.

However, you cannot simply bring home these animals and expect them to automatically get along. Below are some tips you can follow if you want to take care of a rabbit and a cat in the same home:

  • Introduce the animals gradually.

After bringing home your cat and rabbit, keep them in separate rooms and exchange their toys and bedding from time to time. This way, they can get used to each other’s scent.

  • Allow the animals to see each other in separate areas

Once your pets are used to each other’s scent, let them see each other without any physical interaction. You can do this by placing your cat and rabbit in separate cages.

This step will help your pets get used to each other’s presence.

  • Allow supervised interactions

Always supervise their interactions closely and separate your pets if necessary. If the cat shows signs of aggression or the rabbit becomes stressed or aggressive, separate them and try again later.

  • Train your cat

Cats and rabbits will fight if you fail to introduce them gradually. If you’ll ask who will win, the answer is your feline friend.

For this reason, you need to train your cat to cohabitate with your rabbit. Training will reduce your feline’s predatory behavior, preventing it from becoming aggressive toward your rabbit.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are cats a danger to rabbits?

A cat can be a danger to a rabbit if you fail to introduce them properly. Felines are predatory animals, so they may try to hunt your rabbit.

Fortunately, these animals can live together if appropriately supervised.

How do rabbits defend themselves against cats?

Your rabbit will use its hind legs, teeth, and claws as self-defense tools. However, it will only fight back if a feline attacks it first.

If your rabbit is fighting back, its goal is to escape its predator rather than kill it.

Are rabbits more expensive than cats?

While a cat is more expensive to purchase than a rabbit, the latter requires more care. For this reason, you need to spend slightly more money on caring for a rabbit than a cat.

According to moneymanagement.org, caring for a cat costs $500 to $1,000 annually, while caring for a rabbit costs $600 to $1,100.

What’s the difference between rabbit and cat skeleton?

Cats have larger and more robust skeletons, while rabbits are smaller. A cat’s skull is elongated with more powerful jaws and prominent teeth.

While both animals are agile, a cat is more active and flexible, so its spine has more maneuverability. Even the legs of a feline are longer and more muscular, which makes it strong and fast.

On the other hand, rabbits are known for their jumping and running abilities, so they have short front legs and long hind legs.


After everything that’s said, it is evident that there are many differences between rabbits vs cats. So, if you plan to take care of either of these pets, you need to assess whether or not you can provide for their needs.

If you are frequently out, it is better to get a feline friend, as they do well alone. On the other hand, rabbits often need companions and may become stressed if constantly left alone.

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