Can my rabbit be housed with my other pets?
A rabbit’s best companion is another friendly rabbit
Rabbits are social animals and those who live in friendly pairs or groups are much less likely to suffer from lack of stimulation. If you’re thinking about keeping your rabbit with another pet, have a read through our advice below.
More about housing your rabbit with other pets
Contrary to popular belief, guinea pigs should not be kept as a friend for rabbits. There are a number of reasons why it’s a bad idea to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together:
- The bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica, is the most common cause of respiratory disease in guinea pigs. Rabbits, cats and dogs can carry this bacteria which can pass to guinea pigs and cause disease.
- They have different needs (e.g. dietary). Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs cannot synthesise vitamin C which must be provided adequately within their diet.
- Rabbits may injure guinea pigs, intentionally or unintentionally by kicking them with their powerful back legs, or trying to mate with them (could injure the guinea pig’s back).
- Rabbits may bully guinea pigs, which can make them stressed if they cannot get away.
- Rabbits behave and communicate in very different ways to guinea pigs, so if kept together they won’t understand each other’s behaviours.
It is possible for rabbits to share a house with cats and dogs. However, it’s important to remember that rabbits are prey animals. This means they are very cautious and naturally afraid of any predators that could pose a threat. Both cats and dogs are carnivores with intact hunting instincts.
If you are keeping them in the same house, you should ensure that your rabbit has a safe hiding place they can escape to if they get stressed from the dog or cat.
You should also never leave your cat or dog unsupervised with your rabbit.
Ferrets are small carnivores, in their wild habitats they will eat small rodents, frogs, birds and eggs, but domesticated ferrets are known to have been used in rabbit hunting.
Rabbits will never feel safe and secure close to such an efficient hunter, so all contact between the two should be avoided.