Rabbits are easy prey animals, and with certain breeds of dogs and cats, your furry pal may not be safe if you keep these predatory pets too. What about snakes? Would a pet snake eat your beloved bunny?
What about if you live in an area where these predators can find their way into your garden and gobble up a rabbit that is playing outside?
Rabbits are not safe from snakes, and snakes will hunt, kill, and eat a rabbit. Smaller snakes are more likely to feed on baby rabbits (kittens), while larger snakes can easily swallow an adult bunny whole. Thus, it is crucial to keep your pet bunny safe from snakes.
Let’s dive deeper into the world of snakes, what kind of animals they are, and the rabbits they eat.
Do Snakes Prey on Rabbits?
Yes, snakes do prey on rabbits. However, not all kinds of snakes like a tasty rabbit for a meal. Generally, pet snakes won’t eat rabbits if they don’t eat them in the wild.
So what kind of snakes prey on and eat rabbits?
Larger snakes that are more than 6 feet long eat rabbits. A python or a boa constrictor, for example, can easily swallow an adult bunny whole. A rattlesnake also preys on these fluffy-eared mammals.
Any snake that is at least 2 feet long can feast on kittens, while a snake that is at least 4 feet long can eat young rabbits.
Here’s a list of some of the snakes common to North America that eats rabbits among other animals:
- Garter snake
- Gopher snake
- Burmese python
- Brown snakes
- Bull snakes
- Boa constrictors
Why Do Snakes Eat Rabbits?
Snakes are obligate carnivores and predators of opportunity, so they eat other animals, like rabbits, to meet their nutritional needs. Unlike bunnies, snakes do not consume plant matter.
Most snakes are not picky eaters, and they will eat whatever tasty animal crosses their path. However, what they eat depends on their species. For example, some snakes eat warm-blooded prey – like rabbits, birds, gerbils, mice, rats, and hamsters. Other snakes eat eggs, insects, amphibians, fish, other reptiles, slugs, or earthworms.
Are Rabbits Easy to Catch?
How easy it is for a snake to catch a rabbit depends on the size of the bunny. A snake would only eat prey that will fit into its jaws and mouth, and most bunnies are larger than other animals, like rats and squirrels.
Adult rabbits are generally safe from snakes that are smaller than 6 feet long, while young bunnies might be safe from snakes that are smaller than 4 feet long. Kittens may be safe from snakes smaller than 2 feet long. And all rabbits would be safe from snakes that don’t prey on rabbits.
A rabbit may be able to stand a chance against a hungry snake, even though you may not think so. After all, they only appear to be timid.
Rabbits have a sharp sense of hearing, sight, and smell, and all of these survival instincts help protect them and their warrens from danger.
When a rabbit sees, smells, or hears that a predator is nearby, it can flee, or thump the ground to warn its underground family.
Some wild rabbits may attack snakes, and mother rabbits are fiercely protective of their young that are helpless and weak for the first week or so after being kindled. Baby rabbits are easy prey for snakes.
Kindly note, however, that your domesticated rabbit has a low chance of being able to flee or fight off a predator because it has been domesticated. Your bunny, thus, relies on you, the bunny owner to keep it safe.
Ways to Protect Your Rabbits From Snakes
The first step to protect your rabbit from snakes is to keep snakes away from your fluffball. So if you have a pet snake and a pet bunny, make sure you keep both in their cages.
If you have wild snakes in your area, it depends on how big they are and what they eat. Generally, though, your pet adult bunny might not be in any danger from this predator.
However, to keep your bunnies safe, especially if there are kittens, opt for a wooden hutch that is sturdy, which is also the better option. A hungry snake will be able to get into a wired one.
Another tip to keep your bunnies safe from snakes is to ensure all the openings to the hutch are closed. There should be no gaps or holes. For any openings bigger than ¼ of an inch, cover these with hardware cloth.
You should also get rid of any hiding spots for snakes. Keep your grass short. Trim the bushes and plants next to your rabbit hutch.
Moreover, make sure there is no leftover food close or in the hutch as this can also attract pests and predators, like snakes. And you can also apply a non-toxic snake deterrent around the hutch.
You can also keep your rabbits indoors where snakes are even less likely to find and prey on them.
Keeping your pet bunny safe means you should understand that they are easy prey animals and know what kinds of predators may feed on bunnies. Snakes are one of these predators as some types of snakes eat rabbits.
If you have a pet snake and a pet bunny, it is best to keep these animals as far away from each other as possible. Either one of these should be caged at all times; however, it is better to cage both. Otherwise, you may end up with only one live pet animal, and it won’t be the cute, fluffy bunny.
On the other hand, if you live in an area where there are wild snakes that could gain entry to your property and feast on your bunny, then you know you need to take extra precautions. Not sure about what snake species are in your area of the U.S.? Use this interactive map to find out.